KARI-NARL-KSS NO.M89 2008 - Diagnostic Analysis of Constraints and Opportunities for Soil and Irrigation Technologies for Sustainable Production System, Nguruman Irrigation Scheme, Magadi Dmsion, Kajiado District

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Imke R.
Muthomi A.
Maingi P.M
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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Irrigated farming in Nguruman irrigation scheme is oriented towards agribusiness development, which thus, requires thorough analysis of the production systems to identify constraints and opportunities for agribusiness development. Agribusiness is based on specific agro-ecosystems, where production of certain magnitude is targeted to offset the production costs. Sustainable agriculture in such a system requires optimal utilization of resources at maximum possible returns with minimum destruction of environments. In farming systems approach, the concept of agronomic unit is used, which comprises the interacting components such as: climate, soils, crops, livestock, pest, cultural practices, land use policy and marketing possibility. Much agricultural research in the past considered application of scientific methods to single components of agro-ecosystems, but a farming system approach recognizes that each component is a part of the whole ecosystem, and that the whole ecosystem must be a subject of study, thereby requiring the holistic research methodologies. Participatory study of agro-ecosystems at community level gives a clear perception of the influence of land users on the functioning of land and environmental resources as well as their perceived needs, constraints and priorities. Therefore, the study of agro-ecosystem or farming systems should start with the development of the conceptual framework of the dynamics, functioning and sustainability of the systems.