Concerted efforts have been made to address problems facing the agricultural sub sector in Kenya including land degradation largely through a framework set up by the Kenya government in collaboration with other stakeholders. These efforts include technological change through government agencies, non-governmental organizations, churches and farmers. The government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MOA&LD) has established an extension system whose aim is not only to pass on new agricultural technologies to farmers, but also to educate farmers on how to use these technologies. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and churches compliment efforts by the Government. NGOs and churches are concentrated in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya. NGOs and churches target the poorest in the community and try to encourage them to adopt new agricultural technologies through provision of services such as education, provision of inputs, provision of loans and organizing agricultural tours. Whereas some NGOs and churches supply inputs in the form of seeds of new varieties and other inputs associated with the new technology, others assist farmers form self help groups with an aim of pooling resources to enable them invest in capital and or labour intensive agricultural technologies. They organise farmers to pool labour and work on rotational basis on individual farms. In the case of technologies requiring capital investment they assist farmers by providing groups with a revolving credit to purchase capital requirements. Technical support is also provided in collaboration with MOA&LD and research institutes by passing on information regarding new technologies through farmer training forums. The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development develops agricultural technologies for different agro-ecological zones of the country. The National Dryland Farming Research Centre (NDFRC), within KARI develops agricultural technologies for the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. NDFRC has developed several agricultural technologies including early maturing crop varieties, disease and pest management strategies, and land and water enhancement technologies for the semi-arid environments.
In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 70% of the poor live in rural areas. The rural poor are heavily dependent on their natural resource base, particularly soil and its productive capacity. The main physical asset of poor farmers is land, and its contribution to their income is far more important than physical capital. Land degradation in the form of soil erosion and nutrient depletion pose a threat to food security and the sustainability of agricultural production, particularly in the less favored dryland areas. In Kenya, the magnitude of soil erosion losses to the economy has been estimated as equivalent to US$390 million annually or 3.8% of gross domestic product (Cohen et al., 2006). In response, government and development partners have devoted substantial resources to improving environmental conditions and increasing agricultural productivity. In particular, they have emphasized as a possible solution the use of modern farm technology – such as soil and water conservation technologies and fertilizer – that would enable farmers to increase their productivity while conserving the soil capital (MoA, 2004; World Bank, 2008). However, adoption of modern technology has been limited in most of sub-Saharan Africa. This is particularly the case in Kenya, where small-scale agriculture remains characterized by little use of external inputs, soil erosion and high nutrient depletion. The government has initiated extension worker programs to promote the adoption of improved technology. However, despite the concerted efforts by government and development partners, the adoption rate of improved farm technology remains disappointingly low.
One of the adaptation strategies to climatic change effects is use of soil and water conservation technologies. Studies in Uganda have revealed a variable significant adoptionlevel of soil conservation practices across the country. However, soil productivity in semiarid districts of Uganda continues to decline and this is a threat to food security for population in these areas. There is limited information on farmers’ willingness to invest or pay for improved soil and water conservation technologies in Uganda. The objectives of the study will be; to characterise households according to their willingness to pay for improved soil and conservation practices; to estimate the cost of various improved soil conservation practices relative to what farmers are willing to pay; to determine factors that influence farmers willingness to pay for improved soil and water conservation technologies. This study will use cross sectional data to establish the determinants of farmers’ willingness to invest in improved soil conservation practices in semiarid districts of Eastern Uganda (Soroti and Pallisa). The results of this study will provide a benchmark for policy makers on factors for consideration while planning soil conservation projects that will win acceptance by the smallholder farmers in Uganda.
