Bio

Prof. Moses M. Nyangito Bio Data

Prof. Moses M. Nyangito is an Assoc. Professor, Dept of Land Resources Mgt and Agric. Technology Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi  have over 15 years successful experience in providing expertise in Animal Resource Ecology and Rangeland Management, and Agricultural related sectors for sustainable development and Training at University level. I am a self-driven, dynamic, and results-oriented expert with high aptitude for performance.

Publications


2014

F, O, Nyangito MM, Wasonga OV, P. O.  2014.  Trend Analysis of Rainfall and Temperature Variability in Arid Environment of Turkan, Kenya. Environ. Environ. Res. J. . 8(2):30-43.

2013

Debela, Hunde Feyssa; Njoka, ZA; NJT; MM.  2013.  Zizphus spina-christi (L.) desf. in semi-arid Ethiopia: Implications for food security. Abstract

Quantitative ethnobotanical study of Ziziphus spina-christi was undertaken in six areas of east Shewa, Ethiopia. Both structured questionnaire and focus-group interviews were conducted with about 200 households. Arable land cultivation, and increased frequencies of drought are reducing areas under Z. spina-christi. The multi-purpose tree is highly nutritious, helps main soil fertility, and is an important source of income in the region. Research and policy support are needed to exploit the potential of this agroforestry tree species.

Judith Mbau, Nyangito M, Gachene C.  2013.  2013. Land use and land cover changes analysis: Linking local communities to land use and land cover changes using participatory geographic information systems (PGIS).. : Lambert Academic Publishers. Abstract

Land use and land cover changes are important processes that influence the dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts. Effective management of human-wildlife conflicts requires the participation of local communities and other stakeholders. However, local communities need to identify and understand resource use change and their role in the process, so as to facilitate uptake of appropriate land resource management strategies aimed at counteracting human-wildlife conflicts. Approaches aimed at changing local community behavior towards natural resource use require appropriate technologies that bridge the technology and knowledge gaps between policy makers and local communities. PGIS was used to assess and educate local communities on land use and land cover changes as well as visualize the problems associated with resource changes. Local communities were found to be significantly knowledgeable about resource changes and their causes. PGIS compared well to conventional GIS analysis and therefore an appropriate technology for analysing and monitoring landuse and land cover changes.

2012

Ndathi, AJN, Nyangito MM, Musimba NKR, Mitaru BN.  2012.  Farmers’ preference and nutritive value of selected indigenous plant feed materials for cattle in drylands of south-eastern Kenya. Livestock Research for Rural Development . 24 ((2) ) Abstract

This study was undertaken in the drylands of southeastern Kenya to identify and rank important indigenous plant feed materials for cattle. Through the use of a structured questionnaire administered at the household level, farmers were asked to identify and rank the plant feed materials. The households were selected through systematic sampling along road transects in three agroecological zones namely LM4, LM5 and IL5. Samples of edible plant parts of top ranked feed materials were collected and nutritional analysis done at University of Nairobi, Department of animal production nutrition laboratory. Farmers’ preference, nutritional value rankings and climate variability were used to give the final ranking of the feed plant materials.

The top ranked grass species were Cynodon plectostachys and Eragrostis superba. Other grass species included Cenchrus ciliaris and Panicum maximum. Among the browse species, Combretum exalatum and Duosperma kilimandscharicum were the top ranked species. However, Acacia tortilis, Melia volkensii and Combretum apiculatum were also valuable browse plant species in the study area. The most important crop residues were from maize, pigeon peas and cow peas. However, maize stover may not be reliable especially with increasing aridity and hence more drought resistant cereal crops such as sorghum and millets should be promoted.

Key words: degradation, grasses, indigenous, Kibwezi, legumes, shrubs, trees

o. c. Ghibingal, Musimba NRK, Nyangito MM, Simbay J, Daural MT.  2012.  Climate variability; enhancing adaptive utilization of browse trees for improved livestock production among agro-pastoralists communities in Southern Zambia. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 6((7)):267-274. Abstract

Agro-pastoralists whose sources of livelihood depend on rain-fed agriculture are very vulnerable to
ecological disturbance due to increasing climate variability. They are unable to adequately feed their
animals in times of extreme weather conditions of floods and droughts thereby causing a disruption in
their maior source of (rve(ihood. fhfs study ana$zed (he feedrng s(ra(egies empfoyed by agropastoralists
in Southern Zambla and important browse species used in extreme weather conditions, in
order to improve their utilization for improved livestock production. The major feeding strategies during
droughts include browse utilization, dambo grazing, grazing along streams and supplementary feeding.
While during floods, upland grazing and browse grazing were the main strategies. However, most of the
agro-pastoralists do not practice pasture management and fodder conservation for their animals. Of the
21 lree browse species identified by the agro-pastoralists, 18 species were found to be important during
droughts and 8 during floods. Most of the agro-pastoralists neither knew how to plant these browse
species nor how to manage them for befter and sustainable use in feeding their animals. Therefore, the
agro-pastoralists in the study area need to take up management and feed conservation measures for
their animals. Deliberate effort should be made to teach the agro-pastoralists how to plant and manage
the important browse species that are suitable in extreme weather conditions. This will enhance
productive use of the browse species for improved animal feeding to ensure food security among the
pastoralists.

Key words: Extreme weather conditions, adaption, browse species, Agro-pastoralists.

Ndathi, AJN, Nyangito MM, Musimba NKR, Mitaru BN.  2012.  Smallholder farmers’ feed material conservation strategies in the tropical dry-lands of South-eastern Kenya. Livestock Research for Rural Development . 24 ((6)) Abstract

Availability of feed is the major constraint to livestock production in the drylands of southeastern Kenya. In an effort to address this problem, this study was carried out to identify and rank feed material conservation strategies being used by the Kamba agro-pastoralists inhabiting this region. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to household heads of households selected using agro-ecological zones and systematic sampling using the road transect method. Ranking was done using the pairwise method while data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

Feed conservation strategies identified being used in the study area were leaving the feed standing in the field, harvesting and placing the feed on tree branches or putting in an open wooden rack, roofed wooden rack or a granary. The granary was ranked the most effective structures followed by the tree branches, the roofed wooden racks and lastly the open wooden racks. However, a granary could only store small amounts of feed material hence the roofed wooden rack was more popular.

Key words: Dry season, feed conservation, structures, ranking

2011

Mogotsi, K, Nyangito MM, Nyariki DM.  2011.  The perfect drought? Constraints limiting Kalahari agro-pastoral communities from coping and adapting African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 5(3):168-177. Abstract

Rural Kalahari agro-pastoral communities of Southern Africa have been exposed to drought shocks throughout history and have adapted their livelihoods accordingly. Yet, drought continues to disrupt or threaten to disrupt their production systems. With semi arid Botswana as a case study, this paper hence sought to unearth the factors limiting agro-pastoral communities from adequately coping and adapting to drought. Low rainfall, which is also highly variable, coupled with relatively low soil fertility status make subsistence livestock keeping and crop cultivation risky. This marginal agricultural potential of the land is further compounded by other constraints. Some of the major constraints included persistence of droughts, limited diversification options outside agriculture, inadequate and poor quality drinking water (high salinity) for livestock, crop damage by wild animals as well as the current land tenure system which curtails the traditional response of livestock mobility during drought. All these factors may act solely or in combination to render rural communities vulnerable during droughts. It is therefore recommended that effective interventions be tailored to local conditions to enhance resilience among Kalahari’s rural population.

Key words: Adaptation, Botswana, coping, drought, variability, vulnerability.

Feyssa, DH, Njoka JT, Asfaw Z, Nyangito MM.  2011.  Neutraceutal Wild Plants of SemiArid East Shewa, Ethiopia: Contributions to Food and Healthcare Security of the Semiarid People. Research Journal of Forestry. 5 (1):1-16. Abstract

Ethnobotanical study was conducted in six study sites of semi arid east Shewa, Ethiopia. The study has aimed to identify key nutraceutical wild plants and documents associated indigenous knowledge. It also analyzed local use and management practices and implications to food and health security of people living in semi arid areas. Data was obtained ethnobotanically by field observations, focus group discussions and interviews. Qualitatively data were described by narrating and quantitatively summarized in tables, percentages and ranking matrixs. Twenty nutraceutical plants were identified; 35% shrubs, 6% trees and 5% liana for human food, livestock feed and medicine. Transhumant pastoralists used (95%) nutraceuticals and settled farmers (65%). Twenty nutraceutical wild plants were used to treat 11(55%) human and 9(45%) livestock ailments/ health problems. There are a good number of nutraceutical plants which can be used for nutrition and healthcare system of semiarid people. Transhumant pastoralists were more intimate with nature and more knowledgeable. Hence, they adapt to climate change by using locally available nutraceuticals for themselves and their livestock. Climate change adaptation strategies can be built on this indigenous knowledge for sustainable use of nutracuticals for nutrition and health security.

Mugerwa, S, Nyangito M, Nderitu J, Bakuneta C, Mpairwe D, Zziwa E.  2011.  Farmers’ ethno-ecological knowledge of the termite problem in semi-arid Nakasongola. African Journal of Agricultural Research . 6 (13):3183-3191. Abstract

nfestation and destruction of rangeland vegetation by subterranean termites is a major constraint to livestock production in the rangelands of Uganda, particularly, in semi-arid Nakasongola. Ethno-ecological studies on termite dynamics are central to formulation of sustainable termite management strategies in such ecosystems. This study was thus conducted to investigate farmers’ traditional ecological knowledge of the termite problem with the intent to build more coherent principles required in the development of appropriate termite management strategies. Focus group discussions and individual interviews were conducted to capture information on farmers’ ethno-ecological knowledge of the factors enhancing termite damage on vegetation, temporal and spatial variability of damage and diversity of termite species in the Nakasongola ecosystem. Kruskal–Wallis test showed that there was a significant difference (X2=451.5, P>0.0001) among farmers’ ranking of factors responsible for the destructive behavior of termites on rangeland vegetation. Overgrazing and deforestation ware ranked significantly higher (X2=156, P>0.0001) than other factors. Eight species were identified and the species belonged to one family (Termitidae) and two sub-families (Macrotermitinae and Termitinae). The study provided basic information about farmers’ knowledge of the biology and ecology that could aid the development of sustainable and socially acceptable termite control strategies.

Key words: Grazing-lands, diversity, termite-damage.

Mganga1, KZ, Nyariki DM, Nyangito MM, 2 WEN, Muiru WM, Musimba NKR, Agnes M’ombeW.  2011.  Different land use types in the semi-arid rangelands of Kenya influence soil properties. Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management . 2(11):370–374. Abstract

Rangelands in semi-arid Kenya have recently witnessed extensive land use changes. These changes can mainly be attributed to increased livestock populations and the response of the increased human population to both local and exogenous opportunities and constraints. This study was carried out in Kibwezi district of Kenya mainly inhabited by agro-pastoralists. The main objective of this study was to establish how different land use types influence soil properties in tropical semi-arid rangelands. Disturbed and undisturbed soil samples from three land use types namely cultivated land (CL), grazing land (GL) and fallow land (FL) at a depth of 15-30cm were collected and analyzed using standard laboratories for soil nutrients and soil physical properties. Results show open grazing lands (CEC 19.59 meq/100g) to be more fertile than cultivated (13.88 meq/100g) and fallow (6.40 meq/100g) lands. This was attributed to the continuous dropping of faecal material by grazing livestock. Higher bulk density in grazing land (1.36 g/cm3) compared to cultivated and fallow lands with 1.29 g/cm3 and 1.33 g/cm3 was attributed to the hoof action of livestock. These results suggest that different land use types in the semi-arid rangelands contribute immensely to soil properties.

Key words: Bulk density, cation exchange capacity (CEC), drylands, grazing lands, Kibwezi district, livestock.

  2011.  Effect of biotic and abiotic factors on composition and foraging intensity of subterranean termites. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology . 5(8):579-588. Abstract

Elucidating the influence of ecological factors on composition and foraging intensity of subterranean
termites is critical in development of sustainable termite management strategies. Our aim was therefore
to analyze the effect of selected biotic and abiotic factors on composition and foraging intensity of
termites. We used principal component and canonical correspondence analysis to select appropriate
factors and to model relationships respectively. Macrotermes species occurred in sites where the
quantity of litter was generally above the mean. However, Macrotermes herus (Rambur) and
Macrotermes spp.4 occurred in sites where the litter quantity was below the mean. Trinervitermes
oeconomous (Tragardh) and Odontoremes spp.1 were noted to occur in the direction of increasing
quantity of biomass. Generally, most species occurred in sites where soil pH was above or slightly
below the mean (4.8). Majority of the species were also noted to occur in sites where bulk density was
below or slightly above the mean (1.55 g/cm3). Highest bait consumption (95%) occurred within a range
of 55 to 60% basal cover beyond which the amount of bait consumed reduced. Litter and biomass
quantity, pH and bulk density were noted as the most influential environmental variables determining
composition of termites while basal cover was the major determinant of foraging intensity.
Key words: Rangelands, Macrotermes, rangelands, vegetation, litter, biomass, basal-cover

A J N Ndathi, Nyangito MM, Musimba NKR, Mitaru BN.  2011.  Enhancing output oriented livestock improvement strategies in drylands of Kenya. Livestock Research for Rural Development . 23 ((6) ) Abstract

Farmers in the drylands practice mixed crop and livestock production systems. Both production systems have mutual relationships and understanding of target outputs in each system is important. With increasing demand for livestock products, livestock production is expected to be the major driving enterprise during a predicted food revolution. Targeting the most valued livestock species and the premium products or services from that species will improve the farmers’ interest and adoption of recommended technologies. In this cross sectional survey carried out in Kibwezi District, Kenya, this research team aimed at identifying the most valued livestock species and the premium products or services targeted. Systematic sampling method using road transects was used to select farmers to be involved in the survey. The pair wise ranking method was used in importance ranking during the survey and a focused group discussion held to discuss the survey results.

The farmers’ importance ranking of the livestock species was topped by the goat followed by chicken, cattle and sheep. Draft power was ranked most important followed by beef, milk and lastly manure. To produce the top ranked product (draft power) the most valued livestock age/sex class is the entire bulls followed by the heifers, mature females, castrates and lastly the calves. Therefore, to improve livestock production in Kibwezi District, we recommend that farmers focus on improving the performance of entire bulls for draft power and mature females for milk production.

Keywords: Cattle, draft power, livestock products, milk, mixed production systems

Ndathi, AJN, MNM, Musimba NKR, Mitaru BN.  2011.  Climate variability and dry season ruminant livestock feeding strategies in Southeastern Kenya. Livestock Research for Rural Development . 23(9) Abstract

Availability of feeds for livestock production is a major constraint to livestock production in drylands of Kenya. This study was conducted to generate information on the climate of the semi-arid lands of Southeastern Kenya and the livestock keepers’ dry seasons feed provision strategies. Information on climate was generated through analysis of long-term and short-term rainfall and temperature data. The dry seasons’ livestock feed provision strategies were generated through a household survey using a questionnaire.

Livestock keepers have a period of 6 months to grow and harvest feeds to bridge a5 months feed shortage gap. Long-term rainfall amounts showed irregular peaks and troughs and seem to have a stable mean over the years. However, even with the troughs and peaks, the temperatures seem to be increasing. This means that moisture available for feed production may be decreasing. Buying of feeds and using on-farm conserved feeds were the most commonly used feed provision strategies during the dry seasons. However, these strategies were constrained by lack of money, availability of the feeds to buy, inadequate space for conservation and rotting of the conserved feeds.

Key word: constraints, feed conservation, droughts, drylands

Mogotsi, K, Nyangito MM, Nyariki DM.  2011.  Drought Management Strategies among Agro-Pastoral Communities in Non-Equilibrium Kalahari Ecosystems. Environmental Research Joumal. . 5 ((4)):156-162. Abstract

Rural Kalahari communities whose livelihoods are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture are
exposed to increasing intensity and frequency of drought spells. Subsequently their resilience is gradually
being eroded and they are left increasingly vulnerable. This study unearths and higtrlights the myriad measures
employedby small scale agro-pastoralists to cope with and adapt to droughts. Such strategies include enrolling
in the govemment's Labour Intersive Public Works Programme, harvesting larvae of Imbrasia belina
(Westwood) moth for corsurnption and/or sale, supplementary feeding of livestock, providing water for
livestock and selling part of the livestock herd while some households moved livestock to better graz:rrg areas
within the commtmal area and sor:ght altemative sources of income or-rtside agriculture. This fluidity and
flexibility is necessary to manage the often harsh and unpredictable environment commr:nities operate under.
But more importantly, some of these currently used measures could be enhanced to buffer Kalahari
agro-pastoralists from anticipated future dry spells in the Southern African region.

Key words: Adaptation Botswana. coping, drought, Kalahari, semi-arid, strategies

Mugerwa, S, Nyangito M, Mpairwe D, Bakuneeta C, Nderitul J, Zziwal E.  2011.  Termite assemblage structure on Grazing lands in Semi-arid Nakasongola. Agriculture and biology journal of North America. . 2((5): ):848-859.. Abstract

Termites are regarded as the primary cause of vegetation denudation in semi-arid
Nakasongola, Uganda. Despite their damage to ecosystem functioning, there have been
little efforts devoted to the description of the termite assemblage structure in the area.
The study therefore intended to describe the termite assem5lage structure with the
intension to develop sustainable termite management strategies. ihe survey yielded 16
termite spectes from eight genera, three sub-families and one family. Speciei from the
sub-family Macrotermitinae constituted 69% of the total number of species sampled.
Members from the genus Macrotermes were the dominant species and constituted 38%
of the total number of species sampled. The assemblage comprised of two feeding
groups namely Group ll and Group lV, with most of the species belonging to Group li
Most of the species were noted to nest in epigeal and hypogeal nests *itf, a few species
nesting in wood. Vegetation cover categories were noted to influence species richness.
Highest species richness (14 species) occurred in sparse vegetation category followed by
dense category (1'1) and the least (B species) occurring on bare ground. The termite
assemblage of Nakasongola was dominated by Macrotermes species which largely
forage on litter and nest in epigeal mounds.

Keywords: Composition, Diversity, Feeding_group, Nesting-sites

Feyssa, DH, Njoka JT, Asfaw Z, Nyangito MM.  2011.  Seasonal availability and consumption of wild edible plants in semiarid Ethiopia: Implications to food security and climate change adaptation. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry. 3(5):138–149. Abstract

Quantitative ethnoecological analysis of seasonal availability and implication to food security of wild edible plants (WEPs) was conducted in Boosat and Fantalle districts of semiarid east Shewa, Ethiopia from October, 2009 to September, 2010. Semistructured interview, focus group discussions, key informants discussions, seasonal record of fruits abundance were used to collected data on gathering and consumption of WEPs to cope with food shortage and adapt to climate change. Collected data was summarised into frequency tables, graph and qualitatively described under each subtopic. Thirty seven WEPs were identified for use as human food, and livestock feed and other multipurpose uses. About 24.3 % of WEPs were locally marketed, 75.7% were not marketed. All wild fruits were not included in official production system in the study area. It has indicated the underutilized existing potential of WEPs. Wild edible plants were preferred by local people of the study area not only for their food value, but also for their availability during dry seasons and shortage of food, potential for dryland agrobiodiversity and multipurpose to human wellbeing, livestock and environmental services they provide. Pairwise ranking by key informants was in agreement with direct matrices ranking for multiple uses of WEPs. The pairwise ranking, market survey and participant observations, community preference has confirmed the real potential of top seven priority WEPs species for dryland agrobiodiversity and agroforestry. Hence, these WEPs can be potential for dryland agrobiodiversity and agroforestry, to enhance people’s livelihoods in semiarid areas. This result can shed light on further research and promotion work on WEPs utilization and management.

Key words: Wild, edible plants, seasonal, availability, food security, use, management.

2010

Ndathi, AJN;, Nyangito, M.M.;, simba NKR;, Mitaru. NB.  2010.  Farmers preferences of livestock and livestock products in drylands of Kenya..
Mganga, KZ, Musimba NKR, Nyangito MM, Nyariki DM, Mwangombe AW, Ekaya WN, Muiru WM, Clavel D, Francis J, von Kaufmann R, Verhagen J.  2010.  The Role of Moisture in the Successful Rehabilitation of Denuded Patches of a Semi-Arid Environment in Kenya. Journal of environmental Science and technology . 3(4):195-207. Abstract

This study investigated the role of moisture in the successful rehabilitation of denuded patches in semi-arid lands of Kenya and the primary productivity of three perennial rangelands grasses namely Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail), Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye) and Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) at three phenological stages (early growth, elongation and reproduction) as pure stands and two-grass mixtures. The grasses were sown on either rainfed (Sites 1 and 2) or simulated rainfall conditions (site 3). Site preparation in all the 3 sites involved mechanical bush clearing, use of fire and creation of micro-catchments using an ox-drawn plough. Soils in site 3 were sandy clay loams and those in sites 1 and 2 were sandy clays. There was total failure in establishment sites 1 and 2 under natural rainfall. Site 3 had good germination and subsequent establishment. These results were attributed to the moisture conditions in the three sites. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in primary production of the three grasses at the different phenological stages. Cenchrus ciliaris was the most productive among the three grasses at the reproduction stage. Eragrostis superba and Enteropogon macrostachyus were ranked second and third respectively. Enteropogon macrostachyus was more prolific at the early growth stages. Results from this study strongly suggest that moisture is the most important ecological factor necessary for successful rehabilitation of denuded patches in semi-arid environments of Kenya and that differences in primary production among the three grass species can be attributed to their growth, morphological and physiological characteristics and competitive advantage.

K.Z. Mganga, Musimba NKR, Nyangito MM, Nyariki DM, Mwang`ombe AW.  2010.  Improving Hydrological Responses of Degraded Soils in Semi Arid Kenya. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology . 3(4):217-225. Abstract

A study was conducted to establish the contribution of reseeding using indigenous perennial grasses; Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass), Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye) and Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass) in improving soil hydrological properties and thus controlling soil erosion in the degraded areas of Kibwezi district, Kenya. The experiment was carried out using simulated rainfall, Kamphorst simulator, on bare ground and at different grass stubble heights. The experimental plots were set up under sprinkler irrigation controlled conditions to ensure availability of sufficient moisture for seed germination and subsequent establishment. Results showed that sediment production as a function of runoff and infiltration capacity was significantly different (p<0.05) at different grass stubble heights. Cenchrus ciliaris had the greatest influence on improving soil hydrological properties. Enteropogon macrostachyus and Eragrostis superba were ranked second and third, respectively. This was attributed to the growth characteristics of the perennial grasses. Generally, an increase in grass height increased infiltration capacity, reduced runoff and sediment production.

Mganga, KZ, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM, Nyangito MM, Mwang’ombe AW, Ekaya WN, Clavel D, Francis J, von Kaufmann R, Verhagen J, Muiru WM.  2010.  Dry matter yields and hydrological properties of three perennial grasses of a semi-arid environment in East Africa. Abstract

Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye), Cenchrus ciliaris L. (African foxtail grass) and Eragrostis superba Peyr (Maasai love grass) are important perennial rangeland grasses in Kenya. They provide an important source of forage for domestic livestock and wild ungulates. These grasses have been used extensively to rehabilitate denuded patches in semi-arid environment of Kenya. This study investigated the dry matter yields and hydrological properties of the three grasses under simulated rainfall at three phenological stages; early growth, elongation and reproduction. Laboratory seed viability tests were also done. Hydrological properties of the three grasses were estimated using a Kamphorst rainfall simulator. Results showed that there was a significant difference (p > 0.05) in dry matter yields and soil hydrological properties at the different grass phenological stages. Generally, all the three grasses improved the soil hydrological properties with an increase in grass stubble height. C. ciliaris gave the best soil hydrological properties followed by E. macrostachyus and E. superba, respectively. E. macrostachyus recorded the highest seed viability percentage. C. ciliaris and E. superba were ranked second and third, respectively. C. ciliaris yielded the highest biomass production at the reproductive stage followed by E. superba and E. macrostachyus, respectively.

Key words: Cenchrus ciliaris, Enteropogon macrostachyus, Eragrostis superba, rangeland

Mganga, KZ, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM, Nyangito MM, Mwang’ombe AW, Ekaya WN, Clavel D, Francis J, von Kaufmann R, Verhagen J, Muiru WM.  2010.  Dry matter yields and hydrological properties of three perennial grasses of a semi-arid environment in East Africa. African Journal of Plant Science. 5(4):135–141. Abstract

Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye), Cenchrus ciliaris L. (African foxtail grass) and Eragrostis superba Peyr (Maasai love grass) are important perennial rangeland grasses in Kenya. They provide an important source of forage for domestic livestock and wild ungulates. These grasses have been used extensively to rehabilitate denuded patches in semi-arid environment of Kenya. This study investigated the dry matter yields and hydrological properties of the three grasses under simulated rainfall at three phenological stages; early growth, elongation and reproduction. Laboratory seed viability tests were also done. Hydrological properties of the three grasses were estimated using a Kamphorst rainfall simulator. Results showed that there was a significant difference (p > 0.05) in dry matter yields and soil hydrological properties at the different grass phenological stages. Generally, all the three grasses improved the soil hydrological properties with an increase in grass stubble height. C. ciliaris gave the best soil hydrological properties followed by E. macrostachyus and E. superba, respectively. E. macrostachyus recorded the highest seed viability percentage. C. ciliaris and E. superba were ranked second and third, respectively. C. ciliaris yielded the highest biomass production at the reproductive stage followed by E. superba and E. macrostachyus, respectively.

Key words: Cenchrus ciliaris, Enteropogon macrostachyus, Eragrostis superba, rangeland.

