The role of livestock in soil fertility
and biodiversity change in Nduuri,
John N. N. Kang'ara, Ezekiah H. Ngoroi, Julius M. Muturi,
Seth Amboga, Francis K. Ngugi, and Immaculate Mwangi
Nduuri is situated on the south-east slopes of Mount Kenya in the agricultural ecological zone (AEZ) Upper Midlands 2, the main coffee-growing zone. Population pressure has led to subdivision of land to such an extent that over 50 per cent of households live on less than 1 ha of land. Only 13.5 per cent of households have 2 ha or more. About 69 per cent of households cultivate their own land, while 29 per cent cultivate undivided family land and about 2 per cent work on rented land. The most common land-use type has been a coffee monocrop with occasional Grevillea trees to provide shade. Coffee has been the main cash crop, while a wide range of food crops (including maize, beans, bananas, and tuber cropscassava, Irish potatoes, and sweet potatoes) is grown, mostly intercropped. Livestock keeping is practised by the majority of farmers in Nduuri, as livestock are associated with social status and provide a source of food and income.
In the recent past farmers in Kenya have been having problems with both dairy and coffee production, which in turn has affected the way of living and land use. There was a need therefore to identify these changes clearly as they affected the biophysical and socio-economic environments, the role of livestock in the dynamic land-use system, and the way forward in protecting on-farm biodiversity and supporting rural livelihoods. A
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Publication information: Book title: Agricultural Biodiversity in Smallholder Farms of East Africa. Contributors: Fidelis Kaihura - Editor, Michael Stocking - Editor. Publisher: United Nations University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 105.
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