The Kenya Vision 2030  identifies agriculture as one of the six sectors of the eco- nomic pillar to address the country’s economic growth since it contributes about 24% of gross domestic product (GDP). Rain-fed agricultural production provides a strong backbone to the overall economy by employing over 85% of the population. However, about 80% of Kenya’s land is classified as ASALs with very erratic and unreliable rain- fall. Further, the frequency and intensity of climate risks (droughts and flash floods) and associated effects on the fragile ASALs environment are anticipated to increase in future due to climate variability and climate change. Use of low and traditional farm inputs, diversity of cultivated crops, poor yield and very limited application of im- proved soilwatermanagement are common features of subsistence economy of small holder farmers in ASALs. A subsistence economy is one that provides sufficient food to last only from one harvest to the next. Therefore, a failure of one harvest means starva- tion for the ensuing year and shortage of seed for the next cropping season.
adoption across geographical locations depended on the suppliers of the technology and suitability of the seed to local conditions. It is indeed from the work of Griliches that economic literature on agricultural technology adoption developed. Some of the factors that possibly explain the rate of adoption and the long-run equilibrium level of use of new agricultural technology as identified in the economic literature include: credit constraints, risk aversion, the farmer’s landholding size, land tenure system, hu- man capital endowment, quality and quantity of farm equipment, and supply of com- plementary inputs (Feder et al. 1985). Among the studies that have adopted this approach are Makokha et al. (2001), Ouma et al. (2002), and Wekesa et al. (2003). Makokha et al. (2001) examined determinant of adoption of fertilizer and manure in Kiambu District, focusing on soil quality as reported by the farmers. They found high cost of labour and other inputs, unavailability of demanded packages and untimely de- livery as the main constraints to fertilizer adoption. Ouma et al. (2002) focused on adoption of fertilizer and hybrid seed in Embu District and found that agro-climate, manure use, cost of hired labour, gender of the farmer and access to extension services were important determinants of adoption. Wekesa et al. (2003) examined adoption of improved maize varieties and fertilizer in the coastal lowlands of Kenya and found that unsuitable climatic conditions, high cost and unavailability of seed, perceived soil fertil- ity and low financial endowments were responsible for the low adoption. The above findings are consistent with those of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) studies as summarized by Doss (2007). Other cross-sectional stud- ies, though focusing on different technologies such as dairy and soil and water conser- vation, have found similar results (see Nicholson et al., 1999; Ogada et al. 2010; Oostendorp and Zaal, 2011). These studies have three main limitations: they are based on cross-sectional data, they cover smaller geographical areas that cannot accurately re- flect the diversity among farming communities and they use ordinary binary probit or logit which ignores the inter-dependence of agricultural technologies. Their results are, thus, likely to suffer endogeneity bias.
Inadequate and poorly distributed rainfall and declining soil fertility have led to low crop productivity in most small- holder farms in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, there has been a renewed quest for sustainable and resource-use e ffi cient agricultural production practices. Zai pit technology is a practice that has the potential to alleviate water stress and enhance soil fertility. We assessed the factors that influence farmers’ adoption and utilisation of Zai pits in Tharaka-Nithi County in upper EasternKenya. We interviewed 291 farm household heads. Descriptive statistical analysis and a logistic regression model were applied to evaluate socio-economic factors that affect the adoption of Zai pits by farmers. Binary logistic regression estimation revealed that the number of non-formal training, beneficiaries of nongovernmental organisations, wealth status and membership of a social group play an essential role in the adoption of Zai pits. Based on the findings, we recommend that farm characteristics and socio-economic characteristics of farmers should be considered in the promotion of Zai pits as a water harvesting technology. The results of the study will be useful to extension service providers in planning, designing and evaluating e ff ective and e ffi cient agricultural policies, programs and projects at local, regional and national scales in the dissemination of Zai pit technology among smallholder farmers in the semi-arid tropics.
