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FARM MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK OF KENYA

VOL. II
Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information
2nd Edition
PART C
EAST KENYA
Subpart C1
Eastern Province
2
This project was supported by the German Agency for
Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
3
4
Ministry of Agriculture
FARM MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK OF KENYA
VOL. II
Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information
2nd Edition
PART C
EAST KENYA
Subpart C1
Eastern Province
by
Dr. Ralph Jaetzold
Prof. emeritus of Geography,
University of Trier / Germany
Helmut Schmidt
Former Farm Management Research Ocer
from the former German Agricultural Team of the GTZ
in the Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
Dr. Berthold Hornetz
Prof. of Agricultural Geography,
University of Trier / Germany
Dr. Chris Shisanya
Prof. of Agroclimatology,
Dept. of Geography
Kenyatta University, Nairobi
Contributions to the 1
st
Edition by: C.M. Kange & J.G.M. Muasya assessment of farm management data; Dr. Mechthild Kro-
nen soil requirements list; Prof. Dr. H. Kutsch computing of crop-water relations for yield probabilities; F.N. Muchena, B.J.A.
van der Pouw, W. Siderius and W.G. Sombroek basic soil maps; H. Ritz district climate tables; R. Swoboda execution of Small
Farm Survey; C.G. Wenner & S.N. Njoroge soil conservation.
Contributions to the 2
nd
Edition by: G. Awinyo digitizing of soil maps into GIS; T. Buettel support by analyzing remote
sensing data; M. Fiebiger rainfall data analysis, probability calculations, yield probabilities by simulation programs; Heike Hoeer
project coordination in GTZ Nairobi; Ph. Karuri assistance in the Farm Survey; Elizabeth Kimenyi & Anne Njoroge coordi-
nation of farm survey; M. Mueller calculation and diagrams of growing periods, ENSO inuence; Dr. Anne W. Muriuki & J.N.
Qureshi soil and fertiliser recommendation maps and information; Dr. Dorothy Mutisya crops and fodder list; Birgit Schmidt
basics for maintaining and regaining soil fertility; Joshua Shivachi analysing the Farm Survey data using SPSS software; J. Wiec-
zorek computerization of climatic and fertiliser maps, tables and diagrams for GIS and printing; W. Zettelmeyer computing
farm data.
5
Farm Management Handbooks of Kenya
VOL. I Labour Requirement Availability and Costs of Mechanisation
VOL. II Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information
Part II/M General Part (Methodology)
Part II/A WEST KENYA
Subpart A1 Western Province
Subpart A2 Nyanza Province
Part II/B CENTRAL KENYA
Subpart Bl Rift Valley Province, Middle and Southern Part
Subpart B2 Central Province
Part II /C EAST KENYA
Subpart C1 Eastern Province, Middle and Southern Part
Subpart C2 Coast Province
VOL. III Farm Management Information - Annual Publications
Part III/A Agriculture Land, Holdings and Farm Statistics
Part III/B Costs and Prices, Gross Margins, Cash Flows and Farm Models
VOL. IV Production Techniques of Livestock Enterprises
VOL. V Production Techniques and Economics of Horticultural Enterprises
Publisher: Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, in Cooperation with the German Agency for Technical
Cooperation (GTZ)
VOL. II is supplemented by CD-ROMs with the information and maps in a Geographical
Information System. Additionally there are wall maps of the Agro-Ecological Zones per district group
(= the former large districts) for oces and schools.
Vol. II/C1 Printed in Nairobi 2006
Design & Layout by Jan Wieczorek, Trier, Germany
6
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
for the Support to the First Edition
In compiling this Handbook, we have relied on the support of many ocers from a variety of institutions
too numerous to mention, who made available their data and experience. We would like to thank them for
their invaluable assistance.
I would also like to thank my colleagues, the Research Ocers, the District Land and Farm management
Ocers, for their cooperation, and a special thank you to those who typed the draft edition.
Our particular thanks go to Prof. Dr. Ralph Jaetzold, University of Trier, for his seless support in compil-
ing this handbook and for his assessment of the natural conditions including land and population. His deep
understanding of the needs of agricultural extension ocers and farmers was a great asset. Our thanks also to
Dr. H. Kutsch, University of Trier, who computerized a large and complex amount of information involved
in establishing the AEZs.
Many thanks also to the sta of the Geographical Department of the University of Trier, Germany, for their
major eort in drawing up maps of outstanding quality, the centrepiece of the work.
Helmut Schmidt
Farm Management Research Ocer
Nairobi, May 1982
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
for the Support to the Second Edition
In revising this Handbook, various personalities and institutions were relied upon to provide the necessary
data required to update the previous data sets. In this regard, we would like to sincerely thank them for their
invaluable input in the exercise.
Special thanks go to the Ministry of Agriculture sta who undertook the Farm Surveys to elucidate on the
fundamental changes that have taken place in farming at the household level.
We are indeed very grateful to the people of Germany, who despite their limited nancial resources, have
continued to support Kenya. Of importance here is the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
and the German scientists who have been working for Kenya over the years. Last but not least, thanks to Mr.
Reimund Homann, the PSDA Coordinator, Nairobi, whose oce ably managed the Handbook revision
project.
Chris Shisanya Elizabeth Kimenyi
Prof. of Agroclimatology Assistant Director of Agriculture
Dept. of Geography FMD, MOA
Kenyatta University, Nairobi Kenya
Nairobi, January 2007 Nairobi, January 2007
7
PREFACE to the Second Edition
Institutional memory is of paramount importance for planning and development. For any research or agricultural extension
to be successful, information on the natural farming potential is equally important.
In an eort to consolidate research - extension work of many years, the rst edition of the Farm Management Handbook
(FMHB) of Kenya Vol II (Natural conditions and farm management information), which described the conditions of the
Kenyan farming community at that time, was produced in 1982/83. Te handbook was in three parts i.e.:
A for Western Kenya (Western and Nyanza provinces)
B for Central Kenya (Central and Rift Valley provinces).
C for Eastern Kenya (Eastern and Coast provinces)
For more than two decades, the handbook has proved very valuable to researchers, planners, extensionists, developers etc.
Tis is a document that has been sought for enormously and hence the need to revise it in order to accommodate the changes
that have taken place in our country since the production of the rst edition. Some of these include: changes in the admin-
istrative boundaries, opening up of new farming areas due to population pressure, etc.
Tis second edition has been produced on the basis of Provincial administrative boundaries for the six Provinces i.e. West-
ern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Central, Eastern and Coast. Te information will be availed in hard copies and in CD ROMS to
facilitate updating any future changes.
It is not possible to acknowledge the contribution of all the individuals who made this edition a reality but I need to men-
tion the following:
Tanks to the Ministry of Agriculture sta, especially the Agribusiness Department formerly Farm Management Division
sta at the headquarters (Mrs. E. W. Kimenyi, Mr. F. N. Nderitu, Mrs. A.W Njoroge, Mrs. A. W. Wanyama and Mr. P. T
Karuri), and the District sta, for their seless contribution; Prof. Chris Shisanya, leader of the revision team, for his tireless
eorts and guidance; Prof. Ralph Jaetzold for his enormous knowledge on the denition of the agroecological zones and his
great contribution to their mapping; Mr. George Awinyo (German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Private Sector Develop-
ment in Agriculture (PSDA)) for his expertise and contribution in the area of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
I also wish to thank the GTZ who have facilitated the production of this edition both nancially and by the use of their
personnel, specically the late Prof. Werner von der Ohe who supported the idea of the revision, and Mr. Reimund Ho-
mann (GTZ Programme Manager Private Sector Development in Agriculture PSDA), for supporting and taking up the
task to completion.
Dr. Wilson Songa, OGW
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY
Nairobi, May 2007 7
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9
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Acknowledgement for the Support to the First Edition 5
Acknowledgement for the Support to the Second Edition 5
Preface to the First Edition 6
Preface to the Second Edition 7
List of Abbreviations 11
Introduction to the Second Edition 12
1. GENERAL PART FOR EASTERN PROVI NCE
1.1 EXPLANATION OF THE EVALUATION OF THE NATURAL POTENTIAL
1.1.1 Te Agro-Ecological Zonation for Kenya
1)
15
Table I: Agro-Ecological Zones of the Tropics in Kenya 16
Table II: Subzones According to Growing Periods for Annual Crops 18
1.1.2 Major Soils in Eastern Province 20
Table III: A Broad Estimate of the Dominant Characteristics of the Major Soil
Classication Units in Kenya 23
1.1.3 Soil Requirements List for Crops in Eastern Province 24
Table IV: Soil Requirements List for Crops in Eastern Province 24
1.2 PRESERVING THE NATURAL POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE OF KENYA
1.2.1 Beware of Degrading the Areas of Natural Vegetation in the Agro-Ecological Zones of
Eastern Province to Maintain Water, Firewood and Medicinal Resources as well as the
Grazing Potential! 29
1.2.2 Maintenance, Replenishment and Improvement of Soil Fertility in Eastern Province 30
1.2.3 Physical Soil Conservation 35
2. EASTERN PROVI NCE, Sout he r n Pa r t
2.1 INTRODUCTION 41
Table V: Population Projections for Eastern Province Per District 41
Table VI: Absolute Poor Households and Persons in Eastern Province Per District 42
2.2 THE TEMPERATURE BELTS 42
2.3 RAINFALL AND AGROECOLOGICAL ZONES OF EASTERN PROVINCE 43
2.4 IMPORTANT SUBZONES IN THE DRIER AGROECOLOGICAL ZONES OF EASTERN
PROVINCE 43
2.5 THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTIMATING THE VARIATIONS AND FORECASTING A SEASON
IN THE CRITICAL ZONE 5 OF EASTERN PROVINCE 45
Table VII: How Much Deviation from the Normal is Caused by an ENSO or
Anti-ENSO Season 47
Table VIII: Climatic Yield Potentials of Seasonal Crops in ENSO, Normal and
Anti-ENSO years 48
1)
System Ralph Jaetzold. Method of calculation of growing periods and yield probabilities out of crop-soil water
relations by Horst Kutsch, Berthold Hornetz and Chris Shisanya see General Part (Methodology) of Vol. II/M II/M
10
2.6 RUNOFF-HARVESTING AGRICULTURE TO AVOID FAMINES IN SEMI-ARID LANDS OF EASTERN
PROVINCE 49
Tables IX a & b: Distances for Runo-Harvesting Agriculture for First and Second Rainy Seasons 51
2.7 THE IMPORTANCE OF FERTILISING AND NUTRIENT RECYCLING
IN EASTERN PROVINCE 53
Table X: Te Decrease (%) of pH and Available Nutrients in Eastern Province
(During 5 Years of Maize Cultivation at the FURP Experimental Sites) 54
2.8 POSSIBLE CROPS AND VARIETIES IN EASTERN PROVINCE 55
Table XI: Agro-Climatological Crop List for Eastern Province of Kenya 56
Table XII: Bioclimatologically Suitable Grasses and Other Fodder Crops for the Agro-
Ecological Zones in Eastern Province 74
2.9 POSSIBILITIES FOR AGROFORESTRY IN EASTERN PROVINCE 80
3. DI STRI CT I NFORMATI ON AND STATI STI CS
3.1 GENERAL REMARKS TO THE LAND USE POTENTIALS AND FERTILISER
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DISTRICTS 83
3.2 EMBU & MBEERE DISTRICTS GROUP
CONTENTS 85
3.3 MERU CENTRAL & MERU SOUTH DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS 167
3.4 MERU NORTH & THARAKA DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS 261
3.5 MACHAKOS & MAKUENI DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS 355
3.6 KITUI & MWINGI DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS 469
11
List of Abbreviations
AEZ = Agro-Ecological Zone
AEU = Agro-Ecological Unit
add. = additional
a. o. = and others
a.s.l. = above sea level
av. = average
b. = beginning, begin
bl. = black
br = bimodal rainfall
C. = Cooperative
ca. = circa, around
CAZRI =
Central Arid Zone Research Institute
(Jodhpur, India)
CL = Coastal Lowland
comp. = composite
DLC = Dry Land Composite Maize
cv. = cultivar, cultivated variety
e. = end
E
0
= evaporation of a water surface
F. = Farmer, Farmers
FAO =
Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations
f. i. = for instance
For. = Forest
FURP =
Fertiliser Use Recommendation Project
of the GTZ (1986-91)
GIS = Geographical Information System
gr. = growing; with crop name: green
GTZ =
Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammen-
arbeit (the German Agency for Technical
Cooperation with Developing Countries)
H = Highland; with crop name: hybrid
h. = heavy
ha = hectar
i = intermediate rains
i.e. = item est (latin) = it means
IL = Inner Lowland
IRACC =
Information Research and Communication
Centre
ISFM = Integrated Soil Fertility Management
KARI = Kenya Agriculture Research Institute
KCB = Katumani Composite Maize B
KSS = Kenya Soil Survey
L = Lowland, lower
l = long
LU = Kenyan Livestock unit of 300 kg
M = Midland
m = medium
m. = mid, middle
mat. = maturing
max. = maximum
min. = minimum
MSS = Marketing Support Services
NARS = National Agricultural Research Station
norm. = normally
O. = OIfce
p = permanent
pa = per annum (= per year)
p., per. = period
PET = Potential Evapotranspiration
pl. = planting
pr. = precipitation
PSDA =
Private Sector Development of
Agriculture (recent Project of GTZ)
r. = rains, rainy season
res. = resistant
R. = Reserve
s = short
sec. = secondary
St., Stn. = Station
TA = Tropical Alpine
TCF = Total crop failure
t = temperature; with yields: tons
tr = trimodal rainfall
U = Upper
u = uncertain
ur = unimodal rainfall
v = very
var. = variety
y. = year
< = less than
> = more than
~ = about, nearly, around
& = and
^ = followed by a...
12
INTRODUCTION to the Second Edition
1. In general, the Kenyan farmer is well informed as to the potential of his own land, the labour force of his family
and the production techniques to be used when planting crops cultivated for generations. In the past, this was a
perfectly satisfactory situation, but today, the farmer is called on to feed a rapidly increasing population and earn
a major share of vital foreign currency through exports, i.e. he / she has to shoulder the cost of economic devel-
opment in Kenya, in particular in the urban areas. Terefore the farmer is the most important person for the
basis and the future of the nation. Traditional farming methods are no longer capable of meeting all the demands
made on the farming community; widespread application of scientic methods is required, but knowledge of
these methods is obtained, compiled and stored elsewhere, out of reach of the farmer.
Te Handbook has been compiled primarily to assist the agriculture eld advisor, who often is one of the most
important ocers in rural development. Extension work is organised within political units, i.e. location, di-
vision and district, and therefore information has been compiled according to AEZs per district resp. district
groups, which in some cases has led to repetition. Te layout and approach of the book has to be seen in this
context.
It is important that research is demand driven and not research for the sake of it. Agricultural research must be
geared towards solving agricultural problems faced by the farming community. For agricultural research to have
any impcat, researchers must change tact and start doing research together with farmers.
Information ow from research to the farmer, and vice versa, and among the various institutions involved in
rural development is seriously hampered by the lack of a common source of reference.
Output of agricultural produce could be considerably increased if the knowledge already accumulated in Kenya
is available to the farmer. Te work output of the planning ocer could also be doubled and its quality substan-
tially improved if he had this knowledge on hand, which would go a long way towards improving the welfare of
the rural population.
Te increasing demand for information and communication calls for increased eorts to make the information
accumulated available.
2. Tis transfer of know-how to those who need it is a major task and cannot be achieved by the Ministry of
Agriculture alone - it requires a joint eort. Te Farm Management Division has now made a major eort to
establish and compile information required by the farmers and those who work for the farming community.
Tis information was published in ve volumes of the Farm Management Handbook of Kenya of which Vol.
II Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information
1
is the centrepiece, rst published in 1982/83.
Tough the document is still relevant, but out of print, there is need for updating the document, hence the
present edition.
1
Farm management information which depends largely on nancial facts had to be excluded, like gross margins, cash ows, farm models.
It is published by the FMB occasionally and can be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Kilimo House.
13
3. Te Farm Management Approach is the most reliable method yet developed to assist farming. It is there-
fore very desirable that other institutions try to make use of the system.
However, the information given cannot be blindly applied, but requires assessment for its relevance to
the actual case. Much of it, especially fertilizer recommendations, will be replaced within the next ten to
twenty years. It is important to take note of these replacements.
Te information is given per district and per subzones of the Agro-Ecological Zones, but the diversity of
the farms in any AEZ and the limitations of the data base make it essential to evaluate the data supplied
i. e. it is most important to read the accompanying explanations and to compare each subzone with the
soil pattern to adjust the information to the dierent Agro-Ecological Units.
4.. Te Vol. II of the Farm Management Handbook consists of the following parts:
a) A West, B Central, and C East Kenya, divided in seven smaller, better manageable subparts
by six provinces and a general part
and it is supplemented by
b) Large AEZ maps of the district groups printed in colour (scale mainly 1:250 000) as wall
maps for oces and schools
c) A data bank and CD ROMs with a Geographical Information System (GIS) of all
important agro-ecological information for each spot. All items are kept by the department
charged with Farm Management activities in the Ministry of Agriculture.
5. Te value of these books containing the natural conditions should not be overestimated.Te yield poten-
tials of the Agro-ecological subzones are only a rough guide. First of all the soils of the Agro-ecological
units in the subzones must be carefully considered to evaluate their suitability and ability to improve and
sustain their fertility, resp. Secondly the marked conditions play an important role in the decision on
what is suitable at a certain place at present times. Terefore the agro-economic conditions must always
be considered in analysing the natural potentials of the Agro-Ecological Zones for recommendations or
decisions.
3
One of the dierent samples of reduced economic use of the natural potential of Agro-Ecological Zones
by worsening of the infrastructure is cotton. Mismanagement in the cotton cooperatives and the Cotton
Board caused long delays and sometimes even reduced payments to the cotton farmers. Tis discouraged
the planting of cotton very severely, especially where small farmers had often occurred debts in produc-
tion. So for many years there were large parts of the cotton zone without cotton in Kenya until a new
initiative by the government encouraged cotton planting even beyond the cotton zones. Former cotton
farmers have planted additional maize for market. Te maize price has increased considererably since
1990 due to population increase and famine. It should be kept high by the Government to encourage
farmers to plant enough to ensure national food security.
A general problem is the the continued growing of maize in the sorghum and millet zones instead of
the more drought-resistant sorghum and millet varieties, which require less water. Te end result is crop
failure of maize, which leads to food insecurity and continued dependence on relief food. It is only if the
altitude is above 800 m that maize outyields sorghum and millets and as long as there is at least 250 mm
of well distributed rainfall during the growing season.
Due to social change and mobility, a farmer who feeds on sorghum and millet is considered impover-
2
It was impossible to assess the large amount of statistical data in detail. - Also there was not enough time and money to undertake
a new dierentiated farm survey. Only a few questions, mainly about the possible increase of yields by good farm management
could be placed systematically by the Agriculture Ocers in typical Agro-Ecological Units.
3
Jaetzold, R.: Te Agro-ecological Zones of Kenya and their Agro-economical Dynamics. Materialien zur Ostafrikaforschung, Vol.
6, Geographische Gesellschaft, University Trier 1987.
14
ished in many countries. Due to changing eating habits, maize our is also preferred to sorghum and
millet our, which can be slightly bitter, and the demand and price for these small grains is generally
dropping. Finally the loss by birds is less with maize than with most small grain cereal varieties, and the
children who in former times had to chase the birds away have now to go to school. In a situation where
maize fetches at least 50% more money than sorghum or bulrush millet, the advice of the agro-ecolo-
gists to plant more sorghum and millet is not taken up in the marginal foot plains of the highlands of
East and North East Africa. Terefore maize is planted as a staple food also beyond the economic limits
of maize cultivation in the AEZ 5.
7. In the rst edition of this handbook 1982/83, the main focus was to adjust agriculture to the dierent
climate conditions in an optimal way. Tis goal has been achieved to a great extent. Hower, the gains are
likely to be eroded by the serious problem of decreasing soil fertility and the rapid population growth
rates being experienced in rural Kenya. Urgent measures are therefore needed to address these problems
for sustainable agricultural productivity in Kenya.
8. Farmers who migrate into the arid and semi-arid areas bring along with them inappropriate
agricultural technologies. Tese drylands have fragile ecosystems that require land uses, which
mimic natural ecosystems such as shifting cultivation, agroforestry and nomadic pastoralism.
Tese are land uses that are characterized by temporal and spatial dynamics and have in-built
recovery mechanisms. Now it is necessary in this new edition to demonstrate to farmers the chances
and risks of farming in these drylands, i.e. for chance -cropping.
Our best wishes are with the farmers.
Te editors and the authors.
Nairobi and Trier, January 2005
15
1.1 EXPLANATION OF THE EVALUATION OF THE NATURAL POTENTIAL
1.1.1 METHOD OF THE AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONATION by Ralph Jaetzold
Simple agro-ecological zones were established by FAO in 1978
1
. Tey are suited to make decisions in in-
ternational and long term agricultural policy. In order to give advice to farmers in the districts a more dif-
ferentiated system showing yield probabilities and risks as well had to be developed:
1. Te zone groups are temperature belts (Table I) dened according to the maximum temperature limits
within the main crops in Kenya can ourish; cashew and coconuts for the lowlands, sugar cane and
cotton for the lower midlands, Arabica coee for the upper midlands (usually known as Highlands
- the term midlands is used here to denote their central importance), tea for the lower highlands, py-
rethrum for the upper highlands. Te highest zone is high altitude rough grazing i.e. tropical alpine (or
afro-alpine) vegetation. Te threshold values of annual mean temperatures have been established along
similar lines to those of H.M.H. BRAUN
2
but supplemented by limiting factors for many crops e.g.
mean minimum temperatures, frost, etc.
2. Te main zones (Table I) are based on their probability of meeting the temperature and water require-
ments of the main leading crops i.e. climatic yield potential, calculated by computer (see General Part).
Te zones are roughly parallel with Brauns climatic zones of the Precipitation/Evaporation Index,
but there are dierences according to the inuence of the length and intensity of arid periods, a factor
also considered by the computer programme. In a rst order the average annual precipitation is
compared with the average annual evapotranspiration.Te name of the main zones refer to poten-
tially leading crops, many of them can be grown in some other zones, too:
Maize zones: LH 1-3; UM 1-4; LM 1-4 (+5); L 2-4 (+5)
Hybrid maize in zones: LH 1-3; UM 1-3; LM 1-3
Wheat in zones: UH 2-3; LH 2-4
Unirrigated rice in zones: L 1-3; LM 1-2
Irrigated rice in zones: L 1-6; (7); LM 1-6, (7)
Sorghum in zones: UM (1-3), 4-5; LM (1-3), 4-5; L (1-3), 4-5
Finger millet in zones: LH (1-3); UM (1-3), 4; LM (1-3), 4, (5); L (1-3), 4, (5)
Groundnuts in zones: LM (1-2), 3-4; L (2-3), 4
Cotton in zones: LM (2), 3-4; L (2), 3-4
1
FAO (1978): Report on the Agro-ecological Zones Project. Methodology and Results for Africa. (= World Soil Resources Rep.,
48/1), Rome.
2
Kenya Soil Survey, (1982): Exploratory Soil Map and Agro-Climatic Zones Map of Kenya, scale 1:1 000 000, Rep. E 1, Nairobi.
16
17
( ) means that in these zones the crop is normally not competitive to related crops (f.i. dwarf millets to
maize)
Livestock is possible in all zones. Decreasing stocking rates from 1 to 7 (from 0.4 ha up to more than
25 ha per livestock unit of 300 kg)
Te colours assigned to the main zones become lighter at cooler higher zones altitudes (Table I). Addi-
tionally they become more red in the drier climates. Rain starts earlier at higher altitudes. Tis is due to
the fact that with the same amount of water, the production of biomass is still less in cooler altitudinal
climates. Also, the chances to ripe a crop before the end of the rainy seasons become smaller in these
higher belts because of the increasing length of growing periods. Terefore, the Ranching Zone which
covers Zone 6 in the Lowlands occurs already in Zone 5 in the Lower Highlands and even in Zone 4 in
the Upper Highlands.
3. For the necessary information to farmers, these main zones are divided into subzones according to the
yearly distribution and the length of the growing periods on a 60% probability factor i.e. the given
length of the growing period should be reached or surpassed in at least 6 out of 10 years (Table II).
Growing periods are dened as seasons with enough moisture in the soil to grow most crops, starting
with a supply for plants to transpirate more than 0.5 ETo, coming up to > ETo (in the ideal case) during
the time of peak demand, and then falling down in the maturity phase again (calculated by the computer
programme WATBAL)
3
. Te length is normally given in decades (i.e. a ten day period) for medium
soils. Figures are also available for heavy and light soils
4
, and they are also considered in the computer
programmes MARCROP
5
and WOFOST
6
for the yield potential.
Tese programmes compare the water requirements curves of almost all the main crops (as provided
by the FAO 1977
7
and 1979
8
), re-calculated by H. KUTSCH for Kenyan varieties and adapted to the
dierent agro-climates, with the rainfall occurrences in Kenya from 1930 to 1990
9
, in decades (10 day
periods), and their eects on the water supply to the root zone for 3 soil groups and 3 plant population
densities. On this basis, an ecological land use potential has been drawn up for each subzone, showing
climatic yield expectations and chances.
Te length of the growing period is the key to selecting the right varieties of annual crops within an agro-
ecological zone. Te symbols used for the length of the growing periods are straightforward:
vl = very long
l = long
m = medium
s = short
vs = very short
3
WATBAL.MODULE 1. It was developed by H. Kutsch and H.J. Schuh (1983): Simplied computer-based modelling of
water balance in dened crop stands.- In: L. Reiner & H. Geidel (eds.) (1983): Informationsverarbeitung Agrarwissenschaft.
Miinchen.
4
Heavy soil means heavy loam; clay may have less available water for plants. Light soil means loamy sand.
5
=WATBAL.MODULE 2 & 3. Callibrated for Kenya by B. Hornetz (see Hornetz and Shisanya in General Part), based on
the mathematical approach of Kutsch and Schuh , described in the rst edition of the Farm Management Handbook of Kenya
(1982), Vol. II, Part A, p. 17-28.
6
See R. Rotter (1993): Simulation of the biophysical limitations to maize production under rainfed conditions in Kenya: Evalua-
tion and application of the model WOFOST.- (= Materialien zur Ostafrika-Forschung, 12), Geographische Gesellschaft Univer-
sitat Trier.
7
FAO (1977): Crop Water Requirements.- (= Irrigation and Drainage Paper, 24), Rome.
8
FAO (1979): Yield Response to Water.- (= Irrigation and Drainage Paper, 33), Rome.
9
If there were enough completely recorded years, the standard period 1961-90 was used. Recent data were not available in reason-
able quantities or too expensive. Only for important stations they were used.
18
Tese are further dierentiated to give further information for choosing the variety with the most adequate
growing period by the use of combined terms like short to medium, medium to long, etc. (Table II).
If it is not desirable to subdivide the growing period in this way, the letter f for fully occurs before the
symbol for the period.
Te growing period formula is put in brackets if there is a weak performance i.e. although the moisture
content is su cient for growth, the peak demand which is ETo is not satised in the right time.
Where there are two rainy seasons per annum (bimodal rainfall areas), this is shown by a plus sign (+) be-
tween the two growing periods to show the yearly pattern.
If there is no distinct arid period of at least three decades (30 days) between humid growing periods, the sign
A is introduced i.e. both periods are bridged together. Expressed in words, it means ... followed by.
TABLE II: SUBZONES ACCORDING TO GROWING PERIODS FOR ANNUAL CROPS
Formula Cropping seasons
Length of growing periods
1
exceeded in 6 out of 10 yrs.
Samples of combination during
the year in Kenya
p normally permanent more than 364 days
vl very long 285 364 days
vl/l very long to long 235 284
l/vl long to very long 215 234
l long 195 214
l/m long to medium 175 194
m/l medium to long 155 174
m medium 135 154
m/s medium to short 115 134
s/m short to medium 105 114
s short 85 104
s/vs short to very short 75 84
vs/s very short to short 55 74
vs very short 40 54
vu very uncertain min. gr. p. < 6 out of 10 y.
Additional information:
ur = unimodal rainfall,
br = bimodal rainfall,
tr = trimodal r.
i = intermediate rains (at least 5 decades more than 0.25 ET0)
4
( ) = weak performance of growing period (in most decades less rain than ET0)
+ = distinct arid period between growing periods
A = no distinct arid period between growing periods (followed by)
f = full, i.e. no subdivision of growing periods, for inst. fm means 115 - 174 days
1
Growing period = enough moisture for cereals and legumes from seed to physical maturity. Figures show the time in which rain and
stored soil moisture allow evapotranspiration of more than 0.5 ET0 (in medium soils of at least 60 cm depth), enough for most
crops to start growing. During main growing time they need more of course (about full potential evapotranspiration ET0).
2
Lowlands and Lower Midlands, in UM, LH and UH 65 - 74 days
3
Lowlands, in LM 45 - 54 days, in UM 50 - 64 days, in LH and UH 55 - 64 days
4
Tat means moisture conditions are above wilting point for most crops
19
4. Te climatic agro-ecological zones are printed on soil maps, derived from the Kenya Soil Survey Maps
of the Districts in the Fertilizer Use Recomm. Project of the GTZ, to show the mosaic of agro-ecological
units within the zones. In nal maps the soil units were roughly shaded where experiments have shown
which inputs are needed for higher fertility (see maps of Fertiliser Recommendations and Farm Survey
Areas).
Te soil should be considered as closely as possible. Te Fertiliser Use Manual of KARI
10
makes the re-
sults of the FURP applicable for farmers. For many areas special reports from the Kenya Soil Survey also
exist. Te average yield expectations given for the Agro-ecological Zones of a district only show what is
climatically possible (on prevailing soils) when other conditions are optimized.
5. Terefore, many other factors apart from soil and climate have to be considered such as technologically
standard, possibilities of additional irrigation
11
and so on. From the given agro-ecologically land use
potential for each AEZ it has to be chosen carefully what is economically and sociologically reasonable
for the time being
12
.Te agro-ecological zones are illustrated by rainfall and water requirement diagrams.
Te curves in the diagrams are calculated or if proper data are not available they are estimated for
optimum water requirements of crops from seeding to physical maturity. Harvest is later according to
ripening stage, but then the plants need little or even no water.
10
A.W. Muriuki and J.N Qureshi: Fertiliser Use Manual. A comprehensive guide on fertiliser use in Kenya. KARI Nairobi 2001.
11
Articial irrigation possibilities are normally not yet considered in the land use potentials of Agro-ecological Zones, because they
go beyond the climatic natural potential. Nevertheless, we are able to calculate if requested decadically water requirements of ir-
rigated crops for dened sites.
12
R. Jaetzold: Te Agro-Ecological Zones of Kenya and their Agro-Economical Dynamics. (= Materialien zur Ostafrika-For-
schung, 6), Geographische Gesellschaft Universitat Trier 1987.
20
1.1.2 MAJOR SOILS IN EASTERN PROVINCE
According to the international FAO classication
Acrisols
Acrisols are acid soils with a low base status, which are strongly leached but less weathered than Ferralsols.
Tey are developing mainly on basement rocks like granites, but also on colluvium from quarzites. Te base
saturation (BSP) of the B horizon is less than 50 %; thus indicating low fertility.
Te most common type is called orthic, but they also appear as humic (with an umbric A horizon, rich
in humic substances) and ferralo-chromic (with ferralitic properties due to stronger weathering or high
chroma).
Andosols
Andosols are black, well drained, less weathered, mostly shallow soils which have developed on volcanic
ashes of Mt. Kenya, Nyambene and Chyulu Hills. Due to high fertility and sucient rainfall in these areas,
vegetation on these soils is performing well, so that the topsoil is enriched with organic/humic substances;
therefore, they mainly appear as humic and mollic types.
Arenosols
Arenosols are coarse, weakly developed mostly sandy soils with an identiable B horizon and a clay content
of less than 18 %. Tey are developing on colluvial substrates from basement rocks as well as on quarzites.
In Eastern Province Arenosols appear mostly as ferralic types with high sesquioxide contents.
Tey have a low fertility and are exhausted already after a few seasons of cultivation.
Cambisols
Cambisols are brown (forest) soils with cambic B horizons as a major feature; layers are dierentiated and
changing characteristically due to their (relatively) young age. In Eastern Province they are developing
mainly on basement rocks (gneisses are dominating), in particular on and around exposed inselbergs, hills
and scarps; they also occur on other various parent materials like basic igneous rocks. Cambisols are less
weathered than most of the other soils of the humid tropics and contain quite high amounts of clay minerals
with high nutrient reserves (like illites and montmorillonites), minerals (like phosphate, potassium etc.) as
well as juvenile materials.
Usually they appear as chromic types, but also calcic (on calcareous or petrocalcic materials), humic, nito-
humic or nito-chromic (on igneous rocks).
Chernosems
Chernosems are poorly drained, calcareous and clayey soils which have developed on inlls from limestone
and volcanic materials in the bottomlands. Tey occur particularly in the northern and north eastern parts
of the greater Meru District. Due to high contents of montmorillonites with a high Cation Exchange
Capacity (CEC), macro- and micronutrients as well as organic/humic substances in the topsoil they possess
a high fertility.
Te calcic type with a secondary accumulation of >15 % CaCO3 is most common.
Ferralsols
Ferralsols normally are strongly weathered soils of the humid tropics with oxic horizons. Soil fertility is low
to very low due to low mineral contents, kaolinites (as clay minerals) and a low CEC of less than 16 me/100
g of clay. Tey are developing mainly on basement rocks like granites, gneisses and quarzites, but also on
igneous rocks (like trachytes, syenites, phonolites etc.). In the drylands of Eastern Province Ferralsols have
developed in former times under more humid conditions, in particular on the tertiary peneplains, which are
stretching from the highlands of Central Kenya down to the coastal hinterlands.
21
Te most common types here are the orthic and rhodic ones (with red to dusky red oxic B horizons).
Fluvisols
Fluvisols are recent alluvial soils of the oodplains with depositional rather than pedogenetic proles and
mostly a high fertility due to high amounts of organic/humic and mineral substances as well as loamy and
sandy fractions.
Te common eutric type possesses a high base content with a BSP of more than 50 %.
Gleysols
Gleysols are soils of the bottomlands and swamps with hydromorphic properties dominating within the upper
50 cm. Tey develop on igneous as well as basement rocks, but also on alluvial and colluvial deposits.
Most common is the dystric type with a low base status and a BSP less than 50 %. Mollic Gleysols contain
mollic A horizons, the vertic type has typical shrinking and swelling properties.
Histosols
In Eastern Province Histosols are organic (peat) soils of the Afro-/Tropical-Alpine Zones I and II on Mt.
Kenya; they possess a low fertility due to imperfect drainage and a low base saturation of less than 50 %.
Lithosols
Lithosols are shallow soils of less than 10 cm depth developed on hard rocks of dierent origin. Very often
they also appear as a result of strong soil erosion.
Luvisols
Luvisols are strongly leached soils (lessivs), having argillic B horizons with a relatively high base status and
BSP of more than 50 %. In Eastern Province they normally develop on basement rocks (mainly gneisses),
but also on igneous rocks and colluvium; they mainly cover the wetter parts of the peneplains (like on
the footslopes SE of Mt. Kenya). In some parts of the region (like in the Makindu-Kibwezi area) they are
associated with Ferralsols.
Most common are the chromic, ferralo-chromic, but also orthic and nito-ferric types.
Nitosols
Nitosols or Nitisols develop on tertiary and even older basic igneous rocks (like basalts, tus etc.) and
contain emerging argillic horizons with prominent shiny clay skins. Tey are soils with normally high
fertility due to high contents of montmorillonites (as dominating clay minerals), minerals and available soil
water as well as a high Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).
Almost all types of Nitosols are occurring in Eastern Province. Te dystric type has a moderate fertility with
a relatively low base status and a BSP of less than 50 %; the eutric type has a relatively high base status and a
BSP of more than 50 %, but is also moderately fertile. Te mollic and humic types are more fertile and have
a mollic/humic A horizon.
Phaeozems
Phaeozems are well drained, less weathered clayey soils (the clays consist mainly of montmorillonites) with
high contents of organic/humic substances in the topsoil as well as a high CEC and plant-available soil
water; thus possessing a high fertility. In Eastern Province they have developed on tertiary basic igneous
rocks like olivine basalts, phonolites and tus and occur mainly on the drier semihumid to semiarid high-
level savannah plains NW of Mt. Kenya like in the Nanyuki-Timau area (Laikipia Plateau) and NW of the
Nyambene Ranges.
Te luvic type is dominating.
22
Planosols
Planosols are soils with an albic E horizon, hydromorphic properties and a slowly permeable B horizon,
developing on dierent parent materials of the bottomlands.
Tey appear as dystric (with a low base status and BSP of less than 50 %) and eutric types (high base status
and BSP more than 50 %).
Regosols
Regosols are weakly developed soils from unconsolidated materials like igneous and basement rocks, often
associated with Lithosols. In Eastern Province they usually appear on the footslopes of inselbergs, hills and
scarps.
Dystric types with a low base status and BSP less than 50 % are as common as eutric ones with a high base
saturation of more than 50 %.
Solonetz
Solonetz are sodic soils with natric B horizons developed on plio-pleistocene bay/marine sediments of the
Marafa beds and are located from lower Kitui and Mwingi District down to the coastal areas of Kwale and
Kili Districts. Tey are infertile due to poor drainage, surface sealing and high sodicity.
Vertisols
Vertisols (Black Cotton Soils) are dark montmorillonite-rich, poorly drained cracking clays of the
bottomlands with peloturbation processes. Te clay content is higher than 30 %. Tey develop on alluvial
and colluvial materials (so called secondary Vertisols) as well as on basic rocks (like basalts; so called
primary Vertisols). Usually they contain high amounts of CaCO3 and other minerals with a high CEC
due to the montmorillonitic clay minerals.
Te predominant pellic type is characterized by a low chroma of less than 1.5.
Reference:
Landon, J.R. (Ed., 1991): Booker Tropical Soil Manual.-Longman Group, London, New York
23
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24
TABLE IV: SOIL REQUIREMENTS LIST FOR CROPS IN KENYA
Crops Preferred texture pH Drainage Remarks
GRAIN CROPS
Maize
(Zea mays)
light to medium 5.5-8.0
Free draining
soils
Not on very acid soils,
not on water logging soils
at least moderately fertile
soils.
Wheat
(Triticum aestivum)
light to medium 6.5-8.0
Moderately well
to well drained
soils
In waterlogging
conditions very poor
yields, moderately to
highly fertile soils.
Durum wheat
(Triticum durum)
light to medium 6.5-8.0
Well drained
soils.
Moderately drought
tolerant.
Triticale
(Triticum x secale)
medium to heavy 6.5-8.0 Well drained soils
Tolerates salinity,
moderately drought
tolerant
Barley
(Hordeum vulgare)
medium 6.5-8.0 Well drained soils
Intolerant of
waterlogging, tolerates
salinity (-1%),
moderately fertile soils
Oats
(Avena sativa)
medium 6.5-8.0
Moderately
drained soils
Also on poor soils
Foxtail millet
(Setaria italica)
medium 5.0-8.0 Well drained soils
Quickly growing but not
very drought tolerant
Proso millet
(Panicum miliaceum)
medium 5.0-8.0 Well drained soils
Some varieties drought
tolerant
Bulrush millet
(Pennisetum typhoides)
light to medium 5.0-8.0 Well drained soils
Drought tolerant and
tolerates salinity
Finger millet
(Eleusine coracana)
medium 6.5-8.0
Moderately
drained soils
Turcana varieties drought
tolerant
Sorghum
(Sorghum vulgare)
medium to heavy 4.5-8.5
Moderately well
to well drained
soils
Low to moderately fertile
soils
LEGUMINOUS
CROPS
Tepary beans
(Phasolous acutifolius)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Drought tolerant
Cow peas
(Vigna unguiculata)
light 5.0-7.5
Free draining
soils
Drought tolerant
Moth beans
(Vigna aconitifolia)
medium to light 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Drought tolerant
Green grams
(Vigna aureus)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Drought tolerant
Black grams
(Vigna mungo)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Drought tolerant
25
Crops Preferred texture pH Drainage Remarks
Chick peas = Yellow
grams (Cicer arietinum)
heavy (Black
Cotton soils )
5.0-7.5
Moderately to
well drained soils
Fairly drought tolerant
Beans
(Phaseolus vulgaris)
medium 6.0-7.5
Free draining
soils
Not drought tolerant,
need moist soil
throughout the growing
period.
Bonavist beans=Njahe
(Dolichos lablab)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils
Very drought tolerant
Trop.lima beans
(Phaseolus lunatus)
various 6.0-7.0 Well drained soils
Grows well also on
infertile soils
Horse beans
(Vicia equine)
medium 5.5-7.5
Moderately to
well drained soils
Drought tolerant
Horse grams
(Dolichos uninorus)
medium 5.5-7.5
Moderately to
well drained soils
Drought tolerant
Groundnuts
(Arachis hypogea)
light 6.2-7.5
Well drained
to somewhat
excessively
drained soils
Until harvesting the
soil must be moist, but
sensitive to impeded
drainage; moderately
fertile soils.
Bambarra groundnuts
(Voandzeia subterranea)
light 6.2-7.5 Well drained soils
Soil aeration must be
adequate, not on heavy
soils with pans; thrive
better than groundnuts on
poor soils.
Garden peas
(Pisum sativum)
medium
5.5-7.5
(see
beans)
Well drained soils Some N good for start
Pigeon peas
(Cajanus cajan)
light
5.0-7.5
No info.
Free draining Fairly drought tolerant
Soya beans
(Glycine max.)
medium
5.5-7.5
(opt.6.0-
6.5)
Moderately well
to well drained
soils
Moderately fertile soils
OIL SEED CROPS
Sunfower
(Helianthus annuus)
medium (heavy) 6.0-8.0
Moderately
drained soils
Very drought tolerant
Linseed
(Linum usitatissium)
medium 5.5-7.5
Moderately
drained soils
Drought tolerant
Rai
(Brassica juncea)
medium to heavy 6.0-8.0
Moderately
drained soils
Drought tolerant
Rapeseed
(Brassica napus)
medium 5.5-7.0
Moderately
drained soils
Not drought tolerant
Simsim (Sesamum
indicum)
light to medium 6.0-7.5
Free draining
soils
Moderately drought
tolerant
TABLE IV: Continued
26
Crops Preferred texture pH Drainage Remarks
SaIfor (Carthamus
tinctorius)
medium 6.0-8.0
Moderately
drained soils
Tolerates salinity,
moderately drought
tolerant
Castor
(Ricinus communis)
medium 6.0-7.5
Free draining
soils
Moderately drought
tolerant, not on saline
soils.
TUBER CROPS
Sweet potatoes
(Ipomea batatas)
various (wide
range; swamps to
eroded areas)
various
Various but
planted on ridges
in swamps
Drought tolerant, need
moderately fertile soils
Potatoes
(Dolanum tuberosum)
light to medium 4.5-8.0
Free draining
soils
Not so drought tolerant,
need good supply of
nutrients
Cassava
(Manihot esculenta)
light to medium various
Free draining
soils
Very drought tolerant,
not on very stony or
shallow soils, sensitive to
impeded drainage, thrives
also on less fertile soils
Taro-Cocoyam
(Colocasia antiquorum)
light to medium 4.5-8.0
Tolerates
waterlogging
Grows esp. well on
riverbanks, demands a
fertile soil
White Guinea yam
(Dioscorea rotundata)
medium 4.5-7.0
Moderately to
weakly drained
soils
Moderately fertile soils.
Greater yam
(D.alata)

