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Title: The Role of Social Learning in Linking Knowledge and Practice for Rehabilitation of Degraded Drylands in Njemps Flats, Baringo County, Kenya
Authors: Karaya, Rebecca Njoki
Keywords: Degraded Drylands in Njemps Flats
Issue Date: May-2021
Abstract: Land degradation is a major cause of decreasing yields and loss of dryland ecosystems resilience in the Kenyan drylands. One of the solutions to land degradation is the application of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) technologies. However, adoption of SLM practices in Kenyan drylands is low. This study sought to enhance adoption of SLM practices by improving farmers capacity through social learning in a Community of Practice (CoP). The study employed Participatory Action Research (PAR) design. Systematic random sampling was used to select 150 household heads from Il Chamus and Mukutani Wards in Baringo South Sub-County for the baseline survey. Five key informants were interviewed and two focus group discussions held. Thirty-five farmers from Il Chamus Ward were invited to voluntarily form a farmer’s group for social learning on SLM practices. Data was collected using validated and reliability tested (Cronbach Alpha coefficient of 0.78) structured questionnaires, checklists and topic guides. Categorical, Simple and Multiple Linear Regressions were used to analyze quantitive data for making inferences. The farmers identified both natural and anthropogenic causes of land degradation and registered concern over continued land degradation. Diversification, extensification and adoption of SLM practices were some of the coping strategies used against land degradation. The study revealed significant and positive association between adoption of SLM practices and household head’s level of education, household annual income, level of extension access and participation in farmer groups at R2= 60.8, F (16,133) =13.429, p<.000). Social learning was influenced by level of participation in CoP activities (p<0.00) and formal education (p=0.040). Social learning was found to influence farmers’ SLM pracices adoption behavior at R2=53, F (1,33) = 37.3, p< 0.000. The study concluded that social learning in CoPs comprising of farmers, research and extension can be used to leverage the benefits derived from such linkages to help farmers deal with land degradation challenges. Based on the results, the researcher recommends that development agencies promote participatory research and social learning with farmer groups as CoPs to enable generation of context and location specific SLM practices in addition to building farmers competencies in their adoption. County government of Baringo should target farmer groups for capacity building and also for scaling-up success cases like the Melita group enclosure to different Wards in the County.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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