Enclosures in Kenyan drylands transforming land & livelihoods

Dryland livestock production is changing as a result of growing human populations and associated pressure on water and land. The article Enclosures in West Pokot, Kenya: transforming land, livestock and livelihoods in drylands (published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice Vol. 5, 2015) is based on both social and natural science research. It looks at a 30-year transformation process from pastoralism to an intensified agropastoral system in northwestern Kenya. Key to this transformation was the use of enclosures for land rehabilitation, fodder production, and land and livestock management. The level of adoption of enclosures has been very high, and their use has enabled diversification, e.g. increased crop farming, poultry production and inclusion of introduced livestock breeds. As a result, livelihoods have become less dependent on herd migration, are increasingly directed towards agribusinesses and present new opportunities and constraints for women. These livelihood changes are closely associated with increased privatisation of land. The observed transformation appears to provide opportunities for a pathway towards a sustainable agropastoral system, but emergent risks of conflicts and inequalities in relation to land, triggered by the weakening of collective property rights, pose a threat to the sustainability of this pathway.

Posted on 1 February 2016 in Pastoral Research & Innovation, Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition