How Pokot agropastoralists manage pasture enclosures
Livestock-keepers in arid and semi-arid areas of Africa are increasingly enclosing pieces of rangeland. The study “Characterization of enclosure management regimes and factors influencing their choice among agropastoralists in North-Western Kenya” (by John Wairore et al, published in 2015 in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice) was carried out in Chepareria Ward in West Pokot County.
Enclosures in Chepareria were mainly used for livestock (78%) rather than crops (22%, mainly in the wetter areas). This indicates that livestock production is still the mainstay of agropastoralists in Chepareria, while diversification of land use is common where rainfed agriculture is possible. The choice of management regimes was mainly influenced by agroecological zonation, land tenure, number of livestock owned and household income.
Enclosures were made mainly to alleviate pasture scarcity and to create stable environments for the local Pokot pastoralists by restoring degraded rangeland. Continuing adaptation of enclosure management has enabled agricultural diversification by increasing flexibility in land, fodder and livestock management, including the adoption of alternative income-generating activities among enclosure owners.