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International Journal of Geography, Geology and Environment
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"International Journal of Geography, Geology and Environment"

2019, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Part A

Assessment of coping and adaptation strategies employed by dairy cattle farmers to counter the effects of rainfall variability in Keumbu division, Kisii County, Kenya


Author(s): William Masaka Ondieki, Dr. Warkach Kipkorir Tonui, Dr. Maurice Odhiambo Kodiwo, and Anncletas Ambia Atamba

Abstract: Rainfall variability characterized by intense rainfall, more frequent droughts and unpredictable rainfall has devastating effects on rain-fed agriculture and dairy production in particular. Over the years, dairy cattle farmers in Keumbu Division have experienced fluctuations in milk production. The purpose of this study was to assess the coping and adaptation strategies employed by small-scale dairy farmers to counter the effects of climate change induced rainfall variability in Keumbu Division, Kisii County. The study adopted a descriptive survey research. Data was collected through questionnaires, key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and observations checklist. Both simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select small scale dairy farmers. The methods of data analysis were both qualitative and quantitative using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic data analysis taking into account common words, phrases, themes and patterns in order to enhance understanding. The findings indicated that dairy farmers in the area of study practiced both indigenous and modern adaptation strategies. The common indigenous adaptation strategies practiced included: preservation of pastures, deferred grazing, reducing the number of cattle, rain water harvesting and storage for future use, reserved grazing and paddocking where part of the pasture is reserved for lactating cows and rearing different dairy breeds. The modern adaptation strategies included; harvested and stored water in tanks and house roofs to use during dry seasons, made silage and hay by use a variety of crops and stored to use during the dry season, feed preservation during wet season to use when the rains go down, planted forage varieties like napier grass, fodder shrubs and adopted new dairy cattle breeds like the Guernsey which are known to be resistant to hot climates and also crossbred their livestock with drought-tolerant breeds. The study recommends that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries should build the capacity of small scale dairy farmers by increasing their awareness of climate change and possible adaptation strategies.

Pages: 23-27 | Views: 16 | Downloads: 3

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How to cite this article:
William Masaka Ondieki, Dr. Warkach Kipkorir Tonui, Dr. Maurice Odhiambo Kodiwo,, Anncletas Ambia Atamba. Assessment of coping and adaptation strategies employed by dairy cattle farmers to counter the effects of rainfall variability in Keumbu division, Kisii County, Kenya. Int J Geogr Geol Environ 2019;1(2):23-27.
International Journal of Geography, Geology and Environment