Yellow Guinea yam
(D.cayenensis)

Buffalo gourds
(Cucurbita foetidissima)
light 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Very drought tolerant
Marama beans
(Tylosema esculenteum)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Very drought tolerant
Vigna
(Vigna lobatifolia)
light to medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Very drought tolerant
FIBRE CROPS
Cotton
(Gossypium hirsutum)
medium to heavy 6.0-8.0
Well drained
soils, sensitive to
impeded drainage
Tolerates salinity (0,5-
=0,6%); moderately to
high fertile soils; should
contain bor
Flax
(Linum usitatissimum)
medium 5.5-7.5
Moderately
drained soils
New Zealand fax
(Phormium tenax)
medium 5.5-7.5
Moderately
drained soils
TABLE IV: Continued
27
Crops Preferred texture pH Drainage Remarks
Sisal (Agave sisalana) medium 5.5-7.5
Well to
moderately
drained soils
On heavy soils it is
necessary to form
cambered beds or to dig
ditches for drainage.
OTHER CASH CROPS AND FRUITS
Avocadoes
(Persea americana)
medium 6.0-7.5 Well drained soils Not on saline soils
Bananas
(Musa paradisiaca)
light to medium 5.0-7.0
Well to
moderately well
drained soils.
Best places are fertile
volcanic or alluvialsoils.
Tolerate short foods:
soil aeration must be
adequate, moderately to
highly fertile soils.
Cashew nuts
(Anacardium
occidentale)
light 5.0-7.5
Unimpeded
drainage
On dry and steep slopes
good against soil erosion;
thrive also on poor soils.
Citrus
(Citrus spp.)
light to medium 5.0-7.0 Well drained soils
Soil aeration must be
adequate, sensitive
to impeded drainage,
moderately to highly
fertile soils.
Coconuts
(Cocos nucifera)
light 4.0-7.0
Free draining
soils
Tolerate high salinity (-
1%), soil aeration must
be adequate. In arid
regions ground water
should be available in
1-2,5m depth.
Coffee/Arabica
(Coffea arabica)
medium 5.3-6.0
Free draining
soils
Soils must allow
reasonable water
retention; very sensitive
to CaCO
3
(more than
1oI the fne earth),
and (~0.5 oI the fne
earth)moderately to
highly fertile soils
Coffee/Robusta
(Coffea canephora var.
robusta )
medium 5.0-6.0 Well drained soils
Grows well in a wide
range of various soils if
they are well drained;
sensitive to CaCO
3
and
CaSO
4
like Arabica
coffee.
Deciduous fruit trees
(apples, peaches, pears)
medium 4.5-7.0 Well drained soils
If the soil is deep they
tolerate also lighter or
heavier soils.
Macadamia nuts
(Macadamia spp.)
medium 5.0-6.0
Free draining
soils
TABLE IV: Continued
28
Crops Preferred texture pH Drainage Remarks
Pyrethrum
(Chrysanthemum
cinerariaefolium)
medium 5.6-7.5 Well drained soils
Sugarcane
(Saccharum spp.)
light to medium 5.0-7.0
Moderately well
to well drained
soils
Sensitive to water
logging;groundwater
should be below1m
depth. On heavy soils
cambered beds, ditches or
furrows must be formed
for drainage. Moderately
fertile soils
Tea (Camellia sinensis) medium
4.0-6.0
(4.5-5.5)
Free draining
soils
Soil with good water
retaining capacity is
essential, very sensitive
to CaCO
3
(0%) and
CaS0
4
(0%),grows also
on less fertile soils
Tobacco
(Nicotiana tabacum)
medium
(5.0) 5.5-
6.5
Well drained soils
Not on heavy or/and
saline soils, very sensitive
to CaCO
3
(>1% of the
fne earth) and CaSO
4
(~0.5 oI the fne earth).
Tung Oil
(Aleurites fordii)
medium 4.5-6.5 Well drained soils
Ye-eb nuts
(Cordeauxia edulis)
medium No info. Well drained soils Very drought tolerant
TABLE IV: Continued
29
1.2 PRESERVING THE NATURAL POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE OF EASTERN PROVINCE
1.2.1 BEWARE OF DEGRADING THE AREAS OF NATURAL VEGETATION IN THE AGRO-ECO-
LOGICAL ZONES OF EASTERN PROVINCE TO MAINTAIN WATER, FIREWOOD AND ME-
DICINAL RESOURCES AS WELL AS THE GRAZING POTENTIAL!
Te Agro-Ecological Zones 0-3 are originally zones of forest according to the natural vegetation. AEZ 0
corresponds to everwet evergreen rainforest, AEZ 1 to evergreen rainforest, AEZ 2 to seasonal rainforest because
of one or two dry months. AEZ 3 has three to ve dry months, it corresponds to seasonal semi-deciduous
moist forest or a high grass - broad leaved trees savannah which might be caused edaphically on waterlogging
soils (mbugas) or very poor leached senile soils, both unsuitable for most trees; on other soils it might be a
secondary vegetation caused by re. Te grass - tall as a man - is supressing young trees, and if it is set ablaze,
it produces a lot of heat that kills most of the trees.
AEZ 4 corresponds to woodland, it is either deciduous in subzones with unimodal rainfall as in West Kenya
and in Tanzania, or hard-leaved evergreen in bimodal rainfall subzones with two dry seasons as in East Kenya,
where plants by hard or hairy leaves try to avoid loosing them two times a year. Te grass grows to about
1 m tall.
Forests (and woodlands) are necessary also for the agriculture outside, because they minimize quick surface-
runo and store water in their deep, unhardened soils to supply it to wells, creeks and streams during the dry
seasons. Terefore it is imperative that forests be protected. Forest protection is necessary for other reasons
too: Firewood collection (not cutting!), timber, medical plants and genetic resources. A network of forest
reserves is necessary to conserve biodiversity.
A network of protected areas is also a must for the drier Agro-Ecological Zones 4-6.Te corresponding
natural vegetation in AEZ 5 is short grass savannah with small leaved thorny trees and bushes. Tere is more
grass on ne coarse soil of volcanic ashes on the Laikipia Plateau and more bush on red loams or stony soils.
Zone 6 is bushland with very short but still perennial grass and therefore suitable for ranching - if the grass
(the standing hay for the dry season) is not reduced due to overgrazing. In Zone 7, only annual grasses and
herbs grow and can only be used intermittently with a base in Zone 6.
Good management of the remaining natural vegetation by farmers especially herders is important: In AEZ 3
it is necessary to avoid bush burning which kills the regrowth of trees and ecologically valuable bushes. But
the main danger here is overgrazing which threatens the balance between grass and bushes. Bush encroach-
ment can actually reduce the grazing potential. Tis is the same danger in AEZ 4 and 5 but with shrubby
species (e.g. shrub encroachment, thorny species in AEZ 5). In the rst stage, poisonous or bitter herbs not
palatable to livestock thrive abundantly, leading to what can correctly be referred to as some sort of green
degradation.
In AEZ 6 the eradication of grass by overgrazing promotes at rst the dwarf shrubs (e.g. dwarf shrub en-
croachment), then in the favourable subzones thorny low shrubs grow. Te grazing potential here has se-
verely decreased and only goats as browsers remain. In the nal stage, due to overuse and soil denudation,
the shrubs disappear and desertication sets in. Some eorts are being made to practise reseeding in fenced
plots and this has in some instances proved successful. Originally semi-desert indicates Zone 7, full desert
Zone 8.
30
1.2.2 MAINTENANCE, REPLENISHMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF
SOIL FERTILITY IN KENYA
Soil fertility depletion has been described as the major biophysical root cause of the declining per-capita
food availability in smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a decline from 150 to 130 kg per
person over the past 35 years in production
1)
. In the densely populated Western Province it went down to 60
kg for cereals! Emerging evidence attributes this to insucient nutrient inputs relative to exports, primarily
through harvested products, leaching, gaseous losses and soil erosion. Tis results in yields that are about
2-5 times lower than potential. Adequate and better solutions to combat nutrients depletion where known,
are often limited in application because of the dynamics and heterogeneity of the African agro-ecosystems
in terms of biophysical and socio-economic gradients. Tis calls for system-specic or exible recommenda-
tions, rather than monolithic technical solutions such as blanket fertilisation recommendations.
Despite diversity of approaches and solutions and the investment of time and resources by a wide range
of institutions, soil fertility degradation continues to prove to be a substantially intransigent problem, and
as the single most important constraint to food security in the continent
2)
. For example, soil loss through
erosion is estimated to be 10 times greater than the rate of natural formation. Return to investment in
soil fertility has not been commensurate to research outputs
3)
. Farmers are only likely to adopt sound soil
management if they are assured of return on their investment. Integrated soil fertility management (ISFM)
is now regarded as a strategy that helps low resource endowed farmers, mitigate many problems and the
characteristics of poverty and food insecurity by improving the quantity and quality of food, income and
resilience of soil productive capacity.
Essentially, ISFM is the adoption of a systematic conscious participatory and broad knowledge intensive
holistic approach to research on soil fertility and that embraces the full range of driving factors and conse-
quences such as biological, physical, chemical, social, economic and political aspects of soil fertility degra-
dation. Te approach advocates for careful management of soil fertility aspects that optimise production
potential through incorporation of a wide range of adoptable soil management principles, practices and
options for productive and sustainable agroecosystems. It entails the development of soil nutrient manage-
ment technologies for adequate supply and feasible share of organic and inorganic inputs that meet the
farmers production goals and circumstances. Te approach includes other important aspects of the soil
complex; soil life, structure and organic matter content. Te approach integrates the roles of soil and water
conservation; land preparation and tillage; organic and inorganic nutrient sources; nutrient adding and
saving practices; pests and diseases; livestock; rotation and intercropping; multipurpose role legumes and
integrating the dierent research methods and knowledge systems. Te approach also includes a social and
economic dimension.
Te increasing adoption of ISFM as a long-term perspective and holistic approach derives its success from
the emergence of a consensus on its guiding principles. Tis paradigm is closely related to the wider concepts
of Integrated Natural Resources Management (INRM), thereby representing a signicant step beyond the
earlier, narrower concept and approach of nutrient replenishment/recapitalization for soil fertility enhance-
ment
2)
. ISFM thereafter embraces the full range of multiple options (MPOs) and driving factors and conse-
quences (namely: biological, physical, chemical, socio-cultural, economic and political), of soil degradation
in dierent farming systems and land types. Te ISFM MPOs may include:
a) Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), which is the technical backbone of ISFM approach. It
entails integrated use of organics as well as inorganic sources of plant nutrients; as well as the en
tirety of possible combinations of nutrient-adding practices and nutrient saving techniques. Te
latter INM is perceived as the judicious manipulation of nutrient inputs, outputs and internal
ows to achieve productive and sustainable agricultural systems
4)
.
b) Integrating the benecial and deleterious eects of the relationship between abiotic factors (includ-
ing tillage, soil and water management) and biotic stresses (including integrated pest and disease
management; integrated crop management).
c) Integration of crop and livestock production.
31
d) Integration and greater productive use of local and indigenous knowledge, innovations,practices
and resources and science knowledge based-management system.
e) Integration of policy and institutional framework, as well as on-site and o-site (landscape)
eects.
Fertiliser is a term used to refer to any inorganic or organic material, natural or synthetic in origin that is
added to soil or other growing media to supply plant nutrients. Inorganic or mineral fertilisers originate
from ores, air, sediments or ashes. Organic fertilisers originate from organic materials such as animal or hu-
man waste and compost. Fertilisers may be in solid, liquid or gaseous forms. Te mineral nutrient content
and solubility of a fertiliser in water determines its eciency. Plant fertiliser use eciency is inuenced by
climate (e.g. temperature and rainfall) and soil factors such as soil pH, mineral content and humus
5
. Gener-
ally, the nutrient content of organic fertilisers is usually lower than that of inorganic fertilisers but it is more
stable and not so much endangered by outwash or insoluble xation (phosphorus to iron).
Most inorganic fertilisers are mined from ores or sedimentary deposits, except for those that contain nitro-
gen (N) which is synthesized with high energy input from the air. Because of the high element concentration
and high solubility of the inorganic fertilisers, their benecial eects on plant growth are quick and easy to
recognise. Tere are two types of mineral fertilisers on the Kenyan market: straight and compound. Straight
fertilisers contain one nutrient while compound fertilisers contain two or more nutrients. Every inorganic
fertiliser has a particular grade. Te fertiliser grade refers to the percent nutrient content of nitrogen, phos-
phorus and potassium. Nitrogen is expressed in % N, phosphorus as % phosphate (P
2
O
5
) and potassium
as % potassium oxide (K
2
O). It is mandatory that this N-P-K (i.e. N-P
2
O
5
-K
2
O) information be displayed
on the outside of each fertiliser bag. For example, the fertiliser 17-17-17 contains 17% nitrogen, 17% P
2
O
5
and 17% K
2
O, the remaining 49% is ller material.. Te remaining 49 kg in the fertiliser is ller material.
Important inorganic fertilisers found in the Kenyan market include: Diammonium phosphate (DAP), com-
pound fertilizers (NPK: 20-20-0), Ammonium sulphate (SA), Calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), Urea,
Single Super Phosphate (SSP), Triple Super Phosphate (TSP), Phosphate rock, Muriate of Potash (MOP),
Sulphate of Potash, Lime (calcium carbonate).
Some common organic fertilisers used in replenishing soil fertility in Kenya include bone meal, crop resi-
dues (e.g. maize stover, bean trash, napier grass trash, tree/hedge cuttings) animal manure (e.g. cattle, sheep,
goat, pig, poultry) and compost
6)
. Te nutrient contents in manure vary enormously depending on the
source, method of processing, application and storage. Herbaceous legumes too are commonly used as green
manure in Kenya. Usually, the legume is grown in pure stand and cut just before full bloom (or owering
stage), while the N content is at or near the maximum. After wilting the leaves, the green manure is incorpo-
rated with the soil to facilitate decomposition. Grain legumes can also contribute to a soils nitrogen budget
when included as part of the rotation because of the nitrogen left behind in the roots and residue remaining
after removal of the seed. In addition to herbaceous legumes, several tree species also x nitrogen thereby
substantially increasing the nitrogen capital of the soils. Te most notable ones used for agroforestry are fast
growing and belong to the following genera: Leucaena, Calliandra, Erythrina, Gliricidia and Sesbania. Slow
growing nitrogen xing trees include: Albizia, Inga, Acacia and Faidherbia albida. Some soils need inocula-
tion with the nitrogen xing bacteria which make nodules on the roots of the Leguminosae family. Another
green manure shrub worth mentioning is Tithonia diversifolia. Although not a legume itself, Tithonia is
considered an excellent green manure because of its ability to accumulate plant nutrients quickly, its rapid
decomposition. Green manuring with Tithonia is being promoted vigorously in Western Kenya and Nyanza
provinces to improve soil fertility in nutrient depleted soils and with promising results, particularly in maize
and vegetable production.
Improved fallow systems oer a quick way to regenerate soil fertility because they require shorter fallow pe-
riods than natural fallow and the only investment required is seed. Te plant species of choice should be fast
growing high nitrogen xers. Where soil fertility has declined tremendously, the performance of improved
fallow can be increased by supplying the other limiting nutrients (other than nitrogen e.g. potassium and
phosphorus) to the improved fallow. In Western Kenya, for example, it has been proved scientically that
elds sown to maize and beans in which the improved fallow was Crotolaria gramiana or Tephrosia vogelii
32
was used had higher economic return than where natural fallow was used or the continuous cropped elds
6)
.
Te improved fallow was most benecial when phosphorus (a limiting nutrient in the region) was applied
at the time of planting the fallow. Extending improved fallow systems for soil fertility improvement should
be reasonably easy in Kenya given that many smallholder farmers know the value of leaving land to fallow
naturally. But with small and diminishing acreage per farm in Western Province, for example, there is almost
no land left to regenerate in a fallow period.
Conventional wisdom maintains that food security in Africa and Kenya in particular will be achieved by
presenting smallholder farmers with a basket of crop and land management options from which they may
choose the practices that best suit their site-specic needs and socio-economic conditions
7)
. Several dierent,
and often competing, soil fertility management recommendations for maize-legume intercrops are oered
to farmers in Kenya through a variety of outreach activities.
Tese options include Green Revolution fertiliser technologies (FURP), soil nutrient replenishment
with rock phosphate (PREP), fortied composting (COMP), relay intercropping with Lablab purpureus
(LABLAB), staggered-row intercropping (MBILI) and short-term improved Crotolaria grahamiana fallows
(IMPFAL). Tese management options have been examined in western Kenya along with maize control
receiving no external inputs over three growing seasons
7
. Data were collected on crop yield, input costs, la-
bour requirements and crop returns. Averaged over three seasons, production costs were (PREP = $119/ha)
> (FURP = $101) > (MBILI = $98) > (COMP = $95) > (LABLAB = $74) > (IMPFAL = $67) > (No inputs
= $62). Average maize yield (LSD
0.05
= 0.2) ranged between 1.5 t/ha (No inputs) and 2.8 t/ha (MBILI).
Average legume yields (LSD
0.05
= 27) ranged between 203 kg/ha (No input bean) to 500 kg/ha (MBILI
bean). Overall benet cost ratios (LSD
0.05
= 0.17) were FURP (2.22) = No inputs (2.28) < COMP (2.48)
= LABLAB (2.52) < IMPFAL (3.03) < MBILI (3.44). Clearly all these recommended technologies oer
potential to many farmers in West Kenya, and Kenya at large, but the ability of farmers to provide the neces-
sary input costs and labour remains uncertain. Perhaps it is time we focussed attention upon how farmers
basket of options is lled rather than how full it has become.
NOTES:
1
Nandwa, S.M. (2003): Perspectives on soil fertility in Africa. In: Gichuru et al. (Eds.). Soil fertility Management in Africa: A Re-
gional Perspective. Academy Science Publishers (ASP) & Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility of CIAT (TSBF), Nairobi, pp. 1-50.
2
Sanchez, P.A. and Leaky, R.R.B. (1997): Landuse transformation in Africa: Tree determinants for balancing food security
with natural resource utilization. European Journal of Agronomy, 7: 1-9.
3
African Highlands Initiative (AHI) (1997): Phase 1 Report. ICRAF, Nairobi.
4
Smaling, E.M.A., Fresco, L.O. and De Jager, A. (1996): Classifying, monitoring and improving soil nutrient stocks and ows
in African Agriculture. Ambio, 25: 492-496.
5
Humus can store the given nutrients 25 times better than a senile tropical soil, thus preventing the outwash by heavy rains.
6
Muriuki, A.W. and Qureshi, J.N. (2001): Fertiliser Use Manual: A comprehensive guide on fertiliser use in Kenya. Kenya Agri-
cultural Research Institute (KARI), Nairobi, p. 149.
7
Woomer, P.L. (2004): Cost and return on soil fertility management options in western Kenya. Abstracts of the International
Symposium of the African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNET) of TSBF institute of CIAT, Yaounde, Cameroon, May
17-21, 2004, pp. 147-148.
33
34
1.2.3 PHYSICAL SOIL CONSERVATION
By C. G. Wenner and S.N. Njoroge
Classication of land
Te land of a farm can be classied as to slope and soil, with the dierent classications needing dierent
considerations:
1) Flatland, sloping less than 2%, can usually be farmed without any special soil conservation mea-
sures except contour farming.
2) On gentle slopes between 2 and 12% terracing is not obligatory according to the present Agricul-
ture Act, but terracing is usually desirable on slopes exceeding 5%. In semi-arid areas and in areas with
erodible soils, even slopes less than 5% (2 5%) usually need to be terraced.
3) On slopes exceeding 12%, but not exceeding 55%, terraces (preferably developed bench terraces)
should be used if the depth of the soil is more than about 0.75m. For very steep slopes modied bench
terraces are recommended, i.e. narrow ledges cut into the slope, suitable for fruit trees, fodder trees, forest
trees and coee.
4) Slopes exceeding approximately 55% should be covered with grass and/or forest. Under certain
conditions it might be permissible to cultivate tea, sugar cane or bananas with a layer of trash on the
ground.
5) Soils which are rocky, stony or shallow, should be used as pasture or for forest or they should have
stone terraces.
Soil conservation in general
The basic protection of soil against erosion is good farm management:
1) Ploughing and planting along the contour
2) Rotation of crop and grass
3) Manure favouring the growth of crops
4) Leaving crop residue on the ground
On slopes, good farm management by itself is not sucient and it has to be combined with terraces.
Terraces
Terraces can be made by machinery or, usually, by hand.
Terraces made by machinery
Mechanised soil conservation can only be used on slopes which are not too steep (preferably 2 12%). Two
types of terraces are used:
1) Te channel terrace
2) Te ridge terrace
Te V-shaped terrace, on one or both sides of a ridge, will usually be lled up by sediment and will thus
develop into a bench terrace. But this could as well have developed from a grass strip.
Terraces made by hand
Terraces can develop from:
1) unploughed strips
2) Grass planted in one or two rows
3) Trash lines laid along the terrace line
In the strips, water ows will be distributed between the grass stems and most of the water will be inltrated
into the ground.
To hasten the formation of a bench terrace you can make a ridge by digging a channel (2 feet wide, 2 -3 feet
deep) and throwing the soil uphill, using the so-called Fanya Juu method.
Bench terraces are usually preferable to channel terraces, as the benches change the degree of slope. Tey also
retain eroded soil, moisture and nutrients.
35
Length of terraces
Terraces should not, if possible, be many hundreds of metres long. More than 400 m should be avoided.
Gradient of terraces
Terraces can be level or graded. Level terraces should be constructed on gentle slopes in permeable soils in
dry areas. For graded terraces the following gradients are recommended: in erosion resistant soils (clay) 1%,
normally 0.5% and in erodible soils (silty, sandy) 0.25%.
36
Vertical interval between terraces
Te vertical interval (V.I) between terraces depends on the slope and has been calculated in three dierent
ways in Kenya:
A/ Te ordinary formula-V.I. (in feet) = ( (% of slope/4) + 2) x 0.3
B/ Te bench formula-V.I. (in feet) = ( (% of slope/8) + 4) x 0.3
C/A constant V.I. of 5-6 or2.5-3 feet (1.5-1.8 or 0.75-0.90m).
Te method selected depends on the slope:
5-12% A, B or C,
but the horizontal interval is preferably not greater than 80 Feet (24m) on erodible soils.
12-35% B or C
35-55% C or modied bench terraces.
As shown above, a constant vertical interval (method C), corresponding to the eye height of a man can be
used on slopes between 5% and 55%. Te vertical interval will vary with the eye height of the person setting
out of the terraces, i.e between 5 and 6 feet (1.5 and 1.8m). Such variation can be disregarded in setting out
terraces. If terraces are needed on slopes between 2% and 5%, see table. Te vertical intervals will then be
less than the height of a person, because the horizontal interval should be a maximum of 24 m (80 feet):
Slope
%
Vertical interval Horizontal interval
in meters in feet in meters in feet
2 0.5 1.7 24 80
3 0.7 2.3 24 80
4 1.0 3.3 24 80
5 1.2 4.0 24 80
Horizontal interval between terraces
Te horizontal interval (H.I.) between terrace edges (grass strips) is calculated as H.I. =(V.I. x 100)/% of
slope
If the V.I. is expressed in feet, the H.I. will be in feet.
If the V.I. is expressed in meters, the H.I. will be in meters.
CUTOFF DRAINS
In general
Large water ows coming from outside a farm have to be diverted from the farm by a cut o drain, e.g.
collecting water from a hillside, or preventing water from a plateau from owing down a terraced slope, or
taking care of water from a roadside ditch .
Cuto drains should be dug only when there is evidence of large water ows which cannot be stopped
through normal terracing. Below the banks of terraces channels can be excavated instead of making cuto
drains.
In the survey of a cuto drain, you should start with the outlet point. If you cannot discharge the water in a
safe way do not dig any cuto drain. Before measuring and setting out the pegs, you should walk along the
proposed cuto drain, checking that the drain is properly sited regarding houses, cultivation, rocky ground
etc.
Do not dig any cut o drain if the farmers do not agree to do terracing below the drain and to maintain the
the channel by removing the soil sedimentation. Special forms should be used.
Length of cuto drains
As in terracing cuto drains should usually not be larger than 400m. If it is dicult to nd a natural wa-
terway within 400m, it might be better to make the cuto drain essentially longer than 400 m instead of
37
digging an expansive articial waterway.
Gradient of cuto drains
Te same as for graded terraces (see previous page)
Intervals between cuto drains
Usually one cuto drain only needed on a slope. Only on very long slopes might an extra cuto drain be
dug in exceptional cases.
Size of cuto drains
For the design of cuto drains and the approximate dimensions of the cuto channel see the gure below
on this page. A cuto drain dug by hand is often 5 feet (1.5 m) wide at the top, 3 feet (0.9 m) wide at the
bottom and 2 feet (0.6 m) deep, giving a cross-section of 0.7 m
2
. A cuto drain constructed by a motor
grader often has a V-shaped cross-section and is made 6-8 feet wide (1.8-2.4 m) and 2.5 feet deep (0.75 m),
giving a cross-section of 0.7-0.9 m
2
.
In semi-arid overgrazed areas cuto drains, especially in silt and sandy soils, are useless without grazing
control and establishment of grass cover on the ground round the gullies.
ARTIFICIAL WATERWAYS
In general
Te water from cuto drains as well as from terraces should be discharged into natural watercources (rivers)
or onto nonerodible areas such as stony ground or permanent pasture with a good grass cover. If it is not
possible to nd such an outlet point within a reasonable distance, the excess water has to be taken down
the slope by an articial waterway, covered with grass. A di culty in constructing waterways is that protec-
tive grass cannot be established in the rst year or two. Consequently it would be reasonable to construct
the articial waterways and plant grass two years before the construction of the cuto drains and terraces.
Another way is to remove the grass before excavating the waterway and afterwards replace the grass as shown
in the gure below on the next page.
38
A waterway should be wide (5 feet at least) and shallow (1 feet deep) to minimize erosion.
Width of waterways
Te width can be varied depending on the size of the catchment area and the steepness of the slope. Te
necessary width in feet of an articial waterway in erodible soils can be read from the table below:
Catchment area of the
waterways in acres
Steepness of the slope
less than 6% 6 - 12% more than 12%
5 5 6 8
10 6 8 10
15 7 11 17
20 8 15 23
30 9 23 34
40 12 30 44
50 16 38 56
In erosion resistant soils such as clay and clay loam, the width as shown in the table can be much less, but
not less than 5 feet. If the central 1/3 of the waterway is covered with stones, the width as shown in the table
can be decreased by about a half.
Experience has shown that farmers hesitate to accept even half of the widths recommended. An alterna-
tive then is to construct check dams as recommended for the oor in gully control (see gure on the next
page).
Depth of waterways
Te depth of a waterway is related to the width in the following way:
Width up to 10 feet 10 - 20 feet more than 20 feet
Depth 1 foot 1 1/4 feet 1 1/2 feet
39
40
41
2. EASTERN PROVINCE, Sout hern Part
2.1 INTRODUCTION
Comprising of six Embu-Meru districts, four Ukambani districts and three Cushitic districts, Eastern Prov-
ince is the most diverse and complex topographic region in Kenya. Extending between 38 15 E and 39
30E as well as 1 N and 3 S Eastern Province is characterized by imposing landscapes, wonderful wilder-
ness, mountains, rivers and peculiar landforms. It is one of the most important touristic destinations in
Kenya. Excluding the three Cushitic districts [entirely pastoral] namely: Moyale, Isiolo and Marsabit, the
main part is covered in the Farm Management Handbook. It contains many agro-ecological zones and sub-
zones. According to the 1999 census Eastern Province had a total of 4,631,779 persons. Te low average
population density of 30 persons/km
2
is partly attributed to its expansiveness and predominant agro-sahel
conditions. However many pockets of high population density exceeding 250 persons/km
2
exist in Embu,
Meru C., Meru N., Meru S. and Machakos districts indicating a likelihood of potential population pressure
which could result into signicant land use changes (availability, accessibility, intensication, etc), (see Table
V). Poverty
1)
is prevalent and persistent throughout the province as shown in Table VI, comprising 47% of
the population.
Farming activities in the southern arable parts of the Province are strongly inuenced by altitude. Below 550
m, it is normally too dry while above 2200 m on the windward side it is too cold and wet. On the leeward
side, cultivation may go up to 2800 m because of more sunshine, as is the case on the northern slopes of
Mt. Kenya.
Te fertility is very contrasting between the young volcanic areas of Mt. Kenya or the Nyambene Ranges,
rich in nutrients, and the poor leached senile soils on the uplifted peneplains of an eroded 600 Mill. years
old folded zone mainly consisting of gneiss. Improved living conditions in this area, i.e. access to water, have
led to more population pressure here. Te soils have become exhausted; droughts are frequent, leading to
crop failures, estimated in between 30 and 50 % of all the seasons in AEZ 5.
Te fertility of the soils in climatically favourable volcanic areas is decreasing rapidly because of recur-
rent permanent use over many years with almost no recycling of nutrients back to the soils (see special
chapter 2.7). Te other volcanic areas in the south have little positive inuence. Te Yatta Plateau is too
young to be deeply weathered, and the area around the Chyulu Hills is too dry, but the volcanic ashes con-
tain valuable nutrients for grasses. Reseeding of grass in fenced plots could be a protable enterprise to raise
livestock as the Kiboko Range Research Station and already many progressive farmers in Zone 5 show.
TABLE V: POPULATION PROJECTIONS FOR EASTERN PROVINCE PER DISTRICT
(Source: CBS, Analytical Report on Population Projections Vol. VII. p.32)
DISTRICT 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
EMBU 289,965 292,672 295,210 297,574 299,759 301,761 303,313 304,802 306,224 307,579 308,865
ISIOLO 106,719 109,625 112,514 115,381 118,222 121,032 123,699 126,374 129,055 131,740 134,429
KITUI 539,443 547,138 554,582 561,762 568,663 575,273 581,080 586,811 592,462 598,028 603,505
MAKUENI 811,035 826,824 842,338 857,548 872,427 886,947 900,310 913,628 926,893 940,096 953,227
MACHAKOS 953,049 971,603 989,832 1,007,705 1,025,190 1,042,252 1,057,955 1,073,605 1,089,193 1,104,707 1,120,137
MARSABIT 127,696 130,182 132,624 135,019 137,362 139,648 1,417,52 143,849 145,937 148,016 150,083
MBEERE 179,075 181,814 184,474 187,051 189,539 191,934 194,065 196,173 198,258 200,317 202,350
MERU CENTRAL 522,581 530,575 538,339 545,858 553,119 560,108 566,325 572,478 578,561 584,571 590,503
MOYALE 56,020 56,877 57,709 58,515 59,293 60,042 60,709 61,368 62,021 62,665 63,301
MWINGI 318,325 323,268 328,073 332,731 337,233 341,571 345,440 349,270 353,060 356,805 360,504
MERU NORTH 636,040 649,698 663,170 676,433 689,463 702,236 714,115 725,981 737,826 749,641 761,419
THARAKA 106,340 108,624 110,876 113,094 115,272 117,408 119,394 121,378 123,358 125,334 127,303
NITHI (MERU S.) 213,012 213,644 214,121 214,439 214,597 214,595 214,247 213,829 213,342 212,784 212,155
EASTERN 4,859,300 4,942,544 5,023,862 5,103,110 5,180,139 5,254,807 5,322,404 5,389,546 5,456,190 5,522,283 5,587,781
42
TABLE VI: ABSOLUTE POOR HOUSEHOLDS AND PERSONS IN EASTERN PROVINCE
PER DISTRICT (Source: Modifed aIter CBS (2001) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, p. 16
District Households below poverty
1)
line 1999 Individuals below poverty
1)
line 1999
EMBU 25,489 136,963
MBEERE 9,009 49,656
MERU CENTRAL 38,775 253,755
MERU SOUTH 57,574 379,850
MERU NORTH 74,320 446,363
THARAKA 11,968 59,811
MACHAKOS 14,775 84,164
MAKUENI 47,978 245,611
KITUI 4,112 26,329
MWINGI 23,482 149,582
MOYALE 47,738 297,388
ISIOLO 8,074 49,721
MARSABIT 18,743 101,148
EASTERN 382,037 2,280,341
1)
According to Participatory Poverty Assessment report oI 2001 defned poverty ' as the inability |Ior households and/ or individuals| to
meet their basic needs including land, employment, food, shelter, education, health etc cited from Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(September, 2001) p.13, CBS.
2.2 THE TEMPERATURE BELTS
Te annual mean temperature in the Lowland Zone has remarkably increased due to the global warming
during the period since the rst edition of the Farm Management Handbook in 1983. Te 0.5C increase
counts for approximately 100 m of rise from the limits of this thermal belt. Te Lowland Zone has extended
considerably in Mbeere, Taraka, Mwingi, Kitui and Makueni districts. Tis fact endangers the cultivation
of the Makueni Dryland Composite Maize here by increase in heat and favours the lowland varieties. Even
date palms may grow here at present.
Te increase in the Lower Midland Zones is a bit less due to the frequent presence of overcast clouds. It is
0.35C as measurements at Makindu Meteorological Station demonstrate: Te annual mean temp. 1937-68
was 22.58C, 1981-2000 22.93C. Tis means that the upper limit for cotton here has gone up by about
60 m and the old lower limit for coee in the Upper Midland Zone is faced with more diseases and quality
problems.
Te temperature in the Highland and Upper Midland Zone has not changed signicantly. Te mean maxi-
ma rose 0.2C, but this was almost compensated by a decrease of the minimum temperatures.
It has to be kept in mind, however, that the threshold mean temperature of 18C for the upper boundary
of the coee zones is a conventional gure for the climatological system only. In fact due to local condi-
tions and new coee varieties, coee may grow at higher altitudes. Additionally, it has to be considered that
microclimatic eects are aecting the zonal temperatures. Te vicinity of forests can decrease the mean
maxima through shade and the evaporative consumption of calories by the trees. Te night time down ow
of heavy cold air from Mt. Kenya may accumulate in a hole and decrease the mean minimum temperature
by almost 3C as a comparison of the June gures of Embu Met. Station and Mariene Coee Research
Substation shows: 13.3C to 10.5C, even though both stations have approximately the same altitude. In
addition, the temperatures of the Meru Met. Station are too low for the belt with an average of 18C at
1555 m . Te actual limit of the Coee Zone here is about 150 m higher according to the mean minimum
temperatures of 12.6C.
43
2.3 RAINFALL AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES OF EASTERN PROVINCE
Te average annual rainfall increases from less than 400 mm in the low eastern plains to more than 2200
mm at the southeastern windward side of Mt. Kenya in 2200 2700 m, the main altitude for condensation
and rain from the clouds of the SE Trade winds.
Te distribution of rainfall is typically bimodal with two distinct rainy seasons, the rst one with its peak in
April and the second with the peak in November; the intervening dry season is distinct, except in the misty
and cloudy altitudes above 1800 m, and northwest of Mt. Kenya where middle rains induced from Western
Kenya occur.
Te March-May (rst rainy season) is more intense and reliable around Mt. Kenya and the Nyambene
Rangess. To the South of the Province, the October-December (second rainy season) is longer than the rst
one. Terefore we avoid here the common terms long and short rains (because the short rains are the long
ones) and say rst and second rainy season to avoid confusion.
Te pattern of the Agro-Ecological Zones is typical for the Eastern part of the Kenyan Highlands. It starts
on Mt. Kenya with the Tropical Alpine Zones TA I and II. Tey are National Park now but some parts of
TA I could possibly be opened up for seasonal grazing stock from the over-populated zones below the
forest. Te forest reserves are mainly situated in steep wet areas unsuitable for agricultural use (UH 0 and
LH0). Te Agro-Ecological Zones LH1, UM1-4, LM3-5 and IL 5-6 occur at descending altitudes towards
the footplains.
Tere is a more complicated situation at the northwestern side of Mt. Kenya: Te two growing periods are
connected by the western middle rains, but here they are already weak, therefore called intermediate rains
only, and their occurrence is unreliable. Tat may cause severe dry spells, especially when the growing maize
needs most water during its tasseling stage.
A problem in the zone 5 is the low, unreliable rainfall, supporting a growing period only for a very short
time (see special diagrams). To a certain extent a drought or a chance of better rainfall are predictable here
due to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation System (see chapter Te Possibility of Estimating the Variations
and Forecasting a Season in the Critical Zone 5).
2.4 IMPORTANT SUBZONES IN THE DRIER AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
OF EASTERN PROVINCE
Te drier the climate is, the more subzones become more important than the main zones. Tis is because the
length and intensity of the cereal growing period are the predominant factors for the agricultural produc-
tion. Terefore, in the transitional AEZ 4 and the semi-arid AEZ 5, names are given to the Agro-Ecological
Subzones, announcing the main staple food crops cultivable by the natural conditions.
Te climatic growing periods shown by the subzones are very important as a key for choosing the right va-
rieties according to the length of the growing period. For the Agro-Ecological Units it is possible to deliver
the growing periods more exactly by regarding the local plant available water storage capacity of the soils.
Tis information will be provided in a GIS.
Some important typical samples: Te Zone UM4 vl = Upper Midland Maize-Sunower Zone with a very long
growing period is in the unimodal rainfall regime west of the Rift the main maize subzone, rich in yields. In
East Kenya there is the bimodal UM4 s+s = Upper Midland Maize-Sunower Zone with two short growing pe-
riods. It may be called the two seasons early maturing maize subzone well suitable for Katumani Composite.
LM4 s/vs + s/vs = Marginal Cotton Zone with two short to very short growing periods which may be called two
44
seasons very early maturing maize subzone well suitable for Dryland Composite maize which needs 75 days to
physical maturity, and s/vs means there are at least 75 84 days growing period in 6 out of 10 years.
LM 5 vs + vs/s = Livestock-Millet Zone with a very short and a very short to short growing period could be
named second season marginal very early maturing maize subzone because in the warmer second rainy season,
the growth of maize is quicker than in the rst one, therefore Dryland Composite may reach its physical
maturity already in less than 75 days.
LM5 vu + vs = Livestock-Millet Zone with a very uncertain and a very short growing period. Tis subzone could
be named second season minor millets subzone and is the driest one in Eastern Province. It forms the marginal
belt of rainfed agriculture in the Southeast. Very uncertain warns that in less than 6 out of 10 seasons there is
enough rain for a minimum growing period of 40 days, necessary to get at least anything to eat; it means in
50 % or more of the seasons occur crop failures even with the lowest demanding crops like hog millet.
Other subzones can be named in a similar way according to their growing periods.Tere is a more com-
plicated situation at the northwestern side of Mt. Kenya: Te two growing periods are connected by the
western middle rains, but here they are already weak, therefore called intermediate rains only, and there
occurrence is unreliable. Tat may cause bad dry spells, especially when the growing maize need most water
during its tusseling stage.
A problem in the zone 5 is the low, unreliable rainfall, supporting a growing period only for a very short
time (see special diagrams). To a certain extend a drought or a chance of better rainfall are predictable here
due to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation System (see chapter Te Possibility of Estimating the Variations
and Forecasting a Season in the Critical Zone 5).
45
2.5 THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTIMATING THE VARIATIONS AND FORECASTING A
SEASON IN THE CRITICAL ZONE 5
Te variability of rainfall becomes a serious problem towards the semi-arid Eastern midlands and lowlands
due to the increasing population pressure. To show the farmers clearly the risks and chances for well adjusted
ways of land use, new diagrams of growing periods were developed by Martin Mueller, Berthold Hornetz
and Ralph Jaetzold (Fig. 2.5.1). Tey also give the Government and NGOs a guideline on how often support
could be necessary. Although they show the conditions in the past years, they give a picture and a quantica-
tion (Tables VII & VIII) of the probable conditions in the coming years
1)
because the cycles repeat more or
less periodically due to the El Nio Southern Oscillation System (ENSO). Tis is especially the case in the
Mwingi, Kitui and Makueni districts, therefore we have used examples mainly from these districts.
Te new research results about the inuence of this ENSO System open the possibility to forecast in East
Kenya the intensity of many rainy seasons before they start, due to the air pressure dierences between the
eastern and western parts of the Pacic ocean (Tahiti and Darwin/Australia). One or two months before the
onset of a rainy season a small dierence (Southern Oscillation Index SOI < 1.05) is already indicating an
ENSO-season with more rain, a big dierence (SOI > 2.33) an Anti-ENSO season with less rain, especially
for the 2
nd
rainy season (although not always, see Table VII). Tis enables farmers and policy makers to
make informed decisions based on the expected weather patterns as Prof. Shisanya, Prof. Hornetz and their
students have shown.
2)
It is the responsibility of the Government to disseminate this vital information from
the Met. Department to the media that is available to the local authorities and farmers well in advance in
order for the advice given in the Farm Management Handbook to be eciently utilised.
Te analysis of the typical sample Makindu (Fig. 2.5.1 & Tables VII &VIII) shows some general aspects
of the inuence of the El Nio-Southern Oscillation system: Te frequency of the mainly good ENSO
years has signicantly increased during the last 4 decades of the 20
th
century, probably a positive eect of
the global warming. Fortunately the frequency of the mainly drier Anti-ENSO years has not signicantly
increased.
1)
Te global climatic change is not so important here. It concerns mainly the increase of temperature, the rainfalls increase a bit and the variability
to a certain extent (see text).
2)
Shisanya, C.A. (1996): Chances and Risks of Maize and Bean Growing in the Semi-arid Areas of South-East Kenya during expected decient,
normal and above normal rainfall of the Short Rainy Seasons. (= Mat. zur Ostafrika-Forschung 14), Geographische Gesellschaft University of
Trier, p. 137 and 240.
46
Fig. 2.5.1: RISKS AND CHANCES IN SUBZONE LM 5 vu + vs/s ( with a very uncertain frst
growing period and a very short to short second one). Sample MAKINDU
47
TABLE VII: HOW MUCH DEVIATION FROM THE NORMAL IS CAUSED BY AN ENSO OR AN
ANTI ENSO SEASON at Makindu, a typical station in southeast Kenya
First Rainy Season Second Rainy Season
Normal ENSO Anti-ENSO Normal ENSO Anti-ENSO
Occuring
1930 - 2000 2000
32 out of 71
= 45 %
20 out of 71
= 28 %
19 out of 71
= 27 %
30 out of 70
= 43 %
17 out of 70
= 24 %
18 out of 70
= 26 %
Occuring
1961 - 2000 2000
13 out of 40
= 32 %
15 out of 40
= 38 %
12 out of 40
= 30 %
13 out of 40
= 32 %
15 out of 40
= 38 %
12 out of 40
= 30 %
Median rainfall
in growing period
168 mm 155 mm
1)
100 mm 265 mm 285 mm 190 mm
Median length of
growing period
50 days 50 days 35 days 60 days 72 days 50 days
1)
Less than in normal seasons but better distributed.
In the rst rainy season, the eect of an ENSO year is almost nothing because then the inuence is already
coming to its end after starting in August. It brings no more rainfall than in the normal season (in the sample
it is accidentally even a bit less), and also the length of the agro-humid growing period is the same. Terefore
also the percentage of crop failures is almost similar too, only a bit lower.
But the inuence of an Anti-ENSO year is in the rst rainy season much more evident and important, even
dangerous: Te median rainfall and the length of the growing period drop at Makindu in 3 out of 4 seasons
below the minimum for the least demanding crops (minor millets). Te percentage of crop failures raises
from 44 % in normal seasons to 72 %! 13 of the 18 Anti-ENSO seasons got less rainfall than the normal
ones. An indicated Anti-ENSO season almost doubles the danger of a coming hunger problem! It is wise
too to sell a part of the livestock before many animals starve and die.
In the second rainy season the positive eect of an ENSO situation is visible here: Although the increase of
the median rainfall is small (8 %) and just 11 out of 17 seasons got more than the median of the normal
ones, the length of the growing period is 20 % longer, here 72 instead of 60 days. Tis is an important dier-
ence in the Livestock-Millet Zone 5, because then maize (DLC) has a good chance, it is the higher yielding
and more preferred food crop. Only one out of 17 ENSO seasons suered a total crop failure, a low prob-
ability of 6 % (instead of 37 % in the normal seasons).
Te negative inuence of an Anti-ENSO situation is less signicant than in the rst rainy season. Te me-
dian rainfall drops at our typical sample to 190 mm only and the length of growing period to 50 days (min.
in 10 out of 15 seasons). But according to the probability it is better to plant minor millet then instead of
expecting a crop failure with maize.
Similar observations were made with dierent leguminous crops like drought-resistant tepary beans and
green grams as well as drought-susceptible mwezi moja beans at NRRC Kiboko near Makindu (AEZ:
LM5- 6
3)
): Calculations with the crop simulation model MARCROP from 1959 till 1991 showed that
total crop failures (TCF) for the fast growing tepary beans occurred in 13-14 % of the second rainy seasons
under normal and Anti-ENSO conditions, but none in ENSO seasons; for green grams this risk is about
21 % under normal, 38 % under Anti-ENSO and only 11 % under ENSO conditions. For the high yield-
ing and fast growing mwezi moja beans there is a risk for TCF of about 57 % under normal and 62 % under
Anti-ENSO conditions however, only 22 % in ENSO seasons.
3)
HORNETZ, B., SHISANYA, C.A. and N.M. GITONGA (2001): Crop water relationships and thermal adaption of
Kathika beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and green grams (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek) with special reference to
temporal patterns of potential growth in the drylands of SE Kenya.- Journal of Arid Environments, 48, 591-601.
48
TABLE VIII: CLIMATIC YIELD POTENTIALS OF SEASONAL CROPS
1)
IN ENSO,
NORMAL AND ANTI-ENSO YEARS (SECOND RAINY SEASON)
2)
LM5 (vu) + vs/s (calc. for station 9237000 Makindu Met. St. with different soils
3)
)
Crop Variety Soil
Total crop failures
out of 10 years
Estimated average yield
(in kg/ha)
ENSO Normal
Anti-
ENSO
ENSO Normal
Anti
ENSO
Maize Ferralsol 0 0 0 1580 1380 1050
(Dryland Comp.) Luvi-/Acrisol 0 1 1 1130 1100 700
Bulrush millet Ferralsol 1 1 1960 1920 1320
(Serere Comp. ll) Luvi-/Acrisol 1 2 3 1720 1640 1080
Sorghum Ferralsol 0 0 0 1670 1640 1050
(KARI/Mtama-1) Luvi-/Acrisol 0 1 1 1470 1430 920
Tepary beans Ferralsol 1 1 1 780 670 560
Luvi-/Acrisol 1 2 3 750 550 400
Beans Ferralsol 2 4 5 720 540 470
(Rosecoco) Luvi-/Acrisol 3 4 7 530 340 230
Cowpeas Ferralsol 1 2 4 1060 900 590
(K 80) Luvi-/Acrisols 1 3 4 880 650 520
Soyabeans Ferralsol 0 1 1 1680 1500 1030
(Nyala) Luvi-/Acrisol 1 2 2 1330 1250 900
Groundnuts Ferralsol 1 4 5 750 750 500
(Makulu Red) Luvi-/Acrisol 3 4 6 620 680 460
1)
Crops listed acc.to yield calculations with MARCROP model of HORNETZ (2001; see Method. in Vol. II/M).
2)
15 ENSO seasons, 10 Normal seasons and 10 Anti-ENSO were calculated and confgured Irom 1961 till 1997.
3)
Well manured, fertilized and protected. Water loss as surface runoff is stopped by contour ridges calculated
with MARCROP.
49
2.6 RUNOFF-WATER HARVESTING IN AGRICULTURE TO AVOID FAMINES
IN SEMI-ARID LANDS
If the eld is a bit slopy, the runo can be caught by ridges (matutas) which are made parallel to the contour
lines. Tey have to be about 25 cm high and 50 cm wide. According to the expected rainfall and to the water
requirement of the crop, the distance between the ridged rows has to be wider the lower the rainfall is and
the higher the water requirement , which has to be fullled by the harvested water from the runo surface
(Table IXa & IXb). It is at the average about 30 % of the rainfall. Dierent shapes are suitable for dierent
areas and purposes (Fig.2.6.1 & 2.6.2).
Tis widened matuta system protects also from soil denudation. Tie-ridging with short blocking ridges rect-
angular to the rows might be necessary to avoid water-concentration at the lowest point of a long ridge
which might cause a break through of the water, causing an erosion channel. Holes for higher demanding
crops like bananas (Fig. 2.6.1) collect higher amounts of water, and ridges like half moons (Fig. 2.6.2) avoid
too long ridges.
Fig. 2.6.1: Runoff-water harvesting agriculture
50
Te rotting crop residues have a mulching and composting eect to help maintaining the fertility. Fertilizer
will not be washed away.
Te system can also be used for fodder plants and grass. It is most necessary in Zone 5 and may go even in
Zone 6, especially for fodder and grass but even for some subsistence crops. Unfortunately most of the very
eastern parts are at and sandy, it means this system cannot work there. It functions best if the slopes are
gentle and a compact subsoil has a slow inltration rate for the rain water. At these places it is helpful to soil
and water conservation.
Fig. 2.6.2: Runoff -water harvesting agriculture
Te runo-catching system should not be applied when an El Nio season is announced (see previous chap-
ter) because heavy rains are then expected which may break the ridges and cause erosion.
51
TABLE IXa: DISTANCES FOR RUNOFF-WATER HARVESTING AGRICULTURE
FIRST RAINY SEASON (start normally end of March)
AEZ & Subzone Maize variety
a)
Suggested
intercrop
b)
Distance of ridged
rows
c)
Plant distance in
row
c)
UM3-4 H 511, 5.. or EMCO 92 SR - 83 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
UM4
s + s Katumani comp. B Early mat. beans 75 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
s/vs + s/vs Katumani comp. B
Very early mat.
beans
83 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
LM 4
s/vs + s Katumani comp. B Dolichos beans 90 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
s/vs + vs/s Katumani comp. B Dolichos beans 90 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs/s + s/vs Dryland composite Cowpeas 105 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs + s/vs
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Black grams 125 cm (4 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vu + s/vs
In 1
st
rainy season only
suited for dwarf sorghum
- 120 cm (4 feet) 20 cm (2/3 foot)
LM5
vs + vs/s
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Green grams 125 cm (4 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs + vs
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Green grams 125 cm (4 feet) 36 cm (1 foot)
vu + /vs/s
In 1
st
rainy season only
suited for millets
- Depends on kind of millet and variety
d)
vs + vu
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Green grams 150 cm (5 feet) 45 cm (1 foot)
vu + vs
In 1
st
rainy season only
suited for millets
- Depends on kind of millet and variety
e)
L5
vs + vu
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Chick peas or
Tepary beans
150 cm (5 feet) 45 cm (1 foot)
vu + vs
In 1
st
rainy season only
suited for millets
- Depends on kind of millet and variety
e)
a)
Practice dry planting, or if late, the seeds should be soaked in water about 20 hours before planting, especially
where the growing period is very short.
b)
If the April rains are below normal, the intercrops should be uprooted and used as a spinach. Complete
mulching of unshaded interrows from mid May onward is important.
c)
Farmers should also try the next closer and wider spacing of the resp. AEZ to meet rainfall variability. In wet
years the wide spaced plots give less yields but in dry years more than the normal spaced ones. This helps to
avoid Iamine. Farmers in the wetter zones 3 and 4 should also have normal felds Ior higher yields in normal
and wet years. Ridging ploughs are very helpIul Ior preparing the runoII-catching felds.
d)
Bulrush millet (if possible awned var.) 120 x 20 cm, very early mat. foxtail or Proso millet 45 x 10 cm
e)
Bulrush millet (if possible awned var.) 120 x 25 cm, very early mat. foxtail or Proso millet 60 x 10 cm
52
TABLE IXb: DISTANCES FOR RUNOFF-WATER HARVESTING AGRICULTURE
SECOND RAINY SEASON (start normally end of October)
AEZ & Subzone Maize variety
a)
Suggested
intercrop
b)
Distance of ridged
rows
c)
Plant distance in
row
c)
UM3-4 H 511, 5.. or EMCO 92 SR - 83 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
UM 4
s + s Katumani comp. B Early mat. beans 75 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
s/vs + s/vs Katumani comp. B
Very early mat.
beans
83 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
LM4
s/vs + s Katumani comp. B E. mat. beans 75 cm (2 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
s/vs + vs/s Dryland composite Cowpeas 105 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs/s + s/vs Katumani comp. B Cowpeas 90 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs + s/vs Dryland composite Cowpeas 90 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vu +s/vs Dryland composite Cowpeas 90 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
LM 5
vs + vs/s Dryland comp. Cowpeas 105 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs + vs
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
Green grams 125 cm (4 feet) 36 cm (1 foot)
vu + vs/s Dryland comp. Green grams 105 cm (3 feet) 30 cm (1 foot)
vs + vu
In 2
nd
rainy season only
suited for millets
- Depends on kind of millet and variety
d)
vu + vs
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
- 150 cm (5 feet) 45 cm (1 foot)
L5
vs + vu
In 2
nd
rainy season only
suited for millets
Chick peas or
Tepary beans
Depends on kind of millet and variety
d)
vu + vs
Dryland comp. or dwarf
sorghum
- 150 cm (5 feet) 45 cm (1 foot)
a)
Practice dry planting, or if late, the seeds should be soaked in water about 20 hours before planting, especially
where the growing period is very short.
b)
If the April rains are below normal, the intercrops should be uprooted and used as a spinach. Complete
mulching of unshaded interrows from mid May onward is important.
c)
Farmers should also try the next closer and wider spacing of the resp. AEZ to meet rainfall variability. In wet
years the wide spaced plots give less yields but in dry years more than the normal spaced ones. This helps to
avoid Iamine. Farmers in the wetter zones 3 and 4 should also have normal felds Ior higher yields in normal
and wet years. Ridging ploughs are very helpIul Ior preparing the runoII-catching felds.
d)
Bulrush millet (if possible awned var.) 120 x 25 cm, very early mat. foxtail or Proso millet 60 x 10 cm
53
2.7 THE IMPORTANCE OF FERTILISING AND NUTRIENT RECYCLING IN
EASTERN PROVINCE
Soils in the Eastern Province of Kenya are highly variable due to the geological conditions of the area. In
the northwestern and southwestern parts of the province soils on volcanic deposits, mainly basaltic lava, are
dominating due to tectonic activities associated with the uplifting and rifting of the Rift Valley system dur-
ing tertiary, pleistocene and recent times. On and around Mt. Kenya, Nyambene Ranges and Chyulu Hills
Nitosols, Andosols and Phaeozems are developing on those volcanic layers. Due to their high contents of
nutrients, primary minerals and montmorillonitic clay minerals these juvenile soils (in most areas combined
with favourable rainfall conditions) possess a high fertility. Population density within the rural areas is very
high. Terefore, cultivation of cash and food crops is very intensive outside the protected areas (Forest and
Game Reserves, National Parks). Permanent cropping and lack of resources for replenishing soil nutrients is
leading to serious soil degradation particularly in the smallholder farming areas.
Te pedological situation outside the volcanic areas is dierent, because here strongly weathered soils like
Ferralsols, Acrisols and Luvisols are dominating on basement rocks (like in the Machakos and Kitui Hills)
and on the tertiary peneplains of the eastern and southeastern drylands. In the climatically favoured hilly/
mountainous areas population density was increasing rapidly from the beginning of the colonial era, initi-
ated also by the reservation politicy. Tis led to continuous cultivation, nally strong degradation, nutrient
depletion and soil erosion in the hilly areas. As a consequence many people were forced to migrate to the
semiarid and arid plateaus where they started permanent cultivation and grazing, thus leading again to soil
degradation.
Inorganic fertilizers can increase the yields of food crops considerably, as the Fertilizer Use Recommendation
Project (FURP, 1987-1992) and the Fertilizer Extension Project (FEP, 1993-1994) have shown. But for sus-
tainable farm management it is necessary to combine it with nutrient recycling by any kind of farm manure,
biomass from hedges/trees, crop residues, even human excrements (under hygienic control!) and ashes of
cooking res. Te addition of cost-eective microbiological substrates like EM (Eective Microorganisms),
rhizobia and mycorrhizae to farm manure or soils directly is delivering reasonable results to soil fertility (see
e.g. Hornetz/Shisanya/Gitonga, 2000)
1)
.
Te gures in Table 2.3 (and also others from the FURP experiments) demonstrate that continuous cultiva-
tion even on fertile Nitosols is depressing the pool of macro- and micronutrients like potassium in the soil.
PH-gures are lowered too by the exhaustion of calcium, magnesium and other micronutrients by crop
roots. Similar observations were made on Ferralsols at NRRC Kiboko (on-station-experiments), where po-
tassium was decreased by as much as 50 % within four cropping seasons (Hornetz, 1997)
2)
.
Articial fertilizers seem to accelerate the decrease of pH as well as the diminishing of the other nutrients
because of the intensication of crop growth (Table 2.3). During the FURP experiments at Embu A.R.S.
the loss of potassium, for instance, was up to four times higher with NP fertilizer than without (see Con-
trol). Potassium could be given articially too (if payable by the smallholders), but the vanished micronu-
trients normally cannot be added because most of them are not yet known or measured consequently. Al-
together the permanent cultivation without nutrient recycling means depletion of vital natural resources by
agromining.
Additional farm yard manure in some cases increases the loss of nutrients due to its high N content, which
favours crop growth. In any case manuring must be supplemented as much as possible with other organic
materials and ashes for eective recycling of nutrients.
54
TABLE X: THE DECREASE (%) OF PH AND AVAILABLE NUTRIENTS IN EASTERN KENYA
(during 5 years of maize cultivation at the FURP experimental sites)
Treatment FURP Site Soil AEZ pH K Ca Mg
Control
Embu A. R. S.
(Embu Distr.)
-----------------
Tunyai
(Tharaka D.)
Humic
Nitosols
---------
Ferral-
sols
UM2
---------
LM4
-1.6 %
----------
-11.3 %
-13.2 %
----------
-45.0 %
-30.7 %
-----------
-32.0 %
-8.1 %
----------
-31.4 %
P: 0 kg/ha
N: 75 kg/ha
Embu A. R. S.
(Embu Distr.)
-----------------
Tunyai
(Tharaka D.)
Humic
Nitosols
----------
Ferral-
sols
UM2
---------
LM4
-9.1 %
----------
-9.4 %
-17.7 %
----------
-40.4 %
-48.4 %
-----------
-42.1 %
-27.9 %
----------
-36.1 %
P: 75 kg/ha
N: 0 kg/ha
Embu A. R. S.
(Embu Distr.)
-----------------
Tunyai
(Tharaka D.)
Humic
Nitosols
----------
Ferral-
sols
UM2
---------
LM4
-5.7 %
---------
-11.1 %
-31.6 %
---------
-44.9 %
-29.4 %
----------
-15.8 %
-13.9 %
----------
-2.9 %
P: 75 kg/ha
N: 75 kg/ha
Embu A. R. S.
(Embu Distr.)
-----------------
Tunyai
(Tharaka D.)
Humic
Nitosols
----------
Ferral-
sols
UM2
---------
LM4
-2.6 %
----------
-6.3 %
-48.9 %
----------
-35.0 %
-24.1 %
-----------
-9.1 %
-12.1 %
----------
-11.8 %
Meanwhile a lot of research has been done on the management of soil fertility in the Kenyan highlands. A
number of studies describes the positive impact of the use of biomass from mucuna, crotalaria, tithonia,
calliandra and leucaena hedges/trees as well as manure for soil fertility improvement (e.g. MUGENDI et al.,
1999; MUTUO et al., 2000; all cited in: MUCHERU et al., 2003)
3)
. In on-station-/o-farm-experiments
on humic Nitosols at Chuka, Meru South District (UM 2), MUCHERU et al. (2003)
3)
found out, that
grain yields of maize H 513 were increased up to three times (compared to the control) when using cattle
manure or the pruning materials of the mentioned plants solely or in combination with small amounts (30
kg/ha) of inorganic N fertilizer; best results were obtained over four seasons by tithonia and tithonia plus 30
kg/ha of inorganic N (4.7 t/ha and 4.8 t/ha, respectively.). Te hedges were also decreasing the rate of soil
erosion. After introducing the new technologies in farmers eld days similar experiments were performed
by farmers. Te results demonstrate that yields of maize H 513 generally improved as a result of using the
introduced fertilizing measures; however, the improvements of grain yields varied signicantly with the dif-
ferences in the day-to-day management of the materials by the farmers (e.g. requirement of labour).
Other technologies to prevent soil erosion were introduced into the smallholder farming systems several
years ago like Fanya Juu terraces, Matuta ridges, contour ploughing and strip farming. Tose soil and water
conserving measures are practised widely in Eastern Kenya and are working very eectively particularly in
the hilly/mountainous areas. Tey can be combined with techniques of organic and inorganic fertilizing in
order to maintain soil fertility as a whole.
1)
HORNETZ, B., SHISANYA, C.A. and N.M. GITONGA (2000): Studies on the ecophysiology of locally suitable
cultivars of food crops and soil fertility monitoring in the semi-arid areas of Southeast Kenya .- (= Materialien
zur Ostafrika-Forschung, Heft 23), Trier, 133pp.
2)
HORNETZ, B. (1997): Ressourcenschutz und Ernhrungssicherung in den semiariden Gebieten Kenyas.- Reimer
Verlag, Berlin, 301pp.
3)
MUCHERU, M., MUGENDI, D., KANGAI, R., MUGWE, K.J. and A. MICHENI (2003): Organic resources for soil
fertility management in Eastern Kenya.- In: SAVALA, C.E.N. et al. (Eds., 2003): Organic resource management
in Kenya: Perspectives and guidelines.- FORMAT Nairobi, 184pp.
55
2.8 POSSIBLE CROPS AND VARIETIES IN EASTERN PROVINCE
To have the right seed at the right time on the right place is the basis of agriculture development. Terefore
many crops and varieties are listed here. Most of them are commercially available, although this means they
are very dicult to get for the poor farmers in areas far from big centers. Many seed centers with credit
facilities are necessary.
In the Table XI the dierentiation of the growing period to physical maturity and harvest was only made
for the main food crop maize because for other crops the data are unknown or scattered resp. not so impor-
tant.
Te chapter includes additionally a Table XII with fodder crops. As natural grazing becomes scarce (and the
rest is destroyed by overuse), planting of grasses, legumes, fodder trees and shrubs is an esseential task for
survival.
Several listed varieties are in experimental stage, not yet available. Others are mentioned here as possibilities
for the future. Tey are either already successful in other countries or have a promising potential so that
experiments with them should be done or repeated. One of these are the bualo gourds (Cucurbita foetidis-
sima) from Arizona. Te tubers and seeds are a native food for the Indians living in the semi-desert there.
Because of its mentioning already in the rst edition of the Farm Management Handbook, the bualo
gourd was planted 1983 in the Makueni Kampi ya Mawe Station. Te trial was soon neglected because this
subtropical plant did not ower under tropical seasonal constant daylight duration. But digging it out in
August 1984, it had already produced remarkable tubers. Tey would increase season by season until they
are needed in a drought when other crops fail. Te starchy tubers are bitter but this bitterness can be washed
out by salty water. Research is going on at the Department of Agriculture, University of Tucson, Arizona.
Another native tuber crop are the Marama beans (Tylosema esculentum) of the Kalahari which have also
edible seeds.
Very early maturing foxtail and hog millets and moth beans are bred in the Central Arid Zone Research Insti-
tute (CAZRI) in Jodhpur, India, as well as rai (Brassica juncea), an oil seed crop related to rapeseed. Tese
are crops for the fringe of the semi-desert, growing with 150 180 mm in two months or less. Te yield
potential cannot be high with such a short vegetative cycle, but they are security crops if the rainy seasons
become too short.
In the AEZ-potentials for the districts of Kenya, all the crops that have yet to be established are denoted in
italics to indicate that there is still room for their introduction.
56
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74
TABLE XII: BIOCLIMATOLOGICALLY SUITABLE GRASSES AND OTHER FODDER CROPS FOR
THE AGRO- ECOLOGICAL ZONES IN EASTERN PROVINCE
UPPER HIGHLAND ZONES (norm. above 2300 m a.s.l.)
Grasses:
Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) UH 1,(2)
Rye grass (Lolium perenne), except in wheat areas (dangerous weed) UH 1,2,3,(4)
Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) UH 1,2,3,4
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) UH 1,2,3,4
Blue grass (Andropogon gayanus) UH 1,2,3
Cereals:
Oats (Avena sativa) UH 1,(2)
Fodder barley (Hordeum vulgare)/m.mat. var.B 106 UH 2
Fodder barley (Hordeum vulgare)/e.mat. var.Amani UH 3,4
Legumes:
Lucerne (Medicago sativa)
cv. Hunter river UH 1,2,3
cv. Trifecta UH 1,2,3
cv. Hunterfeld UH 1,2,3
Kenya white clover (Trifolium semipilosum) cv. Safari UH 1,2,3 Safari UH 1,2,3
White clover (Trifolium repens) UH1,2,3
Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) UH 1,2,3
Tarwi (Lupinus mutabilis) UH 1,2,3
Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) UH 3,4
Purple vetch (Vicia benghalensis) UH 1,2,3
Calopo (Calopogonium mucunoides) UH 1,2,3
Glycine (Neonotonia wightii)
cv. Cooper UH 1,2,3
cv. Tinaroo UH 1,2,3
Shrubby stylo (Stylosanthes scabra)
cv. Seca UH 1,2,3
cv. Fitzroy UH 1,2,3
Common stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis)
cv. Alupe Composite UH 1,2,3
cv. Cook UH 1,2,3
Trees and Shrubs:
Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) UH 2,3
Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
cv. K8 UH 1,2,3
cv. Peru UH 1,2,3
cv. Cunningham UH 1,2,3
LOWER HIGHLAND ZONES (norm. between 1 800 and 2 300 m a.s.l.)
Grasses:
Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) LH 1,2
Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) in lower places (up to 2000m)
cv. Clone 13 LH 1,2
cv. Bana LH 1,2,3
Nandi setaria ( Setaria sphacelata) LH 1,2,3
Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) in lower places up to 2000 m
cv. Elmba Rhodes and Boma Rhodes LH 1,2,(3)
75
Congo grass (Brachiara ruziziensis) LH 2,3
Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) cv. Basilisk LH 1,2,3 Basilisk LH 1,2,3
Urochloa (Urochloa mossambicensis) LH 1,2,3
Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum) LH 1,2,3
Andropogon (Andropogon gayanus) LH 2,3
Rye grass (Lolium perenne), not in wheat areas (weed) LH 1,2,3,(4)
Root crops:
Sweet potato vines (Ipomea batatas) LH 1, 2,3
Fodder beets (Beta vulgaris)/cv. alba DC LH 1,2
Fodder radish (Raphanus sativus) LH 1,2
Yam bean (Pachyrhizus tuberosus), up to 2000 m LH 1,2,3
Yam bean/var. with short veg.cycle LH 3,(4)
Legumes:
Common stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis), lower places
cv. Alupe Composite LH 1,2,3
cv. Cook LH 1,2,3
Shrubby stylo (Stylosanthes scabra)
cv. Seca LH 1,2,3
cv. Fitzroy LH 1,2,3
Green leaf desmodium (Desmodium intortum) LH 1,2
Silver leaf desmodium (Desmodium uncinatum) LH 1,2,(3)
Glycine (Neonotonia wightii)
cv. Cooper LH 2,3,(4)
cv. Tinaroo LH 2,3,(4)
Caribean stylo (Stylosanthes hamata) cv. Verano LH 1,2,3 Verano LH 1,2,3
Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) LH 3,4
Calopo (Calopogonium mucunoides) LH 3
Lucerne (Medicago sativa)
cv. Hunter river LH 1,2
cv. Hunter feld LH 3
cv. Trifecta LH 1,2
Purple vetch (Vicia benghalensis) LH 2,3
Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) LH 1,2,3
Tropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) LH 2,3,4
Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) LH 3,4
Lablab bean (Lablab purpureus)
cv. Rongai LH 3,4
cv. K1002 LH 3,4
Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) LH 3,4
Sunhemp (Crotalaria ochroleuca) LH 3,4
Lupins (Lupinus albus) cv. Ultra LH 1,2 Ultra LH 1,2
Lupins (Lupinus angustifolia) LH 1,2
Trees and shrubs:
Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) LH 2,3
Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
1)
cv. K8 LH 1,2,3
cv. Peru LH 1,2,3
cv. Cunningham LH 1,2,3
Leucaena tricandria LH 1,2,3
Mexican wild fower (Tithonia diversiIolia) LH 2,3
1)
Leucaena leucocephala is attacked by the psyllid, Leucaena tricandria is resistant to it.
76
UPPER MIDLAND ZONES (E of the Rift Valley between 1 300 and 1 800 m)
Grasses:
Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
cv. Bana UM 1,2,3,(4)
cv. Bajra UM 1,2,3,(4)
Nandi setaria ( Setaria sphacelata) in higher places UM 1,2,3,4
Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) in higher places
cv. Pokot Rhodes UM 1,(2)
cv. Mbarara Rhodes UM 1,2,(3)
cv. Masaba Rhodes UM 1,2,(3)
cv. Elmba Rhodes UM2,3,(4)
cv. Boma Rhodes UM2,3,(4)
Star grass (Cynodon dactylon) UM 1,2,3
Maaai love grass (Eragrostis superba) UM 3,4
Congo grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis) UM2,3
Signal Grass (Brachiaria decumens) cv. Basilisk UM2,3
Giant panicum (Panicum maximum)/var. Makueni UM 3,(4)
Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) UM 1,2,3
Coloured guinea grass (Panicum coloratum) UM2,3
Buffel grass, African Foxtail (Cenchrus ciliaris) UM4,(5)
Andropogon (Andropogon gaianus) UM 3,4,5
Rye grass (Lolium perenne) UM2,3,4,(5)
Columbus grass (Sorghum halepense) UM 1,2, 3,
Enteropogon (Enteropogon macrostachyus) UM4,5
Plume chloris (Chloris roxburghiana) UM4,5
Root crops:
Sweet potato vines (Ipomea batatas) UM 1, 2,3,4
Flemingia ( Flemingia vestita or congesta)
2)
UM 1,2,3
Yam bean (Pachyrhizus tuberosus) UM 1,2,3,(4)
Psoralea patens/P.cinerea UM 3,4
Legumes:
Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) UM2,3,4
Common stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis) UM 1,2
Desmodium species UM 1,2
Glycine (Neonotonia wightii)
cv. Cooper UM2,3,(4)
cv. Tinaroo UM2,3,(4)
Butterfy pea (Clitoria ternatea) UM 1,2
Townsville lucerne (Stylosanthes humilis) UM2,3
Barrel medic (Medicago truncatula) UM 3,4,(5)
Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia) UM4,5
Tropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) UM 1,2,3
Shrubby stylo (Stylosanthes scabra)
cv. Fitzroy UM2,3,4,(5)
cv. Seca UM2,3,4,(5)
cv. fruticosa 41219A UM4
Carribean stylo (Stylosanthes hamata) cv. Verano UM3,4 Verano UM 3,4
Lablab bean (lablab purpureus)
cv. Rongai UM 3,4
cv. K1002 UM 3,4
Archer axillaris (Macrotyloma axillare) cv. Archer UM 1,2,3
2)
Suitable cover legume between coee rows.
77
Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) UM 1,2,3,4
Calopo (Calopogonium mucunoides) UM 3,4
Purple vetch (Vicia benglanesis) UM 3,4
Lupins (Lupinus albus) cv. Ultra UM 1,2,3
Lupins (Lupinus angustifolia) UM 1,2,3
Centro (Centrosema pascuorum)
cv. cavalcade UM4
cv. virginianum UM4
Aeschynomene americana cv.Glenn UM4
Macrotyloma (Macrotyloma africanum) UM 3,4,5
Alysicarpus rugosus cv. CPI 14384 UM 3,4
Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) UM 3,4
Sunhemp (Crotalaria ochroleuca) UM 3,4
Desmanthus virgatus cv. CPI 144576 UM 3,4
Trees and shrubs:
Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
1)
, cv. Peru, K 8, Cunningham UM2,3,4
Leucaena tricandria UM2,3,4
Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) UM4,5,(6)
Gao tree (Acacia albida) UM4,5,(6)
Mesquite (Prosopis iulifora) UM 5,6
Algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis) UM5,6
Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) UM 1,2,3,4
Mulberry (Morus alba) UM 1,2,3,4
Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) UM 1,2,3
Cassia (Chamaecrista rotundifolia cv.Wynn) UM 3,4
Mexican wild fower (Tithonia diversiIolia) UM 2,3
L0WER MIDLAND ZONES (norm. between 800 and 1300/1500 m a.s.l)
Grasses:
Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
cv. Bana LM 1,2,3,(4)
cv. Bajra LM 1,2,3,(4)
Maasai love grass (Eragrostis superba) LM 3,4
Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) LM2,(3)
Guinea grass (Panicum maximum)/cv. Makueni LM 3,(4)
Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) LM 3,4,(5)
Plume Chloris (Chloris roxburghiana) cv. horse tail grass LM 3,4,5,6
Columbus grass (Sorghum halepense) LM2,3,4
Enteropogon (Enteropogon macrostachyus) LM5,6
Root crops:
Sweet potato vines (Ipomea batatas) LM2,3,4
Psoralea patens/P.cinerea LM 3,4,(5)
Legumes:
Common stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis)
cv. Alupe Composite LM 1,2
cv. Cook LM 1,2
Townsville stylo (Stylosanthes humilis) LM2,3
Butterfy pea (Clitoria ternatea) LM 1,2,3,(4)
Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) LM2,3,(4)
Glycine (Neonotonia wightii) LM2,3,(4)
cv. Cooper LM2,3,(4)
cv. Tinaroo LM2,3,(4)
78
Centro (Centrosema pubescens) LM2,3,4
Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia) LM4,5
Sunhemp (Crotalaria ochroleuca) LM2,3
Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) LM2,3,4
Lablab (Lablab purpureus)
cv. Rongai LM2,3,4
cv. K1002 LM2,3,4
Lupins (Lupinus albus) cv. Ultra LM2,3
Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) LM2,3,4
Stylo (Stylosanthes guinanensis) cv. seca LM4,5
Shrubby stylo (Stylosanthes scabra) cv. ftroy LM 4,5
cv. fruticosa 41219A LM4,5
Desmanthus virgatus cv. CPI 144576 (under experiment) LM4,5
Centro (Centrosema pascuorum) cv. cavalcade LM4,5
Centro (Centrosema pascuorum) cv. virginianum LM4,5
Macrotyloma (Macrotyloma africanum) LM4,5
Trees and shrubs:
Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
1)
cv. Peru LM 3,4
cv. K8 LM 3,4
cv. Cunningham LM 3,4
Leucaena diversifolia LM2,3,4
Leucaena tricandria LM 3,4
Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) LM4,5,(6)
Gao tree (Acacia albida) LM4,5,(6)
Mesquite (Prosopis iulifora) LM 5,6
Algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis) LM5,6
Mexican wild fower (Tithonia diversiIolia) LM 1,2,3
Sesbania (Sesbania sesban, improves the soil) LM 1,2,3,4
Cassia (Chamaecrista cassia rotundifolia) cv Wynn LM4,5
Cassia siamea LM2,3,4
Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium, improves the soil) LM2,3,4
INNER LOWLAND ZONES (norm. between 100 and 800 m a.s.l.)
3)
Grasses:
Maasai love grass (Eragrostis superba) and other Eragrostis species IL 4,(5)
Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) IL 4,(5)
Ex-Tozi (Rhodes grass) IL 5,6
Root crops:
Sweet potato vines (Ipomea batatas) L 2,3,4
Vigna lanceolata L 2,3
Winged beans (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) L 2,3
Psoralea patens/P.cinerea L 3,(4)
Legumes:
Common stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis) L 1,2
Calopo (Calopogonium mucunoides) L 1,2,3
Butterfy pea (Clitoria ternatea) L 1,2,3,(4)
Archer axillaris (Macrotyloma axillare) cv Archer L 1,2,3,4
Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) L 2,3,(4)
3)
Only those plants suitablefor the Inner Lowland Zones 5 and 6 are mentioned, because these are only zones of this hot belt oc-
curing in Eastern Province
79
Glycine (Neonotonia wightii) esp. on heavy soils L 1,2,3
Townsville stylo (Stylosanthes humilis) L 2,3
Marama beans (Tylosema esculentum) IL 2,3,4,5
Mauritius beans ( Mucuna aterrima) L 4,5
Moth bean vines (Vigna aconitifolia) L 4,5
Trees and shrubs:
Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) IL 4,5,6
Gao tree (Acacia albida) IL 4,5,(6)
Mesquite (Prosopis iulifora) IL 5,6
Algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis) IL 5,6
Cassia siamea L 2, 3,4
Sources: Kenya National Crop Variety List, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) 2003;
Kenya Agricultural Research Institutes Annual Reports.
80
2.9 POTENTIAL FOR AGROFORESTRY IN EASTERN PROVINCE
Planting of trees, bushes and shrubs by the farmers is a system, which has six benets: Firewood, timber,
fodder, fruits or nuts, green manure and medicine. In the Agro-Ecological Zones 13 it can replace partly
the forest ecosystem, which was the natural climax vegetation. But in agroforestry, one has to carefully
consider if the accompanying crops require optimal light conditions or shade. Maize, for example, requires
more light, and, therefore shading trees or bushes must be planted some distance from the maize rows. On
the contrary, many vegetables and legumes require less light and can easily be grown in the shade and mixed
with higher plants. Another problem is the competition for water and nutrients or suppression by other
plants. For instance, some eucalyptus trees are very demanding in water and nutrients and their leaves dont
give a good humus layer because they contain inhibitors for soil life and other plants. It is better to plant
macadamia nuts (in UM2-3), mangoes (in LM34) or other useful agroforestry trees (e.g. Grevillea robusta
and Melia volkensii).
Important are the bushes for green manuring which can be planted as hedges. Best results, which almost
tripled the maize yields in experiments, were obtained with twigs and leaves of the Mexican tithonia (Ti-
thonia diversifolia) incorporated into the soil through biomass transfer technology (tested in Zone UM 2
near Chuka, but it grows in LH 23, UM 3 and LM 13 too)
1
. One major advantage of tithonia is that it
produces large quantities of biomass and tolerates regular pruning, which is a favourable characteristic for
its use for biomass transfer. Compared to many other plants, the biomass contains high levels of nutrients as
shown in Table 1. Tough tithonia is mainly found on the roadside, a lot of labour is required for collecting
it. To reduce the labour, farmers can plant their own tithonia on their farms. Suitable places to grow tithonia
on the farm include external boundaries and along soil erosion control structures where they will also be
useful for controlling soil erosion especially if the land is sloping. It is advisable to plant it as near as possible
to places where crops will be planted in order to reduce labour for carrying the biomass.
Te biomass transfer of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala and Leucaena tricandria, in LH 13, UM 24,
LM3-4) and calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus, in LH 23, UM13) also results in an impressive increase
in maize yield
2
. Leucaena tricandria is generally a new species in Kenya, which was recently identied to be
resistant to leucaena psyllid insect pest (Heterophylla cubana) by researchers at Embu. Farmers are familiar
with Leucaena leucocephala that had been brought into the country earlier but was attacked by the psyllid
and is no longer a very useful species in most areas of Kenya. Te leaves of L. tricandria are rich in nutrients
and contain on average 3.7% nitrogen, 3.3% potassium, 0.26% phosphorus, 1.2% calcium and 0.3% mag-
nesium
3
. Te leaves decompose faster than those of calliandra due to its lower tannin content.
TABLE XIII: NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF VARIOUS BIOMASS
Species Nitrogen (%) Phosphorus (%) Potassium (%)
Tithonia diversifolia 3.6 0.3 4.3
Grevillea robusta 1.4 < 0.1 0.6
Maize stover 0.9 0.1 0.4
Bean stover 0.7 0.1 1.4
Source: Mugendi, D. et.al. (2004: 49)
Calliandra is a small leguminous tree belonging to the family Mimosoideae that originated from Central
America. Prunings harvested from calliandra contain substantial amounts of nutrients in the leaves averag-
ing: 3.5% Nitrogen, 1.6% Potassium, 0.21% Phosphorus, 0.6% Calcium, and 0.24% Magnesium
3
. Be-
cause of its high tannin content, it decomposes slower than either tithonia or leucaena. Its response in terms
of improving crop production has been observed to be slower and usually good response is obtained after
the second season of incorporation.
For medicine purposes, for instance, the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) or locally referred to as Marobaini,
is the best example. It provides a biopesticide and helps in protection against malaria and about 40 other
81
diseases
4
. Local doctors know many indigenous trees with medical value. It is therefore called the health
maker tree. For farming purposes, the neem oil, cake and powder can be used as insecticides, fungicides and
veterinary medicines
5
. Te cake is obtained from pressing seed oil or crashing wood and bark. It is mixed
with shells to use as an organic fertiliser
4
.
As fodder, there are many trees, bushes and shrubs suited for each Agro-Ecological Zone (see list in the
general part). Here below, we give only a few important examples:
Leucaena (L. leucocephala, tricandria and diversifolia), tithonia and calliandra are typical for the humid and
semi-humid zones as described above. For farmers with livestock, it is possible to feed prunings to animals
and as a result get increased milk. Calliandra and leucaena is highly palatable fodder, rich in crude protein,
which is desirable for high milk production. Research has shown that 3 kg of fresh prunings of calliandra or
leucaena give the same milk response as 1 kg of dairy meal
3
. Because on average farmers feed 2 kg of dairy
meal per day, it has been recommended that 6 kg of fresh biomass of calliandra or leucaena can be used to
substitute for 2 kg of dairy meal. While feeding this amount, a farmer would need about 500 trees to feed
one cow for one year. To improve soil fertility, manure from animals should be recycled to the farms. Tis
is advantageous because the farmer will benet from increased milk yields and improved manure quality.
Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) and mulberry (Morus alba) are useful and grow well in the transitional Zone 4.
For the semi-arid zones, the most suitable trees are the Gao tree (Acacia albida, in UM, LM and IL 4, 5, (6)
), the saltbush (Atriplex nummularia, in UM, LM and IL 4-6), the algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis) and the
mesquite (Prosopis juliora, both in UM, LM and L 5 &6). Te competition with crops for the limited rain
water has to be put into consideration.
Te above mentioned Australian saltbush is very suitable for the productivity restoration of denuded places.
It thrives well even in semi-deserts. Livestock do not usually like eating much of it and hence it grows until
a point in time when another drought is in place and no apparent forage is available, except its leaves. Tis
is the time when livestock have no choice but to browse the leaves of the saltbush for survival. Te yeheb
(Cordeauxia edulis) is an evergreen shrub from the semi-deserts of Somalia and Ethiopia. It grows already
with 300mm average annual rainfall and gives a yield of 2000 kg nutritious nuts per ha which increases with
higher rainfall up to 20000 kg/ha at 1500 mm/year.
For further information please contact:
World Agroforestry Centre, P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi. Email: icraf@cgiar.org,
Website: http://www.cgiar.org/icraf .
Saroneem Biopesticides Ltd., P.O.Box 64373, Nairobi. Email: drocco@icipe.org
(Involved in the promotion of the neem tree in agriculture)
1
Mucheru, M., Mugendi, D. et al. 2003: Organic Resources for Soil Fertility Management in Eastern Kenya. In:
Organic Resource Management in Kenya: Perspectives and Guidelines. Edited by Savala, C.E.N., Omare, M.N. &
Woomer, P.L. - FORMAT, Nairobi, p. 2633.
2
Murithi, F.M. et al.1994: Report of a Survey on Agroforestry Technologies Used for Fodder Production and Soil
Fertility Improvement in Meru District, Kenya. National Agroforestry Regional Project, Regional Research Centre,
Embu, Kenya.
3
Mugendi, N., Mucheru-Muna, M., & Mugwe, J. (EDS.) (2004): Soil Fertility Extension Manual (Draft). Nairobi,
90pp.
4
Rocco, D.M. 2003: Production and Use of Products from the Neem Tree. In: Organic Resource Management in
Kenya: Perspectives and Guidelines. Edited by Savala, C.E.N., Omare, M.N. & Woomer, P.L. FORMAT, Nairobi,
p. 8993.
5
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), 1995: Te Neem Tree. An Aordable, Ecient and
Environmentally-Friendly Source of Pest Control Products. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology,
Nairobi, Kenya.
82
83
3. DISTRICT INFORMATION AND STATISTICS
3.1 GENERAL REMARKS TO THE LAND USE POTENTIALS AND FERTI LI SER REC-
OMMENDATIONS OF THE DISTRICTS
Te land use potentials given in the following pages are climatically based. Good husbandry, crop protection
and rotation are also essential, especially for combating diseases (for instance fungus in the wet climates)
1)
and insect pests. Te yield expectations given in the AEZ are only valid if these farm management standards
are optimal and the soils are suitable and well manured resp. fertilised.
It must be remembered that the classication of yield potentials in > 80 % = very good, 6080 % = good,
40-60 % = fair and 20-40 % of the optimum = poor (under eld conditions) is still a rough calculation
or even only an estimate (for these crops for which exact water requirements are not yet available). Mainly
those crop varieties are listed who give the highest quantities of yields compared to a low risk (see Tables 5a,
b,...). A fair potential of a high yielding maize variety can produce more than a good potential of an early
maturing , more safe, but naturally less yielding one.
Te growing seasons and yield potentials are calculated for medium textured soils, if not otherwise stated.
For heavy soils they are roughly 1-2 decades longer (if the agro-humid period is not weak), on light soils
about one decade shorter.
2)
Tere are very good volcanic soils in this region but also very poor ones which
need considerable improvement. Te soil maps and descriptions are derived from the district soil maps of the
Kenya Soil Survey in the Fertiliser Use Recommendation Project of the GTZ. Te symbols are simplied to
make it easier for non-specialists to use them. An introduction is given to the soils of each district group.
Te crop potentials are basically calculated by the computer program MARCROP (name from MARginal
CROPs) of Berthold Hornetz
3)
. Te annual crops in the potentials are listed in the following order: cereals;
pulses; tubers; oil seed; real cash crops; fruits and vegetables
4)
. Te perennial crops are listed more or less
according to their importance. Te diagrams of the growing periods and the detailed tables of the yield
expectations are prepared only for the marginal and semiarid zones near the fringe of rainfed cultivation
(because of limited funds, space and time). Tey are included as an appendix after the driest AEZs (to which
they belong) to visualise the risks and chances there. Te calculation could not include cotton because there
exists no specic water requirement prole for the bimodal variety. Te calculation of the growing periods
for the subzones and diagrams is done by the more basically, related program WATBAL (name from WATer
BALance) of B. Hornetz and H. Kutsch. As a more zonal climatic program, it does not consider the deep
rooting of specic crops. Terefore it can be possible, that even with a too short growing period a specic
crop can yield something due to deep roots still reaching moisture. Tis is the reason that the potentials
in the text and yield tables are better than in the small tables below the diagrams of the growing periods.
Explanations of both programs see Vol. II/M Methodology.
Some new crops are recommended, e.g. the early and very early maturing varieties of the cereals foxtail and
proso millet, or the perennial drought resistant crops bualo gourds and Marama beans
5)
. Te information
available about them is still limited but they may be suitable for drier areas beyond the limits of reliable
maize cultivation. Although these new crops may not t into the present nutrition patterns, customs will
change due the population pressure on food supplies. In the potentials they are printed in italics to indicate
that they are not yet commonly available.
Very little information exists about pasture and forage apart from real rangeland (Pratt and Gwynne 1977)
6)
.
Te recommendations given are therefore only a very rough guide, and fodder cultivation depends on many
factors besides climate and soil. Te main problems outside the largescale farming area and Maasailand
are overgrazing and soil erosion, which are destroying the means of livelihood of coming generations. Te
livestock unit (LU) in our estimated stocking rates is 300 kg liveweight (a local bull or nine sheep or eleven
goats). Tis is for smallholders with partly indigenous cattle a more realistic gure nowadays than the
84
Standard Stock Unit (SSU) of 1000 lb (450 kg) introduced by the British. Te LU corresponds to the
Tropical Livestock Unit (TLU) which means a local cow of the Tropics (250 kg, a bull has 300 kg).
Some remarks to the Fertiliser Recommendation Tables: Te increase of yield by the two fertilising elements
Nitrogenium and Phosphorus is not sustainable. For such a productivity, for instance, every 1,000 kg of
maize need a replacement
7)
of 25 kg N (partly naturally: H
2
NO
3
synthesis by lightning, N xing nodulation
of rhizobias on beanroots), 4 kg P and 24 kg Potassium (K
2
CO
3
), additionally Calcium, Magnesium, and
Micronutrients like Bor, Copper, Cobalt, Molybdenium and others. If in the tables these elements are
not marked, it means they were not yet in decit during the years of the experiments of the Fertiliser
Use Recommendation Project of the GTZ and KSS 1987-92. But since this time, continuous cultivation
without sucient fertilising and manuring may have caused deciencies.
Cassava which is now gaining prominence and grown on infertile soils still needs some amount of fertilizer
for sustainability of yields per 10,000 kg
7)
30 kg N, 10 kg P, 70 kg K, 20 kg Ca and 10 kg Mg. Groundnuts
are a demanding crop, 1,000 kg of unpeeled nuts need 60-70 kg N, 5-6 kg P, 40-50 kg K, 20-30 kg Ca and
8-17 kg Mg plus micronutrients.Te yield potentials given are for non-eroded and non-depleted soils. Te
yields on eroded soils go down to a third
8)
, on depleted soils they are even lower.
Higher fertiliser rates as recommended may become uneconomic, at least after some years, because enforced
production by two fertilisers only brings the others more quickly to the yield limiting minimum content in
the soil. Recycling of taken nutrients by any way (even excrements) is the nal answer to achieve sustainable
soil fertility for coming generations.
1)
Phytosanitary aspects could not be considered here, see special handbooks like that from IRACC mentioned below or the Crop
Protection Handbook.
2)
Heavy soil means heavy loam, clay may have less available water for plants.
3)
Details see Hornetz, B., Shisanya, Chr. & Gitonga, N.: Crop water relationships and thermal adaptation of kathika beans
(Phaseolus vulgaris) and green grams (Vigna radiata) with special regard to temporal patterns of potential growth in the drylands
of SE-Kenya.- Journal of Arid Environments 48, 2001,
4)
It was impossible to list all vegetables which may be grown in each AEZ. Information about vegetables not mentioned may
be found in Vol. V of the Handbook, or obtained from IRACC: Small Holder Farming. Handbook for Self Employment.-
Marketing Support Services Ltd., Nairobi 1997.
5)
Bualo gourds and Marama beans produce big tubers after some seasons. Bitter substances may be washed out by salty water.
Seeds contain protein and oil but there is little or no owering in the Inner Tropics. Marama beans see Nat. Academy of
Sciences: Tropical Legumes. Washington, D.C. 1979; Bualo gourds see Nat. Academy of Science: Underexploited Plants with
Promising Economic Value. Washington 1975. New information is obtainable in the internet. Seeds may be ordered from the
experimental stations: Very early mat. millet from Central Arid Zone Research Institute (C.A.Z.R.I.) in Jodhpur, India; bualo
gourds from University of Tuscon, USA; Marama beans from Botanical Garden in Windhoek, Namibia.
6)
Pratt, D.J. and Gwynne, M.D. (Eds.): Rangeland Management and Ecology in East Africa. London 1977.
7)
Figures by chemical analyzis of the crop, averages printed in international handbooks. Tey are approximates, depending on
varieties too.
8)
Okoba, O.: Farmers indicators for soil erosion mapping and crop yield estimation in central highlands of Kenya. - Trop.
Resource Man. Papers 62, Wageningen University 2005, T. 8 p. 88.
84
85
3.2 EMBU AND MBEERE DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS District Page
3.2.1 Natural Potential 3
Introduction 3
Annual Rainfall Map 4
Table 1: Annual Rainfall 5
Table 2: Temperature 6
Table 3: Potential Evapotranspiration 6
Seasonal Rainfall Maps 7
Table 4: Climate in the Agro-Ecological Zones 9
Agro-Ecological Zones Map 10
Agro-Ecological Zones and Subzones (=Legend to the AEZ Map), with Land Use
Potentials and Water Availability &Requirement Diagrams 11
Tables 5 a-b: Climatic Yield Potentials in Marginal and Semiarid Zones 19
Soil Map 21
Soil Distribution, Fertility and Major Characteristics with Legend to the Soil Map 22
3.2.2 Population and Land 25
Embu District
Table 6: Population in Embu District 26
Table 7: Composition of Households in Embu District 7: Composition of Households in Embu District 7: Composition of Households in Embu District 27
Table 8: Available Land Area in Embu District per AEZ and Household 29
Mbeere District
Table 9: Population in Mbeere District 30
Table 10: Composition of Households in Mbeere District 31
Table 11: Available Land Area in Mbeere District per AEZ and Household 32
3.2.3 Agricultural Statistics 33
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Embu District 33
Table 12: Tea 33
Table 13: Coee 34
Table 14: Pyrethrum 34
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Mbeere District 35
Table 15: Cotton 35
Table 16: Tobacco 35
Distribution of Farming Activities During the Year 36
Tables 17 a-m: Farming Activities in the Agro-Ecological Zones 36
EMBU & MBEERE 1
86
3.2.4 Farm Survey 45
Table 18: Farm Survey Sites Representative of the Dominating
Agro-Ecological Subzones and Units 45
Farm Survey Areas and Fertiliser Recommendations Map 46
Tables 19 a-f: Assets, Land Use, Farming Intensity and Inputs 47
Tables 20 a-f: Cropping Pattern 53
3.2.5 Introduction to the Actual Land Use Systems and to the Potential Intensication
by Better Farm Management in Dominating Agro-Ecological Subzones 60
UM1 i m of the Tea and Coee Zone 60
Tables 21 a-f: Increase of Yields by Better Farm Management 61-71
UM2 m i s/m of the Main Coee Zone 62
UM3 m/s + s of the Marginal Coee Zone 64
LM3 s + s of the Cotton Zone 66
LM4 s/vs + vs/s of the Marginal Cotton Zone 68
LM5 vs/s + vs of the Livestock-Millet Zone 70
3.2.6 Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations for Important Agro-Ecological Units 72
Map of Important Agro-Ecological Units 73
Tables 22 a-h: Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations: 74-81
LH1 l/vl^m, MV2 and RB1 of the Tea Zone 74
UM1 i m, RB1 of the Tea and Coee Zone 75
UM2 m i s/m & m/s i s, RB2 of the Main Coee Zone 76
UM3 m/s + s, RB2 and RB3 of the Marginal Coee Zone 77
LM3 s + s, LB1 of the Cotton Zone 78
LM3 s + s, UU1 of the Cotton Zone 79
LM4 s + s/vs & s/vs + s/vs, LB1 of the Marginal Cotton Zone 80
LM4 s/vs + vs/s, UU1 and UQ1 of the Marginal Cotton Zone 80
EMBU & MBEERE 2
87
EMBU & MBEERE
3.1.1 NATURAL POTENTIAL
INTRODUCTION
Embu and Mbeere Districts show the typical agro-ecological prole of the windward side of Mt. Kenya,
from his cold and wet upper zones to the hot and dry lower zones in the Tana River Basin. Te average
annual rainfall reects this contrast: from more than 2200 mm at 2500 m to less than 600 mm near the
Tana River at 700 m. Te variation is mainly due to the mountain but also to the water recycling eect
of the forest by evapotranspiration. Above 2500 m, rainfall decreases due to the lower moisture content of
the colder air and the stronger inuence of the trade wind system, but nevertheless the area is still very wet.
Some herbaceous parts of the Tropical Alpine Zone (TA I) are in demand to open for seasonal grazing of
livestock for the farmers living below the forest, due to the demands of increasing land pressure. But the po-
tential of this moorlands is low and the ecosystem fragile. Terefore it is better it remains a National Park.
Te Upper Highlands are so wet and steep that forest is the best land use (UH 0). Te same is true for the
upper and northeastern parts of the Lower Highland Zones (LH 0). Even in the Tea-Dairy Zone LH 1
precipitation is still 1800 mm per year on average. Compared to the Livestock-Millet Zones LM 5 and IL 5
with 600-800 mm, it would seem that the potential there is about a half or a third of that of the Tea-Dairy
Zone LH 1 or the Coee-Tea Zone UM 1, but in fact, the climatic potential is already less than a tenth,
and if the poor soils are considered, then the potential is even lower. Te reason for this low potential is the
rapidly decreasing rainfall expectation during the agro-humid periods (i.e. the growing periods for annual
crops) which also decrease very quickly in length from permanent cropping possibilities at LH 1 and UM 1
to less than 40 days in the 1st rainy season and about 50 days in the 2nd rainy season at the driest subzone
of IL 5. Rainfall expectation of the rst rainy season in 10 years out of 15 exceeds 900 mm in LH 1 but
drops to only 150 mm in zones LM and IL 5, in the second rainy season the amounts drop from 670 to 150
mm respectively. Very early maturing crops as proso millet and green grams should therefore be favoured in
Zone 5.
A transitional strip exists between zones LM 4 and LM 5 in western Mbeere District by pedological reasons:
On the good black soils found there, the maize of zone 4 can still be successfully cultivated unless they are
waterlogged where chick peas can be grown. On the red soils of the soil catena there, less demanding crops
like millet or sorghum should be chosen.
Te poor soils outside of the volcanic area are an increasing problem. For soil and land use see detailed
studies and maps 1:50,000 of R.F. VAN DE WEG and J.P. MBUVI (eds.): Soils of the Kindaruma Area.
Kenya Soil Survey R 1, Nairobi 1975. Recent land use studies have been carried out in Mbeere District to
deal with the problems caused by low, uncertain rainfall and low, decreasing fertility. Te reports are in the
agricultural oces.
Te colours in the seasonal rainfall maps give a rst rough optical association of the possible land use. 250
mm are the limit of a reasonable composite maize cultivation, 500 mm of a protable hybrid maize cultiva-
tion, more than 1000 mm in a season becomes too wet for maize. For detailed information see the AEZ
map, potentials, and the soil maps.
3
88
EMBU & MBEERE 4
89
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 1: RAINFALL FIGURES FROM SELECTED STATIONS HAVING AT
LEAST 15 YEARS OF RECORDS
No. and
altitude
Name of Station
Agro Ecol.
Zone &
Subzone
Kind of
records
Annual
rainfall
mm
Monthly rainfall in mm
J F M A M J J A S O N D
9037008 Embu District UM3 Average 1065 24 25 98 277 163 31 24 30 23 123 192 55
1433 m OIfce (-77) m/s + s 66% rel.
1
930 8 6 79 215 98 16 12 21 11 101 176 31
9037039 Kiritiri LM 4 Av. 896 36 24 144, 231 67 5 3 4 9 82 206 86
1143 m ChieIs Camp s/vs + vs/s 66% 823 6 4 158 198 57 0 0 0 0 60 127 36
9037050 Embu Prov. Agr. UM 2 Av. 1230 25 27 90 300 225 28 44 43 42 145 202 60
1494 m Tr. College (-80) m/s i s 66% 909 10 7 78 237 122 15 36 30 20 123 195 36
9037053 Kevote Prim. UM 2 Av. 1561 28 30 121 385 263 36 48 66 46 186 270 85
1524 m School (-80) m i s/m 66% 1312 18 15 78 320 120 19 45 38 12 125 243 45
9037077 Embu LH 1 Av. 1894 36 38 126 378 322 77 145 113 71 236 271 82
1936 m Forest Station l/vl ^ m 66% 1375 13 12 47 313 225 50 115 80 34 201 240 45
9037103 Murinduko UM 4 Av. 1030 22 27 88 257 150 17 20 19 19 138 203 69
1352 m Exp. Farm s/m + s 66%
2
895 7 6 70 200 90 10 10 12 10 112 180 40
9037122 Runyenjes UM 2 Av. 1395 24 35 121 358 167 29 38 37 24 208 291 63
1478 m D.O.s OIfce m i s/m 66% 1160 6 1 70 341 110 8 30 33 10 112 235 37
9037133 Kanyuambora LM3 Av. 1149 34 40 126 340 100 7 3 7 13 104 297 78
1265 m s + s 66%
2
950 11 10 95 250 60 1 0 4 6 85 235 40
9037134 Kairuri UM1 Av. 1677 16 41 97 402 290 68 87 77 58 235 246 62
1650 m Ngandori Loc. f l i m 66%
4
9037135 Kiambere LM 4 Av. 818 29 23 82 216 59 13 9 2 10 77 221 74
1189 m Market s/vs + vs/s 66% 688 14 3 51 143 28 0 0 0 0 28 129 50
9037140 Embu Njukiini UM 2 Av. 1229 23 32 101 298 210 28 36 38 35 191 188 48
1476 m Forest Station m/s i s 66%
2
1040 8 9 80 235 130 15 18 25 17 150 170 28
9037142 Kiangombe UM3 Av. 1082 29 13 118 298 108 10 3 4 13 171 238 77
1770 m County Forest m/s + s 66%
2
940 10 5 90 230 65 2 0 0 5 110 195 40
9037144 Kyeni Girls UM 2 - 1 Av. 1612 29 55 178 436 122 31 37 33 25 198 350 117
1500 m Sec. School
3
m i s/m 66%
4
9037146 Kindaruma IL 5 Av. 576 27 24 48 148 44 3 1 2 6 38 180 57
793 m Dam Site vs + vs/s 66% 451 4 0 7 112 38 0 0 0 0 5 158 42
9037161 Ishiara LM 4 Av. 820 29 26 79 244 48 8 2 2 9 94 211 68
840 m s/vs + vs/s 66%
2
685 14 5 50 160 23 0 0 0 0 65 130 40
9037164 Ena Tobacco LM3 Av. 1040 34 28 72 296 104 8 6 3 10 116 274 90
1230 m Factory s + s 66%
2
910 12 7 58 235 65 2 0 0 2 90 190 55
9037169 Ngenge LM3 Av. 886 23 18 80 269 106 9 11 3 11 125 177 55
1296 m Prim. School s + s 66%
2
800 7 6 70 210 65 1 2 0 1 100 155 30
9037171 Kambo UM 4 Av. 964 22 14 80 271 101 23 18 10 17 179 193 35
1230 m Kamaus Farm s/m + s 66%
2
830 7 5 60 210 60 10 5 0 6 120 170 20
9037172 Karurumo LM3 Av. 930 46 39 74 216 88 13 14 2 7 104 239 87
1230 m Polytechnic s + s 66%
2
805 12 10 60 160 60 5 6 0 0 82 195 50
9037176 Kindaruma IL 5 Av. 678 32 28 81 176 50 6 1 1 8 60 174 61
792 m Fisheries vs + vs/s 66%
2
570 5 0 15 130 40 1 0 0 0 30 152 45
9037177 Kalaba LM 4 Av. 998 20 25 106 319 88 13 9 4 12 116 218 68
1160 m ChieIs OIfce s/vs + vs/s 66%
4
9037202 Embu UM 2 Av. 1232 16 14 109 323 157 31 21 37 41 203 236 69
1508 m Met. Station m/s i s 66%
5
1
These fgures oI rainIall reliability should be exceeded normally in 10 out oI 15 years.
2
Estimate of this reliability by correlation, no detailed data available to GTZ for enough years.
3
11 complete years available to GTZ only but important station.
4
Not calculated because not enough years available to GTZ.
5
Not calculated because not yet enough years, new station near old station 9037050.
5
90
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 2: TEMPERATURE DATA
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
AEZ
1
Kind of
records
Temperature inC
Belt
limits
J F M A M J J A S O N D Yr.
9037202
1508 m
Embu
Met. Station
UM 2
1650 m
UM
1200 m
Mean max. 24.4 26.0 26.3 24.8 23.7 22.2 20.8 21.7 24.7 25.8 23.6 23.8 24.0
Mean temp. 18.3 19.6 20.1 20.1 19.3 17.8 16.7 16.9 18.7 19.9 18.6 18.3 18.7
Mean min. 12.1 13.1 14.0 15.4 14.9 13.3 12.6 12.1 12.7 13.9 13.6 12.8 13.4
Abs. min. 9.0 7.9 10.5 12.7 11.2 9.5 9.4 8.5 8.6 9.4 8.5 8.7 9.5
9037176
792 m
Kindaruma
Fisheries
IL 5
830 m
IL
0 m
Mean max. 30.8 37.8 33.3 31.8 31.0 30.5 29.5 30.0 28.1 33.0 30.2 29.33 31.3
Mean temp. 23.2 27.4 25.7 25.4 24.5 23.8 23.1 23.5 22.7 25.7 24.3 23.2 24.4
Mean min. 15.5 16.9 18.1 18.9 18.0 17.0 16.7 17.0 17.3 18.4 18.4 17.1 17.4
Abs. min 6.0 8.0 12.5 16.0 14.0 12.3 12.3 11.8 12.3 12.5 14.5 12.3 12.0
1
AEZ = Agro-ecological zone
6
TABLE 3: AVERAGE POTENTIAL EVAPOTRANSPIRATION
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
Type
1)
AEZ
Average Potential Evapotranspiration PET in mm Av. Rainfall
J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Year
in mm
%
of PET
9037202 Embu calc.
135 140 154 119 112 95 91 99 122 139 119 128 1453 1283 88%
1508 m Met. Station UM 2
9037039 Kiritiri interp.
160 168 183 152 136 122 119 131 155 167 145 143 1781 845 47%
1143 m ChieIs Centre LM 4
9037135 Kiambere interp.
160 167 181 149 133 120 117 129 152 164 142 142 1755 818 46%
1189 m Market LM 4
9037146 Kindaruma interp.
163 171 185 157 153 152 197 177 180 193 142 145 1975 576 29%
793 m Dam Site LM 5
9037161 Ishiara, interp.
161 170 183 155 150 148 151 172 174 189 139 143 1935 820 42%
840 m Market LM 4
9037176 Kindaruma interp.
161 174 184 156 151 148 152 173 175 190 140 144 1947 678 35%
840 m Fisheries LM 5
1)
Type of equation: calculated by formula of PENMAN & MCCULLOCH with albedo for green grass 0.2; see
MCCULLOCH (1965): Tables for the Rapid Computation of the PENMAN Estimate of Evaporation.- East African
Agricultural & Forestry Journal, Vol. 30, No.3, p. 286-295.
AEZ = Agro-Ecol. Zone, explaining table see general part. Zone, explaining table see general part.
91
EMBU & MBEERE 7
92
EMBU & MBEERE 8
93
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 4: CLIMATE IN THE AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES & SUBZONES
Agro-
Ecological
Zone
Subzone
Altitude
in m
Ann. mean
temperature
inC
Ann. av.
rainfall
in mm
66% reliability
of rainfall
1)
60% reliability of cereal and
legumes growing period
1
st
rainy s.
in mm
2
nd
rainy s.
in mm
1
st
rainy s.
2)
in days
2
nd
rainy s.
in days
Total
3)
in days
TA 0
Rocks and
Glaciers
National
Park
TA I + II
Trop.-Alpine
Moor- and
Heathlands
National
Park
UH 0
Forest Zone
Forest
Reserve
LH 0
Forest Zone
Forest
Reserve
LH 1
Tea-Dairy
Zone
l/vl m 1900-2100 17.7-15.8 1750-2000 950-1100 550-620 210 or more 140-150 350-360
UM 1
Coffee-Tea
Zone
f i m
1600-1850 18.9-17.5
1400-1800 700-950 450-550 210 or more 130-150 330-350
m/l i m/s Very small, see Meru South District
UM2
Main Coffee
Zone
m i s/m
1400-1600 20.1-18.9
1250-1500 600-720 400-450 140-170 110-120 290-330
m/s i s 1200-1250 580-600 380-400 125-135 105-115 265-290
UM 3
Marginal
Coffee Zone
m/s + s 1280-1460 20.7-19.6 1000-1250 480-600 350-400 120-135 85-105 -
UM4
Sunfower
Maize Zone
s/m + s
1200-1400 20.9-20-0
980-1100 420-500 330-350 105-115 85-105 -
s + s 960-980 380-450 300-330 85-105 85-105 -
LM 3
Cotton Zone
s + s 1070-1280 22.0-21.0 900-1100 350-480 300-350 85-105 80-95 -
4)
LM4
Marginal
Cotton Zone
s + s/vs
980-1220 22.5-21.0
800-900 300-370 250-310 85-105 75-85 -
4)
s/vs + vs/s 780-900 280-340 200-260 75-85 55-75 -
4)
LM5
Lower Mid-
land Live-
stock-Millet
Zone
vs/s + vs 830-1130 23.9-21.7 700-800 200-280 150-220 55-75 45-55 -
IL 5
Inner Lowland
Livestock
Millet Zone
vs + vs/s
600-850 25.4-24.0
590-710 150-180 150-190 40-55 55-60 -
vs + vs 600-710 150-180 150-180 40-55 40-55 -
1)
Amounts surpassed normally in 10 of 15 years, falling during the agro-humid period which allows growing of most
cultivated plants.
2)
More if growing cycle of cultivated plants continues into the period of second rainy season.
3)
Only added if rainfall continues at least for survival (>0.25 PET) of certain long term crops, and this time is included.
4)
Cotton is planted from 2
nd
rainy season to 1
st
next year, together 165-200 days of growing, 160-190 resp. 130-160.
9
94
EMBU & MBEERE 10
95
EMBU & MBEERE 11
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES AND SUBZONES
TA = TROPICAL ALPINE ZONES
TA 0 = Rocks and Gl aci ers
No land use, National Park
TA
I + II
= Tropi cal - Al pi ne Moor- and Heat hl ands
Here National Park, limited grazing potential
UH = UPPER HIGHLAND ZONES
UH 0 = Forest Zone
Too wet, steep, and too important as a catchment area, therefore not cleared. Bamboo thickets.
Forest Reserve
LH = LOWER HIGHLAND ZONES
LH 0 = Forest Zone
The same as UH 0 but many valuable timbers. Forest Reserve
LH 1 = Tea- Dai ry Zone
LH 1
l/vl^m
= Tea-Dairy Zone
with a long to very long cropping season followed by a medium one
1)
(see Diagram Embu Forest Station)
1)
On medium soils; on heavy soils permanent cropping possibilities. Given potential refers to predominating heavy red
loams.
96
EMBU & MBEERE 12
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l ( a v. > 80% of t he opt i mum)
1
st
rainy season, start norm. b. to mid of March: Peas, horse beans; cabbages, lettuce
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid of October: Peas
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l ( a v. 60- 80% of t he opt i mum)
1
st
rainy season: Potatoes (e. of Feb.-July); carrots, leek, kales, endive
2
nd
rainy season: Lima beans;potatoes; cabbages, carrots, kales, lettuce
Whole year, best planting time mid March: Tea (high quality); loquats, black wattle
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l ( a v. 40- 60% of t he opt i mum)
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize like H 611, 612, 613 a.o.; m. mat. beans (end of July-Nov.)
2
nd
rainy season: E. mat. beans; leek
Whole year: Pyrethrum (too wet); plums
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
Around 0.5 ha/LU on secondary pasture of Kikuyu grass, suitable for grade dairy cows; clover for
higher productivity
UM = UPPER MIDLAND ZONES
UM 1 = Coff ee- Tea Zone
UM 1
n i m
= Coffee-Tea Zone
with a fully long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: Cabbages, kales, leek, lettuce, carrots
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: same vegetables
Whole year, best planting time mid March: Passion fruit
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize like H 612, 614 a.o., fnger millet: peas: potatoes: late mat.
sunfower like Kenya White: onions, beetroots, caulifower, rhubarb, turnips
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. beans (Aug.-Jan.), peas: sweet potatoes: m. mat. sunfower like HS 301 S:
cabbages (Aug.-Dec.), kales, onions, tomatoes
Whole year: Tea, Arabica coffee; bananas, yams, mountain pawpaws, avocadoes, loquats, khat
(=miraa)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Sweet potatoes, m. mat. beans, m. mat. Dolichos beans; tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat maize H 511, 512, 513 a.o. (Sep.-Jan.), late mat. H 612, 614 a.o.
(Aug.-Feb.), fnger millet, Meru Ioxtail millet (July-Oct.): potatoes (Aug.-Dec.)
Whole year: Citrus, taro
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
0.5 - 0.6 ha/LU on secondary pasture of Kikuyu grass; only about 0.15 ha/LU are needed if feeding
Napier grass, banana stems and leaves, sweet potato vines, maize stalks
UM 1
m/l i m/s
= Coffee-Tea Zone
with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium to short one
Very small, potential see Meru District
UM 2 = Mai n Coff ee Zone
UM 2
m i s/m
= Main Coffee Zone
with a medium cropping season, intermediate rains, and a short to medium one
2)
(See Diagram Embu Agricultural Research Station)
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: M. mat. sunfower like Hybrid S 301 A, some vegetables
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: M. mat. beans (Sep./Oct.-Jan./Feb.), some vegetables
Whole year, best planting time mid March: Loquats, mountain pawpaws
2)
On medium soils; on heavy soils there is a long to medium and a medium to short cropping season. Given potential refers
to predominating heavy red loams.
97
EMBU & MBEERE 13
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize like H 511, 512, 513, 515, 516, 518; m. mat. beans; potatoes, sweet
potatoes;cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. maize EMCO 92 S, Meru foxtail millet, e. mat. sorghum like 2 KX 17;
sweet potatoes (Aug./Sep.-Jan./Feb.): e. mat. sunfower like Hybrid S 345 ( 1500m): kales,
cabbages, onions, tomatoes
Whole year: Arabica coffee; bananas, citrus, avocadoes, passion fruit
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat local maize (Aug./Sep.-Jan./Feb.), fnger millet: e. mat. potatoes
Whole year: Cassava, sugarcane (lower and wet places), khat (= miraa)
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
0.6 - 1.0 ha/LU on secondary pasture of star grass (Cynodon dactylon); only 0.2 ha/LU are needed
if feeding Napier or Bana grass with banana leaves and other forage as Leucaena
98
EMBU & MBEERE 14
UM 3 = Margi nal Coff ee Zone
UM 3
m/s + s
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with a medium to short and a short cropping season
3)
(See Diagram Embu District OIfce)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start. norm. end of March: Med. mat. maize like EMCO 92 SR, H 511, 512
(~60): e. mat. sorghum like Serena: e. mat. sunfower like 252 or Hybrid S 345: onions,
cabbages, e. mat. beans
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: Meru Ioxtail millet: e. mat. sunfower like Issanka
Whole year: Pineapples, best planting time end of March
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Maize H 513, 515-518, e. mat. fnger millet: m. mat. beans, sweet potatoes:
kales, tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: Katumani maize Comp. B, e. mat. sorghum like Seredo; e. mat beans;
cabbages, kales, tomatoes
Whole year: Arabica coIIee (lower places poor, there addit. irrigation proftable), bananas,
avocadoes, citrus, pawpaws, cassava
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
0.7 1.1 ha/LU on secondary high grass savanna with zebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa)
predominating but very little pasture remaining; overgrazed less stocking capacity.Only 0.23
ha/LU are needed if feeding Napier or Bana grass and other forage.
3)
On medium soils: on heavy soils frst cropping season has a medium length, higher places even medium to long one. Given
potential refers to predominating heavy red loams.
99
EMBU & MBEERE 15
UM 4 = Mai ze- Sunf l ower Zone
UM 4
s/m + s
= Maize-Sunnower Zone
with a short to medium and a short cropping season
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. maize like DH 1-5, DH 8, e. mat. sorghum
like Seredo, foxtail millet 1 Se 285; m. mat. beans Canad. wonder, e. mat. like Rosecoco,
KK 8, 15 or 22: e. mat. sunfower like 252 or Hybrid S 345
2
nd
rainy season , start norm. mid Oct.: E. mat. maize like DH 1-5: e. mat. sunfower like
Issanka
Whole year, best planting time end of Oct.: Sisal, pineapples
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Maize EMCO 92 SR, H 511 - H 518, m. mat. fnger millet like Ekalakala,
Meru foxtail millet; dolichos beans; sweer potatoes, Virginia tobacco; tomatoes, onions,
cabbages
2
nd
rainy season: Katumani maize; Rosecoco beans
Whole year: Cassava, castor, guavas, pawpaws, mangoes, Macadamia nuts like EMB 1
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: E. mat. sweet potatoes
Whole year: Bananas, citrus
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
Around 0.8-1.2 ha/LU on original high grass savanna with zebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa)
predominant but it is almost fnished: down to 0.25 ha/LU Ieeding Bana grass, siratro
(Macroptilium atropurpureum), horse tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala) a.o.
UM 4
s + s
= Maize-Sunnower Zone
with two short cropping seasons
4)
Crop potential almost the same as UM 4 s/m + s, but maize EMCO 92 SR, H 511 - 512 not
recommended any more except on very suitable soils. Stocking rates 0.8-1.5 ha/LU or less
with additional forage
LM = LOWER MIDLAND ZONES
LM 3 = Cot t on Zone
LM 3
s + s
= Cotton Zone
with two short cropping seasons
4)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. maize like Katumani Comp. B or DH 01-5,
DH 8, PH 1, PH 4: m. mat. fnger millet like Ekalakala, e. mat. bulrush millet Serere Comp.
II, 2-3 A, 6A; e. mat. beans like Mwezi moja, Rosecoco, KK 8, 15 or 22; e. mat. cowpeas
K 80, chick peas on heavy black soils (late planted), dolichos beans, green grams; sweet
potatoes: e. mat. sunfower like 252
2
nd
rainy season: Dryland Composite maize, e. mat. sorghum like 2 KX 17, e. mat. bulrush
millet; e. mat. green grams KVR 26, cowpeas K 80, chick peas, mung beans Kat. Dengu
26, pigeon peas (Oct.-Sep.), e. mat. soya beans like Gazelle; cotton bimodal var. on black
soils (end of Sep.-Aug.)
Whole year, best planting time end of Oct.: Sisal, castor like C-15
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. beans like Cuarentino, dolichos beans (50-60%), groundnuts (in light
soils), e. mat. soya beans; sweet potatoes; Virginia tobacco; tomatoes, onions
2
nd
rainy season: Katumani Comp. maize; dolichos beans, Mwezi moja beans; cotton bimodal
var. (on red medium soils), e. mat. sunfower 252 or H 345, Virginia tobacco
Whole year: Cassava, pineapples, mangoes, guavas
4)
On medium soils: on heavy soils frst cropping season has a short to medium length. Given potential reIers to medium
soils, good heavy ones occur especially in Northwestern parts. There H 511-518 fair and Katumani maize very good in 1
st
rainy season, cotton good from 2
nd
to 1
st
rainy season.
100
EMBU & MBEERE 16
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: Sweet potatoes
Whole year: Citrus
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
0.8-1.5 ha/LU on high grass savanna withzebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa) predominant if
not overgrazed; only 0.25 ha/LU are needed if feeding Bana grass, Siratro (Macroptilium
atropurpureum), horse tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala)a.o.
LM 4 = Margi nal Cot t on Zone
LM 4
s + s/vs
= Marginal Cotton Zone
with a short and a short to very short cropping season
Potential almost the same as LM 3 s + s but cotton marginal (except on very suitable soils)
and stocking rates a little bit lower
LM 4
s/vs + vs/s
= Marginal Cotton Zone
with a short to very short and a very short to short cropping season
(See Diagram Kiritiri, more crops and possible yields on different soils see Tables 5 a & b)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. proso millet like Serere 1; Katheka beans;
e. mat. cowpeas like MTW 63, e. mat. mung beans Kat. Dengu 26, e. mat. green grams like
KVR 26, tepary beans, moth beans, chick peas (on heavy black soils, late planted), e. mat.
soya beans like Nyala
2
nd
rainy season , start norm. end of Oct.: Pearl millet Kat/PM 1-3; v. e. mat. cowpeas like
HB 48/10E, green grams KVR 26, mung beans Kat. Dengu 26, chick peas (on heavy black
soils), e. mat. soya beans Nyala, tepary beans, moth beans
Whole year: Buffalo gourds (Cucurbita foetidissima)
6)
and Marama beans (Tylosema
sculentum)
6)
(on sandy soils); castor
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy s.: Dryland Comp. maize, e. mat. pearl millet Kat. PM 1-3, e. mat. bulrush millet like
Serere Comp. II, v. e. mat. sorghum like IS 8595 or KARI Mtama 1, e. mat. foxtail millet
like ISe 285, m. mat. fnger millet Ekalakala: Mwezi moia beans, black grams (50-60),
dolichos beans; e. mat. groundnuts like Makulu Red (in light soils); sweet potatoes
2
nd
rainy season: Dryland Comp. maize, e. mat. foxtail millet like ISe 285; Katheka beans
(Kat/Bean 1); pigeon peas (Oct.-Sep.), e. mat. cowpeas like HB 48/10E, black grams
Whole year: Sisal (50-60%), cassava, mangoes
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Katumani Comp. B maize: e. mat. sunfower like 252
2
nd
rainy season: Cotton bimodal var. (beg. of Oct.-Aug.); Dryland Comp. maize, e. mat.
sorghum;e. mat. groundnuts, sweet potatoes
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
1.5 3.0 ha/LU on mixed medium grass savanna with red oats grass (Themeda triandra)
predominant; if degraded well improvable by saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) and horse
tamarind (Leucaena) as palatable shrubs; additinal forage: fast growing fodder legumes like
moth beans
101
EMBU & MBEERE
LM 5 = Lower Mi dl and Li vest ock- Mi l l et Zone
LM 5
vs/s + vs
= Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
with a very short to short and a very short cropping season
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: Pearl millet Ka/PM 1,2,3, e. mat. foxtail millet like
1Se 285 (~60%), e. mat. proso millet like Serere 1; moth beans (~60%), e. mat. green grams
like KVR 26, v. e. mat. cowpeas like HB 48/10E, MTW 63 & 610, e. mat. mung beans Kat
Dengu 26, chick peas, e. mat. soya beans like Nyala (~60%), tepary beans, moth beans
2
nd
rainy season , start norm. end of Oct.: E. mat. proso millet like Serere 1, hog millet
Whole year: Buffalo gourds
6)
(light soils) and Marama beans
6)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Dryland Comp. maize (~50%), Katumani comp maize (~40%), e. mat.
sorghum like Seredo, Serena or KARI Mtama 1; e. mat.dwarf sorghum (50-60%), e. mat.
bulrush millet like Serere Comp.II o.a. (birds rejecting awned var.), e. mat. proso millet
Kat/Pro 1, e. mat. fnger millet: black grams, e. mat. dolichos beans Kat/DL-1, e. mat.
groundnuts like Makulu red, e. mat. cowpeas K 80, chickpeas (on heavy black soils, late
planted), v. e. mat. bambarra groundnuts (on light soils)
2
nd
rainy season: Dryland Comp. maize (~40%), e. mat. foxtail millet like 1 Se 285, v. e. mat.
sorghum IS 8595; black and green grams, e. mat. cowpeas, moth beans, chickpeas (on
heavy black soils, late planted), tepary beans, mung beans Kat. Dengu 26
Whole year: Sisal, castor C-15
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: Katumani Comp. maize
17
102
EMBU & MBEERE
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
>3.0 ha/LU on mixed short grass savanna with buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and horsetail
grass (Chloris roxburghiana) predominant; saltbush (Atriplex) best palatable shrub for re-
establishing pasture on overgrazed and eroded places. Opuntia var. without prickles (also as
vegetable and fruit)
LM 5
vs + vs
= Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
with two very short cropping seasons
Very small, potential see Machakos District
IL = INNER LOWLAND ZONES
IL 5 = Inner Lowl and Li vest ock- Mi l l et Zone
IL 5
vs + vs/s
= Inner Lowland Livestock-Millet Zone
with a very short cropping season and a very short to short one
Annual crops see in Appendix Diagram of Stn. Kindaruma Dam and Table 5c & d with yield
expectations on locally better soils of this subzone.
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: E. mat. proso millet like Serere 1; hog millet, e. mat. green grams like KVR
26 (~65%)
2
nd
rainy season: E. mat. pearl millets Kat/PM1, PM2, PM3; proso millet Serere 1, e. mat.
foxtail millet like 1Se 285, v. e. mat. cowpeas HB 48/10E, MTW 63, MTW 610; green
grams KVR 26, e. mat. mung beans like Kat. Dengu 26, chickpeas, e. mat. soya beans
Nyala (~60%), tepary beans, moth beans, Bambarra groundnuts
Whole year: Buffalo gourds
6)
(light soils), Marama beans
6)
, yeheb nuts (Cordeauxia edulis)
5)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
7)
1
st
rainy season: Dryland Comp. maize (~40%), e. mat. pearl millets Kat/PM 1,2,3, e. mat.
foxtail millet 1 Se 285, proso millet Kat/Pro1; mung beans Kat. Dengu 26, black grams,
chickpeas, moth beans (50-60%), cowpeas K 80, HB 48/10E, MTW 63, MTW 610, v. e.
mat. Bambarra groundnuts (on sandy soils), tepary beans, e. mat. soya beans like Nyala
2
nd
rainy season: Dryland Comp. maize (~55%), Katumani Comp. maize (~45%), e. mat.
foxtail millet like Kat/FM1, proso millet Kat/Pro1, e. mat. bulrush millet like Serere Comp.
II , v. e. sorghum IS 8595, e. mat. sorghum like Seredo, Serena or KARI Mtama 1; e. mat.
cowpeas K 80, black grams, e. mat. Dolichos beans Kat/DL-1, e. mat. groundnuts like
Makulu red
Whole year: Sisal (40-50%), castor, Neem
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
>4.0 ha/LU on short grass bushland with horsetail grass predominant, but mainly meage
thornbushes now; saltbush (Atriplex) best palatable shrub to plant for better browsing
possibilities.
IL 5
vs + vs
= Inner Lowland Livestock-Millet Zone
with two very short cropping seasons
Potentials in both seasons almost similar to those oI frst rainy season in subzone IL 5
vs + vs/s on deep medium soils. On sandy soils fair yield potential in
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l (on sandy soils)
1
st
and 2
nd
rainy season: V. e. mat. proso and foxtail millet; v. e. mat. green gramslike KS 2010,
v. e. mat. soya beans like Nyala, tepary and moth beans.
Whole year: Buffalo gourds, Marama beans, yeheb nuts
Gr a s s l a nd a nd f or a ge
>5.0 ha/LU on short grass bushland, originally with horsetail grass predominant, but severely
overgrazed and eroded; saltbush (Atriplex) suitable for re-establishing at least reasonable
browsing conditions.
5)
From Somalia ;
6)
Still experimental anti-famine crops, therefore typed in italics. Plants produce after some seasons
tubers. Bitterness may be washed out in salty water. ;
7)
On predominating soils, see Table 5a, other soil see 5b.
18
103
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLES 5: CLIMATIC YIELD POTENTIALS IN MARGINAL AND SEMI-ARID SUBZONES
TABLE 5a: CLIMATIC YIELD POTENTIALS OF SEASONAL CROPS
1)
ON DOMINANT
SOILS IN SUBZONE IL 5 vs + vs/s
(calc. for medium chromic Cambisols
2)
at station 9037146 Kindaruma Dam)
First rainy season
(start end of March till end of April)
Second rainy season
(start end of October till end of November)
Yield
Potential
(in % of
Optimum)
3)
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
3)
Total
crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
3)
Total
crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Very good
(80 100 %)
Good
(60 80 %)
Proso millet (Serere I)
Green grams (KVR 26)
1680
620
1
1
Pearl millet (Kat/PM1, PM2)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM3)
Foxtail millet (ISe 285)
Tepary beans
V.e. mat. cowpeas (HB48/10E)
V.e. mat. cowpeas (MTW 63,
MTW 610)
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Green grams (KVR 26)
Mung beans (Kat Dengu 26)
Chickpeas
Soyabeans (Nyala)
Bambarra groundnuts (N.
Cameroon)
1380
1080
2580
850
960
770
1080
750
640
890
1580
640
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Fair
(40 60 %)
Maize (DLC)
Finger millet (Kat/FM 1)
E. mat. pearl millet (Kat/
PM1, PM2)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM 3)
Proso millet (Kat/Pro 1)
Foxtail millet (ISe 285)
Tepary beans
V.e. mat. cowpeas
(HB48/10E)
V.e. mat. cowpeas
(MTW 63, MTW 610)
E. mat. cowpeas (K 80)
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Black grams
Mung beans
(Kat Dengu 26)
Chickpeas
Soyabeans (Nyala)
Bambarra groundnuts
(N Cameroon)
1190
490
1150
900
880
1720
660
630
780
880
910
670
570
770
1400
520
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
Maize (DLC)
Maize (KCB)
Finger millet (Ekalakala)
Finger millet (Kat/FM 1)
Proso millet (Kat/Pro 1)
Bulrush millet
(Serere Comp. II)
Foxtail millet (Kat/Fox-1)
Sorghum (IS 8595)
Sorghum Seredo
Sorghum (KARI Mtama-1)
Sorghum (Serena)
Cowpeas (K 80)
Black grams
Dolichos beans (Kat/DL-1)
Groundnuts (Makululu Red)
1460
1610
1260
570
1030
2120
720
1770
1220
1530
1380
1010
820
1090
1110
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Poor
(20 40 %)
Groundnuts (Makululu
Red)
860 2 Sorghum (IS 76)
Sunfower (252)
Sunfower (Hybrid S 345)
900
430
520
1
2
2
1)
Only crops listed with total crop failures (TCF) generally less than 33 % (yield estimates acc. to calculations with MARCROP model
of HORNETZ in Hornetz, B., Shisanya, Chr. & Gitonga, N.: Crop water relationships and thermal adaptation of kathika beans (Phaseolus
vulgaris) and green grams (Vigna radiata) with special regard to temporal patterns of potential growth in the drylands of SE-Kenya.- Journal
of Arid Environments 48, 2001, 591-601; see also Methodology in Vol. II/M of the handbook).
2)
Yield potentials on heavy Ferralsols are generally one level lower than on these medium soils; e.g. for second rainy season: Cowpeas (K
80) produce about 640 kg/ha (compared to about 1010 kg/ha on this medium Cambisols).
3)
Well manured, fertilized and protected. Water loss as surface runoff has to be stopped by contour ridges. Calculated with MARCROP.
19
104
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 5b: CLIMATIC YIELD POTENTIALS OF SEASONAL CROPS
1)

ON LOCAL SOIL SPOTS IN SUBZONE IL 5 vs + vs/s
(calc. for locally dominating loamy-clayey Arenosols
2)
near stn. 9037146 Kindaruma Dam)
First rainy season
(start end of March till end of April)
Second rainy season
(start end of October till end of November)
Yield
Potential
(in % of
Optimum)
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
3)
Total crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
3)
Total crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Very good
(80 - 100 %)
Good
(60 80 %)
Tepary beans
Grams (KVR 26)
720
650
0
0
Fair
(40 60 %)
Proso millet (Serere I)
Foxtail millet (Ise 285)
Tepary beans
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Grams (KVR 26)
Grams (Kat Dengu 26)
Soyabeans (Nyala)
1240
1200
520
670
500
410
1020
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
Maize (DLC)
Finger millet (Kat/FM 1)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM1, PM2)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM3)
Proso millet (Kat/Pro 1)
Foxtail millet (Ise 285)
Cowpeas (HB48/10E)
Cowpeas (MTW 63, MTW
610)
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Grams (Kat Dengu 26)
Chickpeas
Soyabeans (Nyala)
Bambarra groundnuts (N.
Cameroon)
1030
570
1040
820
720
1570
740
590
890
510
620
1270
490
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
Poor
(20 40 %)
Maize (DLC)
Finger millet (Kat/FM 1)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM1,
PM2)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM3)
Proso millet (Kat/Pro 1)
Cowpeas (HB 48/10E)
Cowpeas (MTW 63,
MTW 610)
Cowpeas (K 80)
Black grams
Chickpeas
720
310
830
650
550
440
550
530
370
460
3
1
2
2
1
3
3
3
3
2
Maize (KCB)
Finger millet (Ekalakala)
Bulrush millet (Serere Comp.
I)
Foxtail millet (Kat/Fox-1)
Sorghum (IS 8595)
Sorghum Seredo
Sorghum (KARI Mtama-1)
Sorghum (Serena)
Sorghum (IS 76)
Cowpeas (K 80)
Green grams
Black grams
Dolichos beans (Kat/DL-1)
Groundnuts (Makululu Red)
1130
890
1510
520
1320
860
1080
1010
560
620
440
560
750
710
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1)
Only crops listed with total crop failures (TCF) generally less than 33 % (yield estimates acc. to calculations with MARCROP model
of HORNETZ in Hornetz, B., Shisanya, Chr. & Gitonga, N.: Crop water relationships and thermal adaptation of kathika beans (Phaseolus
vulgaris) and green grams (Vigna radiata) with special regard to temporal patterns of potential growth in the drylands of SE-Kenya.-
Journal of Arid Environments 48, 2001, 591-601; see also Methodology in Vol. II/M of the handbook).
2)
Yield potentials on stony loamy sands of the Arenosols during the second rainy season are only poor for most crops; in these cases TCF are
quite high (30-33%). During the hrst rainv season yield potentials are very poor for early maturing crops; risks of TCF are often more than
33%.
3)
Well manured, fertilized and protected. Water loss as surface runoff has to be stopped by contour ridges. Calculated with MARCROP.
20
105
EMBU & MBEERE 21
106
EMBU & MBEERE 22
SOIL DISTRIBUTION, FERTILITY AND MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS
Mt. Kenya forms the north-western corner of Embu district. Towards the southeast, the topography be-
comes more level and the underlying volcanic bedrock gives the way mainly to dierent types of gneisses of
the Basement System. Te soils occur in broad zones which run southwest-northeast and they are mainly
heavy in the upper middle parts, mainly medium to heavy in the lower middle parts, and light to heavy in
the lower parts. Some Inselbergs have stony soils.
On Mt. Kenya, mountain soils of units MV1 and MV2 occur. Normally soil unit MV2 is very suitable for
tea cultivation. On the lower parts, volcanic foothill soils of units RB1, 2 and 3 have moderate to high fertil-
ity but tend to become exhausted by permanent cultivation without fertiliser and manure, a general problem
in these densely populated districts.
Footplateau soils (LB1, 2 and 3) are found around the boundary between both districts and in the south-
western part of Mbeere district, with low to moderate natural fertility.
Te soil units UU1 and UI1 occupy most of the uplands. Tey are partly associated with hill complex-
es (HB3) and are of low to moderate fertility. Te soil units UpFC, UF1 and UUC2 are also found on
uplands but are more fertile. On the surrounding uplands south, east and west of Siakago poor soils of the
hills (HB3), foothills (UQ1) and related uplands (UU1) occur.
Te dissected erosional plains in the south-eastern and very eastern part of the Mbeere district consist of soil
unit PdUC1 of mainly low fertility.
LEGEND TO THE SOIL MAP OF EMBU AND MBEERE DISTRICTS
1. Explanation of the rst character (physiography)
M Mountains (steep; slopes predominantly over 30%; relief intensity more than 300 m/km)
H Hills (hilly to steep; slopes predominantly over 16%; relief intensity up to 300 m/km)
R Volcanic Footridges (dissected lower slopes of major older volcanoes and older lava ows,
undulating to hilly; slopes between 5 and 30%)
U Uplands
Up Upland / Plain Transitional Lands
L Plateaus and High Level Structural Plains
Pd Dissected Erosional Plains
2. Explanation of second character (lithology)
B Basic and ultra-basic igneous rocks (basalts, nepheline phonolites; older basic tus included
I Intermediate igneous rocks (andesites, phonolites, syenites, etc.)
L Limestone and calcitics Mudstones
Q Quarzites
U Undierentiated Basement System rocks (predominantly gneisses)
V Undierentiated or various igneous rocks
107
EMBU & MBEERE 23
3. Soil description
MV1 imperfectly drained, shallow to moderately deep, dark greyish brown, very friable, acid humic
to peaty, loam to clay loam, with rock outcrops and ice in the highest parts

dystric HISTOSOLS, lithic phase; with LITHOSOLS and rock outcrops


MV2 well drained, very deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown, very friable and smeary, clay loam
to clay, with a thick acid humic topsoil; in places shallow to moderately deep and rocky

humic ANDOSOLS, partly lithic phase


HB2 well drained, shallow to moderately deep, very dark brown, rm, stony and rocky clay loam

LITHOSOLS; with verto-luvic PHAEOZENS, lithic phase and rock outcrops


HB3 excessively to well drained, shallow, reddish brown to dusky red, stony and rocky, friable sandy
clay to clay, in places with humic topsoil

LITHOSOLS and humic CAMBISOLS


RB1 well drained, extremely deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown, friable and slightly smeary
clay, with an acid humic topsoil

ando-humic NITISOLS; with humic ANDOSOLS


RB2 well drained, extremely deep, dusky red to dark reddish brown, friable clay, with a acid humic
topsoil

humic NITISOLS
RB3 well drained, extremely deep, dusky red to dark reddish brown, friable clay; with inclusions of
well drained, moderately deep, dark red to dark reddish brown, friable clay over rock, pisofer-
ric or petroferric material

eutric NITISOLS; with nito-chromic CAMBISOLS and chromic ACRISOLS and LUVI-
SOLS, partly lithic, pisoferric or petroferric phase
LB1 well drained, very deep, dark red, very friable clay

nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
LB2 well drained, very deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown, friable to rm, clay; in places with
a humic topsoil

verto-eutric NITISOLS; with mollic NITISOLS


LB3 imperfectly drained, very deep, dark grey to black, rm to very rm, bouldery and stony,
cracking clay; in places with a calcareous, slightly saline deeper subsoil

pellic VERTISOLS, stony phase and partly saline phase


UF1 well drained, very deep, dark red, friable to rm clay

nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
UI1 well drained, very deep, dusky red to dark red, friable clay

nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
UQ1 well drained, shallow to deep, dark red to yellowish brown, loose loamy sand to friable sandy
clay loam; in places rocky and stony

ferralic ARENOSOLS and ferralo-orthic LUVISOLS; partly lithic and stony phase
UU1 well drained, moderately deep to deep, dark red to yellowish red, friable, sandy clay loam to
clay

rhodic and orthic FERRALSOLS; with ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric ACRISOLS


108
EMBU & MBEERE 24
UU3 well drained, moderately deep to deep, dark red to yellowish red, friable to rm, sandy clay to
clay, often with a topsoil of loamy sand

chromic LUVISOLS, with ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric LUVISOLS


UUC2 well drained, moderately deep to very deep, dark reddish brown to dark yellowish brown, fri-
able to rm, sandy clay to clay, in many places with a topsoil of loamy sand to sandy loam

ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric ACRISOLS; with LUVISOLS and FERRALSOLS


