KARI-NARL-KSS M 87 DEC 2008 Assessment of the Degree of Land Degradation and Opportunities for Improved Productivity of Chalbi Desert

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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 (ASAL). The land cover in the ASAls is generally poor with high degree of land degradation, caused mainly by limited organic inputs required to facilitate the biological processes and ecosystem functions that sustain land productivity. In addition, there is, generally, limited ecosystem capacity to intercept, store and redistribute the rainwater for agricultural production. In the face of rapid population growth and these constraints, it is going to be extremely difficult to maintain sufficiency in foodstuffs in the future. Therefore, an alternative means of survival is required, not only to improve agricultural production, but also to reverse the declining trends in soil productivity, caused by land degradation. Therefore, the main objective of Acacia Operation Project is to rehabilitate the degraded land and enhance its productivity for crops, gums and resins. This is will be achieved by mechanized water harvesting technologies called Delfmo and Treno ploughs. The research areas include Sereolipi, Merille, Laisamis, Loglogo and North Horr.