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Baseline Report Yala and Nzoia River Basins


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Socio economic baseline data summary

      1. Household parameters


Average household size is six people with 89% of the households having 10 members or less (Table 3.7). Only two households have more than 15 members. Population density is highest on the south side of the river (Figure 3.4). Average farm size is 3.9 acres; however, 88% of the households have farm sizes of 4 acres or less. Less than 5% of the households have farm sizes larger than 10 acres (Table 3.8). The majority of the households were male headed (70%), while the rest (25%) were female headed. One household was headed by orphans and only seven households were polygamous.

Table 3.7 Household size (N=161)

Household size

Number in sample

Percentage

3 or less

33

20.5

4

17

10.6

5

20

12.4

6

17

10.6

7 – 10

56

34.8

11- 15

16

9.9

More than 15

2

1.2




Figure 3.4 Population density in Lower Yala Block
Table 3.8 Farm size (N=161)

Farm size

No. households

Percentage

2 acres or less

48

29.8

3 acres or less

40

24.8

4 acres or less

22

13.7

5 to 9 acres

44

27.3

10 acres or more

7

4.3



      1. Land use and livestock


Of the 160 households surveyed, 156 rear livestock. Table 3.9 lists the percentage of households with different species of livestock. Only one household in the study area had pigs and only seven households had donkeys. Improved breeds are not widely raised in the area. Only three households had improved breed cattle, while no improved goats or chickens were being raised in the households sampled.
Table 3.9. Livestock ownership in percentage (N=161)

No.

Cow




Chicken




Goat




Bull




Sheep

Local1

HB2




Local

HB




Local

HB




Local

HB




Local

0

46.0

98.8




8.7

100.0




52.8

100.0




60.9

98.8




78.3

1

12.4

1.2




3.1

0.0




9.3

0.0




11.8

0.6




5.6

2

15.5

0.0




10.6

0.0




18.0

0.0




13.0

0.0




5.0

3

14.3

0.0




12.4

0.0




8.7

0.0




4.3

0.0




3.1

>3

11.8

0.0




65.2

0.0




11.2

0.0




9.9

0.0




8.1

Highest no.

7

1




150

0




15

0




11

1




9

1Local indicates local breed, 2HB indicates improved breed
The source of fodder is mainly grasses (71%) and crop residue (56%). Average acreage used for crop residue production is 1.8 acres and livestock grazes on around 1.7 acres, on average. Grazing on communal land is common (32%) and uncommon on government land (2 cases). Commercial feed is a source of fodder for only 15 households and only 2 households buy feed at the local market. However, 83% of the households are experiencing problems with their livestock. The major problem is livestock health, with 98% of the respondents reporting problems with ticks and with disease incidences. Only 9% of the households cited fodder availability as a major problem with their livestock. However, 77% say they do not have adequate land for grazing their livestock, and 61% experience problems with free-grazing livestock from neighbours, which corresponds well with the fact that 63% of the households practice free-grazing.
      1. Major constraints at farm level


The largest constraints at farm level are lack of income and the high prices for inputs (Table 3.10). Farmers also listed financial resources – income and input costs – as major constraints to their farming entreprises. Fertilizer was often cited as a desired input. Soil related problems, particularly erosion were also important. Thus, the project should pay attention to soil erosion and fertility problems in this block. Old age and ill health were cited by a larger number of farmers than in other blocks in the river basin. Linking farm production to improved nutrition should be explored by the Project. Striga infestation and unpredictable weather were also seen as important constraints. Given the close relationship between Striga infestation and soil fertility, this is an area where the Project needs to pay attention.
Table 3.10. Major constrains at farm level listed by farmers

Constraints

No. 1 (N=161)

No. 2 (N=142)

No.3 (N=99)

