Kenya Agricultural Research Institute-Mtwapa Annual Report 2004

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Date
2004
Authors
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
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Kenya Agriculture Research Institute
Abstract
The major constraint to food production in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of coastal Kenya is low soil moisture and lack of improved drought tolerant maize varieties. Average annual rainfall is low in most areas and total annual evapotranspiration is high. The evapotranspiration exceeds rainfall in most months of the year, necessitating water harvesting or irrigation. The ASAL areas have traditionally been considered best suited to extensive grazing by livestock but not anymore as more people have moved into these areas and introduced crop farming and sedentary lifestyle. Despite the adversity of the marginal areas, farming is practiced notwithstanding the frequent crop failures.
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