Diversifying beyond livestock in northern Kenya

The article “Are there options outside livestock economy? Diversification among households of northern Kenya” published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice (2016 6:3 DOI: 10.1186/s13570-016-0050-4) looks at whether income diversification helps build resilience of pastoral families. The study applied the Sustainable Livelihood Approach to identify the determinants of diversification among 662 pastoral households in Turkana and Mandera Counties in northern Kenya. A participatory wealth-ranking method was used to categorise the households into “poor”, “middle” and “rich”. The number of income sources, distance to water source, education level of household head, Tropical Livestock Units (TLUs) held, durable index (a measure of physical asset ownership) and age of household head influenced the choice of livelihood strategy, whether pastoral, agropastoral or off-farm. The study concludes that, although diversification among pastoral communities is increasing, it is important to promote activities that complement pastoralism. Improved education levels and better access to water are important factors in encouraging income generation from non-livestock-based activities.

Posted on 18 September 2016 in Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition