Bridging the Gaps between the Increasing Knowledge and Degrading Land Resource Quality in Mosiro: Analysis of Productivity Decline and Multi-Hierarchal Stakeholders Platform for Redress

Edward Muya, Violet Kirigua, Harun Goro, Bernard Waruru


Knowledge on the state of land resources has significantly increased in Kenya, and yet land productivity is on downward trends. Therefore, soil quality trends, cluster-specific soil related constraints and multi-hierarchal interventions were examined in Mosiro Irrigation Scheme with an objective of bridging the gaps between the increasing scientific outputs and deteriorating state of land resources. Soil quality trends were studied as a measure of the decline in soil productivity through comparative analysis of soil information collected in 2002 and 2012. Characterization and delineation of the area into clusters were done to assess the suitability of soils for the envisaged crops. Based on the results of the 2002 and 2012 studies, the identified soil-related constraints to crop production included high salinity, high sodicity, presence of surface crusting/sealing/compaction, low soil workability, poor soil structure, adverse silt/clay ratio, high soil pH, low organic matter content, low availability of micro-nutrients, heavy metal toxicity, and nutrient imbalances. Since hardly any recommendations given in the past have been implemented, the magnitude of these problems increased, resulting into significant reduction in productivity index from 56% in the year 2002 to 8% in the year 2012. Five clusters were identified with varied potentials for different crops. Most of the five clusters were found to be non-suitable to marginally suitable for the envisaged crops. The results of this study demonstrate how the identified constraints vary in magnitude in different clusters and their limitations to different crops. To address these problems, multi-hierarchal stakeholder platform was recommended to combat the increasing rate of soil quality decline through adoption and implementation of the appropriate interventions.

Keywords: Soil quality index, land degradation and interventions

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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