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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.3

Green Water: Enhancing Food Security in Kenya Through Rainwater Harvesting

Bancy M. Mati
Kenya Rainwater Association


Various strategies have been applied, with the aim of improving food security among small scale farmers in Kenya, especially those from the semi-arid areas. These have ranged from extension packages, trials with different and new crop varieties, fertilizers and pesticides, soil conservation campaigns, as well as research strategies (Tengberg et al 1998; Kiome and Stocking, 1995; Lewcock, 1997). Despite this, the small-scale farmer in Kenya is much poorer and the need for food relief has been growing compared to 30 years ago. The reasons for the success or failure of the various interventions has been discussed and publicized (Sherington, 1997; Lacy, 1996; Norman et al, 1994; Chambers et al, 1989; Reij et al, 1996). Recent studies have shown the need to shift from top-bottom, capital-intensive approaches, to ones developed with more farmer involvement. Even so, efforts to achieve a more systematic involvement of resource poor farmers through public sector agricultural research organizations have been weak. This is due to a lack of internal motivation on the part of the scientific community, and also lack of external pressure from the farmers (Lacy, 1996). Farmers rarely demand services from the technocrats. To bring about a more effective functioning of the system, several models have emerged that describe the relationship between scientists/technology developers, extension educators, farmers and the informal sector.

PDF of full document (4pp, 21kb)

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