Farm diversity, resource use efficiency and sustainable land management in the western highlands of Kenya
Mutoko, M.C. ; Hein, L.G. ; Shisanya, C.A. - \ 2014
Journal of Rural Studies 36 (2014). - ISSN 0743-0167 - p. 108 - 120.
soil fertility management - sub-saharan africa - technical efficiency - rural poverty - degradation - conservation - agriculture - impact - growth - maize
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) faces further population growth in the coming decades and it is essential to increase food production in rural areas. However, development programs to enhance agricultural productivity have achieved mixed results. This study investigates farm household responses to a changing agro-environment in one of the most densely populated rural districts in SSA and examines practical implications for the promotion of sustainable land management (SLM) practices. The specific objective is to analyze farm diversity and resource use efficiency and their implications for promoting SLM in the highlands of Western Kenya. We carried out an elaborate survey of 236 households, and applied multivariate analysis to analyze farm efficiency and livelihood strategies. We found major differences in responses to a changing agro-environment between five farm types in terms of resource endowment, income strategies and farm practices. Across farm types, efficiency was low indicating poor land productivity. Our study shows that there has been a lack of intensification in land use and that households are increasingly depending on off-farm income. Our findings have a number of implications to programs aiming to promote sustainable land management in SSA. We propose that successful implementation of such programs requires targeting areas highly reliant on agriculture and within these areas focus on households mostly dependent on farming to sustain their welfare. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Categorisation of typical vulnerability patterns in global drylands
Sietz, D. ; Lûdeke, M.K.B. ; Walther, C. - \ 2011
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 21 (2011)2. - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 431 - 440.
water-use - rangeland degradation - multiple stressors - land degradation - rural poverty - south-africa - livelihoods - desertification - sustainability - mexico
Drylands display specific vulnerability-creating mechanisms which threaten ecosystems and human well-being. The upscaling of successful interventions to reduce vulnerability arises as an important, but challenging aim, since drylands are not homogenous. To support this aim, we present the first attempt to categorise dryland vulnerability at a global scale and sub-national resolution. The categorisation yields typical patterns of dryland vulnerability and their policy implications according to similarities among the socio-ecological systems. Based on a compilation of prevalent vulnerability-creating mechanisms, we quantitatively indicate the most important dimensions including poverty, water stress, soil degradation, natural agro-constraints and isolation. A cluster analysis reveals a set of seven typical vulnerability patterns showing distinct indicator combinations. These results are validated by case studies reflecting the cluster-specific mechanisms and their spatial distribution. Based on these patterns, we deduce thematic and spatial entry points for reducing dryland vulnerability. Our findings could contribute new insights into allocating the limited funds available for dryland development and support related monitoring efforts based on the manageable number of key indicators.