Agroforestry extension and dietary diversity – an analysis of the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption in West Pokot, Kenya
- 314 Downloads
Worldwide, the challenges of nomadic, pastoralist systems are causing their slow but steady disappearance in favour of sedentary agropastoralism. This paper draws upon an existing household data set from a survey collected and organized by the Swedish non-governmental organization (NGO) Vi Agroforestry, directed at a livestock-based, agro-pastoralist area in West Pokot County, western Kenya. The study focuses on the question of food diversity and malnutrition and the role of agroforestry extension services, i.e. knowledge spread, transfer and development. Our basic hypothesis is that certain fruit and vegetable related food groups are under-consumed in West Pokot, especially in the dryland areas. The results of the study shows that agroforestry, combined with advice through extension efforts can imply a transition path for pastoralists which involves improved dietary diversity, especially concerning food groups that include roots, tubers, fruits and leafy vegetables. From the results certain restrictions that hinder this transition become clear. An important but often overlooked factor is lack of information and knowledge as a determinant of household behavior in developing countries. NGOs such as Vi Agroforestry can play an important role in overcoming this restriction by providing extension services. Developing countries in general are not information-rich environments, a fact that is especially the case for poor citizens living in rural areas. The paper illustrates that careful attention to the information and knowledge available to households is necessary when designing development cooperation.
KeywordsAgroforestry Dietary diversity Pastoralism Vi Agroforestry West Pokot
We are grateful to Vi Agroforestry Kenya, for making the data from the 2007 survey in West Pokot available, and to Isabel Joy Awino Ochieng and Vera Karmebäck for entering the data in Excel format. We are also grateful to SLU Global, for funding the inspirational November 2013 trip to Kenya, which gave the impetus for this paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and were told that results would only be presented at group level.
- ACF-USA, (2012). Integrated nutrition, food security and retrospective mortality survey – West Pokot county, Kenya. New York, USA: Action Contre la Faim-USA. Resource document: http://acf-retrofit-dev.devcollaborative.com/publication/2012/05/integrated-nutrition-food-security-and-retrospective-mortality-survey-west-pokot, Accessed March 19, 2015.
- Catley, A., Kind, J., & Scoones, I. (2013). Pastoralism and development in Africa. Dynamic change at the margins. New York, USA: Routhledge.Google Scholar
- FAO (2008). Expert consultation on nutrition indicators for biodiversity. 1. Food Composition. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
- Garrity, D. P. (2004). Agroforestry and the achievement of the millennium development goals. Agroforestry Systems, 61-62(1–3), 5–17.Google Scholar
- Gichero, P., Nabwile Makokha, S., Le Chen, Gachimbi, L. & Wamuongo, J. (2012). Land subdivision and degradation in Narok, Kenya. In McNeil, D., Nesheim, I. & Brouwer, F. (Eds.), Land use policies for sustainable development. Exploring integrated assessment approaches. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
- Kitalyi A, Musili A, Suazo J. & Ogutu F. (2002). Enclosures to protect and conserve. For better livelihood of the West Pokot community. Technical Pamphlet No. 2. Nairobi, Kenya: Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA), SIDA.Google Scholar
- Mortimore, M., Anderson, S., Cotula, L., Davies, J., Faccer, K., Hesse, C., et al. (2009). Dryland opportunities: a new paradigm for people, ecosystems and development. In Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, London, UK: IIED, and Nairobi. Kenya: UNDP/DDC.Google Scholar
- Napier, A., & Desta, S. (2011). Review of pastoral rangeland enclosures in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Tufts University Africa Regional Office.Google Scholar
- NDMA 2014. National Drought Management Authority West Pokot County. Drought monthly bullentin for July 2014. Available at: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/West_Pokot-July-2014.pdf.
- Neely, C., Bunning, S., & Wilkes, A. (Eds.) (2009). Review of evidence on drylands pastoral systems and climate change – implications and opportunities for mitigation and adaptation. Land and water. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome: Discussion Paper.Google Scholar
- Nyberg, G., Knutsson, P., Ostwald, M., Öborn I., Wredle, E., Otieno, D.J., Mureithi, S., Mwangi, P., Said, M.Y., Jirström, M., Grönvall, A., Wernersson, J., Svanlund S., Saxer, L., Geutjes, L., Karmebäck, V., Wairore, J.N., Wambui, R., De Leeuw, J. & Malmer; A. (2015). Enclosures; transforming land, livestock and livelihoods in drylands. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, In press.Google Scholar
- Opiyo, F. E. O., Ekaya, W. N., Nyariki, D. M., & Mureithi, S. M. (2011). Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya. African Journal of Plant Sciences, 5(8), 460–468.Google Scholar
- Pommer Jensen L., Picozzi K., da Costa Monteiro de Almeida, O., de Jesus de Costa, M., Spyckerelle, L., & Erskine, W. (2014). Social relationships impact adoption of agricultural technologies: the case of food crop varieties in Timor-Leste. Food Security, 6, 397–409.Google Scholar
- Sumberg, J. and Thomson, J. (2013). Revolution Reconsidered: Evolving Perspectives on Livestock Production and Consumption. STEPS Working Paper 52, Brighton: STEPS Centre.Google Scholar
- UN Environment Management Group (2011). Global drylands: A UN system-wide response. New York, USA: United Nations. Resource document: http://www.unccd.int/Lists/SiteDocumentLibrary/Publications/Global_Drylands_Full_Report.pdf, Accessed March 19, 2015.
- Vi Agroforestry (2007). West Pokot progressive survey report 2007. Lonah Mukoya, L., Kephas, O., Mwaniki, J. & Njuguna, W. (Eds.), Kitale, Kenya: Vi Agroforestry.Google Scholar
- WHO (2010). Indicators for assessing infant and young child feeding practices. part 2: measurement. pp 64–77; Annex 4. Washington D.C., USA: World Health Organisation.Google Scholar
- World Bank (2013). Improving nutrition through multisectoral approaches. Washington D.C., USA: The World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Food Programme (2012). Executive board first regular session Rome, 13–15 February 2012. Projects for executive board approval. Agenda item 8. WFP/EB.1/2012/8/2. Rome, Italy: World Food Programme.Google Scholar