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