Master Graduands 2020

Ramolefhe Oreeditse Shirley

Research Topic:
An assessment of smallholder livestock keepers’ willingness-to-pay for cattle insurance attributes in Botswana: the case of Central District
Ramolefhe Oreeditse Shirley
Biography

Oreeditse Shirley Ramolefhe is an Agricultural Economist specializing in Agribusiness management. She has graduated in Masters in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Nairobi (Class of 2020). The successful completion of this program was enabled by a Scholarship program funded by African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). She also holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in April 2013. Oreeditse has made an oral dissemination of her research work in a couple of international conferences (Virtual presentation at Centre for the Study of African Economies conference in 2020 and AGRO conference in 2019). She has also submitted several journal paper for publication in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Ms Ramolefhe has experience in field research work (especially at household, community and market level) and statistical data analysis. 


 

Abstract

Abstract

Botswana’s livestock sector accounts for 70% of foreign exchange earned from the agriculture sector, yet it is threatened by several risks which can be mitigated by adopting livestock insurance. In 2010, Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) introduced a livestock insurance policy (LIP) to encourage farmers to reduce effects of natural calamities, however few traditional livestock keepers have adopted it. The objective of this study, therefore, was to assess smallholder cattle keepers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) and factors influencing WTP for cattle insurance attributes in the Central District of Botswana. Using the factorial design in conjoint analysis, six attributes and their levels were combined into sixteen profiles, presented to 182 random selected respondents for preference ranking and expression of WTP. The results show that livestock farmers were willing to pay $17.77, $7.07 and $1.12 for weather index-based insurance (WIBI) cover, covering proportion of a herd and replacing a dead cow with a live one respectively. The overall mean WTP for a full insurance product was $11.45. The factors that positively influenced respondents’ WTP for cattle insurance were distance to the nearest tarmac road, off-farm investment income, total land size owned by the respondent, and total livestock unit (TLU). The age of household head, access to credit, annual crop sales income and vaccine cost negatively influenced the WTP. The BIC should consider designing cattle insurance policy products within price range of US$18.13 and US$23.88. Most ideal policy attribute are: a 1-month compensation period, covering portion of the cattle herd, WIBI at US$0.7/month paid as an annuity, compensate keepers with a live animal in case of a loss.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr Patrick Irungu 

Professor Rose Nyikal

Musungu Arnold Lumumbah

Research Topic:
Assessment of Livestock Farmers’ Preferences for Integration of Community-Owned Resource Persons and Interrelationships in Animal Trypanosomiasis Management Methods in Kwale County, Kenya
Musungu Arnold Lumumbah
Biography

Arnold Musungu is keen to continue developing his skills in agricultural and development research. His passion for research is motivated by the desire to better understand the world through data and convey this understanding to others.  

His current work focuses on the sustainable management of livestock diseases so as to improve household food security and incomes in Kenya. His research interests include development economics, microeconomics, institutional economics, impact assessment, agricultural technology adoption, food security and gender analysis.

He holds a BSc in Agribusiness Management from the University of Nairobi and looking forward to graduate with MSc in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the same university. He has close to two years of development research experience in both interdisciplinary and multicultural teams, including as a research fellow at International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).  

 

Abstract

Abstract

African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT) is a major constraint to livestock production and a threat to food security in most parts of sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). Smallholder cattle producers are particularly affected because access to veterinary services is limited in most cases. While efforts have been made to control the spread and prevalence of the disease in Kenya, the disease continues to cause losses to livestock producers. The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and other partners have recently proposed the integration of communities into AAT management programs in Kenya through creating a pool of community-owned resource persons (CORPs). As such, the CORPs would address the weak links in veterinary services, facilitate transfer of new control technologies within communities and ensure continuity of donor-funded AAT management programs. However, the desired attributes of the CORPs by farmers are not known. Further, it is envisaged that successful integration of CORPs rests on the substitutability and (or) complementarity of the current AAT management methods, which is also not established in the existing literature. To address these gaps, this study applied a choice experiment (CE) approach from 308 randomly selected cattle keeping households in Kwale County, Kenya. Results showed that farmers are currently using a combination of various methods to manage the disease. The analysis revealed that the multiple AAT management methods used by farmers are complementary and not substitutes. Further, Results indicate a preference for male younger CORPs who are resourceful in the community. Farmers also preferred CORPs whose recruitment incorporates consultations with the local community. Additionally, there was a higher preference for CORPs trained by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) than those trained by the county government. The incorporation of these insights could enhance AAT management programs design, local acceptability, ownership and sustainability of donor-funded livestock management programs in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Important Links

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr. David Jakinda Otieno (UON)

Prof. Rose Adhiambo Nyikal (UON)

Dr. Beatrice Wambui Muriithi (ICIPE)

 

Kollie B. Dogba

Research Topic:
Determinants of the Economic Efficiency of Cassava production in Bomi and Nimba Counties, Liberia
Kollie B. Dogba
Biography

Kollie B. Dogba is a Liberian. He earned a Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics with 63rd graduates from the University of Nairobi, Kenya in 2020, specializing in Agriculture and Rural Development. He attained this Master’s qualification through the full scholarship award from the African Economic Research Corsortium (AERC): a major think-tank institution that is using rigorous empirical researches to support African policies.

Mr. Dogba also obtained a certificate in Microfiance from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in 2020; a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Cuttington University Graduate School, Liberia in 2017; a Post-graduate Diploma in Public Procurement Management in 2016, and a  Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Economics in 2011, both from the University of Liberia. 

Mr. Dogba participated in the XIV International Conference on Precision Agriculture and Food Waste, and made an oral presentation on the “Economic Efficiency of Cassava Production in Nimba County, Liberia: An Output-Oriented Approach”. He also has submitted two manuscripts from his research work that are currently undergoing peer-reviews for publication. 

Mr. Dogba is a member of both the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), and the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE). Mr. Dogba has competencies relating to Research design, data analysis, procurement and financial management. 

Mr. Dogba has research interests about the productivity and efficiency of agriculture value chains, financial inclusion and microfinance institutions. He has other interests in social networking, public speaking, technology and music.

 

Abstract

Abstract

Cassava as a food and a cash crop is cultivated across all the tropical regions, been served as a staple for more than 450 million Africans. In Liberia, more than 70% of agricultural households plant cultivate cassava; but, there is still low domestic food production. There is dearth of empirical studies to inform stakeholders about the economic efficiency of cassava production. Hence, the study sought to analyze determinants of the economic efficiency of cassava production in Bomi and Nimba counties.

Using a multistage sampling technique, primary data from 303 farmers was analyzed using two stochastic frontier models, of Trans-log production and revenue functions, and a two step stochastic meta-production frontier. The economic economic efficiency of cassava production in Bomi and Nimba counties, and the meta-technical efficiency of the cassava sub-sector were determined respectively. 

From the stochastic frontier models, the mean technical, allocative and revenue efficiency scores for Bomi farmers were 63.4%, 57.4%, and 40.6%; and for Nimba farmers were 31.7%, 31.1%, and 13.5% respectively. The key determinants of revenue efficiency in both regions were the farmer’s age (with a negative effect) and farming experience (with a positive effect). The mean meta-frontier technical efficiency (MTE) was determined at 40.48 percent. Gender (1=female) and access to credits were the determinants of the metafrontier. The study recommends more involvement of women and young farmers through farmer field schools. Also, a multi-stakeholder venture offering microfinance services including, microcredits and farming insurance is needed to improve the production efficiency of cassava farmers.

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Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Prof. Willis-Oluoch Kosura;

Dr. Chepchumba Chumo

 

Ojwang’ Sylvester Okoth

Research Topic:
Effects of Integrated Nutrition Education Approaches of the Production and Consumption of Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotatoes in Homa Bay County, Kenya.
Ojwang’ Sylvester Okoth
Biography

Sylvester Ojwang' graduated with an MSc. degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi (Class of 2020). He pursued this program as a beneficiary of the DAAD In-country/In-region Scholarship program through the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). Sylvester has made oral dissemination of his research work in a couple of international conferences and submitted many articles for publication in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. He holds a BSc. degree in Agricultural Economics and Natural Resource Management from Moi University (2013). He has worked, as a research consultant, with various significant research and development organizations including the International Potato Centre (CIP), Emerge Centre for Innovations-Africa (ECI-Africa) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). He is an active member of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), and the African Potato Association (APA). Sylvester has a particular interest in research and development initiatives geared towards making sustainable changes in the livelihoods of the rural farming societies through development, dissemination, scale-up and appraisal of context-specific innovations.

