Food Poverty among Pastoral Communities in Dryland Kenya

Abstract: 
The dryland area of Kenya has the highest poverty incidence compared to other areas in the country; this is why poverty reduction has been a key government policy goal especially in these areas. These regions are predominantly inhabited by pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities. The combination of food poverty and lack of alternative livelihood made them vulnerable to extreme climatic condition and change. This study was carried out in larger Baringo District to examine food poverty and the coping mechanisms employed by agro-pastoralists and semi-nomadic pastoralist in dryland Kenya. Results reveal that there is a high poverty incidence and severity among the two communities. At the peak of the food shortage, agro-pastoralists sell their assets and reduce the number of meals (90.8% and 82.3%) respectively. Compared to their counterparts during the same period, they mostly buy food on credit (71%) and ask for help from friends and relatives (60.9%). This study recommends more investment in livestock economics and supporting livelihood diversification.
La zone aride du Kenya a la plus forte incidence de la pauvreté par rapport à d’autres régions du pays. C’est pourquoi, la réduction de la pauvreté est devenue un objectif clé de la politique du gouvernement, en particulier, dans ces domaines. Ces régions sont principalement habitées par des communautés des pasteurs et d’agro-pasteurs. La combinaison de la pauvreté alimentaire et le manque de moyens de subsistance alternatifs les rendaient vulnérables aux conditions climatiques extrêmes et aux changements. Cette étude a été menée dans le district de Baringo afin d’examiner la pauvreté alimentaire et les mécanismes d’adaptation utilisés par les agro-pasteurs seminomades et les pasteurs les dans les zones arides du Kenya. Les résultats montrent qu’il ya une forte incidence de la pauvreté et de la gravité entre les deux communautés. Au plus fort de la pénurie alimentaire, les agro-éleveurs vendent leurs actifs et réduisent le nombre de repas (90,8% et 82,3%) respectivement. Comparativement à leurs homologues au cours de la même période, ils achètent surtout la nourriture à crédit (71%) et demandent de l’aide auprès d’amis et des parents (60,9%). Cette étude recommande d’investir davantage dans l’économie d’élevage et à l’appui la diversification des moyens de subsistance.
Language: 
Extended Abstract for Cross Cutting Fields
Date of publication: 
2012
Country: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
Collection: 
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Additional uploads: 
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Form: 
Printed resource
Publisher: 
ISSN: 
E_ISSN: 
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Notes: 

The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.  This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Cross Cutting Fields.