A Participatory Rapid Appraisal Report On Studies Conducted In Nakuru District (6th To 9th June 1995

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kenya Agriculture Research Institute
Nakuru District is located in the Rift Valley province. It is one of the agriculturally high potential districts in the country and various agro-ecological zones are encountered here, ( Appendix 1). The district is divided into nine administrative divisions: Molo, Rongai, Gilgil, Njoro, Naivasha, Olenguruone, Nakuru Municipality, Bahati and Mbogoini. According to the 1989 census, Nakuru district has a population of about 849,096 people. The major activities in the district are agricultural, consisting of livestock and crop production. The major crops grown are maize, wheat, beans, Irish potatoes and horticultural crops such as tomatoes, kales and other vegetables. Nakuru district covers the highest part of the Rift Valley and includes the bordering escarpments and plateaus. The western plateau rises to nearly 3000m above sea level. Here, the climate is cold and wet, with a mean temperature of 10-15 degrees centigrade and an average annual rainfall of about 1200-1400 mm. These areas, in AEZ UHl, are suitable for rearing sheep and dairy cattle. Slightly lower altitudes (2100-2300 m), areas such as Njoro and Molo ( AEZ LID) are wheat maize and barley zones. In AEZ LH4, a livestock and barley zone, crops such as wheat and barley are grown and ranching is practised. The average annual rainfall in these areas ranges between 800-900mm. The rainfall is scattered and unreliable in the low lying areas. Rongai and lower Solai are in AEZ UM4, a sunflower and maize zone. Most of Subukia lies in AEZ-LH2, a wheat, maize and pyrethrum zone, (Jaetzold et ai, 1983).