Abstract

Abstract

Malnutrition is a persistent problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Nutrition-sensitive agricultural innovations, such as the vitamin-A-biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), can be a solution if sustainably adopted. However, the current promotion strategies show limited promise to reach the critical mass. The objectives of the study were to assess the effects of integrated nutrition education approaches on; i) the caregivers' knowledge, attitude and practices around OFSP; ii) their likelihood to replant OFSP after phase-out of free vines dissemination projects; and iii) the consumption of OFSP among preschoolers. The study employed a randomized controlled trial approach. It involved a multi-stage sample of 431 preschooler-caregiver pairs from 15 villages in two Sub-counties of Homa Bay County. The villages were randomized into one control and three treatment groups. First, all households received routine OFSP promotion activities. Later, the treatment groups received nutrition education through OFSP-branded exercise books, posters and poems to preschoolers, and phone-mediated text messages to the caregivers. Repeat household-level surveys were conducted. Treatment effects were estimated following the generalized linear regression models (GLM), special regressor method (SRM), and zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) regression models in line with the three objectives, respectively. Accordingly, the study concludes that the integration of complementary nutrition education interventions, delivered through the Early Childhood Development (ECD) platforms, can effectively enhance the supply of and demand for nutritious crops such as OFSP in the menus of farming-households. Agriculture-nutrition education interventions should consider both preschoolers' learning materials and the caregivers' mobile phones as effective platforms for nudging their sustainable adoption of biofortifed staples.

Important Links

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr. David Jakinda Otieno;

Prof. Rose Adhiambo Nyikal;

Dr. Julius Juma Okello;

Dr. Penina Muoki

Yvonne Nasai Suke

Degree Programme
Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition
Research Topic:
Factors Associated with Nutritional status in Elderly Persons Living in Kilgoris, Kenya
Yvonne Nasai Suke
Biography

My name is Yvonne Nasai Suke, a Master’s degree holder in Human Nutrition from the University of Nairobi. Main interest is having a better and healthy society in the future, given the current dynamic changes in food consumption in the world.

Abstract

Abstract

Kenya is currently experiencing an increasing number of elderly people creating a challenge of meeting their nutritional needs. The magnitude of malnutrition in this population group at Kilgoris is underreported. This study therefore, aimed at determining the nutrition status, nutrient intake of elderly people and estimated risk factors associated. Across sectional study survey was carried out in the rural areas of Kilgoris among 221 household members (60 years and above). Data was collected using ODK questionnaires and anthropometric measurements taken using standard procedures. Dietary patterns were determined using Food Frequency Questionnaires, Dietary Diversity Score and 24 Hour Recall tools. Data analysis was performed using SPSSv23 software. The BMI results showed that majority had normal nutritional status (61%) although, underweight were 13% and overweight/obese were 26%, however, there was no significant difference between males and females (p-value=0.286). Logistic regression analysis indicated that overweight /obesity were associated with high wealth index (odds ratio (OR) =2.82), owning means of transport (OR= 1.78), and dental problem (OR=4.16). Education attainment (OR=0.33) and earning pension (OR=0.14) were however, significant protective factors to overweight/obesity. The factors for underweight were mental health issues (OR=0.00) and immobility (OR=1.09). Most of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for various nutrients were not met except carbohydrates (100%) and proteins (95%). Therefore, there is need for governments to develop interventions that would lead to frequent assessments’ of malnutrition in older people and intensive research on micronutrient status that still largely remain unmet through diet.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr Dasel Wambua Mulwa Kaindi

Dr Angela Andago

STEPHEN KIMANI NJOROGE

STEPHEN KIMANI NJOROGE
Biography

STEPHEN KIMANI NJOROGE is a Food Technologist, with experience spanning over ten year in dairy industry. His love for science in primary as well as high school led in pursuance of degree in food science and technology, at Jomo-Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

After studies he was employed as an extension field officer in milk procurement division at Spin-Knit Dairy Ltd. The company later was acquired by the now, renowned Brookside dairy ltd. Until now he is the employee of the company; majoring in milk and dairy products in East and Central Africa. He deal with safety and quality control division in the company.

His acumen for quality led him to pursue a Master’s degree in Food Safety and Quality at University of Nairobi (UON). He is an active associate member of National Quality Institute (NQI). He is prospective in becoming a consultant in food safety and quality, in both national and international.

Abstract

Abstract

The current study evaluated dairy practices that compromise milk quality and safety along the dairy supply chain. The main risk factor being antibiotics residue in raw milk consumed in Kiambu County. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire to determine the suitability of milk equipment, storage of milk, health management and animal treatment at farms, the level of knowledge of risks associated with antibiotics residue in milk, and farm management. Raw milk samples were also collected and analyzed to determine the levels of antibiotic residues. 

The results showed that small scale farmers keep 2 to 3 cows, which accounted for 98% of the respondents. The record management at the farm level was done by less than 40% of the respondents. Hygiene and poor storage highly contributed to milk rejection, as reported by 97% of the respondents. The buyers lacked testing gargets for determining contaminants such as antibiotics and preservatives. According to the present study, brokers who accounted for 14% of the respondents play a significant role in milk vending in the sub-urban centers in Thika town, Ruiru town, and Nairobi. The use of health records was not a priority among the farmers, coupled with irregular withdrawal periods ranging from 48 hours to 72 hours.

Additionally, the present study found the presence of antibiotics in raw milk. Among the samples, 10 % tested beta-lactam positive on screening through the rapid test; namely: Gatei 11.7%, Gatundu 6%, and Kiganjo 12.1%. Consequently, eight derivatives were quantified and identified as follows: Ampicillin 0.007±0.0 µg/ml, Amoxicillin 0.02±0.022 µg/ml, and Penicillin G 0.016±0.017 µg/ml were above 0.004µg/ml recommended MRLs. However, Cloxacillin (0.008±0.004 µg/ml), Dicloxacillin (0.007±0.0 µg/ml), Nafcillin (0.010±0.004 µg/ml), Oxacillin (0.009±0.0.002 µg/ml), and Phenoxymethyl-penicillin (0.009±0.005 µg/ml) were below 0.030µg/ml recommended MRLs. The exposure assessment for the antibiotic residues, revealed that consumer under the study were safe, having ADI below the set standard by Codex. The levels of antibiotics residues quantified, including ampicillin, amoxicillin, and penicillin G were above the Codex standards maximum recommended levels, hence posing a food safety risk to the consumer. The study concluded that the prevalence of antibiotic residues in raw milk is 10%; this poses a high food safety risks to the milk consumers. Inappropriate dairy farming practices on food safety have heightened the situation. The creation of food safety awareness and improvement in dairy practices can mitigate the situation.

Important Links

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

PROF. MICHAEL W. OKOTH 

DR. LUCY NJUE

SARAH NJERI WAWERU

Degree Programme
Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition
Research Topic:
UTILIZATION OF ANTENATAL CARE SERVICES, NUTRITION STATUS AND DIETARY DIVERSITY IN PREGNANCY: A CASE STUDY OF PUMWANI MATERNITY HOSPITAL
SARAH NJERI WAWERU
Biography

Sarah is a registered dietician with the Kenya Nutrition and Dieticians Institute. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Nairobi. Sarah has been and still is currently working as a Clinical Nutritionist, for the past fifteen years, at Kenyatta National Hospital offering specialized nutrition care services to both inpatients and outpatients, participating in teaching and research, participating in nutrition outreach awareness programs, Implementing standard operating procedures and standards of care for patients. Sarah is also a certified lactation manager and also works as nutrition counselor.

Abstract

Abstract

Antenatal care provides the opportunity to learn about health and nutritious diets along with other clinical advice associated with pregnancy. This study evaluated the dietary nutrient intake of pregnant women in relationship to their general nutrition status. The validity and effectiveness of nutrition education as a component of the antenatal care service was also evaluated. The availability of water, sanitation and hygiene practices was also assessed. The study used a cross-sectional design that involved random sampling 133 women attending antenatal clinic at Pumwani Hospital. The findings were low knowledge on nutrition and common health problems associated with pregnancy. The study concluded that there was need to improve on the component of nutrition education and health related problems in pregnancy, including micronutrient deficiency health problems.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

DR. SOPHIA NGALA

DR. DASEL WAMBUA MULWA KAINDI

Riziki Dama Yaa

Degree Programme
Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition
Research Topic:
Enhancing hemoglobin status of anemic in-school adolescent girls using cooked vegetables enriched with Baobab powder
Riziki Dama Yaa
Biography

I was born and brought up at the Kenyan coast in a small tourist town called Malindi currently in Kilifi County 37 years ago. I am a well determined individual yet pleasantly calm. I always encourage myself to fight for what I desire and believe in with a strong believe in God, because I know nothing great come easy and with God everything is possible.

Am married and a mother of two lovely daughters. Motherhood is a challenge I happily enjoy since there is no day that is similar with the other, which is very similar with my career as a nurse since every single day I deal with different clients with different needs.

