The agricultural potential in arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya: a case of Masongaleni settlement scheme
This study set out to analyze the agricultural potential in a newly settled Masongaleni Settlement Scheme being an example of an Arid and Semi-Arid land. The potentials here are the under-utilized rainfed, irrigated agriculture and livestock production particularly bee keeping. A comparison of selected rainfed crop yields from Masongaleni Settlement Scheme and similar ~cological areas is used to identify the potentials of the &chem~. On the irrigated crops, the study compares the farmers' incomes from rainfed ~ash crops and the incomes that may be realised from selected irrigated crops. The irrigated crops earn the farmer much' higher incomes as compared to the rainfed crops. The new improved bee keeping method is identified as untapped potential in the livestock sector. The study compares the new improved bee keeping method to the traditional method and finds that the new method is better. The study identifies the major constraints to the tapping of these potentials. Opportunities, strategies and solutions to achieve sustainable development in Masongaleni settlement scheme are identified. if the potentials are to be fully tapped. In rainfed However, solutions to the above constraints are necessary agriculture, buying 9f FITs ~y the farmers is recommended. The use of drought, pest and disease resistant crops is one of the solutions. Timely planting, weeding and harvesting are other solutions. The solutions to irrigated agriculture are: application of appropriate pesticides, proper crop rotation, timely planting, weeding and harvesting. Growing low irrigation water requirement crops, tapping irrigation water from the various rivers in the scheme are viable solutions. On the livestock sector, AEOs should advise the farmers on the appropriate veterinary medicine. The farmers should also mai.n t ai n land carrying capacity and rear small animals. The adopt,i"- on'of the new bee keeping method is recommended. Clearing of tsetse fly infested bushes and keeping tolerant animals is recommended. A wel.l organised management of the proposed irrigation project is also recommended. The study recommends an integration of rainfed, irrigated agriculture and livestock farming. The study recommends that future research be done to establish the cost of implementing the proposed irrigation project and how such a cost should be shared among the various agenGies in the settlement scheme for its implementation. Future research should be done to attain a tsetse fly eradication programme for _Masongaleni Settlement Scheme and other parts of the country. Data collection for the study was derived from both primary and secondary sources. The data was analyzed using descriptive method.