L’insécurité alimentaire au Kenya est en croissance à moins qu’on prenne des mesures appropriées. La raison simple est que presque 80% de terre est d’aride à semi-aride et donc non favorable pour la production végétale en utilisant les méthodes courantes de production. Le probleme est l’efficacité limitée dans l’utilisation des nutriments du sol et la faible accumulation de l’humidité dans les sols pour garantir la croissance des plantes. Ceci exige urgemment des technologies appropriées à mettre sur place afin d’augmenter le stockage d’humidité dans les sols et augmenter l’efficacité d’utilisation des nutriments afin de stimuler la production de nourriture dans les écosystèmes semi-arides fragiles. Une étude pour répondre à la faible teneur en humidité dans les sols et à l’utilisation inefficace des nutriments est lancée à Gachoka, dans le Kenyasemi-aride oriental. L’étude évaluera le stockage d’humidité dans le sol dû à l’eau de pluie de ruissellement captée dans les digues trapézoïdales et comment effectuer la disponibilité et la prise des nutriments. L’utilisation de l’engrais pour augmenter la conservation de l’eau dans les sols et pour fournir l’azote N minéral par la minéralisation, et l’application des engrais d’azote N et de phosphore P pour suppler les nutriments disponibles du sol pour une gestion durable de fertilité du sol feront partie des traitements. Des parcelles de terrain dans les digues mesurant 4.5 m x 4.5 m seront employées pour des traitements . Le maïs et le dolique de Chine seront les cultures d’essai. Le contenu d’humidité disponible dans le sol sera mesuré à l’aide de l’appareil de mesure à neutron et des tensiomëtres tandis que les nutriments de plante disponibles (NH 4 , NO 3 et P) dans le sol et le contenu d’éléments nutritifs dans les plantes seront analysés. Les traitements seront factoriels et randomisés dans une conception de bloc complète. Les données seront soumises à l’analyse de la variance et de la régression. L’efficacité d’utilisation des nutriments et les rendements bruts seront calculés. Les resultants attendus incluront la connaissance accrue sur les digues trapézoïdales sur le stockage de l’eau par des chercheurs et des fermiers, des rendements de récolte plus élevés, augmentation générale de la productivité de sol et de sa gestion durable, et formation de deux étudiants de maîtrise. Mots clés: Utilisation effective des nutriments au Kenya, Eaux de ruisselement, model de simulation, stockage de l’humidite du sol, bande trapezoidale
The main cause of food insecurity in the semi–arid parts of EasternKenya is decline in soil fertility, unsuitable cropping systems, low and unreliable rainfall. This has led to low food productivity. An experiment was carried out in semi-arid parts of EasternKenya during short rains 2014 and long rains 2015 to determine the effect of tied ridges, fertilizers and cropping systems on growth parameters, yields and yield components of maize. The experiment was a 2 x 4 x 2 factorial laid in a randomized complete block design. The results showed that, interaction between tied-ridges x fertilizers x cropping systems had a significant effect (P<0.05) on plant height, number of leaves/plant, leaf length, leaf width and leaf area. Treatment combinations with maize mono crop resulted to increased vegetative growth compared to treatment combinations of maize cow pea intercrop. During the short rains 2014, treatment combinations of flat bed planting, farm yard manure 5t/ha + 20kgN/ha in maize mono crop recorded the highest value for vegetative growth. However, during the long rains 2015, treatment combinations of tied-ridging with 20kgN/ha in maize mono crop had increased vegetative growth. The interaction between tied ridging x fertilizers x cropping system was significant (P < 0.05) on ears weight, biomass and grain yields. The highest value for grain yield was registered by tied ridging with farm yard manure 5t/ha in maize mono crop and tied ridging plus 20kgN/ha in maize mono crop (0.15t/ha); an increase of 650% above the control treatment. Variations in seasonal rainfall affects the effectiveness of soil and watermanagement practices. From this study, farmers in semi-arid regions of EasternKenya could adopt farm yard manure 5t/ha or 20kgN/ha with maize mono crop under tied ridging in order to improve maize yields in seasons when the rain fall amount is below average.
• Conservation tillage: Under conservation tillage, practices such as contour ploughing, ridging, tied ridging, minimum tillage, ripping and sub-soiling, plough planting are relevant. In Makueni and Machakos counties, ripping, tied ridges using animal drawn tools such as rippers, ridgers and sub-soilers are promoted by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (KENDAT), Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and Agriculture Technology Development Centre (ATDC). Ridging ensures water infi ltration and increase in root depth compared to fl at planting. Farm Input Promotions Africa (FIPS) promotes the use of the locally made “Mole” jembe that can break the hard pan to help rainwater infi ltrate and plant roots to penetrate into the sub-soil.
