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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Royaume-Uni → 1988 → Water resources and crop production in Machakos district, Kenya

University of Reading (1988)

Water resources and crop production in Machakos district, Kenya

Mutiso, Samuel Kituku

Titre : Water resources and crop production in Machakos district, Kenya

Auteur : Mutiso, Samuel Kituku.

Université de soutenance : University of Reading

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1988

The central argument in this thesis is that the reason why well-intentioned agricultural research and extension services yield few tangible results is that there is a gap between the Scientific Knowledge Systems (SKS) and the Traditional, Indigenous or Rural Knowledge Systems (TKS). This knowledge gap arises out of the ignorance between the practical application of individual group contribution to crop production at farm-level. The study therefore analyzes the approaches used by the two groups to utilize the agricultural resources on crop production in the Semi-arid Machakos District of Kenya. On the SKS side, a simple and reliable water balance technique is proposed that can be used by the farmers’ advisers. This modified Blaney-Criddle water balance technique is tested against other established techniques. Seasonal water balances are computed for the Katumani Composite B maize (Zea mays) and the `Mwezi Moja’ beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) since these crops represent the staple food in Machakos District. On TKS side, Ethno- or Folk- Geography data related to soil, weather, drought and famine were collected. The study establishes that the Akamba farmers are independent of the scientists’ water balance techniques. However, the farmers have not been fully successful in overcoming on-farm soil and water management problems due to bio-physical, socio-economic and technological factors. Consequently, there is a need to explore how the SKS and TKS can come together to solve farmers’ problems. Parallels between SKS and TKS have been established including the scientific basis for farmers rain prediction techniques. An integrated water balance model that combines SKS and TKS has not been realized due to lack of quantifiable TKS parameters and the fact that such a model requires an inter-disciplinary approach which could not have been achieved due to limited time and financial budget. The advantage of combining the SKS and TKS is that ignorances and biases are removed. The end product will be increased crop production and standard of living among the resource-poor farmers living beyond the tarmac.

Présentation (EThOS)

Proquest Dissertations & Theses

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