I am currently employed by the government of Kenya under the ministry of health (Nairobi County) as a nursing officer. I have a diploma in community health nursing from Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC). After working as a nurse for 10year at the maternal child health clinic, I discovered I had an interest in nutrition and I made a decision to gain more knowledge in that field. I pursued a degree in Nutrition and dietetics from Kenyatta University, which I completed in the year 2014 and this made me a nurse with special nutrition knowledge which allow me to double up as a nurse and nutritionist at the clinic. In 2017 I started a master degree in Applied Human Nutrition at The University of Nairobi which I recently completed.

Abstract

Abstract

Anaemia and especially iron deficiency anaemia remain one of the most significant nutritional deficiency in the world affecting approximately 30% of the population. This is more so in developing countries like Kenya where poverty in rampant. Women of child bearing age and adolescents bear the largest burden. Inadequate dietary intake and poor absorption of iron are identified as the main causes of anaemia. The study evaluated the effect of consuming cooked vegetables enriched with baobab powder, on haemoglobin status of anaemic adolescent girls in Kilifi, Kenya.  Systematic random sampling was used to select 112 adolescent girls from the entire school population using the class registers. From the sampled girls 101 were screened for haemoglobin level, after obtaining parental consent. Questionnaires and key informant interviews were used to collect socio-demographic and socio-economic data, morbidity data, and food consumption habits of adolescent girls and prevalence of anaemia in the county. The study was a randomised control intervention comprising of a feeding trial lasting for 30 days, where the girls were put into two groups the control and the intervention after the baseline haemoglobin test at the ratio of 1:1. During the feeding trial the participant in intervention group were each served with mixed vegetables amaranth and solanum nigrum 225g enriched with 10g of baobab powder as a sprinkle and the ones in control with vegetables without the baobab powder. The result show that the prevalence of anaemia among the sampled population at baseline was 31.7%.The mean baseline haemoglobin were lower in the intervention group (10.5g/dl) compared to the control group (11.2g/dl). Although the difference was not significant (P=0.052). The mean final haemoglobin concentration for the intervention group was 11.6g/dl and for control at 11.8g/dl with a mean change of 1.1g/dl and 0.6g/dl respectively. This was significant at (P=0.045). Almost half of the adolescent girls who completed the feeding trial achieved normal Hb of >11.9 with an average rate of increase of 1.0g/dl mostly from the intervention group, thus can be concluded that cooked vegetables enriched with baobab powder can effectively improve haemoglobin level of anaemic adolescent girls.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr. Angela Adhiambo Andago 

Dr. Catherine Nkirote Kunyanga

CHEPKEMOI RITAH SETEY

Research Topic:
An economic evaluation of the role of land and livestock dynamics in livelihood diversification in Baringo County, Kenya.
CHEPKEMOI RITAH SETEY
Biography

Ritah Setey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness management and has successfully completed training in Agricultural and applied economics. Her MSc thesis consisted of analysis on how changes in land tenure and livestock production systems has shaped livelihoods of people in the drylands of Baringo. During the program she had several opportunities to present her research findings including the 20th Annual World Bank Conference and the 6th African Conference of Agricultural Economist. 

 

Abstract

Abstract

Transformation of land tenure systems in the rangelands raises a lot of concerns on the sustainability of traditional systems around the world. Pastoral communities are slowly transforming into agro-pastoral systems. To gather more insights on the transforming livelihoods in the rangelands a household survey was conducted on 221 households in Baringo County, Kenya. The study characterized the changing land tenure and land size, household livestock species and herd size and their effects on choice of alternative sources of livelihood. Results from the binary logit regression showed that land tenure, land size, use of enclosures and livestock tropical units had a positive influence on choice of on-farm livelihood diversification. Results from multivariate probit regression showed that species diversity, decline in tropical livestock units had an implication on choice of fodder farming and participation in rural waged labour as alternative sources of livelihood.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr. David J. Otieno,

Dr. John Busienei,

Dr. Per Knutsson

Angela Nduta Gitau

Research Topic:
Influence of Grazing Management Practices and Topographic Positions on Vegetation Attributes, Soil Organic Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-Arid Rangelands of Laikipia County, Kenya
Angela Nduta Gitau
Biography

I have completed MSC in Land Water Management and graduating on the 25th of September 2020. I was sponsored by the Australian government under the program Systems for Land-use Emission Estimation in Kenya. I was also awarded a NAS PEER grant to collect data for my masters’ project. I have interest in studying semi-arid rangelands and contribute to improving the livelihoods of the marginalized communities. I have built my skill in data collection and extraction over the years through short term contracts. I look forward to being part of a team that addresses climate change and coming up with evidence on resilient agriculture on Kenya.

