African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6401

Full Length Research Paper

Grass species for range rehabilitation: Perceptions of a pastoral community in Narok North sub-county, Kenya

Kamau, Hannah Nyakio
  • Kamau, Hannah Nyakio
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, Kenya University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053 – 00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Koech, Oscar Kipchirhir
  • Koech, Oscar Kipchirhir
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, Kenya University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053 – 00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi
  • Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, Kenya University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053 – 00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Wasonga, Oliver Vivian
  • Wasonga, Oliver Vivian
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, Kenya University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053 – 00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Gachene, Charles Karanja Kabiru
  • Gachene, Charles Karanja Kabiru
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, Kenya University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053 – 00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 20 November 2018
  •  Accepted: 22 March 2019
  •  Published: 31 August 2020

Abstract

Land degradation is a global problem leading to a diminished production capacity of the rangelands. The consequence is reduced potential to provide ecosystem services and increased vulnerability to the inhabitants. Biological soil water conservation measures can reverse the trend. Different communities prefer different grass species for rehabilitation as communities vary in location, needs, priorities, preferences and the type of livestock reared. This study, therefore, sought to identify the suitable grass species for soil erosion and rehabilitation from the community in Keekonyoie ward In Narok county, Kenya. Data collection was through individual interviews, focus groups, key informant interviews and field observations. Results showed that level, indicators, causes and impacts are known to the community. Cynodon plectostachyus (76%), Chloris gayana (73%), Pennisetum clandestinum (69%), Cymbopogon citratus (46%) and Themeda triandra (42%) were most preferred for rehabilitation and soil erosion control. The primary reason for the grasses choice was a yearlong provision of livestock feed. Needs and livelihood priorities significantly influence decision-making among the Maa-speaking community in Keekonyoie ward. We recommend consideration of community needs, priorities and preferences in the selection of grass species for rehabilitation to increase the adoption measures that can reverse land degradation

Key words: Indigenous knowledge, community perceptions, range grass species, rehabilitation, land degradation, Narok.