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Moi University (2001)

ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL LAND DEGRADATION IN ARID AND SEMI-ARID LANDS : A CASE STUDY OF LOITOKITOK DIVISION, KAJIADO DISTRICT

NASIEKU, KONANA CHARITY

Titre : ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL LAND DEGRADATION IN ARID AND SEMI-ARID LANDS : A CASE STUDY OF LOITOKITOK DIVISION, KAJIADO DISTRICT

Auteur : NASIEKU, KONANA CHARITY

Université de soutenance : Moi University

Grade : Master of Philosophy 2001

Résumé
Crop cultivation is a significant activity alongside cattle rearing in Loitokitok division. The purpose of this study was to assess land degradation and farmers land management practices in Loitokitok division, Kajiado district. The research question was whether land degradation is a significant environmental problem on agricultural land in Loitokitok division, Kajiado district. The specific objectives were to assess : human population growth, the rainfall pattern for the period 1988-98, change, if any, in land productivity, farmers perception of factors affecting crop yield, visible features of land degradation, land management practices used by farmers, factors that motivate farmers to use the named management practices, and to contribute to knowledge about land degradation as a phenomenon in Loitokitok division, and make recommendations to farmers and agricultural officers as environmental planners and managers of agricultural land in Loitokitok division and further research. The pressure-state-response theoretical framework for land degradation was used. A sample of 100 households was randomly selected from a population of 358 households in Ngama village, Oloolopon sub-location. Thirty four percent of the participants were male whereas 66.0% were female. Data were collected from households using questionnaires, interview schedule, government documents and personal observations. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics where appropriate, while content analysis was used to analyze interview data. The findings showed that environmental pressure was being experienced as a result of increasing human population and variable climatic conditions in Loitokitok division, particularly the rainfall patterns from year to year. The results on the current state of land revealed that productivity as measured by crop yield, had significantly decreased during the 1998 harvest season. The majority of respondents (68%) perceived rainfall as the major factor responsible for this decline. However, 32 % of them perceived that the decline in crop yields were due to natural forces. The study also revealed that the majority of the farmers (68%) had gullies in their farms. The study also showed that the farmers’ response to the current state of land included land management practices such as : farm manure, agroforestry, terracing, intercropping, mulching, and grass strips. The factors that strongly motivated the farmers to use the named land management practices included : the agricultural officer, the need to increase crop yields, friends, chief(s) and sub-chief (s). Based on findings, it was concluded that land degradation is a significant environmental problem on agricultural land in Loitokitok division. Recommendations for further research included further studies on additional factors causing land degradation particularly in ASAL areas, and perspectives on appropriate land management practices both now and in the future.

Présentation (Research Kenya)

Page publiée le 30 novembre 2013, mise à jour le 26 mars 2018