Abstract

Abstract

Semi-arid rangelands of Kenya have been managed through grazing for many years. This has influenced the landscape in terms of vegetation attributes such as species diversity, richness, composition, and abundance. Furthermore, a few studies have been done on how different land cover types under different grazing management practices as well as topographical positions influence soil organic carbon fraction content in the soil. Also, the aspect of greenhouse gas emissions under different land cover types and grazing management influence is poorly understood for semi-arid rangelands. The effect of grazing management practices on vegetation attributes, soil organic carbon fractions, and greenhouse gases was assessed for semi-arid rangelands of Laikipia County, Kenya. An experiment with a complete randomized design was set up to determine; (1) the effect of grazing practices and topographic positions on vegetation attributes, (2) effect of grazing practices, topographic positions, and land cover on soil mineral-associated carbon (MAOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) and (3) effect of grazing management practices and land cover types on CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions. The treatments were grazing management practices, continuous grazing and controlled grazing; and the topographic positions; mid-slope, foot slope, and bottomland. The land cover types, bare ground, patches of grasses, and mosaics of trees, were selected randomly and replicated three times. Both grazing practices and topographical positions had a significant (p<0.05) effect on the relative abundance of trees as well as grasses while it was highly significant (p<0.001) on herbs and forbs. Effect of grazing practices and topographical positions on species diversity was significant (p<0.01) on herbs cover. Tree density responded to grazing practices significantly (p<0.05). Under controlled grazed zones, bottomland recorded high species composition. Grazing practices had a significant effect (p<0.001) on POC. Controlled grazing (POC= 0.887%, CC SD=0.49) zones was significantly different compared to zones under continuous grazing (POC = 0.718% CC SD=0.3). Mosaic of trees (POC =1.15% CC, SD = 0.22) recorded the highest concentration of carbon followed by patches of grass (POC = 0.87% CC, SD= 0.37) whereas bare ground (POC = 0.38% CC SD = 0.12) had the least. Topographical position had an increasing trend of carbon concentration down the gradient that is mid-slope (POC = 0.59% CC, SD =0.4)< foot slope (POC = 0.84% CC, SD =0.34) < bottomland (POC = 0.98% CC, SD = 0.41). Grazing practices significantly (p<0.001) influenced CO2 and N2O fluxes though it was insignificant (p>0.05) on CH4 flux. Controlled grazing produced 74.16% CO2-C and 82.47% N2O-N fluxes compared to continuous grazing which was observed to be 21.5 mg.m-2.h-1 CO2- C and 3.4μg.m2h1 N2O- N flux. Under different land covers, there was a significant (p<0.05) effect on CO2 and N2O but insignificant in CH4. Bare ground had 27.86mg.m-2.h-1  CO2- C flux, 0.007 mg.m-2.h-1  CH4-C flux and 3.71μg.m2h1 N2O- N fluxes. Tree had 66.57 mg.m-2.h-1 CO2- C emission -0.005 mg.m-2.h-1 CH4-C fluxes and 11.43 μg.m2h1 N2O- N fluxes. Grass exhibited 61.88 mg.m-2.h-1 CO2- C fluxes, -0.034 mg.m-2.h-1 CH4-C fluxes and 18.81 μg.m2h1 N2O- N fluxes. Continuous grazing accelerated species richness of unpalatable species and increased bare ground, unlike controlled grazed zones. Controlled grazing management enhanced species relative abundance and led to less loss of POC but emitted more N2O-N and CO2-C fluxes, unlike continuous grazing. Controlled grazing should be used to increase species relative abundance and composition and reduce further loss of POC fraction. Destocking should be carried out under continuous grazing management to curb further loss of vegetation cover and enable vegetation to recover from intensive grazing. Grazing activity should be only in the bottomlands to avoid the further decrease of POC in mid-slope and foot slope which recorded less POC content.

Keywords: grazing management, lands cover types, greenhouse gas emissions, topographical positions, particulate organic carbon,

 

Important Links

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Prof.Richard N. Onwonga

Dr. Judith S. Mbau

Dr. Stephen M. Mureithi