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Factors Influencing Pastoral and Agropastoral Household Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in the Drylands of Kenya: A Case Study of Kajiado and Makueni Counties

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This study establishes the determinants of household vulnerability to food insecurity in pastoral households of Kajiado and agropastoral households of Makueni Counties of Kenya. A randomly selected sample of 198 households was interviewed. Descriptive analysis showed that pastoral households of Kajiado County were more vulnerable to food insecurity (VFI) with a VFI of 0.59 than agropastoral households in Makueni County, who had a VFI of 0.27. Further, a two stage least squares approach established that vulnerability of households to food insecurity is determined by land size, household size, rainfall and herd size for Makueni County and access to climate information, herd size, off-farm employment and gender of the household head for Kajiado County. The findings imply that Makueni County needs access to and control over land resources, destocking through improved livestock breeds and creation of a microclimate to enhance rainfall levels. For Kajiado County, policies need to promote access to climate information, diversification of livelihoods and female access to production resources.
Research Plan 8 Figure 2.1 The African climate 17 Figure 2.2 Annual mean temperature anomalies in Africa, 1900-2000 18 Figure 2.3 Rainfall regimes in Africa, 1900-2000 19 Figure 3.1 Location of the study sites in Kajiado and Makueni Counties 44 Figure 3.2 Kajiado County and its administrative boundaries 45 Figure 3.3 Changes in population density for Kajiado County, 1927-2009 48 Figure 3.4 Makueni County and its administrative boundaries 50 Figure 3.5 Mean annual rainfall in Makueni County from 1965-2010 51 Figure 4.1 The analytical framework 61 Figure5.1 Annual rainfall for Kajiado and Makueni Counties from 1980-2010 74 Figure 5.2 Mean annual temperatures for Kajiado and Makueni Counties from 1980-2010 74 Figure 5.3 Mean number of rain days for Kajiado and Makueni Counties from 1980-2010 75 Figure 5.4 Proportion of people affected by drought in Kenya (1970s-2000s) 76 Figure 5.5 Changes in labour prices in Kajiado and Makueni Counties from 1995-2010 93 Figure 6.1 Annual rainfall amounts for Makueni and Kajiado Counties 101 Figure 6.2 Linking rainfall and livestock numbers in Kajiado County 109 Figure 6.3 Relationship between rainfall and livestock numbers in Makueni County 110 Figure 6.4 Relationship between rainfall and pasture availability in Kajiado County 111 Figure 6.5 Maize as a proxy for bad, moderate and good years in Makueni County 114 Figure 6.6 Relationship between rainfall and maize production in Makueni County 115 Figure 7.1 Theoretical framework for SEM 132 Figure 8.1 Trends in offtake, annual rainfall, rain days, beef prices, maize prices, human population and total income for Kajiado County
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... Kenya (Amwata et al., 2016;Omolo and Mafongoya, 2019); Nigeria (Enete et al., 2016;Oluwatayo, 2019); and Niger (Ado et al., 2019). For agro-pastoral households, vulnerability resulted from gender differences in control over resources-which still typically disadvantage women-such as land, herds and offfarm employment (Amwata et al., 2016), as well as access to information, extension services and markets (Oluwatayo, 2019). ...
... Kenya (Amwata et al., 2016;Omolo and Mafongoya, 2019); Nigeria (Enete et al., 2016;Oluwatayo, 2019); and Niger (Ado et al., 2019). For agro-pastoral households, vulnerability resulted from gender differences in control over resources-which still typically disadvantage women-such as land, herds and offfarm employment (Amwata et al., 2016), as well as access to information, extension services and markets (Oluwatayo, 2019). Beyond gender, other factors that correlate with vulnerability include poverty level, education, profession and access to water. ...
... In Ethiopia's Fogera district, the participation of women farmers in agricultural extension programmes was lower than that of men, regardless of the headship of the household from which they came (Azanaw and Tassew, 2017). However, the vulnerability to food insecurity amongst pastoral and agropastoral households did not always correlate with the gender of the household head (Amwata et al., 2016). ...
Article
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This scoping paper presents the results of a review of the landscape of research on gender and agricultural and pastoral livelihoods in select countries in west and east Africa (Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Uganda) published over 5 years (January 2016–March 2021). A keyword search of the Scopus database gave rise to an ultimate dataset of 169 papers which were coded for geographical location, approaches to gender, and theme based on inductive identification of clusters of research. There has been an increase in the number of published papers but there is an uneven geographical distribution of research. Studies vary in the way they treat gender: with an almost even split between modeling-based studies, where gender is one of many variables to be correlated with, or to determine, an outcome (e.g., poverty—for example, as a dummy variable in regressions); and studies where the expressed aim is to look at gender differences, whether through the gender of an individual or the gender of a household head. Clusters of papers look at gender differences in assets, health, perceptions of environmental degradation, agricultural perceptions and outcomes, and climate change perceptions, vulnerability, and adaptation. There is also a number of papers exploring women's empowerment, including intra-household decision making. Intersectional approaches have been employed both through modeling studies and through more in-depth qualitative studies that are able to trace changes in identity over time, and the implications therein. The household and household headship have remained common entry points and units of analysis, despite known critiques. The results highlight a need to address geographical gaps in gender research, expand the evidence base of intersectional approaches, explore other aspects of social inequality, and expand more innovative methodological studies.
