Livestock farming is one of the fastest growing subsectors within agricultural sector in Kenya. It contributes both directly and indirectly to food and nutrition security for resource-poor people in rural and (peri) – urban areas. The study was conducted to determine the roles and potential of smallholder’s dairy cattle farming in Nakuru, Kenya.
The study was carried out in rural and (peri) – urban locations in Nakuru, Kenya. Primary data were collected from 44 farm households. Data collected included; farm size, farm and off farm income and socio-economic characteristics. Data were collected through an in-depth interview with the household head, guided by semi-structured questions. Direct household’s energy availability method was used to assess the food security. A non- parametric Kruskal-Wallis and Mann- Whitney U test was used to evaluate whether farming systems have effects on total energy availability (Kcal/capita/day) and total protein availability (g/capita/day).
Farming systems defined in rural and (peri) – urban locations included positive deviant dairy, negative deviant dairy and crops only farming systems. Total energy and protein availability varied significantly in both locations between the three farming systems (P<0.05). Positive deviant dairy farming system was more food secure than the other two farming systems in both rural and (peri)-urban locations. Total energy and protein availability were similar (P>0.05) between dairy and non-dairy farms in rural and (peri)-Urban locations. Farm size differed significantly (P<0.05) between dairy and non-dairy farms in rural location. In both locations, total energy availability from milk and gross margin differed significantly (P<0.05) between positive and negative deviant dairy farming systems. In addition, total energy availability, herd size and cows in milk were significantly different (P<0.05) between positive and negative deviant dairy farming system in rural location.
Through intensification of dairy cattle and crops in rural and (peri)-urban locations, negative deviant dairy and crops only farming systems respectively, can improve food security. The study confirmed that dairy cattle in smallholder farming systems play a role in rural and (peri) - urban locations in terms of food security and has potential in Nakuru region, Kenya.
Student: RW Waineina
Supervisor: dr ir S Oosting