Input costs

42

20

14

Income

34

28

11

Erosion

3

26

16

Old age/ill health

24

12

6

Striga

18

7

17

Pests

3

10

16

Weather

8

14

5

Soil fertility

10

6

4
      1. Soil and water conservation


Soil erosion is being addressed by 112 of the households interviewed (71%) and the most common conservation measures are terraces (50%) and strips of grass and shrubs (16%). Here the most common species are local grass species and Napier grass. Of the 66 farmers using terracing as a conservation measure, three farmers have constructed ‘Fanya chini’ terraces. Eleven farmers have established contour lines twenty three have installed physical battiersbarriers (stones or contour ploughing).
In addition to these measures, 39 farmers are also harvesting water, mainly from the roof, for domestic use. Hence, there seems to be a need to assess the soil and water conservation measures and assist the farmers in selected better measures and integrating trees and legumes in the control of runoff water and soil erosion. This would simultaneously address the low soil fertility that many farmers are mentioning as one of the largest constraints at farm level.
      1. Trees & Agroforestry


The majority (75%) of the farmers are practicing agroforestry. All of the homesteads sampled have trees which are protected (Table 3.11) and 85 percent of the farmers interviewed are interested in planting more trees, which corresponds well with the farmers’ response to practicing agroforestry. Only 27 farmers out of 161 are not interested in planting more trees, which is mainly due to land size (6 farmers), age and ill healty (10 farmers), husband making such decisions (4 farmers) and the farmer feltfeeling that he or she has enough trees (3 farmers). Approximately 23% of the farmers interviewed are planning to cut down trees on their farm. Seven farmers from mentioned cultural practices as a hindrance to tree planting.

Table 3.11. Tree species on-farm (N=161)

No.

Tree species

No. farms with the species

1

Markhamia lutea

100

2

Mango

98

3

Eucalyptus spp.

60

4

Avocado

36

5

Cypress

17

6

Guava

15

7

Grevillea robusta

10

8

Jacaranda mimosifolia

10

Reasons for growing trees include producing fruits, fuel wood, timber and to reduce the negative effects of wind (>75% for each). Thirty-eight percent of the respondents use trees grown on the farm for medicine and 60% grow trees for cash income. Less than 25% of the farmers use trees to produce fodder and address soil fertility. Therefore, the project should organize community training to raise awareness of opportunities offered by expanding the growing or trees and production of other tree products to facilitate better integration of trees into the farming system. Using farmers’ answers to rank the importance of agroforestry products, the top 10 uses were:




  1. Fruits

  2. Fuelwood

  3. Timber

  4. Wind breaker

  5. Food

  6. Cash income

  7. Aesthetics

  8. Medicine

  9. Fodder

  10. Soil fertility


      1. Household energy supply


The main sources of fuel for the faringfarming families in this block are wood and paraffin (Table 3.12). About 75% of the households are not energy self sufficient, which might explain the high number of farmers interested in more tree planting as mentioned above. More than 85% of the interviewed farmers are interested in planting more trees.
Table 3.12. Fuel use by source

Fuel source

Percentage

Wood

100

Paraffin

99

Charcoal

75

Crop residue

17

Solar

1
      1. Trainings and group membership


The majority of the farmers interviewed have not received any training. Only 41 of the 161 farmers interviewed have received any type of training; most (35) were members of a group. Many farmers in this area (70%) are of members of groups. There are over 130 groups active in the clusters that we surveyed. Table 3.13 lists the number of croups by cluster. Therefore, there is a good base upon which to build the training program in the block for these groups.
Table 3.16. Examples of community groups in different clusters

Group name

Cluster

Main activity

Kwe gi lamo

1

Basket weaving

Kanyasiboki

5

Chicken rearing

Karabuor

6

Store cereals and sell after sometime

Nyiseme women

11

Farming

Aluor self help

11

Local chicken rearing, horticulture

Riwruok e teko

11

Vegetable farming, sell produce, saving money

Otieno Moyie

15

Agricultural production

Aluor cent

15

Saving and lending money


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