1. Evaluation of the performance of small ruminant improvement programmes and nutritive deficiencies in the southern range land
Implementing team: 1Korir B, 2Muasya TK and 3Chengole JM
1KARI Kiboko, 2KARI Naivasha, 3KARI Pekerra
Introduction of new livestock technologies is seen as a means of improving the welfare of agricultural communities in developing countries. The technologies are expected to lower production costs, increase household incomes and improve or enhance quality of products. As result, livestock farmers have access to more food and nutrients thereby ensuring food and nutritional security. Another outcome is to improve the access to markets by the resource poor farmers through increased production and enhanced quality of products. Up take of technologies by target groups is influenced by the attributes of the technology itself (whether it is cheap or cost effective, simple and easy to adopt, reduces drudgery) and the dissemination methods employed. This is particularly true when the target populations have limited access to well-functioning markets for the technological innovation and the necessary compliments in production. The study will cover three districts. Evidence suggests that a number of small ruminant improvement interventions have been introduced in the southern rangelands over a period of time. This study aims at evaluating the performance of the interventions in terms of mode of introduction, components of the package, current status, adoption levels and impact on household welfare.
• Small ruminant value chain analysis was carried out and report written
• Literature survey report on small ruminant improvement and marketing strategies conducted
• Farmers training manual on breeding, housing, feeding and marketing developed
2. Matching animal livestock breeds with specific production environments in the ASALs in Kenya
Implementing team: 1Muasya T.K., 2Kibiru S.K., 3Maingi P.M., 2Bii J.C., 4Mwangi D.M., 1Kariuki J.N. 5Maichomo M. W., 5Ruto J., 5Murilla G., 6Mugambi J.M and 6Nginyi J
Implementing institution: KARI Kiboko,
Collaborating Institutions: 1KARI Naivasha ,2KARI Kiboko, 3KARI Kabete , 4KARI headquarters 5KARI TRC 6KARI Muguga North
Majority of African indigenous animal genetic resources are currently at the risk of extinction caused by indiscriminate cross-breeding and replacement with exotic breeds, uncontrolled introgression, interbreeding and lack of appropriate policy guidelines for breed development programs (Rege et al., 2001). Furthermore, there is a general lack of data on adaptive traits such as reproduction and survivability that makes indigenous animal breeds suitable for the arid and semi arid environments (Rege et al., 2001). Such data include farm management and disease incidence and socioeconomic indicators of production systems under which the animals are raised. Government livestock extension staff and other development agents are often faced with the challenge of identifying suitable livestock breeds for different ecological zones when farmers desire to improve livestock output. The farmers therefore have to contend with trial recommendations, leading to sometimes loses to the farmers either through mortality or failed expectation.
The overall objective of this work is to improve animal productivity through provision of guidelines on appropriate breeds and management practices for livestock keepers in ASALs of Kenya
1. Establish suitability mapping criteria and important input indices for different livestock breeds in ASAs
2. Develop and classify relevant databases for use as inputs in the development of breed suitability maps
3. Develop suitability maps for different breeds from the database
4. Disseminate the breed suitability maps
• Consultative meetings were held to discuss the proposal and chart way forward. The proposal was refocused to address Small East African Zebu, Boran , Sahiwal and their crosses for a start with pilot districts, namely Kajiado, Narok, Taita Taveta and Makueni. The team was tasked to develop a full proposal and present it to a team of subject matter specialists (breeders).
3. Evaluation and promotion of appropriate deworming packages for improving production of goats, sheep and calves in semi arid areas of Kenya
Implementing team: 1Karimi, S.K, 2Mugambi J M, 3Githiori J B, 2Nginyi, J, 4Gitau G K, 5Kitala J
Partners: 1KARI –Kiboko , 2KARI Muguga North, 3ILRI, 4UON 5SNV
Previous studies showed gastrointestinal parasites of cattle and small ruminants are major cause of cause production loss. The control methods mainly involve a combination of anthelmintic treatment for curative and preventive purposes. In several fora include Centre Research Advisory Committee (CRAC) meetings stakeholders including livestock keepers requested research into efficacy of commonly used methods of treatment and appropriateness of deworming regimes in view of suspected drug resistance.. Further, we were to build capacity of extension officers and livestock keepers on application of FAMACHA chart (developed in South Africa) to improve on decision making on which animals to treat and when.
