Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Magembe et al

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (7), pp. 528-535, July 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 031913535

 

Comparison of Socio-Economic Factors Associated with Shift from Pastoral to Agro-Pastoral Farming Systems in Transmara West District of Narok County- Kenya

 

Magembe .E.M1*, Bebe .B.O2, Lagat .J.K3, P.K. Chelang’a4

 

1Department of Agriculture, Meru University, Box 972-60200, Meru, Kenya.

2 Department of Animal Production, Egerton University, Box 536, Njoro, Kenya.

3,4 Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Egerton University, Box 536, Njoro, Kenya.

 

*Corresponding Author’s Email:esymachana @ yahoo. com; Tel: +254725719013


Abstract:

The study sought to compare pastoral and agro-pastoral based livelihoods for socio-economic factors of the farming systems associated with the shift from pastoralism to agro-pastoralism among the Maasai community in Trans-Mara West district of Kenya. The shift from pastoral to agro-pastoral farming system is on-going among the Maasai community in Trans-Mara West district of Kenya. This community has had a long time history in pastoral livelihoods, but are increasingly engaged in the shift, in spite of the Kenyan Government efforts to set up co-operative societies for marketing livestock and livestock related products. Essentially, these co-operatives are supposed to trigger extensive expansion in livestock production which in turn could have implication on natural resource conservation. Despite this effort, pastoralists in the area are not sufficiently responsive as evidenced by the ongoing gradual shift. The shift from pastoral to agro-pastoral farming systems by the Maasai community brings to question the underlying socio-economic drives which are not well understood. The socio-economic drives are diverse, but the key determinant at play among the Maasai community of TransMara are unknown because the issue has received less research attention in the recent past. Comparison of socio-economic factors associated with the shift, may explain the rationale of observed behavior and inform development strategies for such areas. Stratified proportionate random sampling procedure was used to get the appropriate sample. Data were collected from a sample of 130 households through interview schedule. Data were subjected to chi square and t-test statistics. The findings indicated that agro-pastoral households were older farmers with declining farm size, stronger in social capital and more inclined to diversification of livelihoods and increasing agricultural productivity. The agro-pastorals had better access to credit facilities and extension services however, education levels remained low even with the shift, a fact that can be attributed to poor infrastructure and much time spent by young men in herding besides past history of incessant movements on their parts before the Kenyan Government prohibited cross-border movements.
 
Keywords: Compare, Socio-economic factors, Shift, Maasai community, Co-operatives, Key determinants, Households.

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