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Socio-economic and livelihood impacts of environmentally supportive bio-enterprise development for the agro-pastoral communities in Samburu heartland, Kenya.

Author: Wren, S A

Awarding University: University of Plymouth, England

Level : PhD

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Samburu, Kenya/Business enterprises/Agriculture/Pastoralism/Arid and semi-arid regions/Entrepreneurship/ ;

Abstract:

The question of agro/pastoral livelihoods adaptation is gaining attention in the rural development arena but little empirical evidence exists that has examined the performance and impact of diversified enterprises on agro/pastoral livelihood and the environment in the ASAL., and on how to effectively support such initiatives. Additionally, there has been little evaluation of the type of behavioural patterns that agro/pastoral communities need to evolve in order to engage in such initiatives. This research study endeavours to bridge this knowledge-gap and assist the ASAL communities, NGOs, CBOs and government departments to understand the skills and resources required to develop climate-resilient, environmentally and economically sustainable bio-enterprises. This study examines the roles of bio-enterprise initiatives in enabling agro/pastoralists to develop more resilient livelihoods and incentivising positive community-led natural resource management and draws on different bio-enterprise initiatives located across the drylands of Kenya. Data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions and from secondary data. The analysis of four agro/pastoral bio-enterprise initiatives compares the level of success of specifically orientated development-funded support schemes. A more in-depth study was made of one of the initiatives, the BDP. Two surveys were made one year apart and secondary data was collected of the BDP impact. This highlighted the probable factors that influence the communities? up-take of these bio-enterprises. Results show this diversification requires stakeholders and support-actors to gain a greater understanding of business development approaches. Other factors such as capacity development to ensure production meets market standards, strong linkages with ethical commercial operators, access to trade-finance and ongoing mentoring proved to be the main drivers of success in these initiatives. Results show the outputs of the BDP service-providing activities and the ethnical trade facilities have been a major factor in the level of success achieved by the BDP.