To improve small ruminant and calf production through better knowledge of livestock keepers and service providers on how to use appropriate helminth control practices
1. Document existing helminth control practices among pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Southern rangelands of Kenya
2. Establish levels of parasite resistance to commonly used anthelmintic drugs in pastoral and agro-pastoral herds
3. Evaluate and demonstrate use of targeted selective treatment using the FAMACHA ® system and body condition scoring in goats and calves
4. Build capacity of service providers (including extension staff) and livestock keepers in diagnosis, treatment and control of helminth parasites.
5. Update, package and disseminate existing helminth control strategies for wider use
1. Literature review on existing helminth control methods completed
2. Proposal developed complete with work plans, log frame and budgets
3. Purchased some critical equipments
4. Several planning meeting held
5. Animals for the on-station experiment identified
4. Improve the income of farmers/livestock keepers in the ASALs through honey production and marketing
Implementing team: 1S.K Kagio, 2Musembi DK and 2Nyamwaro SO
1Egerton University, 2KARI Kiboko
Because the economy of rangeland communities collapses when rains fail, the European Union, under the Kenya Arid and Semi arid land project (KASAL), is supporting research into alternative livelihood options so that the communities have livelihoods to fall back on during times of distress and beekeeping has been identified as one of these livelihood options.
The purpose of the project is to improve the socioeconomic conditions of ASAL communities and integrate them into the national economy based on the Agricultural Product Value Chain (APVC) continuum, where demand for animal products (consumer and market) are major driving force.
The objective in beekeeping is to achieve improved efficiency of the entire value chain, especially the production and marketing of hive products.
• Improve knowledge of farmers/livestock keepers on beekeeping practices and marketing.
• Improve knowledge on quality of hive products.
• Improve linkages between farmers/livestock keepers to micro finance institutions and marketers
• Monitor Bee plants and their floral cycles as indicators of climate change.
1. Literature and characterization of honey production and its Markets in Kibwezi, Makueni Kajiado districts as well as Nairobi
2. Identification of trainees, common interest groups (CIGs) and CBOs to implement hive products activities in Kibwezi and Makueni districts
3. Attended beekeeping workshops on National beekeeping policy in Embu and Nairobi
4. Identified partners eg National Bee Keeping Station, Honey Care, Agricultural Technology and Information Programme (ATIP)
5. Sampled honey from target Divisions for quality analysis at KARI Naivasha; Note: this analysis has not been completed to date
6. Reviewed draft National beekeeping policy and made recommendations
7. Developed training manual for trainers in beekeeping
8. Developed brochure for training CBOs/CIGs.
9. Farmer representatives identified for training
10. Participatorily identified plants considered to be bee forages and ranked the best 10.
11. Identified successful hive products farmer groups, NGOs and processing units where farmers could be taken on field tour for hands-on learning from successful organization.