... The semi-humid to arid regions (zones IV, V, VI, and VII) have indexes of less than 50% [1]. Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya cover over 80% of the country's land mass and are home to nearly 30 and 70% of the human and livestock populations, respectively [2]. ...
... The impacts of the flash floods include livestock mortality, crops losses, and massive erosion. Subsequently, recurrent droughts and flash floods in the Kenyan drylands compounded with socioeconomic limitations, e.g., poverty, have accelerated the land degradation process and have led to persistently unstable and declining crop and livestock productivity, thus a perennial threat to food security [2,8,17]. ...
Chapter
Arid and semi-arid drylands cover approximately over 80% of Kenya’s landmass and are home to almost 30 and 70% of the human and livestock populations, respectively. Pastoral livestock–crop production systems constitute the main economic activity and source of livelihood. In Kenya, land degradation has widely been considered as a major environmental challenge threatening the livelihoods of over 12 million people living in degraded lands. Nearly 80% of Kenya’s landmass is affected by land degradation. It has been estimated that approximately 30–40% of the arid and semi-arid lands are rapidly being lost through degradation and an additional 2% have completely been degraded. The total economic value of land degradation in Kenya was at 1.3 billion USD annually between 2001 and 2009. Principal degradation processes in the marginal arid and semi-arid environments in Kenya include salinization, soil compaction, vegetation degradation, and soil erosion. Soil loss in these dryland zones mainly occurs when vegetation cover is removed exposing the soil to the agents of erosion, i.e., water and wind. Arid and semi-arid environments are particularly vulnerable to degradation because the soils are characterized by a poor structure exacerbated by scarce vegetation cover. The main causes of land degradation in these dryland environments in Kenya include overgrazing, woodland deforestation, poor rainfed and irrigation agricultural practices, and mineral mining activities. Land degradation process in these marginal lands is aggravated and accelerated by the effects of climate change and variability (recurrent droughts and floods) and increased human population. Increased human population has continued to exert tremendous pressure on the Kenyan dryland resources. However, it also serves as the main driver and valuable resource in reversing degradation at farm and landscape scales through soil conservation and sustainable land management practices such as conservation agriculture, dryland agroforestry, indigenous grass reseeding, and rangeland enclosures. These practices among pastoral and agropastoral communities in the Kenyan drylands have generally been effective in combating land degradation and enhancing ecosystem services. Despite the numerous climatic and socioeconomic challenges in implementing these practices in dryland environments, they remain a viable option for enhancing sustainable crop and livestock production in the arid and semi-arid zones in Kenya. Combating land degradation in the Kenyan drylands can best be achieved through the continued involvement of the community in the selection and implementation of appropriate practices to address site- and/or landscape-specific challenges.KeywordsBiological nitrogen fixationEcological restorationNature-based solutionsPolicy instrumentsRehabilitationSoil degradation
... It experiences a bimodal rainfall ranging from 638mm to 899 mm annually, and a minimum and maximum temperature of 10 0 C and 29 0 C on average, depending on the season and time of the day (GoK, 2014). The long rains occur from March to May, while short rains from October to December (Amwata et al., 2015). The city is bordered by southern rangelands that include Kajiado and Narok Counties, which experience low and erratic rainfalls, and extreme, prolonged, and recurrent droughts (Omollo, 2017). ...
... It covers an area of 110.6 km 2 and has a population of 306,596 people (Census, 2019). The study area experiences an average temperature range of 13 0 C to 25 0 C (Morara et al., 2014), and a bimodal annual rainfall of 979.2mm; long rains are expected between March and May, while the short rains between October and December (Amwata et al., 2015). The main source of livelihood in Kajiado Subcounty is extensive and semi-extensive livestock production, with a number of households also practicing crop farming for both subsistence and commercial purposes. ...
