Advertisement

Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 65–71 | Cite as

Rural livelihoods in the arid and semi-arid environments of Kenya: Sustainable alternatives and challenges

  • Robinson K. NgugiEmail author
  • Dickson M. Nyariki
Article

Abstract

The improvement of the welfare of inhabitants of arid and semi-arid lands, either through the enhancement of existing livelihoods or the promotion of alternative ones, and their potential constraints are discussed. Alternative livelihoods are discussed under regenerative and extractive themes with respect to environmental stability. Regenerative (i.e., non-extractive) livelihoods include activities like apiculture, poultry keeping, pisciculture, silkworm production, drought tolerant cash cropping, horticulture, community wildlife tourism, processing of livestock and crop products, agro-forestry for tree products, and micro-enterprises in the informal sector. Examples of livelihoods that are extractive or potentially so include timber production, woodcarving, basketry, brick making, sand scooping, and charcoal making. Suggestions to improve these livelihoods in a sustainable manner are offered.

Keywords

Arid and semi-arid lands Environmental stability Kenya Poverty reduction Sustainable livelihoods 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Carney, D. (ed.) (1998). “Sustainable rural livelihoods: What contribution can we make?” Paper presented for the 1998 DFID Natural Resources Advisory Conference on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, 1998, Department for International Development, London, UK.Google Scholar
  2. Carter, I. 1997“Rural women and food insecurity”Foodsteps353Google Scholar
  3. Davies, S. 1996Adaptable Livelihoods: Coping with Food Insecurity in Malian SahelMacmillanLondon, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Deuson, R. R., Day, J. C. 1990“Transfer of sustainable technology in dryland agriculture: Lessons from the Sahel in the 1980’s”Agricultural Economics4255266Google Scholar
  5. Ellis, F. 1999“Survey article: Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification”The Journal of Development Studies35138Google Scholar
  6. Francis, P. A. 1988“Ox draught power and agricultural transformation in northern Zambia”Agricultural Systems273549Google Scholar
  7. Government of Kenya (GoK)1994National Development Plan, 1994–1996Government PrintersNairobi, KenyaOffice of the Vice President and Ministry of Planning and National DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  8. Government of Kenya (GoK)1996”>Economic SurveyGovernment PrintersNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  9. Haley, S. L. 1991“Capital accumulation and the growth of aggregate agricultural production”Agricultural Economics6129157Google Scholar
  10. Herlocker, D. 1999Rangeland Resources in Eastern Africa: Their Ecology and DevelopmentGerman Technical Co-OperationNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  11. Kennedy, E., Haddad, L. 1994“Are pre-schoolers from female-headed households less malnourished. A comparative analysis of results from Ghana and Kenya”The Journal of Development Studies30680695Google Scholar
  12. Nyariki, D. M. (1997). “Resource availability and productivity, farmer efficiency and household food security in semi-arid Kenya”. PhD dissertation, Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading.Google Scholar
  13. Nyariki, D. M., Ngugi, R. K. 1999Resources, Livelihoods and Opportunities for Development in ASALFibec/IDRCNairobi, Kenya822Proceedings of a Workshop on “Improving Rural Livelihoods and the Environment in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands through Small Enterprise Development”Google Scholar
  14. Nyariki, D. M., Wiggins, S. 1999“Livestock as capital and a tool for ex-ante and ex-post management of food insecurity in semi-traditional agropastoral societies: An example from southeast Kenya”Journal of Social Sciences3117126Google Scholar
  15. Nyariki, D. M., Wiggins, S., Imungi, J. K. 2004“Levels and causes of household food and nutrition insecurity in dryland Kenya”Ecology of Food and Nutrition41155176Google Scholar
  16. Pinstrup-Anderson, P. 1994aGetting Early Intervention Efforts Right: The Key Role of Agricultural Development in the Third World /Food SecurityIFPRIWashington, DCReprint No. 287Google Scholar
  17. Pinstrup-Anderson, P. 1994bAssuring Food Security in the Third World: What the United States Can DoIFPRIWashington, DCReprint No. 287Google Scholar
  18. Pinstrup-Anderson, P. and R. Pandya-Lorch (1997). “Assuring Food Security in the 21st century”. Paper for the Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society, March 21, 1997. Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  19. Roummasset, J. A. 1976Rice and Risk: Decision Making Among Low Income FarmersNorth-HollandAmsterdam, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  20. Swift, J. 1989“Why are rural people vulnerable to famine?”IDS Bulletin20815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Walker, T. S., Jodha, V. 1986“How small farm household adapt to risk”Hazell, P.Pomareda, C.Valdes, A. eds. Crop Insurance for Agricultural DevelopmentJohns HopkinsBaltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  22. Webster, J. P.G. 1977“The analysis of risky farm management decisions: Advising farmers about the use of pesticides”Journal of Agricultural Economics28243259CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Range ManagementUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations