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Title:Population pressures, environmental degradation and farmers' adaptive strategies in Nakuru District of Kenya
Author(s):Aboud, Abdillahi Abdulkadir
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sofranko, Andrew J.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Agricultural
Sociology, General
Sociology, Demography
Abstract:Despite two decades of government-sponsored efforts to reduce population growth, Kenya's fertility level and rate of natural increase still rank among the highest in the world. As a direct result of population growth, some rural areas, such as those in Nakuru District where this study was centered, are beginning to experience very high population densities.
As productive, arable lands come under increased population pressure they tend to become degraded. This may ultimately translate into lower income and poverty. Under such circumstances, smallholder farmers struggle and adapt in order to survive. Four common adaptive strategies available to farmers in Nakuru District are: (a) to intensify farm production; (b) to conserve the soil; (c) to send off older members of the household (export labor); and (d) to expand the farm.
This research examined the adaptive strategies of farmers in Njoro Division of Nakuru District of Kenya. A major emphasis in the research is on identifying those factors influencing the adoption of alternative adaptive strategies. At issue is whether the adoption of particular adaptive strategies is primarily a function of farmers' experiences and perception of environmental problems, or a function of these social-psychological factors in combination with antecedent conditions representing the characteristics of a farming system. The study was based on structured interviews with 300 farmers.
Data presented in the research supports the following findings: First, population growth in the study area is high, as is the increase in population density. Second, farmers in the study area recognized and expressed beliefs that environmental problems existed, although not the more serious, visible types of problems. Third, farmers' experiences with and perception of environmental problems have an effect on the adoption of the adaptive strategies only through their interaction with other antecedent variables. Fourth, the relative importance of particular explanatory factors varies by adaptive strategy. The introduction of interaction terms into several of the regressions shows that their influence is greater than that of the explanatory factors separately.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Aboud, Abdillahi Abdulkadir
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9305445
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9305445

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