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Does Reactive Adaptation Exist? Using the Ecosystem Service Governance Approach to Evaluate Post-Drought Rural Food Security in Kenya

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Citation

Wambui Ngaruiya, G. (2014). Does Reactive Adaptation Exist? Using the Ecosystem Service Governance Approach to Evaluate Post-Drought Rural Food Security in Kenya. Natural Resources, 5(8), 392-407. doi:10.4236/nr.2014.58037.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-E45D-C
Abstract
Controversial climate change studies purport that predicted food insecurity and resource scarcity will intensify resource conflicts in developing nations. This belief is based on a prevalent assumption that African agricultural production systems are rigid and that their respective governments lack comprehensive adaptation ability. Therefore, I investigate whether and how effective postdrought adaptation activity is sustaining food production and livelihoods at Loitoktok district in Kenya. This study uses the theoretical three-step ecosystem service governance approach that analyzes both natural resources attributes and relational data. Results confirm a substantial decline in productivity and huge monetary losses in the agricultural sector of Loitoktok following the 2009 drought. Post-drought analysis reveals high diversification in crops and livestock that are drought-tolerant, fast maturing and high income generating such as camels, rabbits and dairy goats, horticultural and fruit production that sustain food security, income and local livelihoods. These reactive adaptation activities originate from an active public-private cooperation that promotes knowledge exchange among Loitoktok stakeholders. This cooperation is also seen in the efficient resource conflict resolution network. In conclusion, rural communities seem to be efficiently adapting to changing environmental conditions but require more financial and technical support from the government. Unfortunately, appraisal of national planned adaptation reveals effort-duplication that may divert much needed adaptation funds from being invested in research projects with multiple benefits to Kenyan food producers.