Mganga, KZ, Nyangito MM, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM, Mwangombe AW, Ekaya WN, Muiru WM, Daniele Clavel4, Francis J, von Kaufmann R, Verhagen J.  2010.  The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid environment in Kenya. African Journal of Environmental Science & Technology . 4(7):430-466. Abstract

Land degradation is a major problem in the semi-arid environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. Fighting land degradation is essential to ensure the sustainable and long-term productivity of the habited semi-arid lands. In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However, despite the use of locally adapted perennial grass species namely Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye) failure still abound. Therefore, more land is still being degraded. The aim of this study was to determine the main factors which contribute to failures in rehabilitating denuded patches in semi-arid lands of Kenya. A questionnaire was administered to capture farmer perceptions on failures on rangeland rehabilitation using grass reseeding technology. Rainfall data was collected during the study period. Moreover, rehabilitation trials using the three grasses were done under natural rainfall. Results from this study show that climatic factors mainly low amounts of rainfall to be the main contributor to rehabilitation failures. 92% of the respondents asserted that reseeding fails because of low rainfall amounts received in the area. The study area received a total of 324 mm of rainfall which was low compared to the average annual mean of 600mm. Reseeded trial plots also failed to establish due to the low amounts of rainfall received. This showed how low rainfall is unreliable for reseeding. Other factors namely destruction by the grazing animals, pests and rodents, flush floods, poor sowing time, poor seed quality, lack of enough seed and weeds also contribute to rehabilitation failures in semi-arid lands of Kenya.

Key words: Land degradation, grass reseeding, rehabilitation failures, low rainfall.

2009

Nyangito, MM, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM.  2009.  Seasonal energy extraction patterns by agropastoral herds in semiarid south-eastern Kenya. Abstract

primary energy extraction patterns by livestock under agropastoralism anci ranching were investigated by the bite count method in semiarid south-eastern Kenya. Sward biomass for optimal energy intake by cattle was derived using intake-digestibility constraint curves and realized livestock productivity from the systems compared. Cattle and sheep, and goats primarily consumed herbaceous and woody plants, respectively. Enteropogon macrostachyus and Panicum maximum, E. macrostachyus and Blepharis integrifolia, and Combretum exalatum and Duosperma kilimandscharica accounted for 33.5% and 9.9%, 16.6% and 10'3%, and 11.7"k and 10.7% ot cattle, sheep and goats total energy intake, respectively. cattle optimised energy intake at 370-6'1ogma of sward biomass and 55.5-64.3% organic matter digestibility. Panicum maximum yielded the highest optimal sward biomass. The energy expenditure of the animals was generally lower under agropastoralism across seasons. During the dry season, more animals (33-50%) lost weight under ranching. Agropastoralism was an efficient system as animals were moved across quality grazing microenvironments that minimised feeding costs and enhanced energy intake. Therefore, mobile grazing strategies, plant diversity and complementary trophic interactions stabilise energy extraction patterns and enhance Iivestock productivity under agropastoralism. However, human activities that affect plant diversity and mobility will undermine sustainable livestock production in such environments.

Nyangito, MM, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM.  2009.  Hydrologic properties of grazed perennial swards in semiarid southeastern Kenya. African Journal of Environmental Science & Technology . 3 (2):26–33. Abstract

Identification of plant resources that persist under grazing pressure, support desirable levels of production and at the same time protect the grazing environment is central to sustainable livestock production. This study assessed the infiltration capacity and soil loss associated with perennial swards subjected to different levels of utilization using simulated rainfall. The hypothesis was tested that grazed perennial swards have similar hydrologic properties and threshold removal levels below which runoff increases markedly. Infiltration capacity for the perennial swards increased with increasing stubble height before leveling off towards the highest stubble height. A 50% removal of current growth was the upper limit above which runoffs from the swards increased rapidly. Aggregate stability, organic carbon and percent ground plant cover were the most significant attributes that influenced infiltration capacity. Panicum maximum and Enteropogon macrostachyus were the most suitable perennial swards with favourable soil physical properties and infiltration capacities in the study area. The results support the existence of a threshold level of sward stubble height for minimizing runoff.

Key words: Perennial swards, water infiltration capacity, runoff thresholds.

2008

Nyangito, MM, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM.  2008.  Range Use and Trophic Interactions by Agropastoral Herds in Southeastern Kenya. J. Hum. Ecol. 23(2):115-123. Abstract

Habitat utilization patterns and feeding interaction of free ranging agropastoral herds
were investigated in two cycles of four consecutive grazing periods, in a semiarid environment,
southeastern Kenya. The bites count and herd locations per area methods were used. During the dry
season, areas of concentrated drainage; river valleys, bottomlands and ephemeral drainage ways
absorbed a greater feeding load, taking 57.1 to 60% of the grazing time by the animals. In contrast,
areas of limited moisture concentration, the open sandy/clay plains, were mainly exploited in the wet
season and accounted for 52.6 to 55.6% of the grazing time. The trophic interaction patterns indicated
that goats and cattle had a seasonal mean diet overlap index of less than 0.5 for all forage classes.
Sheep and cattle, and sheep and goats had a seasonal mean diet overlap index of greater than 0.5 on
grass and forbs, and browse and forbs, respectively. This indicated that during periods of resource
scarcity, sheep and cattle or sheep and goats could become competitive feeders for same feed resources.
Grazing management strategies aimed at even distribution of grazing pressure and enhancing
complementary trophic interactions could be central to sustainable livestock production in such
environments.
KEYWORDS
Agropastoralists. Range Use. Animal Trophic Interactions

Nyangito, MM, Musimba NKR, Nyariki DM.  2008.  Range Use and Trophic Interactions by Agropastoral Herds in Southeastern Kenya. J. Hum. Ecol. 23(2):115-123.
Nyangito, MM, Nyariki DM, Nyariki DM.  2008.  Range use and dynamics in the agropastoral system of southeastern Kenya. African Journal of Environmental Science & Technology . 2( (8)):222–230. Abstract

Occurrence of equilibrium and non equilibrium system dynamics in semiarid environments present serious management challenges. In these areas, resource management strategies are increasingly based on equilibrium rather than non equilibrium dynamics that assume simple system dynamics and strong coupling of animal-plant responses. This management approach underlies increasing trends of range degradation and low livestock productivity in these environments. To reverse these trends dictates greater understanding and alignment of grazing resource extraction strategies in space and time to prevailing system dynamics behaviour. In this study, range use patterns by free ranging herds under agropastoral herding were studied in two cycles of four consecutive grazing periods, in semiarid southeastern Kenya. The bites count and herd locations per area methods were used. While grazing thresholds in the system were derived from biweekly sward biomass measured by the quadrant technique in the growing period and stocking rates applied to a growth-consumption rate model. The analysis tested the responsiveness of the agropastoral herding strategies to the predominant system dynamics in the area. In this environment, high rainfall variability ranging from 71 to 98% is experienced across years and seasons, pointing to non-equilibrium dynamics in the system. The agropastoralists practiced seasonal range use and tracking strategies. During the dry season, areas of concentrated drainage; river valleys, bottomlands and ephemeral drainage ways absorbed a greater grazing load, taking 57.1 to 60% of the grazing time by the animals. In contrast, areas of limited moisture concentration, the open sandy/clay plains, were mainly exploited in the wet season and accounted for 52.6 to 55.6% of the grazing time. The agropastoralists tracked forage availability through use of multispecies livestock (cattle, goats and sheep) that exploited different grazing resources in space and time. These range use patterns and strategies tend to stabilize nutrient and energy flow to livestock and thus productivity throughout the seasons. Based on the growth-consumption rate model, grazing thresholds in the system are achieved at 13800, 13000, 4000 and 12300, 4600 and 12000, and 5600 and 11000 kgha-1 of grass biomass at, 2.5, 5, 7, 8 and 10 TLUha-1, respectively. 7 TLUha-1 represent the upper stocking rate limit in the system during the growing period. In this system, resource use strategies are in line with the predominantly non-equilibrium system behaviour. However, sedentary land use interventions and limiting farm sizes that restrict livestock mobility and negatively affect grazing resource diversity will undermine system stability and sustainable livestock production in the area.

Key words: Agropastoralists, range use, system dynamics.

2007

2006

Huong, LQ, Reinhard F, Padungtod P, Hanh TT, Kyule MN, Baumann MPO, Zessin KH.  2006.  Prevalence of Salmonella in Retail Chicken Meat in Hanoi, Vietnam. Abstract

Infection with Salmonella (S.) is the most frequently reported cause of bacterial food-borne illness worldwide. Poultry are a common source and, in recent years, much attention has been focused in determining the prevalence of Salmonella during the different stages in the poultry production chain. This article was designed to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella serovars in retail chicken meat sold in Hanoi. A total of 262 samples were randomly collected from retail markets and examined for the presence of Salmonella. Of these samples, 48.9% were found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Predominant serotypes were S. Agona, S. Emek, S. London. The prevalence of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium was considered. These findings have highlighted the magnitude of Salmonella contamination in retail chicken meat in Hanoi. On the basis of these preliminary survey results, it is recommended that a cost-effective monitoring and surveillance system for Salmonella should be established in Hanoi. This system should be augmented by good agricultural and hygienic practices and well-designed longitudinal research activities on the whole poultry production chain.

Hjort af Ornäs, A, Bich PT, Musimba N;, Nashon; Nyangito M.  2006.  Agri-SMEs in action. Lessons for the entrepreneurial poor..

2005

2002

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