KARI-NARL-KSS M 90 2006- Characterisation of AOP Project Sites for Gums and Resins Production: Integrating Socio-Economic Issues with Biophysical Information for the Rehabilitation of the Degraded Arid and Semi-Arid Lands in Kenya

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Muga M.O
Esilaba A.O
Keya G.
Wanjogu C.R.K
Maingi P.M
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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Kenya is an agricultural country, depending almost entirely on land productivity for subsistence and socio-economic development. However, about two-thirds of the country is semi-arid to arid. Rainfed agriculture is confined to the remaining one-third of the country. The pressure is exerted on the fragile ecosystems that characterize these lands by the rapidly increasing population, thereby increasing land degradation. Since the main objective of Acacia Operation Project is to rehabilitate the degraded land and enhance its productivity for gums and resins, baseline information on the current state of land degradation is required against which the impacts of the proposed intervention and relative degree of desertification in future can be assessed. This has been done by evaluating the interactions between climate, relief, soils, vegetation and land cover, and their influence on biological functions, at both national, regional and site levels. Also, the indicators of land degradation have been reviewed. At the micro-catchment level the physical, hydrological and biological properties of soil have been evaluated as the basis of comparing the impacts of Delifino and Treno ploughs in rehabilitating the degraded land.