Feeding a productive dairy cow in western Kenya: environmental and socioeconomic impacts | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
October 2018
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
handle:10568/97557
Pages: 
48
License of the resource: 

Send a Cow (SAC) is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that has been working in Kenya since 1996. It focuses on groups of smallholder farmers, providing them with training in sustainable agriculture and improved animal management. SAC is mostly active in western Kenya, one of the country's most populated and poorest region. The population density for this region ranges from 337 to 1,300 inhabitants per km² with an average density of 590 people per km2 (Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 2001; KNBS, 2010). Over 50% of the people in this area are dependent on agriculture and live below the poverty line of US$1/day (Iruria et al., 2009; Makokha et al., 2007). In 2013, SAC started the “Wealth Creation Project” (WCP) in Busia, Kakamega, Siaya, and Bungoma Counties in the Western Province of Kenya. The project aims to increase the agri-production systems of 9,500 smallholder farming families by diversifying their diets and giving them an additional source of income.
Farmers are provided with training in animal management and sustainable agricultural practices throughout the project. After comprehensive trainings and farm asset evaluation, farmers were given livestock. The gift of one improved livestock head to each rural, poor family created wealth and security for them, contributing to wealth creation by improving the quality of life and offering a potential pathway out of poverty (Nicholson et al., 2003). The WCP adds to the increasing number of smallholder farmers who keep improved dairy cows as a source of income and financial security. In 2007, it was estimated that 99,000 smallholder dairy farmers in the Western Province were keeping about 192,300 improved dairy cattle (Muriuki, 2011).
Land has become the main limiting factor in this already densely populated region, due to continuous population growth and land fragmentation. The small land size per farm (1 acre on average), which is further subdivided in each generation, is a major obstacle to providing adequate energy and protein intake for a dairy cow and a household. Due to limited land size, farmers put most of the available land under food crops and dedicate little area to planted fodder. Researching on the land area that is necessary to adequately feed a productive dairy cow and a family is essential for effective decision making and for training the farmers in sustainable feed production and farm planning.
Therefore, SAC collaborated with CIAT in assessing the land requirement for a dairy cow under different feeding regimes and explored the trade-offs of these feeding strategies in terms of food vs. feed land requirements, environmental impacts, and profitability. This research field is a focus area in farming systems research and trade-off analysis, both areas where CIAT has expertise.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Osele, Vivien Paul, Birthe Mukiri, Jessica Halder, Sheila Sagala, Titus Juma, Alfred Notenbaert, An Maria Omer
Corporate Author(s): 

Mission

To reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture.

People

CIAT’s staff includes about 200 scientists. Supported by a wide array of donors, the Center collaborates with hundreds of partners to conduct high-quality research and translate the results into development impact. A Board of Trustees provides oversight of CIAT’s research and financial management.

Values

Publisher(s): 

Mission

To reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture.

People

CIAT’s staff includes about 200 scientists. Supported by a wide array of donors, the Center collaborates with hundreds of partners to conduct high-quality research and translate the results into development impact. A Board of Trustees provides oversight of CIAT’s research and financial management.

Values

Data provider

CGIAR (CGIAR)

CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.

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