Policy Brief - Sustainable land management in Kenya: practices to enhance yields

December 2016
Economics of Land Degradation (ELD)

Food production in Kenya is suffering from low yields, partly due to land and soil degradation caused by poor land management practices. Sustainable land management practices can potentially improve yields, for example, for cereal production. In this research we worked with smallholder farmers in three counties in Western Kenya (Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya) to examine the costs and benefits of different SLM practices that were already being used. This enabled us to identify which practices give quick returns on investments and allowed us to develop recommendations that can be used to inform policy options in cases where SLM benefits take longer to be delivered. Manuring and intercropping deliver universal benefits quickly and can be implemented with minimal initial outlay. Physical terraces and agroforestry take longer to provide benefits, and the yield effects are smaller. Policy recommendations are made that can help bridge the gap between initial investments and receipt of benefits.


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