Dairy cattle reared in western Kenya are exposed to medium to high levels of trypanosomosis risk. The social background, farm characteristics and dairy cattle productivity of 90 and 30 randomly selected farmers from medium- and high-risk trypanosomosis areas, respectively, were compared. All the 120 farmers were visited between July and August 2002. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and analysis of variance. The results showed that increased trypanosomosis risk represented by an increase in disease prevalence in cattle of 1% to 20% decreased the density of dairy cattle by 53% and increased the calving interval from 14 to 25 months. The increased risk was also associated with a significant increase in cattle mortalities and in a lactation period of 257 to 300 days. It was concluded that removal of the trypanosomosis constraint on dairy production would lead to expansion of dairying since the domestic demand for dairy products is expected to increase.