12. Wrote and presented two conference papers: “The Socio economic profile of beekeeping in southern rangelands of Kenya” (APSK) and “The challenges facing beekeeping industry in the southern rangelands” (Egerton); Note: We were not sponsored to attend the conferences
Activities remaining to be implemented
1. Training of farmer groups
2. Farmers tour of successful farmer groups/NGOs/Processors to learn how successful groups are organized
3. Organize farmers into viable marketing groups (by partner- ATIP)
4. Link farmer groups to micro-finance institutions (by partner – ATIP)
5. Verify the presence, and monitor bee colonies, for infestation by Veroa (disease)
6. Monitor with assistance of famer groups of the selected 10 flowering plants to monitor changes due to climate change
7. Propagate suitable bee forage plants to mitigate the effects of climate change
8. Hold field days (by partner- ATIP)
9. Hold feedback meetings with CIGs/CBOs to convey information from our research findings
10. Write more reports, papers for conferences and journals
5. Title of Project: Evaluating viability and competitive interactions of range grasses under different micro-catchments and economic returns from reseeding in Southern Kenya
Research Brief of KASAL Sponsored Student
Degree Course: MSc Range Management at the University of Nairobi
Name of Student: Bryan Peter Ogillo
Expected duration of study: October 2008 – September 2010
Status: Ongoing and on target
The study compares the effect two types of micro-catchments i.e. ox-furrows and crescent shaped pits (Kiboko range pits) on the performance of four range grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris, Chloris roxburghiana, Enteropogon macrostachyus and Eragrostis superba) in terms foliar cover, plant density, plant height, tiller density, leaves production, biomass and seed production. The experimental site is located at Nairobi University chamomile farm in Kisayani, Kibwezi. The study will also look at the benefit – cost of reseeding approaches.
Specific objectives are as follows:
1. Assess the germination capacity of selected range grasses (C. ciliaris, C. roxburghiana, E. macrostachyus and E. superba) harvested and stored under on-farm conditions.
2. Determine the performance of selected range grass mixtures or monocultures under two types of micro-catchments — ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits.
3. Determine the cost-effectiveness of range reseeding activities under ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits.
1. There is no difference in the germination percentage of range grasses harvested and stored under farmer-conditions from those of commercial seed producers.
2. There is no difference in performance (foliar cover, density, tillers, height, leaves and biomass production) of grasses in mixtures and in monocultures between ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits.
3. Use of ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits are not economically viable methods of range reseeding in the southern rangelands of Kenya.
• Field data collection has been completed
• Data Analysis is almost complete and writing of the thesis has begun
6. The Effect of Community Wildlife Sanctuaries on Pastoral Livestock Production System by Muthiani Elizabeth Nduku
7. Climate variability and adaptive livestock feeding strategies in agro-pastoral systems in drylands of Kenya
Investigators: Aphaxard J.N. Ndathi, Moses M. Nyangito, Nashon K.R. Musimba and Barnabas N. Mitaru.
Type: PhD Project.
Duration: 9 Months
This project focus is improving the availability of quality livestock feed especially during the dry seasons under increasing climate variability. The objectives are characterizing the livestock production systems, evaluating the feed conservation strategies and formulating and evaluating feed rations from top ranked indigenous feed plants species. The project is using a cross sectional survey, focused group discussions and observational and laboratory chemical analysis. The project started with identifying the top ranked livestock species and the major outputs. The top ranked species are cattle, goats and chicken. The top ranked reasons for keeping cattle are cash, draft power and milk. Cash comes from the sale of old draft animals and milk. The top ranked plant species for cattle feeding are Panicum maximum, Eragrostis superba, Cynodon plectostachyus and Zea mays for grasses and Combretum exalatum, Duosperma kilimandscharicum,Vigna unguiculata and Canjanus cajan for browse. The nutritional analysis of these and other important feed plant species will be done at the and KARI, NARL laboratories. The major feed conservation strategies being used are storing the feed in granaries, roofed or unroofed wooden racks and silage tubes or placing the feed on plant branches or leaving the feed as standing hay in the feed. Analysis of quality and loss of feed conserved using these strategies is being done on-farm while laboratory analysis will be done at the University of Nairobi laboratories. Feed rations will be formulated from Panicum maximum, Combretum exalatum, Duosperma kilimandscharicum,Vigna unguiculata and Canjanus cajan and their quality evaluated through a controlled feeding trial using weaners at KARI, Kiboko ranch. Results from this study will be disseminated through feedback workshops, posters and brochures, technical reports and papers and a PhD Thesis.