A combination of high-value traditional food crops (early-maturing or drought-tolerant varieties) and integrated practices including soil fertility, water harvesting, and livestock and pest management practices, were evalu- ated by and with smallholder farmers using an adaptation of the “mother and baby” trial design (Snapp 2002), termed primary participatory agricultural technology evaluations (PPATEs). In the PPATEs (equivalent to “mother” trials), farmers in selected groups grew, evaluated, and compared two or three varieties of eight different resilience-enhancing crop types. Members of the PPATE groups shared their knowledge with members of other farmer groups (secondary participatory agricultural technology evaluations (SPATEs), equivalent to “baby” trials) through a mentoring relationship, whereby secondary group members picked a subset of technologies that they found most attractive from the PPATE group evaluation set. The project engaged the participation of a total of 54 PPATE groups and 216 SPATE groups representing over 5,000 farmers.
Climatic challenges especially changes in rainfall patterns pose a major threat on household food security. In semi-arid areas rainfall is low, erratic and highly variable both in space and time ( Rockstrom et al., 2002 ). The long-term annual average rainfall in southern Zimbabwe is 590 mm/year ( Ncube, 2007 ) with an estimated 7085% of rainfall lost through evaporation, surface runoff and deep percolation. Rain falls as short duration, high intensity convective storms that can give rise to severe soil ero- sion and surface crusting ( Nonner, 1997; Graef and Stahr, 2000 ). The raindrop impact on the soil surface promotes crusting which retards infiltration of rainwater into the soil ( Mellis et al., 1996; Graef and Stahr, 2000 ). This in turn increases surface runoff and hence water loss from the field ( Twomlow and Bruneau, 2000 ). Coupled with a high atmospheric evaporative demand of about 1.5–10 times the total annual rainfall ( Barron, 2004 ), soil mois- ture is therefore one of the major limiting factors to semi-arid crop production.
Abstract. Site-specific information on land management practices are often desired to make better assessments of their environmental impacts. A study was conducted in Lub- bock, Texas, in the Southern High Plains of the United States, an area characterized by semi-arid climatic conditions, to (1) examine the potential management-induced alterations in soil salinity indicators in golf course facilities and (2) de- velop predictive relationships for a more rapid soil salinity examination within these urban landscape soils using find- ings from a portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrom- eter. Soil samples were collected from managed (well irri- gated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) areas of seven golf course facilities at 0–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm depths and analyzed for a suite of chemical properties. Among the ex- tractable cations, sodium (Na) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the managed zones of all the golf facilities. Soil electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable sodium percent- age (ESP), and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), parameters often used in characterizing soil salinity and sodicity, were for the most part significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the man- aged areas. Water quality reports collected over a 22-year period (1991–2013, all years not available) indicated a grad- ual increase in pH, EC, SAR, total alkalinity, and extractable ions, thus supporting the former findings. Findings from the PXRF suggested possible differences in chemical species and sources that contribute to salinity between the managed and non-managed zones. PXRF-quantified Cl and S, and to a lesser extent Ca, individually and collectively explained 23– 85 % of the variability associated with soil salinity at these facilities.
