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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Society & Natural Resources
Title From Cattle to Corn: Attributes of Emerging Farming Systems of Former Pastoral Nomads in East Pokot, Kenya
Volume 26
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1478-1490
URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/usnr/2013/00000026/00000012/art00009
Crop cultivation under rain-fed conditions is a recent innovation among the formerly pastoralnomadic
Pokot in north-central Kenya. We have examined the socio-ecological dynamics of land-use
change from an interdisciplinary perspective. The patterns of transition to agro-pastoralism are
closely related to both the bio-geo-physical attributes of the area and the economic characteristics of
the households. While the use of advanced agronomic practices in the highlands is associated with
annual maize grain yields of >2 Mg ha-1, unfavorable climatic and edaphic conditions, as well as the
limited agronomic knowledge of the newcomer farmers in the lowland and mid-hill zones makes field
crop production there an opportunistic, spatially scattered and rather erratic land-use strategy. The
accelerated transition to crop cultivation and the spatiotemporal differences in sedentarization
between zones contribute to a fragmentation and shortage of land which results in growing interhousehold
inequalities and increasing conflicts within Pokot society.

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