UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF WILDLIFE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION MITIGATION STRATEGIES IN INFLUENCING THE EXTENT OF HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT: A CASE OF SMALLHOLDER AGRO-PASTORALISTS IN LAIKIPIA COUNTY, KENYA
The agriculture sector is critical in the achievement of food security and also important for income generation, employment creation, and provision of raw materials for agro-based industries, economic growth and poverty reduction. This is especially for smallholder farmers, most of who live in rural areas, especially in Sub Saharan African countries such as Kenya. Rangelands occupy 34% of the world’s landscape, 70% of the total landmass in the horn of Africa and 80% in Kenya. Rangelands are mostly occupied by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists besides being used for wildlife conservation. The interaction between humans and wildlife results in human-wildlife conflict which is one of the major problems experienced by farmers in rangelands such as in Laikipia County. Data were collected through document review. Study findings established that despite agricultural extension promoting human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies, human-wildlife conflict is still being experienced among smallholder agro-pastoralists in Laikipia County. Additionally, limited information had been documented on the agricultural extension mitigation strategies used, their effectiveness and sustainability among smallholder agro-pastoralists. It was therefore concluded that despite agricultural extension having the potential for mitigating against human-wildlife conflict, this potential has not been exploited. Consequently, human-wildlife conflict is still being experienced among small-holder agro-pastoralists in Laikipia County. This could be undermining household food security among smallholder agro-pastoralists in Laikipia County. It was therefore recommended that further research be undertaken on factors influencing adoption of human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies promoted by agricultural extension among smallholder agro-pastoralists.
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