determine the phosphorus (P) adsorption capacity of the semi-arid soils from Tunisian Sahel and to generate that relates these capacities to soil properties. Air-dried samples soils collected at four depths from three sites in the Sahel region of Tunisia (Chott-Mariem, Enfidha and Kondar). Soil chemical, physical and mineralogical properties were analyzed. 0,5g of each soil samples were shaken with increasing concentrations of solution P for 36 hr at 20 °C. The maximum of P adsorption were greatly influenced by soil organic matter, calcium, magnesium and clay content. Moreover, the data obtained was fitted using Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm functions. P adsorption data revealed that Langmuir equation (R 2 = 0.98)
After retrieval from the storage, the whole grains of each of the bean genotypes were sorted by hand using a sieve of 2mm size to remove extremely small beans and broken ones, small stones, split seeds and defective seed coat or excessively dirty materials. These beans were cleaned and size-graded manually and categorized as follows: 20-30g-small, 31-40g- Medium, 41-50g-big. The bean genotypes were selected based on the field records from the previous seasons which showed the characteristics of each genotype and its yield stability over a range of conditions (biotic and a biotic stresses).The bean seeds were then rinsed with distilled water to eliminate insecticide residual before soaking and cooking. The grains were soaked in a container 8cm high, a diameter of 9.5 cm and a capacity of 1000ml with distilled water at varying soaking times of 3hr, 6hr, 12hr and 24hr.
A comprehensive economic characterization of the water in the region requires first of all that the economic significance of water in the region is evaluated. This involves an assessment of the residential, industrial, agricultural and tourism water needs in the area. This will include information on the population connected to public water supply system vs those with self-supply, the total cropped area, cropping patterns, gross production and income of the farming population for the agricultural sector, and the total number of tourist days and employment and turnover in the tourism sector. The key economic drivers influencing pressures and water uses need to be determined including (a) the general socio-economic indicators such as population growth, income, and employment; (b) the key sector policies that significantly influence water use (e.g., agricultural and environmental policies); (c) the development of planned investments likely to affect water availability; and (d) the implementation of future policies (environmental and other) that is likely to affect water use. These economic drivers will need to be accounted in a dynamic perspective, i.e., to determine how these are likely to evolve over time. The final component of the economic characterization of water in a region is the application of appropriate methodologies to assess sector-specific water demand. This involves deriving the marginal value of water in consumption and production, the price and income elasticity of demand, the marginal and average willingness to pay for public goods and quality changes of common access resources, and the associated risk parameters
investigated the discontinuance of farming innovations and found that the end of subsidies and educational programming explained the majority of discontinuances. It is believed that an effective way to increase productivity is broad-based adoption of new farming technologies ( Minten & Barrett, 2008 ). Adoption of improved technologies will not improve food security and reduce poverty if barriers to their continued use are not overcome ( Oladele, 2005 ). Discontinuance is a decision to reject an innovation after it has previously been adopted ( Rogers, 2003 ), Rogers reported two types of technology discontinuance (1) replacement discontinuance is a decision to reject an idea in order to adopt a better idea that supersedes it and (2) disenchantment discontinuance is a decision to reject an idea as a result of dissatisfaction with its performance. He also de ﬁned diffusion as the process by which an innovation spreads within a social system is called diffusion. Spread of some new product, idea, or behaviour over time through a social system.
Most of the studied wells are located far from the city in fields or pasture areas. Also, the main causes of pollution of the water in these wells are most likely related to the discharges of raw sewage flowing in small channels often used for irrigation, or more simply to evacuating water away from houses; in all cases, these wastewaters can seep up to the water table which is not very deep in general. So, infiltration of the wastewater, leads to the low oxygen levels. Finally, the lack of the protection in a greater number of wells contributes to the enrichment of the organic water because of the wind flows of leaves and other plant debris that will be on-site decomposers. Considering the fauna, the taxonomic richness observed in wells in the study area is moderately higher than that in the other regions surveyed in Algeria. Only 21taxa and 7582 individuals were harvested during this study. This wealth remains lower than that recorded in the 12 wells dug at the level of the alluvial groundwater of Oued Tafna (Belaidi et al. 2011), 16 wells from the Oum-El-Bouaghi area in the Northeast Algerian (Merzoug et al, 2010), and in 16 wells in the Mascara region (Lakhdari, 2014). This high number of taxon is probably the result of higher harvested species in sampling efforts which are mostly of superficial origins. They were mostly aboveground fauna, constituted mainly by the Group of insects represented by the Diptera, Culicidae, Chironomidae, and to a lesser extent the Ephemeroptera Baetidae. Beside insects, there came the crustaceans such as the Amphipod Echinogammarus, Cyclopoidae copepods and Ostracods. Finally, the shellfish are very weakly represented by gastropods Planorbidae and the Viviparidae. The presence of these species depends on the Morphometry of the well, its development and its protection on the surface. Indeed, 60% of the studied wells were without protection with an average depth of water. As well, all groups