Thesis
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Pastoralism supports more than 200 million pastoralist households globally, contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of several countries, and employs over 1.3 billion actors in livestock-related value chains worldwide. In Kenya, pastoralism is practiced in approximately three-quarters of the nation’s landmass mainly in arid and semi-arid lands. Contrary to the expectation that herders would be pushed further away from the center of urban areas, pastoralists neighboring the city of Nairobi have increasingly migrated and settled in and around the city. This could be either as part of their seasonal migration routine to seek pasture and water during droughts or to settle and pursue complementary livelihoods in the city. This necessitates the need for requisite empirical evidence to guide the formation of policy and legislation in view of the current dynamics. This study was conducted to determine the drivers of pastoralists’ migration to Nairobi City; the composition and structure of pastoral herds in the city, and land use and land cover changes within the grazing areas of the city over the past 20 years. Data was collected through 178 semi-structured household interviews, 21 key informant interviews, 12 focus group discussions, and four sessions of Participatory-GIS in the study sites. Results of the binary logit model show that the search for pasture and water resources, and alternative markets were the main reasons for pastoralists’ migration to the city. In addition, the findings show that herders with formal education were most likely to migrate and settle permanently in the city as they pursue wage employment besides herding. Poor access to pasture and water resources as well as lack of profitable markets for pastoralists’ commodities at origin increased the probability of their migrating to the city by 36% and 30% respectively, while higher education levels increased their chances of migration by 23%. Although pastoralists encountered diverse livelihood opportunities such as wage employment and trade in livestock xiii products, they equally faced frequent road accidents involving livestock, displacements due to the development of real estates for settlement, and livestock poisoning from sewage and garbage wastes in the metropolitan. In view of these findings, there is a need for a more inclusive policy and regulatory framework that recognizes and considers pastoralism alongside other forms of urban and peri-urban farming. In addition, there is a need to investigate the viability of complementary livelihoods pursued by pastoralists in urban and peri-urban areas and their contribution to household income and resilience. Analysis of pastoralist herd composition and structure shows that the livestock species kept mainly consisted of indigenous breeds with more grazers (cattle and sheep) than browsers (goats). Whereas breeding females comprised more than 50% of the herds, uncastrated males (bulls, bucks, and rams) formed the least class in the herds. Preference for crossbreed livestock was reported to be rising among the interviewed households, especially for the diversity of genotypical traits that make them suitable for multiple uses. There is a need for further research on the performance of the preferred crossbreeds in terms of their tolerance to drought and productivity in the face of climate change. Participatory-GIS analysis of land use and land cover changes revealed a significant increment (between 187.8% and 955.5%) in the built-up area, and expansion (between 402.8% and 865.9%) of bare land area between the years 2000 and 2020. Whereas there was a reduction in grassland and forestland between (28.2% and 39.6%) and (28.1% and 76.7%) respectively, there was no significant change in wetland area during the two-decade period of study. The rapid expansion of real estate development into the former grazing land is restricting access to pasture, and therefore the need for policy interventions for inclusive and sustainable land use plans and by-laws that are cognitive of the multiple uses in the city.
... This number includes 3.2 million persons in ASAL parts of Kenya (Wambua, 2014). Previous assessment of the impacts of climate variability on agriculture in the area concentrate more on pastoralism (Amwata et al., 2016). Studies (Amwata, 2013;Osano et al., 2013;Opiyo, 2014;Bobadoye et al., 2016) have analysed and documented climate variability and pastoralism at the household and community level. ...
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Purpose: In particular, it affects crop production due to temperature and rainfall changes, and more extreme weather events. Erratic rainfall and temperatures are said to reduce crop yields through shortening growing seasons, exaggeration of water stress and promote invasion and intensity of weeds, pests and diseases. The overall objective of this study was to examine provenance of food insecurity. Methodology: The paper used a desk study review methodology where relevant empirical literature was reviewed to identify main themes and to extract knowledge gaps. Findings: This study concluded that the effects of rainfall and temperature adversely affect to maize and beans production in Africa. The effects are significant and positive for all crops. Generally, there is better correlation of production with precipitation than temperature. From the findings Pearson’s correlation showed positive correlation for crop yields against climate data except for minimum temperature that exhibited weak negative correlation for maize and no correlation for beans. This shows plainly that “business as usual” food grain growth is altered by changes in climate. These changes could alter growing seasons, planting and harvesting calendars or even invasion of pests, weeds and diseases. Unique Contribution to Theory, Policy and Practice: This study recommended that adoption of other food grains that may do well under this current climatic condition. Crops such as millet and sorghum are encouraged due to their high tolerance to droughts, soil infertility and high temperatures. Households also to be guided on how to monitor crop-climate relationship so as to achieve improved crop production drought resistant modern seed varieties are very important to the population.
... There is a high degree of vulnerability to food insecurity among the (agro)pastoral communities around the world [12,41]. In this respect, food insecurity is widespread and remains a major development problem for Ethiopia's pastoralist communities as well [42]. ...
... Most households in the ASALs lack access to sufficient and nutritious food, among factors contributing to this include; conflicts, droughts, invasion of desert locusts, increase in food prices, crop failure, and livestock diseases (FAO & WHO, 2018;Joseph, 2004;UNICEF & WHO, 2017). This implies that a large portion of ASALs communities is potentially hungry and vulnerable to food shortages (Amwata et al., 2016). In response to hunger and food security threats humanitarian organizations, donors, and national governments around the world provide cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households (Cejudo et al., 2020;Gentilini et al., 2020;O'Brien et al., 2014). ...
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Most households in the ASALs lack access to sufficient and nutritious food, among factors contributing to this include; conflicts, droughts, invasion of desert locusts, increase in food prices, crop failure, and livestock diseases. Cash transfers have risen rapidly over the years in both emergency and developmental contexts as a means of responding to food security and livelihood threats. To understand whether cash transfers are effective in addressing food insecurity we need to know how cash transfers affect beneficiaries’ food expenditure patterns. This paper adopted the Quadratic Almost Ideal Model (QUAIDS) to understand how food expenditure patterns changes in presence of cash transfers. The findings indicate that households diversified their diet to some high-value foods, the diet was not only based on starch but also some proteins. The paper also adopted a difference-in-difference model to determine the effects of cash transfers on household food expenditure. The findings indicate that cash transfers increased the food expenditure of the beneficiaries.
... Pastoralism is an important livelihood for over nine million people in rangelands that occupy nearly 80% of Kenya's land area (Amwata & Nyariki, 2015;Waweru, et al., 2021;Mugonya & Hauser, 2021). Approximately 75% of Kenya's cattle are kept by pastoral communities in rangelands (Wakhungu et al., 2014;Nyariki, 2017). ...
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Gender roles in pastoral systems across East Africa are changing. Our purpose is to better understand women's engagement in participatory rangeland management (PRM) processes and implications for broader social change, that refers to changes in women's agency in rangeland institutions and the wider community. We drew upon qualitative data collected through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews, in Baringo County, Kenya. We adapted and used a participation framework to analyze women's participation in rangeland activities, institutions and the household, to better understand implications for transformative agency. Overall, we found that women meaningfully participated in different aspects of PRM processes while changes in intra-household decision-making were fewer. PRM has increased women's voice and agency in governance of rangeland resources and potential to benefit from rangeland resources. Participation in multiple PRM activities reinforced women's agency in pastoral rangeland institutions in diverse contexts. Women's inclusion in rangeland management institutions has the potential for strategic and measurable impacts upon women's time and labor allocation. Multiple challenges however persist and include social norms and practices that hinder women's opportunities to leave their homes. Intersectional analyses into understanding adaptation to climate change and opportunities for socially inclusive efforts to enhance resilience are recommended.
... Given that 75% of the poor in African countries live in rural areas and rely on agriculture and other agriculture-related activities for their livelihood, this benefit from the agricultural sector should come as no surprise. Scale and size of farm system, proportion of crops sold, household expenditure and use of family labor, mechanization, capital intensity, financial ability, and level of linkages with larger economic systems distinguish smallscale/smallholder farmers from commercial farmers [4]. ...
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Health and well-being of the general population, children's growth, development, and cognitive ability as well as the productivity of the workforce are all negatively impacted by food insecurity. In tea growing regions, there are records of high malnutrition, high morbidity rates, and low farm productivity and low incomes. The study aimed to describe the effect of natural capital on food security among smallholder tea farmers in Bomet County, Kenya. The study was guided by Entitlement Theory. The study adopted mixed approach design entailing exploratory design and explanatory research design. All the registered 16572 tea farmers in selected tea growing regions were the target population for this study. Multi-stage purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select a sample size of 391 smallholder tea farmers in Bomet County. Instruments of data collection included questionnaires, key informants, interviews, focus group discussions and direct observations. The Cronbach Alpha value was used to test the instrument's reliability. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 26 was used to analyze the data in both descriptive and inferential ways. Thematic analysis and tables were used to present the findings from the study's qualitative data. The study findings revealed that there was effect of natural capital on food security. The study recommends that the government should subsidize tea farm inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. Organize farmers into SACCOs to enable them access farm inputs, credit facilities and market for their produce. Both national and county governments should improve road networks so as to help access food markets and also sale of farm produce.
... There is a high degree of vulnerability to food insecurity among the (agro)pastoral communities around the world [12,41]. In this respect, food insecurity is widespread and remains a major development problem for Ethiopia's pastoralist communities as well [42]. ...
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... There is a high degree of vulnerability to food insecurity among the (agro)pastoral communities around the world [12,41]. In this respect, food insecurity is widespread and remains a major development problem for Ethiopia's pastoralist communities as well [42]. ...
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