The maximum level of education within the farm household was found to have a positive relationship with the probability of adoption and significant at 1 percent level (Table 2). The implication of this is that farm households with well educated members are more likely to adopt modern agricultural production technologies than those without. This is because educated members even bring home modern agricultural production technologies, especially improved crop varieties and livestock breeds for relatives to adopt. This is consistent with the literature that education creates a favourable mental attitude for the acceptance of new practices especially of information-intensive and management-intensive practices (Waller et al, 1998; Caswell et al, 2001). Besides, gender was found to be positively related to the adoption of modern agricultural production technologies by farm households (Table 2). This was found to be significant at 1 percent level. This means that male farmers are more likely to adopt modern agricultural production technologies their female counterparts. The reason for this is that men are the people who make production decisions in the study area and also control productive resources such as land, labour and capital which are critical for the adoption of new technologies. This finding contradicts those of Doss and Morris (2001) who in their study on factors influencing improved maize technology adoption in Ghana, and Overfield and Fleming (2001) studying coffee production in Papua New Guinea show insignificant effects of gender on adoption. Access to credit was found to have a positive relationship with the probability of adoption. This was found to be significant at the 1 percent level (Table 2). This means that credit is an important facilitating factor of agricultural production technology adoption. This is consistent with the view that high poverty levels among farmers and lack of access to credit make it almost impossible for them to afford technologies (Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 2010). This is particularly so given that most modern technologies are expensive which makes it difficult for many farmers, especially those in rural areas where poverty is endemic to be able to acquire and utilise them without assistance in the form of supply of affordable credit and other financial services (Benin et al, 2009).
Crop production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is constrained by rainfall variability and declining soil fertility. This has over time led to a decrease in crop yield, among them also maize. This decrease is also experienced in the sub-humid and semi-arid locations of Kenya. Among the commonly used soil and watermanagement practices in SSA are Conservation Agriculture (CA) and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM). Crop re- sponse to these management practices is inﬂuenced by the existence of soil fertility gradients which are common among smallholder farmers. This paper presents results from a study done in the sub-humid and semi-arid location of Kenya, focusing on the e ﬀects of CA- and/or ISFM-based practices on maize yield. Trials were set out on farms within the two locations using a one farm one replicate randomized design. In each farm, CA-based treatment, no tillage with residue retention (NTR), ISFM-based treatment, conventional tillage with use of manure (CTM), a combination of CA + ISFM, no tillage with residue retention and use of manure (NTRM) and a control, (C) were laid down on ﬁelds representing high and low fertility soils. The trials started in the long rains of 2017 (LR2017) running for four seasons i.e., LR2017, short rains 2017 (SR2017), long rains 2018 (LR2018) and short rains 2018 (SR2018). Soilwater content (SWC) and nitrogen use e ﬃciency (NUE) were also monitored and evaluated. In either high or low fertility ﬁelds, maize grain yield was signiﬁcantly diﬀerent between the control and both NTR, CTM and NTRM with no signi ﬁcant diﬀerences between NTR, CTM and NTRM. Maize grain yield increase compared to the control was highest under ISFM in the low fertility ﬁelds in both locations and all seasons. For example, during the last season, SR2018, NTR, CTM and NTRM signiﬁcantly increased maize grain yield by 136 %, 297 %, and 208 %, respectively, compared to the control, in the low fertility ﬁelds of sub- humid Kibugu. In the semi-arid
As land pressure rises, more marginal areas in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) in the world are being used for agriculture . Unfortunately, most ASALs predominantly depend on rain-fed agriculture [8,9] and may not be necessarily suitable for crop production. As a result, food security has been identified as a major area of concern especially in view of the limited resources for adaptation to the ASALs.