UpFC Complex of:
imperfectly drained, deep black, rm, cracking, moderately calcareous clay (70%)

pellic VERTISOLS
and:
well drained, shallow to deep, dark red, friable to rm, compact clay (30%)

chromic LUVISOLS, partly lithic phase


PdUC1 Complex of:
well drained, shallow, dark red to yellowish red, friable to rm, stony, loamy sand to clay

chromic CAMBISOLS, paralithic and stony phase; with ferralic ARENOSOLS, lithic phase
NOTES for verbal denitions (of underlined words):
mollic Nitisols and chromo-luvic Phaeozems: soils are equally important
mollic Nitisols, with chromo-luvic Phaeozems: Nitisols are prevalent
in places: in <30% of the area
in many places: in 30-50% of the area
predominantly: in >50% of the area
deeper subsoil: below 80 cm
109
EMBU & MBEERE
3.2.2 POPULATION AND LAND
EMBU DISTRICT
Embu District is one of the thirteen districts, which make up Eastern Province. It borders Mbeere District
to the east and southeast, Kirinyaga District to the west and Taraka District to the north. It occupies a total
of 729.4 km
2
, which is divided into six administrative divisions (Table 6). Runyenjes Division is the largest
with an area of 148.5 km
2
(20%) followed by Manyatta, Kyeni and Nembure occupying 14.7%, 14.4% and
12.1% of the total area, respectively. Central Division is the smallest with 70.6 km
2
(9.8%). Forests, includ-
ing Mt. Kenya, which accounts for 29% of this area, occupy about 30% of the total area of the district. Te
area occupied by Mt. Kenya Forest falls under parts of Manyatta, Runyenjes and Kyeni divisions. Since the
forest area is uninhabited, it has been disaggregated from the rest of the area so that the population density
within divisions portrays the correct position.
According to the 1999 Population and Housing Census, the district had a total population of 278,196
people, which was growing at an annual growth rate of 1.7%. Using this growth rate, it is projected that
this population increased to 293,144 in 2002. It was expected to further increase to 303,552, 314,330 and
325,491 in the years 2004, 2006 and 2008, respectively. Te district inter-censal growth rate dropped sharp-
ly from a high rate of 3.08% per annum between 1979-1989 to moderate 1.7% per annum between 1989-
1999. Tis sharp drop may be explained by various reasons, among them being a general decline in fertility
rate due to the increasing awareness of the importance of family planning. Te HIV/AIDS pandemic has
played a major role in raising the mortality rates among the population, which in turn has signicantly con-
tributed to the moderate population growth rate. It is worth noting that this trend is not conned to Embu
District alone, but in most districts of Eastern, Western, Central, Coast and Rift Valley Provinces.
Te population densities in Embu District are relatively high, with Central Division having 743 persons/km
2
in 1999 and expected to grow to 869 by the year 2008 (Table 6). Tis is mainly due to its urban character-
istic since it includes Embu Municipality. Runyenjes Division has the lowest density of 432 and is expected
to grow to 504 by the year 2008 (Table 6). Te densities are high but are almost evenly distributed in the
rural settlement. Te available agricultural land per household was 0.82 ha per household of 4.44 persons
in 1979 compared to the 1999 gure of 0.6 ha for an equivalent number of persons per household, i.e. 4.40
persons. In other words the available agricultural land per person is continuously decreasing, from 0.18 ha
in 1979 to 0.14 ha per person in 1999 (Tables 7 & 8). Tis decreasing trend has serious implications on per
capita land productivity, particularly under the soil fertility depleted soils as found in Embu District.
Te poor are found throughout the district with no specic area having a marked concentration of the
poor in Embu Town where the trend is broken by the high concentration of poor slum dwellers and street
children. Te poor are mainly the landless, farm labourers, single mothers, orphans and small holders with
farms as the only source of income or livelihood. Te Report on Poverty in Kenya 2000 indicated that 56
per cent of the population in Embu District is absolutely poor while 43.5 per cent of this was categorized
as chronically poor. Tis translates into 164,512 and 71,480 people for the overall poor and hardcore poor,
respectively. According to the same source, the district contributes 0.95 per cent of the poor population
nationally.
25
110
EMBU & MBEERE 26
TABLE 6: POPULATION IN EMBU DISTRICT PER DIVISION, LOCATION AND
SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Total
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
CENTRAL 26237 26209 52446 14726 70.6 743
MBETI NORTH 7820 7706 15526 3578 47.1 330
Gatituri 2740 2676 5416 1238 10.7 506
Itabua 3184 3099 6283 1449 30.1 209
Kiangima 1896 1931 3827 891 6.3 607
MUNICIPALITY 18417 18503 36920 11148 23.5 1571
Dallas/Stadium 8486 8507 16993 5902 3.5 4855
Kamiu 5937 5420 11357 3260 6.6 1721
Njukiri 2416 2676 5092 1157 6.7 760
Nthambo 1578 1900 3478 829 6.7 519
KYENI 23468 24917 48385 10441 104.9 461
KARURUMO 5979 5956 11935 2525 44.5 268
Karurumo 2209 2293 4502 980 15.8 285
Kasafari 563 573 1136 255 8.8 129
Kathunguri 3207 3090 6297 1290 19.9 316
KYENI NORTH 9738 10795 20533 4380 29.3 701
Kathari 1654 1807 3461 831 5.1 679
Kianguri 3240 3404 6644 1389 9.8 678
Mufu 2234 2797 5031 1004 6.6 762
Rukuriri 2610 2787 5397 1156 7.8 692
KYENI SOUTH 7751 8166 15917 3536 31.1 512
Kathnjuri 2295 2412 4707 1065 7 672
Kigumo 3745 3880 7625 1662 16.9 451
Nyagari 1711 1874 3585 809 7.2 498
MANYATTA 34829 36503 71332 15523 107.1 666
GATURI NORTH 5965 6287 12252 2825 18.5 662
Kavutiri 3722 4041 7763 1855 11.5 675
Kianjuki 2249 2246 4489 970 7 641
NGANDORI 11084 11174 22258 5094 32.6 683
Kairuri 1643 1594 3237 685 5 647
Kariari 879 941 1820 447 2.2 827
Kathangari 2227 2204 4431 989 6.5 682
Kirigi 2687 2718 5405 1257 7.7 702
Manyatta 2404 2458 4862 1178 6.6 737
Mukangu 1244 1259 2503 538 4.6 544
NGINDA 13453 14310 27763 5734 39.6 701
Kibugu 4961 5326 10287 2317 15.5 664
Mbuvori 4281 4531 8812 1679 11.4 773
Nguviu 4211 4453 8664 1738 12.7 682
RUGURU 4327 4732 9059 1870 16.4 552
Kiamwinja 433 444 877 190 1.9 462
Kiriari 1599 1827 3426 763 5.6 612
Kithunguriri 2295 2461 4756 917 8.9 534
NEMBURE 20323 21267 41590 8976 88.1 472
GATURI SOUTH 6347 6510 12857 2793 22 584
Ena East 1469 1500 2969 642 5.8 512
Gatunduri 2653 2677 5330 1145 9 592
Nembure 2225 2333 4558 1006 7.2 633
KITHIMU 8439 8812 17251 3661 47.1 366
Ena West (Rukira) 858 938 1796 406 3.5 513
Kithegi 2869 2920 5789 1241 23.1 251
Kithimu 4712 4954 9666 2014 20.5 472
MAKENGI 5537 5945 11482 2522 19 604
Kevote 2838 3082 5920 1354 11.1 533
Makengi 2699 2863 5562 1168 7.9 704
111
EMBU & MBEERE
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Total
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
RUNYENJES 31374 32737 64111 13981 148.5 432
KAGAARI NORTH 11964 12644 24608 5097 43 572
Kanja 3319 3489 6808 1507 11.4 597
Kianjokoma 2006 2110 4116 921 7.1 580
Mbuinjeru 3711 3995 7706 1434 13.3 579
Mukuuri 2928 3050 5978 1235 11.2 534
KAGAARI SOUTH 8313 8378 16691 3510 73.9 226
Gichera 1842 1850 3692 806 9.8 377
Kawanjara 1637 1740 3377 766 7.3 463
Kiringa 1439 1389 2828 568 24.6 115
Nthangaiya 3395 3399 6794 1370 32.2 211
RUNYENJES TOWN 11097 11715 22812 5374 31.6 722
Gichiche 2665 2947 5612 1394 8.8 641
Gikuuri 2465 2622 5087 1197 5.5 925
Gitare 1608 1611 3219 724 4.4 732
Kigaa 2981 3123 6104 1359 9.4 649
Mbiruri 1348 1412 2760 700 3.4 789
MT.KENYA FOREST 268 64 332 246 210.2 2
TABLE 7: COMPOSITION OF HOUSEHOLDS IN EMBU DISTRICT PER DIVISION,
LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers Family
Total Households
Persons
>15 years
Persons
< 15 years
Total persons
CENTRAL 2.22 1.34 3.56 14726
MBETI NORTH 2.70 1.64 4.34 3578
Gatituri 2.73 1.65 4.37 1238
Itabua 2.70 1.63 4.34 1449
Kiangima 2.68 1.62 4.30 891
MUNICIPALITY 2.06 1.25 3.31 11148
Dallas/Stadium 1.79 1.09 2.88 5902
Kamiu 2.17 1.31 3.48 3260
Njukiri 2.74 1.66 4.40 1157
Nthambo 2.61 1.58 4.20 829
KYENI 2.89 1.75 4.63 10441
KARURUMO 2.95 1.78 4.73 2525
Karurumo 2.86 1.73 4.59 980
Kasafari 2.78 1.68 4.45 255
Kathunguri 3.04 1.84 4.88 1290
KYENI NORTH 2.92 1.77 4.69 4380
Kathari 2.60 1.57 4.16 831
Kiangungi 2.98 1.80 4.78 1389
Mufu 3.12 1.89 5.01 1004
Rukuriri 2.91 1.76 4.67 1156
KYENI SOUTH 2.80 1.70 4.50 3536
Kathanjuri 2.75 1.67 4.42 1065
Kigumo 2.86 1.73 4.59 1662
Nyagari 2.76 1.67 4.43 809
MANYATTA 2.86 1.73 4.60 15523
GATURI NORTH 2.70 1.63 4.34 2825
Kavutiri 2.61 1.58 4.18 1855
TABLE 6: Continued
27
112
EMBU & MBEERE
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers Family
Total Households
Persons
>15 years
Persons
< 15 years
Total persons
Kianjuki 2.88 1.74 4.63 970
NGANDOR 2.72 1.65 4.37 5094
Kairuri 2.94 1.78 4.73 685
Kariari 2.54 1.53 4.07 447
Kathangari 2.79 1.69 4.48 989
Kirigi 2.68 1.62 4.30 1257
Manyatta 2.57 1.56 4.13 1178
Mukangu 2.90 1.75 4.65 538
NGINDA 3.02 1.82 4.84 5734
Kibugu 2.77 1.67 4.44 2317
Mbuvori 3.27 1.98 5.25 1679
Nguviu 3.11 1.88 4.99 1738
RUGURU 3.02 1.83 4.84 1870
Kiamwinja 2.88 1.74 4.62 190
Kiriari 2.80 1.69 4.49 763
Kithunguriri 3.23 1.95 5.19 917
NEMBURE 1.75 2.89 4.63 8976
GATURI SOUTH 1.74 2.87 4.60 2793
Ena East 1.74 2.88 4.62 642
Nembure 1.75 2.90 4.66 1006
KITHIMU 1.71 2.82 4.53 3661
Ena West (Rukira) 1.78 2.94 4.71 406
Kithegi 1.76 2.91 4.66 1241
Kithimu 1.81 2.99 4.80 2014
MAKENGI 1.72 2.84 4.55 2522
Kevote 1.65 2.72 4.37 1354
Makengi 1.79 2.97 4.76 1168
RUNYENJES 1.73 2.86 4.59 13981
KAGAARI NORTH 1.82 3.01 4.83 5097
Kanja 1.70 2.81 4.52 1507
Kianjokoma 1.68 2.78 4.47 921
Mbuinjeru 2.03 3.35 5.37 1434
Mukuuri 1.82 3.02 4.84 1235
KAGAARI SOUTH 1.79 2.96 4.76 3510
Gichera 1.73 2.85 4.58 806
Kawanjara 1.66 2.75 4.41 766
Kiringa 1.88 3.10 4.98 568
Nthangaiya 1.87 3.09 4.96 1370
RUNYENJES TOWN 1.60 2.64 4.24 5374
Gichiche 1.55 2.56 4.11 1374
Gikuuri 1.60 2.65 4.25 1197
Gitare 1.68 2.77 4.45 724
Kigaa 1.68 2.80 4.49 1359
Mbiruri 1.49 2.46 3.94 700
MT.KENYA FOREST 0.51 0.84 1.35 246
TABLE 7: Continued
28
113
EMBU & MBEERE 29
MBEERE DISTRICT
Location and size
Mbeere District was curved o from Embu District in 1996. It shares common borders with Embu District
to the north- west, Taraka-Nithi to the north, Mwingi to the east, Machakos to the south and south east
and Kirinyaga to the west. Te district has a total area of 2,097 km
2
and is subdivided into four administra-
tive divisions (Table 9 & 10). Gachoka is the largest division making up 38.4% of the total area, followed
by Mwea with 24.2%, Evurore with 20%, while Siakago is the smallest Division covering only 17.4% of
the districts total area.
Population
Te 1999 National Population Census report shows that the divisions, which form Mbeere District, had
a population of 170,953 in 37,036 households with a density of 82 persons/km
2
. Te population in the
divisions was as follows: Gachoka had the highest population of 59,102, Mwea 40,680, Evurori 36,841 and
Siakago 34,330. Te population densities in these divisions were as follows: 74, 79, 90, and 93 persons/km
2
,
respectively. Te population density varies with land productivity. Evurori and Siakago Divisions fall in the
medium potential agro-ecological Zones (UM3 Marginal Coee Zone, UM 4 Sunower-Maize Zone,
LM 3 Cotton Zone), hence the higher population density.Te low population density in Gachoka Divi-
sion (predominantly LM 4 Marginal Cotton Zone), could be attributed to its large area size (806 km
2
)
and the existence of a number of large farms in the area.
Land use
About 95,490 ha (56%) of the arable land are currently under cultivation; the remaining 44% are not
enough for the necessary livestock and fallow period for replenishing soil fertility. Te average farm size per
family is less than 5.0 ha (Table 11). Most of the small- holdings are not being optimally utilized. Tis is
TABLE 8: AVAILABLE LAND IN EMBU DISTRICT PER AEZ AND HOUSEHOLD
(Source: Calculated from DAOs Reports)
Division without
townships
T
o
t
a
l

a
r
e
a
i
n

k
m
2
A
r
a
b
l
e

a
r
e
a
i
n

k
m
2
N
o
n

-
A
r
a
b
l
e


l
a
n
d
i
n

k
m
2
Available land per
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES (AEZ)
in km
2
Agricultural
land (in ha)
per
L
H
1
U
M
1
U
M
2
U
M
3
U
M
4
L
M
3
L
M
4
H
o
u
s
e
h
o
l
d
P
e
r
s
o
n
CENTRAL
without Embu
46.2 38.9 7.3 6 13 18 1 1.1 0.24
KYENI 104.9 64.1 40.8 11 15.9 10.1 21.2 4.2 0.65 0.14
MANYATTA 107.1 77 30.1 25 40 12 0.50 0.11
NEMBURE 88.1 56.8 31.4 11 33.3 10.8 2.0 0.64 0.14
RUNYENJES
without town
116.9 81.6 35.3 7 18 15 12 5 21 4 0.92 0.18
Total Rural Area 300.1 201.7 98.5 11 60.0 43.7 30.0 30.2 22.2 4.2 0.86 0.16
114
EMBU & MBEERE 30
particularly common on the upper eastern zones of the district, Evurori and Siakago divisions, where large
tracts of land are left uncleared due to the marginal nature of the land. Te district is covered by three main
agro-ecological zones, namely: Marginal Cotton Zone (LM 4), covering the upper parts of Gachoka Divi-
sion and some parts of Siakago and Evurori Divisions; the Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone (LM5),
which covers the Central belt of the district extending to Mwea Plains and to the south west; and the Low-
land Livestock-Millet Zone (IL 5), which covers the eastern parts of Siakago and Evurori Divisions. In the
north-western part towards the border with Embu and Kirinyaga Districts, there are pockets of medium
potential agroecological zones. Tese include the Cotton Zone (LM 3) in parts of Gachoka and Siakago Di-
visions, the Sunower-Maize Zone (UM 4) and the Marginal-Coee Zone (UM 3) around Siakago market.
Tere is also the marginal Cotton-Millet-Livestock Zone on the south- western parts around Karaba.
TABLE 9: POPULATION IN MBEERE DISTRICT PER DIVISION, LOCATION AND
SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION / LOCATION /
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
MBEERE 81885 89068 170953 37036 2097.0 82
SIAKAGO 16656 17674 34330 7852 367.3 93
GITIBURI 3400 3415 6815 1462 49.2 139
Gitiburi 2445 2396 4841 1018 39.4 123
Thura 955 1019 1974 444 9.8 201
MUMINJI 3224 3918 7142 1489 103.7 69
Gangara 1982 2442 4424 912 62.2 71
Karambari 1242 1476 2718 577 41.5 65
MUTITU 2852 3141 5993 1452 127.6 47
Kirie 655 756 1411 297 28.2 50
Mutitu 1280 1283 2563 756 71.2 36
Nguthi 917 1102 2019 399 28.2 72
NTHAWA 7180 7200 14380 3449 86.8 166
Riandu 3901 3928 7829 1772 60.7 129
Siakago 3279 3272 6551 1677 26.1 251
EVURORE 16764 20077 36841 7677 410 90
ISHIARA 5180 6376 11556 2424 135 86
Evurore 3072 3711 6783 1488 46.5 146
Kamarandi 2108 2665 4773 936 88.5 54
KANYUAMBORA 4674 5250 9924 2117 46.5 213
Ngura 2200 2530 4730 1026 222.1 21
Nguthi 2474 2720 5194 1091 24.4 213
KIANGOMBE 3143 3918 7061 1434 63.4 111
Kariru 1076 1313 2389 469 27.1 88
Kathera 2067 2605 4672 965 36.3 129
NDURUMORI 3767 4533 8300 1702 165.1 50
Iria-Itune 1955 2302 4257 850 98.3 43
Thambu 1812 2231 4043 852 66.8 61
Mbita 1655 1678 3333 682 26.5 126
Nyangwa 4063 4167 8230 1765 53.5 154
MAVURIA 8157 8983 17140 3654 211.1 81
Kithunthiri 2762 3086 5848 1256 42.5 138
Mavuria 2793 3154 5947 1191 77.9 76
Gichiche 2602 2743 5345 1207 90.7 59
MBETI SOUTH 6811 6884 13695 3321 169.4 81
Gachoka 2661 2683 5344 1149 57.5 93
Gachuriri 2209 2327 4536 1337 69.3 65
Kiamuringa 1941 1874 3815 835 42.6 90
MWEA 19693 20987 40680 8602 514.9 79
KARABA 7621 8165 15786 3518 83.5 189
Karaba 4022 4322 8344 1724 49.6 168
Wachoro 3599 3843 7442 1794 33.9 220
115
EMBU & MBEERE
DIVISION / LOCATION /
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
MAKIMA 6259 6563 12822 2681 342.7 37
Makima 1745 1890 3635 797 42.7 85
Mbondoni 2395 2430 4825 1041 134.1 36
Mwea 2119 2243 4362 843 165.9 26
RIAKANAU 5813 6259 12072 2403 88.7 136
Gategi 2779 2892 5671 1069 24.7 230
Riakanau 3034 3367 6401 1334 64 100
TABLE 10: COMPOSITION OF HOUSEHOLDS IN MBEERE DISTRICT PER
DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION / LOCATION /
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers Family
Number of
households
Persons < 15 years
Persons
15 years and over
Total persons
MBEERE 2.08 2.53 4.61 37036
SIAKAGO 1.97 2.40 4.37 7852
GITIBURI 2.10 2.56 4.66 1462
Gitiburi 2.14 2.61 4.76 1018
Thura 2.00 2.44 4.45 444
MUMINJI 2.16 2.64 4.80 1489
Gangara 2.18 2.67 4.85 912
Karambari 2.12 2.59 4.71 577
MUTITU 1.86 2.27 4.13 1452
Kirie 2.14 2.61 4.75 297
Mutitu 1.53 1.86 3.39 756
Nguthi 2.28 2.78 5.06 399
NTHAWA 1.88 2.29 4.17 3449
Riandu 1.99 2.43 4.42 1772
Siakago 1.76 2.15 3.91 1677
EVURORE 2.16 2.64 4.80 7677
ISHIARA 2.15 2.62 4.77 2424
Evurore 2.05 2.51 4.56 1488
Kamarandi 2.30 2.80 5.10 936
KANYUAMBORA 2.11 2.58 4.69 2117
Ngura 2.08 2.54 4.61 1026
Nguthi 2.14 2.62 4.76 1091
KIANGOMBE 2.22 2.71 4.92 1434
Kariru 2.29 2.80 5.09 469
Kathera 2.18 2.66 4.84 965
NDURUMORI 2.19 2.68 4.88 1702
Iria-Itune 2.25 2.75 5.01 850
Thambu 2.14 2.61 4.75 852
GACHOKA 2.06 2.52 4.58 12905
KIAMBERE 2.20 2.69 4.90 2208
Gacabari 2.30 2.81 5.11 416
Kiambere 2.24 2.74 4.98 981
Riachina 2.11 2.58 4.69 811
KIANJIRU 2.11 2.58 4.69 3722
Kirima 2.08 2.54 4.62 1275
Mbita 2.20 2.69 4.89 682
Nyangwa 2.10 2.56 4.66 1765
MAVURIA 2.11 2.58 4.69 3654
Kithunthiri 2.10 2.56 4.66 1256
Mavuria 2.25 2.75 4.99 1191
TABLE 9: Continued
31
116
EMBU & MBEERE
DIVISION / LOCATION /
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers Family
Number of
households
Persons < 15 years
Persons
15 years and over
Total persons
Gichiche 1.99 2.44 4.43 1207
MBETI SOUTH 1.86 2.27 4.12 3321
Gachoka 2.09 2.56 4.65 1149
Gachuriri 1.53 1.87 3.39 1337
Kiamuringa 2.06 2.51 4.57 835
MWEA 2.13 2.60 4.73 8602
KARABA 2.02 2.47 4.49 3518
Karaba 2.18 2.66 4.84 1724
Wachoro 1.87 2.28 4.15 1794
MAKIMA 2.15 2.63 4.78 2681
Makima 2.05 2.51 4.56 797
Mbondoni 2.09 2.55 4.63 1041
Mwea 2.33 2.85 5.17 843
RIAKANAU 2.26 2.76 5.02 2403
Gategi 2.39 2.92 5.30 1069
Riakanau 2.16 2.64 4.80 1334
TABLE 11: AVAILABLE LAND AREA IN MBEERE DISTRICT PER AEZ AND
HOUSEHOLD (Source: Calculated from DAOs Reports)
Division
without
townships
in 00 ha = km
2
in 00 ha = km
2
Agricultural
land (ha)
per
T
o
t
a
l

a
r
e
a
Non-Agricultural land
Total Area in Agro-Ecological Zones
AEZ
U
n
s
u
i
t
a
b
l
e

s
t
e
e
p

s
l
o
p
e
s
F
o
r
e
s
t

o
r

N
a
t
.

r
e
s
e
r
v
e
,

l
a
k
e
s
,

s
w
a
m
p
s

e
t
c
.
O
t
h
e
r
s

(
r
o
a
d
s
,

h
o
m
e
-
s
t
e
a
d
s
,

r
i
v
e
r
s
)
A
g
r
i
c
u
l
t
u
r
a
l
l
a
n
d
IL
5
LM
5
LM
4
LM
3
UM
4
UM
3 - 4
H
o
u
s
e
h
o
l
d
P
e
r
s
o
n
GACHOKA 823 41 17 99 648 60 487 200 44 15 5.02 1.10
MWEA 492 7 41 50 417 316 198 4.85 1.03
EVUVORE 414 15 21 42 332 100 180 106 15 9 4.50 0.90
SIAKAGO 388 12 21 36 297 40 72 94 99 17 45 3.79 0.87
Total Rural Area 2097 75 100 227 1694 200 1055 600 158 32 54 4.8 0.99
TABLE 10: Continued
32
117
EMBU & MBEERE 33
3.2.3 AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS:
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Embu District
Te productive area of Embu district is comparatively small, probably about 40% of the total area. Te
agricultural potential is approximately 32,100 ha spread over a range of agro-ecological zones. Family farm-
ers cultivate around 3,300 ha of tea (almost a stable area since a decade) yielding approximately 7500 kg of
green leaves per hectare per annum with declining trend due to low inputs because of low tea prices. Te
smallholder coee area covers approximately 8900 hectares producing about 850 kg/ha of clean coee per
annum with the same nished development of area and declining trend of yields as tea. In addition, small
amount of pyrethrum is grown in AEZ LH 1.
TABLE 12: TEA AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD TRENDS IN EMBU DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year
Area
(ha)
Production
(tons)
Yield
(kg/ha)
1980/81 1,913 6,549 3,423
1981/82 1,913 7,254 3,792
1982/83 2,000 9,951 4,976
1983/84 2,216 1,298 586
1984/85 2,385 13,767 5,772
1985/86 2,508 12,510 4,988
1986/87 2,822 12,899 4,571
1987/88 2,950 13,487 4,572
1988/89 3,000 22,130 7,377
1989/90 3,083 23,588 7,651
1990/91 2,950 15,506 5,256
1991/92 3,003 21,055 7,011
1992/93 3,187 26,005 8,160
1993/94 3,385 25,961 7,669
1994/95 3,413 31,445 9,213
1995/96 3,590 33,590 9,357
1996/97 3,545 32,156 9,071
1997/98 3,400 28,376 8,346
1998/99 3,000 26,166 8,722
1999/00 2,985 19,765 6,621
2000/01 3,215 22,405 6,969
2001/02 3,300 24,999 7,575
118
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 13: COFFEE AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD TRENDS IN EMBU DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year
Area
(ha)
Production
(tons)
Yield
(kg/ha)
1980/81 3,090 2,698 873
1981/82 3,275 2,700 824
1982/83 3,350 2,698 805
1983/84 3,450 2,790 809
1984/85 3,925 2,854 727
1985/86 4,135 3,578 865
1986/87 4,165 3,096 743
1987/88 4,225 4,048 958
1988/89 4,250 3,953 930
1989/90 4,300 3,350 779
1990/91 4,444 3,400 765
1991/92 4,459 3,140 704
1992/93 8,604 7,330 852
1993/94 8,924 5,765 646
1994/95 8,926 11,275 1,263
1995/96 8,995 8,545 950
1996/97 9,000 9,747 1,083
1997/98 9,005 9,158 1,017
1998/99 8,900 10,733 1,206
1999/00 8,996 7,458 829
2000/01 8,996 8,243 916
2001/02 9,001 6,102 678
2002/03 8,957 7,604 849
TABLE 14: PYRETHRUM AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD TRENDS
IN EMBU DISTRICT (Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year
Area
(ha)
Production
(tons)
Yield
(kg/ha)
1980/81 5.8 1.27 219
1981/82 7.15 1.43 200
1982/83 6.95 1.07 154
1983/84 9.47 2.55 269
1984/85 13.7 3.98 291
1985/86 10.9 2.64 242
1986/87 1.8 0.1 56
1987/88 3.9 0.2 51
1988/89 5 0.3 60
1989/90 6 0.3 50
1990/91 3 0.27 90
1991/92 3.5 0.2 57
1992/93 4 0.8 200
1993/94 4 0.75 188
1994/95 4 0.69 173
1995/96 3.5 0.7 200
1996/97 3 0.55 183
1997/98 3 0.67 223
1998/99 4.5 0.89 198
1999/00 5 0.77 154
2000/01 5 0.47 94
2001/02 4.8 0.76 158
2002/03 3.5 0.4 114
34
119
EMBU & MBEERE
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Mbeere District
Te district was hived o from the larger Embu district in 1996. Te agricultural (cash crop) potential is
spread over few agro-ecological zones and covers a very small area of the district only. Te smallholder farm-
ers in Mbeere district cultivate cotton on approximately 8,400 ha and harvest 550 kg/ha of seed cotton. Area
production and yield area almost stable as other cash crops. In some suitable areas of zone LM 3 tobacco is
grown under contract with major tobacco rms. Currently the tobacco crop covers some 3,340 ha of suit-
able land. Yields are above 7,500 kg/ha.
TABLE 15: COTTON AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD TRENDS IN MBEERE DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year
Area
(ha)
Production
(tons)
Yield
(kg/ha)
1996/97 8,870 4,896 552
1997/98 8,760 4,671 533
1998/99 8,810 5,540 629
1999/00 8,898 6,104 686
2000/01 8,915 5,991 672
2001/02 8,858 4,872 550
2002/03 8,379 4,625 552
TABLE 16: TOBACCO AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD TRENDS IN MBEERE
DISTRICT (Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year
Area
(ha)
Production
(tons)
Yield
(kg/ha)
1996/97 4,100 28,700 7,000
1997/98 4,100 26,170 6,383
1998/99 3,985 25,464 6,390
1999/00 3,761 24,454 6,502
2000/01 3,652 25,001 6,846
2001/02 3,700 28,946 7,823
2002/03 3,340 24,880 7,449
35
120
EMBU & MBEERE 36
DISTRIBUTION OF FARMING ACTIVITIES DURING THE YEAR PER WEEK AND AGRO-ECOLOGI-
CAL ZONES
121
EMBU & MBEERE 37
122
EMBU & MBEERE 38
TABLE 13f: DISTRIBUTION OF FARMING ACTIVITIES IN LM1
Cotton
123
EMBU & MBEERE 39
124
EMBU & MBEERE 40
125
EMBU & MBEERE 41
126
EMBU & MBEERE 42
127
EMBU & MBEERE 43
128
EMBU & MBEERE 44
129
EMBU & MBEERE 45
3.2.4 FARM SURVEY IN EMBU AND MBEERE DISTRICTS
Te Farm Survey was conducted in six main agro-ecological zones and the respective dominant subzones in
Embu and Mbeere districts as shown in Table 18. Te sample farm sizes were: 1.1 ha (UM 1), 1.1 ha (UM
2), 1.7 ha (UM 3), 1.9 ha (LM 3), 2.8 ha (LM 4) and 1.98 ha (LM 5) (Table 19). Te agro-ecological zone
LM 5 had the highest diversity of crops planted in any given year (Table 20). Tis is a reection of farmers
desired to spread production risks. Te use of farm inputs is widespread in the Upper Midlands but still
very low in the Lower Midlands, and where applied, restricted to permanent crops. Maize and beans still
remain the most important and dominant annual crops in the six agro-ecological zones. However, the yields
of the basic food crop maize have declined because of soil fertility depletion. In UM 1 on the Nitisols, for
example, the average yields during the 1
st
rainy season according to the Farm Survey of 1977 were 2650
kg/ha compared to 1965 kg/ha in 2004, even with more inputs of macronutrient fertilizers (Table 21b).
One of the reasons behind this alarming decline is that the soils are decient in important micronutrients
and land acreage has drastically reduced. During the 1977 Farm Survey, the average maize land in UM 1 per
person was 0.05 ha compared to 0.025 ha during the 2004 Farm Survey. Te implication of this is that the
maize production per head is only now a mere quarter, which can hardly meet the daily food requirements
of a family. Te future survival of the population will very much depend on how they strictly adhere to the
regimen of recycling nutrients back into the soil. Te potential of hybrid maize in UM 2 on Nitisols is more
than 5000 kg/ha as research at the Embu Agricultural Research Station has shown. Te yield increase in UM
2 could be attributed to a shift from local to hybrid maize and EMCO 92 SR.
To increase agricultural output in the Upper Midlands through increased mineral and organic fertilizer use
and plant protection, more extension service must be put in place too. Where the elds are still large, im-
provement of labour productivity through better animal draught equipment and in particular harnesses, the
introduction of better crop husbandry and plant protection, and expansion of fruit tree crops will to some
extent help to improve the socio-economic conditions somewhat in the Lower Midlands. However, in order
to achieve a long lasting overall improvement in most of the Lower Midlands, a perennial crop, yielding
TABLE 18: FARM SURVEY AREAS IN EMBU AND MBEERE DISTRICTS
District No. in Agro-Ecological Unit Farm Survey Area
Kenya AEZone Subzone Soil Unit
EMBU 143 UM 1 f l i m RB 1
Manyatta Division, Nginda Location, Nginda Location,
Nguviu Sub Location
144 UM 2 m i s/m RB 2
Nembure Division, Makengi Location,
Makengi & Kevote Sub Location
145 UM 3 m/s + s RB 2 & 3
Nembure Division, Kithimu Location,
Rukira Sub Location
MBEERE 146 LM 3 s + s UU 1
Siakago Division, Nthawa Location,
Riandu Sub Location
147 LM 4 s/vs +vs/s UU 1 & UQ 1
Gachoka Division, Kianjiru Location,
Nyangwa Sub Location
148 LM 5(-4) vs/s +vs PdUC l
Gachoka Division, Mavuria Location,
Mavuria Sub Location
130
EMBU & MBEERE 46
131
EMBU & MBEERE 47
TABLE 19a: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ UM 2 OF
EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: m i s/m, Soil Unit: RB 2 Survey area 143 (Nguviu)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry
Avg.0 1.22 2.63 0.3 2.53 8.9 2.73 1.03 1.97
Avg.1 1.22 3.76 1 4 26.7 2.73 2.21 2.81
Up. Qu. 1.68 4.25 1 4 10.5 3.25 1 3
Lo. Qu. 0.55 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.61 0.40 0.17 0.01 0.03
Avg.1 0.61 0.40 0.31 - 0.1
Up. Qu. 0.8 0.4 0.4 - 0.08
Lo. Qu. 0.20 0.2 0.1 - 0.05
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle %
of total
cattle
Farm Land
TLU
*
/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU
*
/ha
Total Dairy Zebu Total Dairy Zebu
Avg.0 7.0 2.85 2.40 0.25 21.1 17.8 1.8 89.76
Avg.1 7.0 - 3.44 0.83 - 14.4 3.5 90.93
Up. Qu. 8.2 - 2.92 0.63 - 11.7 2.5 100
Lo. Qu. 5 - 0 0 - - - 0
*
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 33.8 36.9 56.9 23.6 36.4 - - 11.9 18.4 0.3 0.5 2.4 3.6
Avg.1 63.5 55.4 85.4 39.3 60.6 - - 14.3 22.1 3.3 5.0 6.4 9.9
Up. Qu. 70.6 25.1 50 25 50 - - 17.5 35 0 0 2.5 5
Lo. Qu. 0 0 0 0 0 - - 7.2 7.2 0 0 0 0
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
132
EMBU & MBEERE 48
TABLE 19b: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ UM 1 OF
EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: f l i m, Soil Unit: RB 1 Survey area 144 (Kevole)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
labourers
Permanent
labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits
Avg.0 1.09 1.97 0 1.87 1.67 6.17 3.7 1.63 0.23 1.1
Avg.1 1.09 2.46 0 3.11 5.56 46.25 3.7 2.33 1.17 1.65
Up. Qu. 1.6 3 0 3.25 2 0 5 3 0 2
Lo. Qu. 0.4 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Land Use
Range
Annual Crops
ha
Permanent Crops
ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder
Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.17 0.49 0.12 0.02 0.23
Avg.1 0.17 0.49 0.14 0.05 0.31
Up. Qu. 0.33 0.68 0.2 0 0.37
Lo. Qu. 0.07 0.23 0.05 0 0
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle %
of total
cattle
Farm Land
TLU
*
/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU
*
/ha
Total Dairy Zebu Total Dairy Zebu
Avg.0 6.9 2.2 2.0 0 19.1 17.62 0 100
Avg.1 6.9 - 2.6 0 - 19.82 0 100
Up. Qu. 9 - 2.1 0 - 16.5 0 100
Lo. Qu. 5 - 2.8 0 - 22 0 100
*
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats=0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 41.7 33.6 17.1 19.7 10.0 - - 43.9 22.4 5.99 3.0 13.9 7.1
Avg.1 46.3 39.2 21.4 24.0 13.1 - - 43.9 24.0 7.99 4.3 16.2 8.9
Up. Qu. 52.9 31.1 15.1 30.5 14.8 - - 49.6 24.1 3.9 1.9 13.2 6.4
Lo. Qu. 13.2 9.7 3.0 4.1 1.3 - - 26.2 8.3 0 0 7.9 2.5
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
133
EMBU & MBEERE 49
TABLE 19c: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ UM 3 OF
EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: m/s + s, Soil Unit: RB 3 Survey area 145 (Kithimu)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
labourers
Permanent
labourer
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits
Avg.0 1.72 1.7 0.23 2.57 13.5 0.5 2.63 0.23 0.2 1.77
Avg.1 1.72 3.19 1.4 4.05 16.88 15 2.63 1 1 2.21
Up. Qu. 2.8 3 0 4 20 0 4 0.25 0 2.25
Lo. Qu. 0.88 0 0 0 6.5 0 2 0 0 1
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perm. pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 1.0 0.32 0.23 0.4 0.18
Avg.1 1.0 0.41 0.3 3 0.07 0.49
Up. Qu. 1.2 0.4 0.4 0 0.4
Lo. Qu. 0.48 0.03 0 0 0.3
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total
cattle
Farm Land
TLU
*
/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU
*
/ha
Total Dairy Zebu Total Dairy Zebu
Avg.0 6.1 1.3 1.1 0.1 10.1 8.1 4.38 88.1
Avg.1 6.1 - 2.1 0.8 - 10.2 4.4 89.4
Up. Qu. 7 - 1.2 0 - - - 100
Lo. Qu. 4 - 0 0 - - - 0
*TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats=0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 60.5 9.5 29.1 12.6 38.7 - - 7.7 23.6 0.1 0.4 1.0 3.1
Avg.1 75.5 17.8 41.9 21.0 49.5 - - 10.5 24.7 1.4 3.2 5.0 11.9
Up. Qu. 68.8 16.7 50.0 16.7 50.0 - - 11.7 35.0 0 0 0 0
Lo. Qu. 18.9 0 0 0 0 - - 0 0 0 0 0 0
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
134
EMBU & MBEERE 50
TABLE 19d: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 3 OF
MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: S + S , Soil Unit UU 1 Survey area 146 (Riandu)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
adults
Casual
labourers
Perm.
labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Cross Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits B/hives Pigs
Avg. 0 1.94 0.23 0.67 2.67 4.8 16.27 0.2 0.17 0.03 2.73 4.27 0.1 2.4
Avg. 1 1.94 2.33 2.22 5 6.26 16.27 3 5 1 2.73 6.4 1 2.88
Up. Qu. 2.85 0 1 4.5 6 20 0 0 0 3 3.25 0 3.25
Lo. Qu 1.18 0 0 0 1.5 7.5 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg. 0 1.52 0.08 0.00 0.72 0.30
Avg. 1 1.52 0.3 0.1 0.23 0.81
Up. Qu. 1.7 0.1 0 0 0.33
Lo. Qu. 0.95 0 0 0 0
Farming Diversity and Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder
Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Cross Zebu Total Dairy Cross Zebu Total
Avg. 0 5.6 0.1 0.4 1.4 3.1 - - - - 25.2
Avg. 1 5.6 1.4 1.2 2.6 - 25.7 23.3 50 45.4
Up. Qu. 7.3 0 0.4 1.6 - - - - 18.2
Lo. Qu. 4 0 0 0 - - - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats=0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed used
% of area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg. 0 6.8 4.5 - 9.3 - - - 2.2 - 0.1 2.5 0.5 10.4
Avg. 1 18.6 6.5 - 21.4 - - - 2.8 14.5 1.3 6.8 1.2 6.4
Up. Qu. 10.0 5.9 - 6.6 - - - 2.9 - 0 0 0.6 10
Lo. Qu. 0 0 - 0 - - - 0.4 - 0 - 0 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
135
EMBU & MBEERE 51
TABLE 19e: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 4 OF
MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: s/vs + vs/s, Soil Unit: UQ 1 Survey area 147 (Nyangwa)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
adults
Casual
labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Cross Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Donkeys
B/
hives
Avg. 0 2.77 0 0.07 5.17 9.47 9.17 0.07 0.33 3.37 0.5 1.87
Avg. 1 2.77 0 2 8.16 13.52 11.46 1 2 3.37 1.25 2.55
Up. Qu. 3.48 0 0 7.5 11.75 12 0 0 5 1 3
Lo. Qu 1.2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg. 0 1.87 0.19 0.33 0.96 0.13
Avg. 1 1.87 0.42 1.11 0.14 0.96
Up. Qu. 2 0.06 0.45 0 0
Lo. Qu. 1.06 0 0 0 0
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Cross Zebu Total Dairy Cross Zebu Total
Avg. 0 7.1 0 0.03 1.90 2.2 - 0.21 15.5 18.5 1.34
Avg. 1 7.1 0 0.8 3.00 - - 1.89 7.34 - 13.3
Up. Qu. 9 0 0 2.2 - - 0 16.67 - 0
Lo. Qu. 4 0 0 0 - - - - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed used %
of area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg. 0 19.1 2.4 24.4 4.2 - - - 3.2 32.2 0.3 2.7 0.9 8.8
Avg. 1 57.4 5.6 24.4 15.6 - - - 4.2 18.2 0.4 1.6 1.2 5.2
Up. Qu. 24.4 2.1 70.8 1.0 33.3 - - 4.4 - 0.5 16.7 1.0 -
Lo. Qu. 0 0 - 0 - - - 0.1 - 0 - 0 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
136
EMBU & MBEERE 52
TABLE 19f: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 5 (- 4)
OF MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: vs/s + vs, Soil Unit: Pd UC 1 Survey area 148 (Mavuria)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
adults
Casual
Labourers
Perm.
Labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Pigs Donkeys
B/
Hives
Avg. 0 1.98 2.70 3.78 7.56 58.26 0.30 0.04 0.19 3.30 0.81 0.11 2.22
Avg. 1 1.98 3.65 3.92 7.85 62.92 8 1 5 3.30 1.57 1.5 2.31
Up. Qu. 2.84 5 5 8 90 0 0 0 4 2 0 3
Lo. Qu 1.2 0 3 2 15 0 0 0 3 0 0 1
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg. 0 1.66 0.21 0.21 0.04 0.17
Avg. 1 1.66 0.32 0.22 0.52 0.22
Up. Qu. 1.7 0.6 0.2 0.04 0.3
Lo. Qu. 0.8 0.04 0.04 0.27 0.05
Farming Diversity& Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity Crops/
year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total
cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Permanent pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total Dairy Zebu Total
Avg. 0 13.5 1.5 1.9 3.7 14.5 18.4 36.6 41.7
Avg. 1 13.5 2.0 2.0 - 18.1 17.7 - 49.4
Up. Qu. 15 1.9 1.8 - 27.5 25 - 54.6
Lo. Qu. 11 0 - - 0 - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats mixed =0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed used
% of area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg. 0 36.0 6.8 27.4 30.7 - - - 1.8 7.3 - - - -
Avg. 1 80.9 61.5 - 33.1 - - - 1.8 6.7 - - - -
Up. Qu. 75.7 0 0 41.2 - - - 1.2 3.3 - - - -
Lo. Qu. 0 0 0 12.5 - - - - - - - - -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
137
EMBU & MBEERE 53
TABLE 20a: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ UM 2 OF EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: m i s/m, Soil Unit: RB 2 Survey area 143 (Nguviu)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Arrow roots 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.02 0.11
Beans 0.16 0.34 0.4 0 4.7 26.10
Cassava 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.10 0.56
Irish potatoes 0.01 0.11 0 0 0.34 1.89
Kales 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 1.67
Maize 0.23 0.34 0.4 0 6.82 37.87
Maize & beans 0.15 0.25 0.22 0 4.52 25.10
Napier grass 0.03 0.4 0 0 0.8 4.44
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.11 0.61
Tomatoes 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 1.67
Total Sample Area 0.61 18.01 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Arrow roots 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.02 0.12
Beans 0.14 0.31 0.2 0 4.3 24.77
Cassava 0.01 0.02 0 0 0.06 0.35
Irish potatoes 0.01 0.11 0 0 0.34 1.96
Kales 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 1.73
Maize 0.21 0.32 0.4 0 6.42 36.98
Maize & beans 0.18 0.29 0.33 0 5.52 31.80
Sweet potatoes 0.01 0.03 0 0 0.10 0.58
Tomatoes 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 1.73
Total Sample Area 0.58 17.36 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Bananas 0.08 0.11 0.1 0 2.27 18.71
Coffee 0.27 0.27 0.33 0.12 8.1 66.78
Macadamia 0.05 0.09 0.06 0 1.43 11.79
Mangoes 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 1.65
Passion fruits 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.82
Paw paws 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.03 0.25
Total Sample Area 0.41 12.13 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
138
EMBU & MBEERE 54
TABLE 20b: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN
AEZ UM 1 OF EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: f l i m, Soil Unit: RB 1 Survey area 144 (Kevote)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.02 0.06 0.04 0 0.62 11.95
Cabbages 0.01 0.04 0 0 0.26 5.01
Carrots 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.1 1.93
Cassava 0.00 0.00 0 0 0.00 0
French beans 0.00 0.00 0 0 0.00 0
Irish potatoes 0.01 0.04 0 0 0.11 2.12
Kales 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.23 4.43
Kales & I/potatoes 0.00 0.01 0 0 0.01 0.19
Maize 0.10 0.13 0.11 0.03 3.11 59.92
Maize & beans 0.01 0.13 0 0 0.4 7.71
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.15 2.89
Tomatoes 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.2 3.85
Total Sample Area 0.17 5.19 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.07 0.14 0.08 0 2.06 71.03
Cabbages 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.10 3.45
Carrots 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.03 1.03
Irish potatoes 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.09 3.10
Maize 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.2 6.90
Kales 0.00 0.04 0 0 0.07 2.41
Maize & beans 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.05 1.72
Tobacco 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.05 1.72
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.04 0 0 0.08 2.76
Tomatoes 0.01 0.04 0 0 0.17 5.86
Total Sample Area 0.09 2.9 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.00 0.07 0 0 0.07 0.38
Bananas 0.06 0.06 0.08 0.01 1.66 8.92
Coffee 0.20 0.22 0.29 0.08 6.03 32.42
Macadamia 0.10 0.15 0.12 0 3.11 16.72
Passion Fruits 0.04 1.15 0 0 1.15 6.18
Tea 0.22 0.29 0.34 0.03 6.57 35.32
Yams 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.01 0.05
Total Sample Area 0.62 18.6 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
139
EMBU & MBEERE 55
TABLE 20c: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ UM 3 OF EMBU DISTRICT
Subzone: m/s + s, Soil Unit: RB 3 Survey area 145 (Kithimu)
First Rainy Season Annual
And Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.24 0.39 0.4 0 7.1 23.78
Irish potatoes 0.02 0.08 0.02 0 0.72 2.41
Maize 0.56 0.67 0.8 0.2 16.8 56.26
Maize & beans 0.16 0.39 0.25 0 4.68 15.67
Napier grass 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 1.34
Sweet potatoes 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.16 0.54
Total Sample Area 1.0 29.86 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.23 0.38 0.4 0 6.9 22.80
Irish potatoes 0.02 0.08 0.02 0 0.72 2.38
Maize 0.57 0.68 0.8 0.28 17 56.18
Maize & beans 0.16 0.39 0.25 0 4.68 15.47
Sweet potatoes 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.16 0.53
Tobacco 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 2.64
Total Sample Area 1.02 30.26 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.10 0.92
Bananas 0.03 0.06 0.08 0 0.94 8.62
Coffee 0.28 0.38 0.4 0 8.34 76.44
Macadamia 0.04 0.17 0.03 0 1.21 11.09
Paw paws 0.01 0.16 0 0 0.32 2.93
Total Sample Area 0.36 10.91 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
140
EMBU & MBEERE 56
TABLE 20d: CR0PPING PATTERN IN AEZ LM 3 OF MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: s + s, Soil Unit UU1 Survey area 146 (Riandu)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.28 0.52 0.4 0 8.3 18.16
Butternuts 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.44
Cow peas 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 0.66
Irish potatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.22
Kales 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.22
Maize 0.66 0.83 0.8 0.35 19.9 43.54
Maize & beans 0.46 0.77 0.65 0 13.8 30.20
Millet 0.04 1.2 0 0 1.2 2.63
Sorghum 0.03 0.3 0 0 0.9 1.97
Sunfower 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.44
Tobacco 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.88
Tomatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.22
Water melons 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.44
Total Sample Area 1.52 45.7 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.21 0.45 0.33 0 6.3 13.43
Butternuts 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.43
Cow peas 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.4 0.85
Irish potatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.21
Kales 0.00 0.1 0.1 0.21
Maize 0.44 0.57 0.65 0.15 13.1 27.93
Maize & beans 0.39 0.69 0.6 0 11.7 24.95
Millet 0.03 0.2 0 0 0.8 1.71
Sorghum 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.4 0.85
Sunfower 0.03 0.5 0 0 1 2.13
Tobacco 0.42 0.74 0.8 0 12.5 26.65
Tomatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.21
Water melons 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.43
Total Sample Area 1.56 46.9 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Bananas 0.03 0.23 0 0 0.9 30.30
Mangoes 0.05 0.39 0 0 1.57 52.86
Paw paws 0.02 0.13 0 0 0.5 16.84
Total Sample Area 0.1 2.97 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
141
EMBU & MBEERE 57
TABLE 20e: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 4 OF MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: s/vs + vs/s, Soil Unit: UQ 1 Survey area 147 (Nyangwa)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.13 0.44 0.13 0 4 7.10
Cow peas 0.21 0.35 0.25 0 6.25 11.10
Green grams 0.16 0.39 0.2 0 4.7 8.35
Maize 0.6 0.9 0.8 0 18 31.97
Maize & beans 0.56 0.89 0.8 0 16.9 30.02
Maize & cow peas 0.07 0.4 0 0 2 3.55
Maize & green grams 0.06 0.34 0 0 1.7 3.02
Maize, beans &
cow peas
0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.71
Maize, beans,
cow peas & sorghum
0.04 1.15 0 0 1.15 2.04
Millet 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.71
Sorghum 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.4 0.71
Tomatoes 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.71
Total Sample Area 1.87 56.3 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.13 0.42 0.13 0 3.8 6.68
Cow peas 0.19 0.33 0.2 0 5.6 9.85
Green grams 0.15 0.41 0.2 0 4.5 7.92
Maize 0.65 0.98 0.8 0 19.6 34.48
Maize & beans 0.55 0.87 0.8 0 16.5 29.02
Maize & cow peas 0.07 0.4 0 0 2 3.52
Maize & green grams 0.06 0.34 0 0 1.7 2.99
Maize, beans &
cow peas
0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.70
Maize, beans cow peas
& sorghum
0.04 1.15 0 0 1.15 2.02
Millet 0.01 0.1 0 0 0.2 0.35
Sorghum 0.03 0.25 0 0 1 1.76
Tomatoes 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.70
Total Sample Area 1.9 56.85 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.00 0.01 0 0 0.01 0.17
Bananas 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.33 5.49
Citrus fruits 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.02 0.33
Lemons 0.00 0.00 0 0 0.00 0.00
Mangoes 0.09 0.46 0 0 2.78 46.26
Passion fruits 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.05 0.83
Paw paws 0.09 0.26 0.01 0 2.82 46.92
Total Sample Area 0.19 6.01 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
142
EMBU & MBEERE 58
TABLE 20f: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 5 (- 4) OF MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: vs/s+vs, Soil Unit: PdUC 1 Survey area 148 (Mavuria)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 27 Farm
s
ha %
Beans 0.16 0.36 0.2 0 4.3 9.62
Bulrush millet 0.01 0.10 0 0 0.30 0.67
Cabbages & kales 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.22
Cassava 0.07 0.08 0.1 0.00 1.8 4.03
Chillies 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.22
Cotton 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.45
Cow peas 0.23 0.25 0.2 0.1 6.2 13.87
Finger millet 0.02 0.08 0 0 0.42 0.94
Green grams 0.04 0.08 0.1 0 1.16 2.60
Kales 0.01 0.07 0 0 0.15 0.34
Maize 0.66 0.85 1 0.2 17.8 39.83
Maize & beans 0.32 0.36 0.4 0.2 8.6 19.24
Millet 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.13 0.29
Pigeon peas 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.3 0.67
Sorghum 0.03 0.20 0 0 0.8 1.79
Sunfower 0.04 0.10 0.05 0 1.01 2.26
Sweet potatoes 0.01 0.04 0 0 0.18 0.40
Tomatoes 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 0.67
Water melons 0.03 0.11 0.05 0 0.84 1.88
Total Sample Area 1.66 44.69 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
143
EMBU & MBEERE 59
TABLE 20f: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 5 (- 4) OF MBEERE DISTRICT
Subzone: vs/s+vs, Soil Unit: PdUC 1 Survey area 148 (Mavuria)
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 27 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.16 0.36 0.2 0 4.28 9.64
Bulrush millet 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 0.68
Cabbages & kales 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.23
Cassava 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.06 0.14
Cow peas 0.29 0.32 0.4 0.16 7.91 17.82
Finger millet 0.01 0.05 0 0 0.18 0.41
Green grams 0.04 0.08 0.08 0 1.11 2.50
Kales 0.01 0.07 0 0 0.15 0.34
Maize 0.64 0.87 1 0 17.4 39.20
Maize & beans 0.35 0.39 0.48 0.2 9.44 21.27
Millet 0.00 0.04 0 0 0.09 0.20
Pigeon peas 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.30 0.68
Sorghum 0.03 0.25 0 0 0.75 1.69
Sunfower 0.04 0.12 0.05 0 1.1 2.48
Sweet potatoes 0.01 0.04 0 0 0.18 0.41
Tomatoes 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 0.68
Water melons 0.03 0.12 0 0 0.74 1.67
Total Sample Area 1.64 44.39 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 27 Farms
ha %
Bananas 0.06 0.07 0.1 0.04 1.56 27.66
Mangoes 0.09 0.13 0.12 0 2.41 42.73
Passion fruits 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.30 5.32
Paw paws 0.05 0.11 0.1 0 1.37 24.29
Total Sample Area 0.21 5.64 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
144
EMBU & MBEERE 60
3.2.5 INTRODUCTION TO THE ACTUAL LAND USE SYSTEMS AND POTENTIAL
INTENSIFICATION BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT
A more detailed description can be found together with calculations of protability in the Farm Manage-
ment Guidelines of each district and in the KARI Fertilizer Use Manual (Muriuki and Qureshi, 2001).
Subzone UM1 LPof the Coffee-Tea Zone
Tis is the Coee-Tea Zone with a full long cropping season, intermediate rains and a medium one as typied in
Nguviu Sub-location of Manyatta division, Embu district. Te lengths of the growing period for the long
and medium cropping season exceeded in 6 out of 10 years are 210 or more and 130 150 days, respec-
tively. Average annual rainfall is between 1400-1800 mm. Te 66% reliability of rainfall during the rst
rainy season (March May) and the second rainy season (October December) is between 700-950 mm
and 450-550 mm, respectively. Te dominant soils have developed on Tertiary basic igneous rocks. Te soils
are well- drained, extremely deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown (ando-humic Nitisols; with humic
Andosols).
Te current actual land use activities in this Subzone involve the growing of cash crops, vegetables, fruits
and food crops. Te most important cash crops at the moment in order of importance include: Tea, French
beans, passion fruits, snow peas and coee. It is not surprising that even though this is a Coee - Tea Zone,
coee is ranked last in order of importance. Tis has been the general trend in all coee producing areas
of Kenya, where non-payment of farmers dues by the respective coee cooperatives has led to a complete
neglect of the crop by farmers. Recent eorts by the government to revamp the coee industry are likely
to bear fruit. Te important fruits in order of importance are passion fruits, bananas, mountain paw paws,
avocadoes and loquats. Passion fruit production in this Subzone has increased in recent times. Of special
interest is the high demand in the European market. Te passion fruit is a short maturing crop (takes seven
months) and, unlike mangoes and avocados, it is not bulky. Farmer groups are currently harvesting an
average of 780 kg/week, with producer prices ranging between USD 0.8 1.1 per kg. More prots could
be realised by getting rid of exploitative middlemen and nurturing a relationship between the farmers and
exporters. Te category of vegetables according to the farmers ranking include: kales, tomatoes and Irish
potatoes. Most of the vegetables and fruits are sold in neighbouring markets and as far as Nairobi city. Te
main food crops comprise maize, beans, yams, cassava and arrow roots.
Pure and improved crosses of dairy cattle, mainly put under zero grazing, dominate livestock keeping enter-
prises. Some farmers do keep crossed bulls for serving their cows. Keeping of local chicken is also an impor-
tant livestock enterprise in this Subzone. Majority of farmers in this zone apply inorganic fertilizers to their
cash crops, particularly tea. Tis fertilizer is usually supplied to the farmers by the Kenya Tea Development
Authority and later deducted from their proceeds. For other crops, especially maize, farmers do apply farm-
yard and compost manure. Te soil and water conservation measures put in place in this Subzone include
Fanya juu terraces (fortied with Napier grass, agro-forestry trees planted within farms, especially Calliandra
calothyrsus. (a multipurpose tree that provides fodder, improves soil fertility and protects soil against ero-
sion), cut-o drains and grass strips especially in the coee farms.
145
EMBU & MBEERE 61
TABLE 21a: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
UM 1, f l i m, RB 1
Survey area 143 (Nguviu)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: UM 1 TEA - COFFEE ZONE
Subzone: f l i m (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 210 or more, 2
nd
rainy season 130 - 150)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 1 = ando-humic NITISOLS; with ANDOSOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 700 - 950
mm
2
nd
rainy season: 450 - 550 mm in at least 10
out 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
1500
21.9
9.4
-
-
1816
81.8
48.0
-
-
2786
97.1
95.2
-
-
ca. 5500
nutrients
are
added by
manure
etc.
-
-
-
-
2345
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
ca. 5000
if all
nutrients
are
added
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
inter-cropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years; growing periods may be considered longer
due to immediately Iollowing second rainy season by middle rains. Then the second growing period is shorter than the given fgures
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
146
EMBU & MBEERE 62
Subzone UM 2 m i s/m of the Main Coffee Zone
Tis is the Main Coee Zone with a medium cropping season, intermediate rains, and a short to medium crop-
ping season as typied by Makengi and Kevote Sub-locations in Nembure division, Embu district. Te 60%
reliability of the length of cereal and legume growing period during the 1
st
and 2
nd
rainy seasons is 135 155
days, respectively. Te average annual rainfall is between 1500 - 2400 mm. Te 66% reliability of rainfall
during the rst rainy season (March May) and the second rainy season (October February) is between
600-720 mm and 400-450 mm, respectively. Te dominant soils have developed on Tertiary basic igneous
rocks. Tese soils are well- drained, extremely deep, dusky red brown to dark reddish brown, friable clay,
with acid humic topsoil (humic Nitisols).
During the Farm Survey conducted in February 2004, it was observed that the current actual land use activi-
ties in this Subzone turn from the growing of traditional cash crops to vegetables and fruits. Te most im-
portant cash crops at the moment in order of importance include: tea (although this zone is not optimal for
it), macadamia nuts, passion fruits, bananas, avocados and coee. It was observed that coee trees had been
pruned back to allow for the growing of legume crops. Tis attests to the fact that farmers attach less value
to coee as some years back when it was fetching good cash income. Te category of vegetables according to
the farmers ranking include: cabbages, French beans, kales, tomatoes, Irish potatoes and onions. Te impor-
tant fruits in order of importance are passion fruits, bananas, and avocados. Te vegetables are consumed at
the household level and any excess is sold in local neighbouring markets. Most fruits and French beans are
transported and sold in Nairobi city through middlemen who take the bigger share of the income. Te main
food crops comprise maize and beans, which are normally intercropped. During the rst rains, maize like
H511, 512, 514 and PIONEER are planted while the second rains planting material comprises Katumani
Comp. B., Embu composite (EMCO).
Pure and improved crosses of dairy cattle, mainly put under zero grazing, dominate livestock keeping enter-
prises. Some farmers do keep crossed bulls for serving theirs and neighbour cows. Farmers are slowly adopt-
ing the rearing of dairy goats for milk production. Te keeping of local chicken is increasingly becoming an
important livestock enterprise in this Subzone. Majority of farmers in this zone apply some amount organic
fertilizers to their food crops in form of farm- yard and compost manure. Te soil and water conservation
measures put in place in this Subzone include: Poorly maintained fanya juu terraces (fortied with Napier
grass), a few cut-o drains and agro-forestry trees planted within farms, especially Calliandra calothyrsus,
(a multipurpose tree that provides fodder, improves soil fertility and protects soil against erosion), cut-o
drains and grass strips especially in the coee farms.
147
EMBU & MBEERE 63
TABLE 21b: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
UM 2, m i s/m, RB 2
Survey area144 (Kevote)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: UM 2 MAIN COFFEE ZONE
Subzone: m i s/m (Period in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 140 -170; 2
nd
rainy season: 110-120)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 2= humic NITISOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 580 - 720
mm
2
nd
rainy season: 380 - 450 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III= high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 3992 4500
50
50
-
-
ca. 7000 - 3656
30
15
-
-
4050
50
50
-
-
ca. 5800
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 3379
25
30
-
-
4664
40
40
-
-
ca. 6000 - 2517
15
20
-
-
3212
32
32
-
-
ca. 5000
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years; growing periods may be considered longer
due to immediately Iollowing second rainy season by middle rains. Then the second growing period is shorter than the given fgures
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
148
EMBU & MBEERE 64
Subzone UM 3 m/s + s of the Marginal Coffee Zone
Tis is the Marginal Coee Zone with a medium to short and a short cropping season as typied by Kithimo
Sub-locations in Nembure division, Embu district. Te l60 % reliability of lengths of the growing period for
the cereal and legume crops exceeded in 6 out of 10 years during the 1
st
and 2
nd
rainy seasons are 12 135,
85 105, respectively. Te average annual rainfall is between 1000-1250 mm. Te 66% reliability of rainfall
during the rst rainy season (March May) and the second rainy season (October December) is between
480-600 mm and 350-400 mm, respectively. Te dominant soils have developed on Tertiary basic igneous
rocks. Tese soils are well- drained, extremely deep, dusky red to dark reddish brown, friable clay (eutric
Nitisols; with nito-chromic Cambisols; chromic Acrisols and Luvisols).
Te most important cash crops at the moment in order of importance include: Macadamia nuts tobacco
and coee. Like in the Subzone UM 2, the coee trees have been pruned back to allow for the growing of
legume crops. Te category of vegetables according to the farmers ranking include: tomatoes, kales, and
onions. Te vegetables are consumed at the household level and any excess is sold in local neighbouring
markets. Fruits grown in the order of importance: bananas, avocados and mountain paw paws. Most fruits
are transported and sold in Nairobi city. Te main food crops comprise maize and beans, which are nor-
mally intercropped, and sweet potatoes. During the rst rains, hybrid maize varieties from the 5series and
PIONEER are planted while the second rains planting material comprises Katumani Comp. B. and Embu
composite (EMCO).
Pure and improved crosses of dairy cattle, mainly put under zero grazing, dominate livestock keeping enter-
prises. Some farmers do keep crossed bulls for serving their cows. Te keeping of local chicken is increasingly
becoming an important livestock enterprise in this Subzone. Bee keeping using log hives is still dominant in
this Subzone. A few farmers in this zone apply some amount organic fertilizers to their food crops in form
of farm- yard and compost manure. Te soil and water conservation measures put in place in this Subzone
includes: Fanya juu terraces and contour grass strips, especially in the coee farms. Farmers usually plant
Napier grass along the fanya juu terraces to fortify them and to provide fodder for their livestock.
149
EMBU & MBEERE 65
TABLE 21c: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
UM 3, m/s + s, RB 3
Survey area 145 (Kithimu)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: UM 3 MARGINAL COFFEE ZONE
Subzone: m/s +s (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 120 135, 2
nd
rainy season: 85 105)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 3 = eutric NITISOLS; with nito-chromic CAMBISOLS and
chromic ACRISOLS and LUVISOLS, partly lithic, piso-ferric or petro-ferric phase
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 480-
600 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 350-400 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
-
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
inter-cropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/Ha
- 2813
16.4
21.8
-
13.3
3064
25.0
25.0
-
17.5
ca. 4500 1882
10.1
11.0
0
2363
16.2
21.6
-
13.2
2893
25.0
25.0
-
17.5
ca. 4200
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
150
EMBU & MBEERE 66
Subzone LM 3 s + s of the Cotton Zone
Tis is the Cotton Zone with two short cropping seasons analysed in Riandu Sub-location, Siakago location,
Siakago division of Mbeere district. Te average annual rainfall is between 900-1100 mm. Te 66% reli-
ability of rainfall during the rst rainy season (March May) is between 350-480 mm and the second rainy
season (October December) is between 300-350 mm. Te 60% reliability of growing period during the
rst and second rains is similar, i.e. 85-105 days. Te soils have been developed on undierentiated Base-
ment System rocks. Tese soils are well- drained, moderately deep- to deep, dark red to yellowish red (rhodic
and orthic Ferralsols; with ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric Acrisols) with less natural fertility than Nitisols.
Te current grown food crop mix in this Subzone consists of a variety of crops. Te main subsistence food
crops grown are: maize, pigeon peas, beans, cowpeas, sorghum, millets, cassava, and sweet potatoes. Inter-
cropping of legumes and cereals is still dominant. Te vegetables grown mainly comprise of kales, tomatoes,
butternut and Irish potatoes. Te main fruits grown for cash are: bananas, mangoes, paw paws and water-
melons. As can be seen from the list, this Subzone provides favourable climatic and edaphic conditions to
support a variety of crops. With improved marketing outlets, and avoiding the exploitation from middle-
men, the farmers could earn substantial amount of cash income from these crops.
Seed material used for planting is of local variety. Tere is very little or no use of improved seed varieties and
farm inputs by the farmers. Most farmers indicated that they have no extra income to invest in improved
farming technologies or purchase farm inputs. Note that although this is a cotton Subzone, its importance
has diminished due to the poor market prices of the crop. Tere is currently some evidence of the crop
regaining its rightful place in terms of importance because of increased demand and hence improved mar-
ket prices. Fruit trees play a signicant role here as household cash earners. Te most important fruit trees
include: mangoes paw paws, passion fruits, citrus, avocados and bananas. Tere is increased demand for
grafted varieties of these fruits and tissue culture bananas. Te constraints experienced by farmers in access-
ing these technologies include: lack of knowledge on where to procure the seedlings and the related high
costs. One has to travel all the way to Tika Horticultural Station or Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricul-
ture and Technology (JKUAT) to buy these seedlings, making it an expensive venture. Livestock keeping
mainly consists of local cattle breeds and goats. Most farmers keep several oxen and use them during land
preparation and transportation of produce from their farms after harvest.
151
EMBU & MBEERE 67
TABLE 21d: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 3, s + s, UU1
Survey area 146 (Riandu)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: LM 3 COTTON ZONE
Subzone: s + s: (Periods in days2: 1
st
rainy season 85-105, 2
nd
rainy season 80-95)
Unit with predom. Soil: UU1 = rhodic and orthic FERRALSOLS; with ferralo-chromic/
othic/ ferric ACRISOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 350 -
480 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 300 - 350 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
1286
0
0
-
1
1954
11
14
-
5
2250
13
22
-
6
2769
0
0
-
1
2913
15
17
-
6
3450
16
33
-
-
ca. 4500
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
inter-cropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
-
-
-
-
-
2705
15
17
8
2908
15
31
8
ca. 4300 -
-
-
-
-
2999
17
19
-
8
3338
18
37
-
9
ca. 4200
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
152
EMBU & MBEERE 68
Subzone LM4 s/vs + vs/s of the Marginal Cotton Zone
Tis is the Marginal cotton Zone with a short to very short to short cropping season as typied by Nyagwa Sub-
location, Kianjiru Location in Gachoka division of Mbeere district. Te average annual rainfall is between
780-900 mm. Te 66 % reliability of rainfall during the rst rainy season (March May) is between 280-
340 mm and the second rainy season (October December) is between 200-260 mm. Te soils have been
developed mainly on quartzites (ferralic Arenosols and ferralo-orthic Luvisols), which means a low natural
fertility. During the Farm Survey conducted in February 2004, it was observed that a majority of the farm-
ers have attempted to grow besides maize and beans, the following food crops which are well suited to the
climatic conditions in this Subzone: sorghum, millet, green grams and cowpeas. However, farmers need to
be encouraged to grow these drought tolerant crops on a larger scale instead of always attempting to grow
maize, which more often fails. Cotton growing is very minimal in this Subzone because of the marginal con-
ditions and also lack of good price incentives for cotton. Farmers in this Subzone are left with the alternative
of relying on fruit crops to generate cash income. Te dominating fruit crops are: avocados, bananas, citrus,
lemons, mangos, passion, and paw paws. Farmers need to be assisted to access markets for their produce and
the road infrastructure, besides the main road, needs to be tremendously improved if benets are to trickle
down to the farmers. Te use of farm inputs like fertiliser and manure is restricted to only a few farmers who
have some o-farm income. Te majority of the poor farmers use very little or no farm inputs at all. Tere
is evidence that many farmers are now adopting the growing of grafted fruits: mangoes, avocados, citrus and
mountain paw paws. Tis enterprise is generating the much- needed income for a majority of households.
Livestock keeping comprises mainly the local breeds of cattle, sheep and goats.
153
EMBU & MBEERE 69
TABLE 21e: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 4, s/vs + vs/s, UQ 1
Survey area 147 (Nyangwa)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: LM 4 MARGINAL COTTON ZONE
Subzone: s/vs + vs/s: (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 75 - 85, 2
nd
rainy season: 55 - 75)
Unit with predom. Soil: UQ 1 = ferralic ARENOSOLS and ferralo-orthic LUVISOLS; partly
lithic and stony phase
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 280
340 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 200 260 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Improved
maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
-
-
-
-
-
1966
5
3
-
10
2671
7
13
-
11
ca. 3800 -
-
-
-
-
2081
5
3
-
9
2764
7
12
-
11
ca. 3500
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Improved
maize inter-
cropped with
beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 2079
8
14
-
10
2358
11
32
-
11
ca. 3500 -
-
-
-
-
2237
5
3
-
11
2586
8
14
-
11
ca. 3000
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
154
EMBU & MBEERE 70
Subzone LM 5 vs/s + vs of the Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
Tis is a the Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone with a very short to short and a very short cropping season,
analysed in Mavuria Sub-location of Siakago division, Mbeere district. Te average annual rainfall is be-
tween 700-800 mm. Te 66% reliability of rainfall during the rst rainy season (March May) is between
200-280 mm and the second rainy season (October December) is between 150-220 mm. Te soils are a
complex of imperfectly drained, shallow, dark red to yellowish red (chromic Cambisols; with ferralic Areno-
sols). During the Farm Survey conducted in February 2004, it was observed that majority of the farmers
do not use any inputs to improve their farm productivity. Adoption of new farming technologies is almost
non-existent, due to the unavailability of extension service sta to oer advice to the farmers. It is encourag-
ing to note that farmers have in their own way selected food crops that are well suited to their environment.
Te following subsistence food crops are grown: sorghum, nger, bulrush and pearl millets, maize, cowpeas,
beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, pigeon peas and green grams. Maize is generally intercropped with these le-
gumes, even though it is not very well suited in this Subzone. Te vegetables grown include: kales, tomatoes
and chillies. Fruits that are generating the much- needed income to the farmers are: water melons, mangoes,
passion fruit, and paw paws. Farmers in this Subzone are slowly embracing the benets of biotechnology by
adopting the planting of tissue culture bananas and grafted mangoes and passion fruit. Tis is however lim-
ited to only a few farmers who earn some o-farm income, which enables them to aord these technologies.
Livestock keeping comprises the local breed cattle, where the oxen dominate the stock. Te oxen are mainly
used for land preparation and also transporting the farm produce. Existing soil conservation structures in-
clude cut o drains and fanya juu terraces, which are poorly maintained. As such, soil erosion is a real threat
in this Subzone and urgent measures need to be undertaken to protect the soil resource, whose fertility is
already diminished to critical levels. Tis is not only a problem of soil erosion but of nutrient depletion. Tis
could be countered mainly by manure.
155
EMBU & MBEERE 71
TABLE 21f: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 5, vs/s+vs, PdUC 1
Survey area 148 (Mavuria)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: LM 5 LIVESTOCK MILLET ZONE
Subzone: vs/s + vs: (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 55 - 75, 2
nd
rainy season 45 - 55)
Unit with predom. Soil: PdUC 1 = chromic CAMBISOLS, paralithic and stony phase; with
ARENOSOLS, lithic phase
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 200-280
mm
2
nd
rainy season: 150-220 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
- 675
-
-
-
2.0
759
13
-
-
3.4
- 675
-
-
-
2.0
776
13
-
-
3.5
*
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
This
subzone
is not
suited
for
hybrid
maize
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
675
0
-
-
5
961
0
-
-
6
1125
27
-
-
7.1
* 675
0
-
-
4
888
0
-
-
6
1050
24
-
-
6.5
*
Hybrid maize
inter-cropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management?
*Potential for local maize not known; no experimental results
156
EMBU & MBEERE 72
3.2.6 FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPORTANT
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL UNITS
Te Fertiliser Use Recommendation Project of the GTZ (1986 - 92) had three trial sites in the former
Embu district, one on Nitisols at Kavutiri in UM1, another in Embu Agricultural Research Station in UM
2 on less acid Nitisols, and the third in Gachoka which is LM 3-4 on rhodic Ferralsol with poor fertility.
For the other zones, subzones and units Muriuki and Qureshi showed which results from other districts
could be representative (see map of Fertiliser Recommendations and Farm Survey Areas) and made curves
for fertiliser response
1
.
Recommended rates of an AEU increase into a wetter subzone and decrease into a drier one if the soil unit
extends there (see dark and light grey shades in the small maps). We have tend to lower the rates due to the
low nancial basis of the smallholder farmers. Te optimum can be calculated from the curve formulas in
Muriuki & Qureshi Fertiliser Use Manual, KARI, Nairobi 2001. In the long run the maintenance amount
must be given to maintain the nutrient content. Some quantities for it can be seen at the end of this chapter
and in the chapter 3.1 General Remarks.
Higher recommendations are given in the Smallholder Farming Handbook of the IRACC and MSS, Nai-
robi 1997, but the economic investment and risk is too high for the local farmers here. A rural small credit
system for the inputs could help a lot. Where scientic sources for quantifying the rates are lacking, some
conclusions could be taken from the dierence of inputs and yields between the low and high production
levels of the Farm Survey 2004/05. An empty column Other Nutrients Recommended does not mean that
there is nothing necessary, it is because of lacking trials. Signs of deciencies and methods of alleviating it
see Muriuki, A.W. and Qureshi, J.N. (2001), Table 1&2, p.22-23.
Finally it must be mentioned again that fertilising alone will increase the yields only for some years. Te
micronutrients not included in the fertiliser become exhausted. Manuring almost up to the full return of the
extracted nutrients is a must in order to have a stable agrobiological system with continuous production
2
.
On the other hand even macronutrients like potassium (K) which is not yet mentioned because there is still
enough in the soil, must be given in the long run because 1 t of maize needs 23 kg K, 1 t of sorghum even
45 kg, 1 t of groundnuts 50 kg. Cassava is less demanding, only 7 kg K per t, but needs additionally 2 kg of
cobalt (Co) and 1 kg of magnesium (Mg)
3
.
1
Muriuki, A.W. & Qureshi, J.N.: Fertiliser Use Manual. Nairobi kari .
2
Southern China has parts with similar soils to Kenya and stabilized productivity there for hundreds of years by returning to the
elds as much as possible, even the ashes, excrements and urea.
3
Figures in handbooks, from international experience.
157
EMBU & MBEERE 73
158
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22a: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS LH1 l/vl^m, MV2 and RB1 of the TEA ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize H613 & beans 50 N 500 maize
3)
ca. 500 maize Lime 2t 1000
Potatoes 75 N + 50 P 7500 ca. 1500 Lime
4)
Cabbages 50 P 15400 ca. 6500 Lime
4)
Second Rainy Season
1)
Maize - - ca. 900 Lime
4)
Maize & beans - - ca. 700 maize Lime
4)
Perennial crops
Tea
2)
300N + 70 P +
50 K
6000 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 128; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm.; Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995
1
Late maturing crops continue to next rainy season.
2
See also recommendations of local Tea Authorities or Companies.
3
Beans do not well, too wet and cold.
4
Lime is very necessary due to very acid soils (except for tea), see Table 22 b.
74
159
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22b: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT: 80LP, RB1 of the TEA-COFFEE ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize H614 50 N + 25 P 400 * Lime 2t 1230
Maize & beans 25 P 360 maize
4)
- Lime
Potatoes 50 N + 20 P 4500 ca. 1500 Lime 2t 3420
Cabbages 20 P 9950 ca. 5000 Lime 2t 11100
Second Rainy Season
Beans 20 P 750 * Lime 2t 290
Perennial crops
Tea
2)
370 N + 75 P +
50 K
ca. 7000 -
Coffee
3)
160 N + 150 P 900 * Lime
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm., Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995, and conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 143
1
Late maturing crops continue to next rainy season.
2
See also recommendations of local Tea Authorities or Companies.
3
See also recent recommendations of local Coffee Cooperatives and Embu Agric. Res. Stn.
4
Beans do not well in upper parts during frst rainy season, too wet and cold.; * = no data available
75
160
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22c: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-ECO-
LOGICAL UNITS: UM2 m i s/m & m/s i s, RB2 of the MAIN COFFEE
ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
3)
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
Maize H511
1)
75 N + 25 P 1160 ca. 600 -
Maize H511
1)
& beans (GLP2) 50 N + 25 P 1100 maize - -
Second Rainy Season
Maize H511
1)
in subz. m i s/m 50 N + 25 P 915 600 -
Maize KCB in subz. m/s i s 50 N + 25 P 700 500 -
Maize & beans 25 P 420 maize - -
Perennial crops
Coffee
2)
150 N + 100 P ca. 1000
Napier grass (Bana) 50 N + 20 P ca. 1000 ca. 4000 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm., Vol.6,
Embu District. Nairobi ca. 1995; experim. results from Embu ARS and Birgit Schmidt; conclusions
from the Farm Survey 2004, area 144.
1
Variety used in FURP experiments, yield increase of H 513-516 or EMCO 92 SR might be higher.
2
See also recent recommendations of Embu Agricultural Research Station.
3
K and Mg after few years of cultivation if no manure is applied.
76
161
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22d: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS UM3 m/s + s, RB2 and RB3 of the
MARGINAL COFFEE ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
2)
First Rainy Season
Maize H513 or other H5... 75 N + 25 P 1200 ca. 900 -
Maize & beans (GLP2) 50 N + 25 P 1050 maize - -
Second Rainy Season
Maize KCB 50 N + 25 P 630 ca. 500 -
Maize & beans 25 P 400 maize - -
Perennial crops
Coffee
1)
100 N + 80 P 700 * -
Napier grass (Bana) 50 N + 20 P ca. 1000 ca. 3500 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm; Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 145; IRACC: Small
Holder Farming Handbook 1997, p. 147; FMHB B Vol. II C, 1983, p. 73.
1)
See also recent recommendations of Embu Agricultural Research Station.
2
K and Mg after few years of cultivation if no manure is applied.; * = no data available
77
162
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22e: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT LM3 s + s, LB1 of the COTTON ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
2)
First Rainy Season
Maize KCB 50 N + 25 P 400 ca. 500 -
Maize KCB & beans 25 P 200 maize * -
Second Rainy Season
Maize KCB 50 N + 20 P 380 480 -
Maize KCB & beans 25 P 180 maize * -
From Second to
First Rainy Season
Cotton
1)
120 N + 90 P ca. 1000 * -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm. Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995
1
See also recent recommendations from the Cotton Board.
2
K and Mg after few years of cultivation if no manure is applied; * = no data available
78
163
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22f: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT LM3 s + s, UU1 of the COTTON ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
2)
First Rainy Season
Maize KCB 20 N + 20 P 550 ca. 700 -
Maize KCB & beans 20 P ca. 450 maize * -
Second Rainy Season
Maize KCB 20 N + 20 P 550 ca. 600 -
Maize KCB & beans 20 P ca. 300 maize * -
From Second to
First Rainy Season
Cotton
1)
100 N + 90 P ca. 1000 * -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm; Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 146.
1
See also recent recommendations from the Cotton Board.
2
K and Mg after few years of cultivation if no manure is applied.; * = no data available
79
164
EMBU & MBEERE 80
165
EMBU & MBEERE
TABLE 22h: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS LM4 s + s/vs, UU1 and UQ1 of the MARGINAL
COTTON ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
First Rainy Season
Maize KCB 10 N + 20 P ca. 500 ca. 700 -
Maize KCB & cowpeas 20 P 450 maize * -
Pigeon peas (25 P) unecon. (50) *
Second Rainy Season
Maize KCB 10 N + 20 P ca. 500 600 -
Maize DLC & cowpeas 20 P ca. 400 maize * -
From Second to
First Rainy Season
Cotton
1)
50 N + 50 P ca. 600 * -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 135; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm; Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995, and for comparison Vol.3 Meru District; * = no data available
1
See also recent recommendations from the Cotton Board, but be carefully with quantities because water is the main limiting factor
TABLE 22g: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS LM4 s + s/vs and s/vs + vs/s, LB1
of the MARGINAL COTTON ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
kg/ha
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
First Rainy Season
Maize KCB in
Subzone s+ s/vs
- - 500 -
Maize DLC in
Subzone s/vs + vs/s
- - 450 -
Maize & cowpeas M66 in
Subzone s + s/vs
20 P
ca. 140 maize
55 cowpeas
* -
Second Rainy Season
Maize DLC in
Subzone s + s/vs
30 N + 20 P 200 * -
Sorghum 25 P 205 460 -
Bulrush millet in
Subzone s/vs + vs/s
25 P 1100 830 -
From Second to
First Rainy Season
Cotton
No response in
exp.
- * -
Cotton & sorghum 25 P 560 sorghum
1)
* -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm; Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995
1)
This intercropping proved successful in the FURP trials; * no data available; * = no data available
81
166 166
167
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
3.3 MERU CENTRAL AND MERU SOUTH DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS District Page
3.3.1 Natural Potential 3
Introduction 3
Annual Rainfall Map 4
Table 1: Annual Rainfall 5
Table 2: Temperature 5
Table 3: Potential Evapotranspiration 6
Seasonal Rainfall Maps 7
Table 4: Climate in the Agro-Ecological Zones and Subzones 9
Agro-Ecological Zones Map 11
Agro-Ecological Zones and Subzones (= Legend to the AEZ Map), with Land Use
Potentials and Water Availability &Requirement Diagrams 12
Table 5: Climatic Yield Potentials for Food Crops in the Semi-arid Zone of Meru South D. 22
Soil Map 23
Soil Distribution, Fertility and Major Characteristics with Legend to the Soil Map 24
3.3.2 Population and Land 27
Meru Central District
Table 6: Population in Meru Central District 28
Table 7: Composition of Households in Meru Central District 7: Composition of Households in Meru Central District 7: Composition of Households in Meru Central District 32
Table 8: Available Land Area in Meru Central District per AEZ and Household 36
Meru South District
Table 9 Population in Meru South District 38
Table 10: Composition of Households in Meru South District 40
Table 11: Available Land Area in Meru South District per AEZ and Household 42
3.3.3 Agricultural Statistics 43
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Meru Central District 43
Table 12: Tea 43
Table 13: Coee 43
Table 14: Pyrethrum 43
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Meru South District 44
Table 15: Tea 44
Table 16: Coee 44
Table 17: Pyrethrum 44
Distribution of Farming Activities During the Year 45
Tables 18 a-q: Farming Activities in the Agro-Ecological Zones 45
1
168
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
3.3.4 Farm Survey 55
Table 19: Farm Survey Sites Representative of the Dominating Agro-Ecological
Subzones and Units 55
Farm Survey Areas and Fertiliser Recommendations Map 56
Tables 20 a-g: Assets, Land Use, Farming Intensity and Inputs 57
Tables 21 a-g: Cropping Pattern 64
3.3.5 Introduction to the Actual Land Use Systems and to the Potential Intensication
by Better Farm Management in Dominating Agro-Ecological Subzones 72
LH1 & UM1 m/l i m of the Tea and Coee Zones 72
Tables 22 a-g: Increase of Yields by Better Farm Management 73-83
LM3 s + s of the Cotton Zone 74
LH3-4 f (m) i (s/vs) of the Wheat/Maize-Barley Zones 76
UM5 vs/s + vs/s of the Livestock-Sorghum Zone 76
UM2 m + s/m of the Main Coffee Zone 78
LM3 s + s of the Cotton Zone 80
LM4 s/vs + s/vs of the Marginal Cotton Zone 82
3.3.6 Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations for Important Agro-Ecological Units 84
Map of Important Agro-Ecological Units 85
LH1 m/l i m, MV 2 & RB 1 of the Tea Zone 86
UM1 m/l i m, RB 1 of the Tea-Coee Zone 86
Tables 23 a-h: Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations: 87 - 93
UM2 m + m & m + m/s, RB 2 of the Main Coee Zone 88
LM3 s/m + s/m & s + s, RB 3 and LBCof the Cotton Zone 89
LM4 s + s/vs & s/vs + s/vs, UI 1 of the Marginal Cotton Zone 91
LH3 f (m) i (s/vs), RB 5 of the Wheat/Maize Zone 92
LH4 (m/s or s/m) i (vs/s), RB 5 of the Livestock-Barley Zone 92
UM5 vs/s + vs/s, LB 11 of the Livestock-Sorghum Zone 92
2
169
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 3
3.3.1 NATURAL POTENTIAL
INTRODUCTION
On the south-eastern slope of Mt. Kenya, the main agro-ecological zones form the typical pattern from the
humid Tea-Dairy Zone LH 1 to the semi-humid Cotton Zone LM3. However, the subzones and the diagrams
show that the contrast between wet and dry seasons becomes eastward more accentuated, which makes it
more dicult for permanent crops like coee to survive. Te result is that a higher rainfall, and careful water
and soil conservation are necessary to overcome the dry seasons for tea, coee, bananas, cotton and other
crops which need more than one season for full growth. Tese conservation measures are also benecial for
the annual crops, because the rainy seasons have high rainfall for a short time and then end abruptly.
On the northern side of Mt. Kenya there are typical wheat and barley zones (UH 3, LH 3). Te rainfall is
very scattered, due to the rain shadow of the mountain and the eects of the western Kenya rainfall pattern,
and is hazardous for maize and other typical small-holder crops. For this reason, the area is more suitable for
large-scale agriculture, especially in the higher zones where it is too cold for maize anyway.
Te volcanic soils round the mountain have a high natural fertility but the many years of cultivation without
return of nutrients to the land have nevertheless caused an increasing exhaustion. Tis problem is even more
serious in the lower parts where acid granites and gneisses are the basement which means a low nutrient
content by nature already.
Te colours in the rainfall maps give a rst rough optical association of the possible land use. 250 mm per
season are the limit of successful composite maize cultivation, more than 500 mm are necessary for the high
yielding hybrids. For detailed information see AEZ maps, potentials, and soil maps.
170
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 4
171
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 5
TABLE 1: RAINFALL FIGURES FROMSELECTED TYPICAL STATIONS HAVING AT
LEAST 15 YEARS OF RECORDS
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
Agro Ecol.
Zone
Subzone
Kind of
records
Annual
rainfall
mm
Monthly rainfall in mm
J F M A M J J A S O N D
8937002 Timau, UH 3 Average 896 38 45 101 149 69 17 18 24 15 148 180 93
2499 m Marania fm + m/s 66% rel.
1
775 18 25 32 120 41 5 5 8 1 100 141 36
8937022 Nanyuki Met. LH 4 Av. 746 20 26 58 117 82 42 54 67 63 80 94 43
1947 m Stn. (Laik. D.) (s/m) i (vs/s) 66% 650 5 1 45 100 71 36 20 52 20 61 58 32
8937034 Ardencaple LH 4 Av. 664 17 18 47 106 94 44 50 69 44 69 71 30
2286 m Farm n. Timau (m/s)i + (vs/s) 66% 556 1 4 22 63 79 25 21 40 22 40 43 19
8937038 Meru UM3 - 2 Av. 1378 51 39 119 303 141 11 12 7 17 209 317 141
1585 m Forest Station m + m 66% 1130 25 12 60 250 90 3 0 1 3 128 275 55
8937040 Ontulili LH 3 Av. 917 26 26 54 159 126 63 64 78 63 91 120 47
2220 m Forest Station f(m)i (s/vs) 66%
2
775 30 1 43 130 100 46 30 61 20 70 80 35
8937065 Meru UM 2 Av. 1301 46 47 115 273 119 11 10 11 21 215 318 116
1555 m Met. Station m + m 66% 1080 23 15 57 230 78 3 0 1 4 130 276 45
8937072 Giaki LM3 Av. 1402
3
50 30 115 349 151 25 7 3 11 190 358 113
1110 m Exp. Farm s/m + s/m 66%
2
1140 22 5 58 250 55 8 0 0 3 85 283 12
8937078 Muchene LH 3 Av. 1021 41 45 106 192 70 10 13 6 7 165 246 120
2230 m Forest Station m + m/s 66%
2
870 17 20 60 145 30 3 3 1 1 125 160 45
9037011 Mujwa (Mayna) UM3 Av. 1489 57 32 120 316 172 15 11 16 22 241 367 131
1246 m Cath. Mission m/s + m/s 66% 1226 22 10 48 286 112 0 0 0 4 130 290 78
9037027 Chogoria UM1 Av. 1709 24 38 143 379 198 23 23 34 22 253 281 144
1624 m High School m/l + m/s 66%
2
1495 10 23 70 330 130 7 8 15 12 150 230 95
9037034 Chuka County UM1 2 Av. 1572 45 32 171 387 173 18 25 26 29 209 339 118
1494 m Council Farm m/l + m/s 66% 1230 23 2 80 305 115 5 18 10 12 145 303 60
9037074 Nkubu UM 2 1 Av. 1587 52 30 145 367 164 13 20 23 25 255 395 139
1527 m Sec. School m + m/s 66% 1410 26 20 105 290 62 6 14 10 15 193 355 37
9037085 Mitunguu LM3 Av. 1365 31 24 127 318 133 11 18 7 10 207 353 126
1189 m Meru s + s 66% 1095 12 1 60 230 45 1 2 1 3 92 280 13
9037086 Wathine UM1 2 Av. 1940 62 56 143 413 234 19 20 19 44 315 446 169
1829 m Kithurine m + m 66% 1670 30 21 75 350 175 9 10 10 22 220 345 125
9037102 Marimba LH 1 Av. 2128 72 74 182 449 233 21 15 21 38 349 470 204
1844 m Agric. Farm m/l i m 66% 1805 44 50 98 390 186 18 5 13 18 275 368 101
9037124 Mariene Coffee UM 2 Av. 1708 52 48 139 367 181 18 13 15 30 295 401 150
1524 m Res. Sub.-Stn. m + m 66% 1406 20 28 69 321 120 5 8 8 17 172 340 98
9037150 Egoji UM 2 Av. 1455 44 28 150 313 143 13 17 17 17 235 364 112
1350 m T.Tr. College m + m 66%
2
1250 15 13 102 240 62 6 11 10 12 185 325 33
9037185 Kanyakine UM 2 1 Av. 1719 54 29 194 420 155 7 9 16 26 261 370 177
1380 m Abogeta F. Hqs. m + m 66%
2
1450 20 15 110 355 98 1 2 8 15 150 320 100
9037186 Igwanjau UM3 Av. 1469 46 47 116 383 117 14 6 11 11 250 338 130
1280 m Sec. School m/s + m/s 66%
2
1255 15 20 45 305 80 7 2 3 3 145 295 78
9037191 Gaitu Scheme LM3 Av. 1280 55 22 106 396 82 9 5 2 6 149 333 115
1250 m Chaaria
4
s/m + s/m
9037195 Mwangarimwe UM 2 Av. 1621 27 92 124 409 169 32 21 20 47 206 348 125
1376 m ChieIs Camp m + s/m 66%
2
1390 15 40 80 320 100 11 10 10 23 92 275 12
9037198 Mumbuni Full LM3 Av. 1363 45 22 103 373 97 7 4 9 20 210 339 134
1180 m Prim. School School s + s 66%
2
1093 15 1 55 245 40 1 0 1 5 95 275 20
9037214 Kaguru UM1 - 2 Av. 1891
5
48 35 166 466 165 13 59 17 33 279 427 185
1500 m Farmers Tr. Sch. m + m 66%
2
1480 19 20 80 385 110 3 15 10 18 162 350 105
1
These fgures oI rainIall reliability should be exceeded normally in 10 out oI 15 years.
2
Estimate of this reliability by correlation, no detailed data available to GTZ for enough years.
3
Average too high due to some extraordinary wet years, ca. 1350 mm are realistic.
4
11 years available to the GTZ only but important station.
5
Average too high due to some very wet years.
172
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 2: TEMPERATURE DATA
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
AEZ
1
Kind of
records
Temperature inC
Belt
limits
J F M A M J J A S O N D Yr.
8937065
1555 m
Meru
Met.. Stn.
UM 2
1560 m
2
UM
1150 m
Mean max. 23.4 24.7 25.7 24.1 22.8 22.1 21.5 22.1 24.4 25.1 22.8 22.7 23.5
Mean temp. 17.4 18.3 19.4 19.2 18.3 17.1 16.7 17.1 18.4 19.3 18.0 17.4 18.0
Mean min. 11.4 11.9 13.0 14.3 13.7 12.0 11.9 12.0 12.3 13.5 13.1 12.0 12.6
Abs. min. 6.4 6.9 9.2 10.6 8.9 7.0 7.5 8.5 7.8 9.0 9.2 8.0 8.3
9037124
1524 m
Mariene
Coffee Res.
Sub. Stn.
UM 2
1550 m
UM
1150 m
Mean max. 24.2 25.4 25.6 24.2 22.9 21.8 20.9 21.5 24.1 24.6 22.9 23.2 23.4
Mean temp. 17.9 18.5 18.9 18.5 17.4 16.2 15.7 16.1 17.4 18.5 17.9 17.6
Mean min. 11.5 11.5 12.1 12.7 11.9 10.5 10.5 10.6 10.6 12.4 12.8 11.9 11.6
Abs. min 3.0 7.6 7.0 5.5 7.5 5.0 2.5 4.2 4.4 7.2 6.6 8.5 5.8
1
AEZ = Agro-ecological zone
2
The actual limit of the coffee zone is ca. 150 m higher according to the relatively high minimum temperature above 11C.
3
Extraordinary low mean temperature due to a local microclimate, therefore the larger area is still belonging to the Upper
Midland Main Coffee Zone.
TABLE 3: AVERAGE POTENTIAL EVAPOTRANSPIRATION
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
Type
1)
AEZ
Average Potential Evapotranspiration PET in mm Av. Rainfall
2)
J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Year
in mm
% of
PET
8937002 Timau, interp.
128 125 142 115 114 100 96 103 120 138 105 110 1500 898 60%
2499 m Marania UH 3
8937022 Nanyuki Met. calc.
148 142 165 133 134 118 115 123 138 159 134 150 1660 746 45%
1947 m Stn. (Laik. D.) LH 4
8937034 Ardencaple interp.
140 134 150 125 126 110 107 115 130 150 125 130 1543 664 43%
2286 m Farm LH 4
8937065 Meru calc.
120 126 142 120 114 103 102 117 136 144 105 105 1438 1301 90%
1555 m Met. Station UM 2
8937072 Giaki interp.
161 168 182 152 140 130 129 131 158 170 140 140 1800 1402 78%
1110 m Exp. Farm LM3
9037011 Mujwa (Mayna) interp.
155 160 170 145 132 122 120 125 150 160 128 130 1687 1489
2
88%
1246 m Cath. Mission LM3
9037034 Chuka County interp.
135 140 152 118 110 95 90 120 138 115 125 126 1438 1564 101%
1494 m Council Farm UM1
9037085 Mitunguu interp.
160 167 180 150 138 125 123 134 150 165 140 140 1772 1365 77%
1189 m Meru LM3
9037102 Marimba interp.
115 120 135 113 105 90 85 110 128 110 105 105 1324 2128
2
160%
1844 m Agr. Farm LH 1
9037191 Gaitu Scheme interp.
159 166 178 148 135 120 117 127 142 160 140 140 1732 1280 74%
1250 m Chaaria LM3
9037198 Mumbuni Full interp.
160 168 180 150 139 125 123 135 150 165 140 140 1775 1363 77%
1180 m Prim. School LM3
1)
Type of equation: calc. = calculated by formula of PENMAN & MCCULLOCH with albedo for green grass 0.2; see MCCULLOCH
(1965): Tables for the Rapid Computation of the PENMAN Estimate of Evaporation.- East African Agricultural & Forestry
Journal, Vol. 30, No.3, p. 286-295; interp. = interpolated from neighbouring stations, considering altitude and rainfall
difference. AEZ = Agro-Ecol. Zone, explaining table see general part.
2)
The average annual rainfall is very high due to very heavy rains during the rainy seasons. Therefore the percentages of
potential evapotranspiration covered are relatively high too, especially in zone 3. The problem is to conserve the water
surplus in the soil, to prevent the runoII! On the other hand at a place like Marima annual rainIall amounts 160 oI ETo but
it is not yet classifed as Forest Zone, because it has 4 semiarid to arid months. Moiwa has an R to ETo relation oI 88: this
would mean zone 2, but due to the dry seasons of 2 and 4 arid months the sugar cane would not grow without additional
irrigation.
6
173
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 7
174
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 8
175
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 9
TABLE 4: CLIMATE IN THE AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES & SUBZONES
Agro-
Ecological
Zone
Subzone
Altitude
in m
Ann. mean
temperature
inC
Ann. av.
rainfall
in mm
66% reliability
of rainfall
1)
60% reliability of cereal and
legumes growing period
1
st
rainy s.
in mm
2
nd
rainy s.
in mm
1
st
rainy s.
2)
in days
2
nd
rainy s.
in days
Total
3)
in days
TA I + II
Trop.-Alpine
Moor- and
Heathlands
National Park
UH 0
Forest Zone
Forest Reserve
UH 1
Sheep and
Dairy Zone
Forest Reserve, important as a catchment area
UH 2
Pyrethrum-
Wheat Zone
l/m i m
2440-2740 13.7-11.7
950-1600 450-700 400-550 175 or more 135-155 310-330
vl i Steep slopes, Forest Reserve
UH 3
Upper Wheat-
Barley Zone
fm + m/s
2230-2900 14.9-10.5
700-1000 280-500 280-400 115-175 115-135 -
(l/m) i f(s) 850-1000 420-550 220-270 175 or more 75-115 250-290
LH 0
Forest Zone
Forest Reserve
LH 1
Tea-Dairy
Zone
l/vl m
1830-2200 17.4-14.9
Forest Reserve
f i m Small, transitional and partly Forest Reserve
m/l i m 1700-2600 700-1100 600-900 165 or more 135-155 300-320
LH 2
Wheat/Maize-
Pyrethrum Zone
m + m 1890-2130 17.0-15.4 1200-1800 450-650 400-580 135-155 135-155 -
LH 3
Wheat/(Maize)-
Barley Zone Zone
f(m) i
(s/vs)
2070-2220 15.8-15.0
750-900 350-400 180-220 115-175 75-85 190-260
m + m/s 700-1400 280-450 300-350 135-155 105-135 -
LH 4
Cattle-Sheep-
Barley Zone
(m/s) + s
2070-2210 15.8-15.1
700-850 250-300 260-300 115-130 85-105 -
(m/s or
s/m) i +
600-800 300-350 180-250 135-150 65-75 -
LH 5
Lower
Highland
Ranching Zone
br Not suitable for rainfed agriculture
UM 1
Coffee-Tea
Zone
f i m
1520-1800 19.2-17.6
1400-1800 700-950 450-550 210 or more 130-150 330-360
m/l i m 1650-2400 700-850 650-850 160 or more 135-155 295-310
m/l i m/s 1500-1700 700-820 500-630 155-175 115-135 270-310
UM2
Main Coffee
Zone
m + m
1280-1680 20.6-18.2
1500-2400 450-800 450-800 135-155 135-155 -
m + s/m 1250-1500 600-720 400-450 140-170 110-120 -
UM 3
Marginal
Coffee Zone
m/s + s
1280-1520 20.6-19.2
Small, see Embu District
m/s + m/s 1400-2200 420-750 250-450 75-115 75-115 -
m/s + s/m Very small
UM4
Sunfower
Maize Zone
fs + fs 1520-1770 19.3-18.0 750-1600 250-400 250-450 75-115 75-115 -
176
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 10
Agro-
Ecological
Zone
Subzone
Altitude
in m
Ann. mean
temperature
inC
Ann. av.
rainfall
in mm
66% reliability
of rainfall
1)
60% reliability of cereal and
legumes growing period
1
st
rainy s.
in mm
2
nd
rainy s.
in mm
1
st
rainy s.
2)
in days
2
nd
rainy s.
in days
Total
3)
in days
UM5
Livestock-
Sorghum Zone
vs/s + vs/s 1520-1770 19.3-18.0 500-1100 230-300 240-300 65-75 65-75
-
UM6
Upper Midland
Ranching Zone
br Not suitable for rainfed agriculture
LM 3
Cotton Zone
s/m + s/m
910-1300 22.9-20.9
1200-1600 400-500 550-600 105-115 105-115 -
4)
s/m + s 1200-1400 450-600 450-600 105-115 85-105 -
4)
s + s 1000-1400 300-500 320-500 85-105 85-105 -
4)
LM4
Marginal
Cotton Zone
s + s/vs
760-1300 23.5-21.0
900-1050 330-370 270-380 85-105 75-85 -
4)
s/vs + s/vs 820-920 250-350 270-370 75-85 75-85 -
4)
s/vs + vs/s 800-900 250-330 220-270 75-85 55-75 -
4)
LM5
Lower Mid-
land Live-
stock-Millet
Zone
vs/s + vs/s 1300-1500 22.8-21.0 590-780 160-250 160-250 55-75 55-75 -
vs/s + vs 750-820 24.0-23.5 700-800 200-270 150-210 55-75 45-55 -
vs + vs 1150-1300 23.5-22.8 580-680 150180 150-180 45-55 45-55 -
1)
Amounts surpassed normally in 10 of 15 years, falling during the agro-humid period which allows growing of most
cultivated plants.
2)
More if growing cycle of cultivated plants continues into the period of second rainy season.
3)
Only added if rainfall continues at least for survival (>0.25 PET) of certain long term crops.
4)
Cotton is planted from 2
nd
rainy season to 1
st
next year, together 210-230 days of growing, 190-220, 170-220 resp. 150-170
days.
TABLE 4: Continued
177
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 11
178
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 12
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES AND SUBZONES
TA = TROPICAL- ALPINE ZONES
TA O = Rocks and Gl aci ers
No land use, National Park
TA I = Tropi cal - Al pi ne Cat t l e and Sheep Zone
National Park, but in parts controlled grazing should be allowed, although limited potential
TA II = Tropical-Alpine Sheep Zone
National Park, very limited grazing potential
UH = UPPER HIGHLAND ZONES
UH 0 = Forest Zone
Too wet, steep, and too important as a catchment area, therefore Forest Reserve. Bamboo
thickets
UH 1 = Sheep and Dai ry Zone
Too steep and too important as a catchment area, therefore Forest Reserve. Valuable timber
UH 2 = Pyret hrum- Wheat Zone
Too steep and too important as a catchment area, therefore Forest Reserve. Valuable timber
UH 3 = Upper Wheat - Barl ey Zone
UH 3
fm + m/s
= Upper Wheat-Barley Zone
with a fully medium and a medium to short cropping season
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l ( a v. 60- 80% of t he opt i mum)
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: M. mat. wheat, m. mat. barley; green onions, cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: E. mat. wheat and barley; green onions, cabbages, snow
peas (below 2600 m)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l ( a v. 40- 60% of t he opt i mum)
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. sunfower like Comet ( 2600m): m. mat. potatoes like Kenya Dhamana
(frost free sites: March -June), peas
2
nd
rainy season: E. mat. potatoes: m. mat. sunfower
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
1 - 2 ha /LU on natural grassland, well suitable for Merino Sheep and grade beef cattle. Clover
and fodder barley as additional forage.
UH 3
(l/m) i
f (s)
= Upper Wheat-Barley Zone
with a (weak) long to medium cropping season, intermediate rains
1)
, and a (weak) fully
short one
No reliable good yield potential
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: Late mat. wheat, m. mat. barley, m. mat. potatoes like
Kenya Akiba (Irost Iree sites: March Aug.): fax, linseed
Whole year: Pyrethrum (on deep soils)
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Almost as in UH 3 fm + m/s
LH = LOWER HIGHLAND ZONES
LH 1 = Tea- Dai ry Zone
LH 1
l/vl i m
= Tea-Dairy Zone
with a long to very long cropping season, intermediate rains and a medium one
Forest Reserve
179
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 13
LH 1
n i m
= Tea-Dairy Zone
with a long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Small, transitional, and partly Forest Reserve.
Agric. potential see LH 1 m/l i m, but very good yield pot. of 1
st
rainy season there is only good
here because of too much rain.
LH 1
m/l i m
= Tea-Dairy Zone
with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. b./mid March:Peas
2)
, cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. b. of Oct.: Peas
2)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Potatoes, carrots, leek, kales, endive, lettuce
2
nd
rainy season: Potatoes, cabbages, carrots, kale, snow peas
Whole year, best planting time mid March: Tea, loquats
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize, horse beans, Trop. Lima beans (e. of March Dec.)
2
nd
rainy season: Late mat. maize if planted end of Aug., m. mat. maize in Sept.; m. mat. beans
(e. of July Dec.), leek, lettuce
Whole year: Pyrethrum; plums
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
About 0.5 ha/LU on secondary pasture of Kikuyu grass, suitable for grade dairy cows; Louisiana
white clover for higher productivity, Napier grass on lower places, green maize and fodder beets
as add. forage (many more see fodder list)
LH 2 = Wheat / Mai ze- Pyret hrum Zone
LH 2
m + m
= Wheat/Maize-Pyrethrum Zone
with two medium cropping seasons
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: M. mat. wheat, m.mat. maize like KH600-18a, maize
baby corn, m. mat. barley: m.mat. sunfower, m. mat. rapseed, linseed: m. mat. potatoes, peas,
almost all vegetables
2
nd
rainy season, start mid O.: M. mat. wheat and barley, m.mat. sunfower and linseed: m. mat.
potatoes, almost all vegetables
Whole year: Pyrethrum
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize, m. mat. beans; like Cuarentino
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. beans, peas
Whole year: Apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
0.7-1 ha/LU on secondary pasture of Kikuyu grass: down to 0.45 ha/LU with Napier grass up to
2 000 m, Nandi Setaria above that; green maize, fodder beets, Louisiana white clover as addit.
forage (and many others, see fodder list)
LH 3 = Wheat / ( Mai ze)
3)
Barl ey Zone
LH 3
f(m) i
(s/vs)
= Wheat/(Maize)
3)
Barley Zone
with a (weak) fully medium cropping season, intermediate rains, and a (weak) short to
very short one
(See Diagram Kilord Farm)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid to end of March: E. mat. wheat (~60%), m. mat. barley like
Bima
180
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize (May-D.), m. mat. beans (lower places, fair to poor), peas;
linseed, late mat. sunfower like Kenya White, m. mat. potatoes like Akiba: kales, green
onions
2
nd
rainy season, start mid O.: V.e. mat. barley
Whole year: Avocadoes in lower places, peaches
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
1-2 ha/LU on nat. grassland; 0.7-1.5 ha/LU on art. pasture of Rhodes grass (lower places); Bana
grass ( up to 2000m), Nandi Setaria; fodder barley like B 106 in 1
st
rainy season; glycine, yam
bean, stylo, calopo, Lucerne cv. Hunter feld, purple vetch. Alsike clover, subterranean clover,
kudzu, velvet beans, lablab beans, Jack beans, sunhemp; calliandra, Leucaena, Tithonia
LH 3
m+m/s
or sm
= Wheat/(Maize)
3)
-Barley Zone
with a medium and a medium to short or short to medium cropping season
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. wheat, e.mat. barley, m.mat. wheat and barley
good to fair
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize: m. mat. beans (lower places), peas, m. mat. sunfower: kales,
green onions
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: E. mat. wheat and barley; e. mat. beans (lower places), peas,
kales, green onions
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Almost as in LH 3 f(m) i (s/vs) but additionally e. mat. fodder barley like Amani in in 2
nd
rainy
season
14
181
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
LH 4 = Cat t l e- Sheep- Barl ey Zone
LH 4
(m/s)+s
= Cattle-Sheep-Barley Zone
with a weak medium to short and a short cropping season
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. barely (50-60%), e. mat. wheat (40-50%);
green onions
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.:E. mat. barley; green onions
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
2-4 ha/LU on nat. grassland, higher stocking rate on Elmba or Boma Rhodes (up to 2050 m).
Add. forage is useful: E. mat. barley (both rainy season); yam bean, velvet beans, lablab beans,
kudzu, sunhemp
LH 4
(m/s or
s/ m) i +
(vs/s)
= Cattle-Sheep-Barley Zone
with a (weak) medium to short or short to medium cropping season, intermediate rains,
and a (weak) very short to short one
Fa i r yi e l d pont e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start nom. End of March: E. or m. mat. barley (50-60%), e. mat. wheat (40-
50%); green onions
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize
4)
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. end of Oct.: V.e. mat. barley
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
2-4 ha/LU on nat. grassland: Iodder barley B 106 (frst rainy season)
LH 5 = Lower Hi ghl and Ranchi ng Zone
LH 5
br
= Lower Highland Ranching Zone
with bimodal rainfall
1)
Not suitable for rainfed agriculture (except for v. e. mat. barley in 1
st
rainy season)
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Normally 3 - 6 ha/LU on natural grass savanna; no proper forage. Severe erosion danger if
overgrazed, then stocking rate is much less
UM = UPPER MIDLAND ZONES
UM 1 = Coff ee- Tea Zone
UM 1
n i m
= Coffee-Tea Zone
with a fully long cropping season, intermediate rains and a medium one
Very small, potential see Embu District
UM 1
m/l i m
= Coffee-Tea Zone
with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: Late mat. fnger millet: cabbages, kales, lettuce, carrots
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: M. mat. beans, kales, carrots
Whole year: Passion fruit
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Potatoes, m. mat. sunfower like HS 301 A: sweet potatoes: m. mat. beans,
onions; Meru foxtail millet ( May S. in Gathano rains)
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. fnger millet: m. mat. sunfower like 252: cabbages, kales, onions,
tomatoes
Whole year: Tea, Arabica coffee, bananas, mountain paw paws, yams, loquats, avocados, khat
(=miraa)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season:M. mat. maize; tomatoes, snow peas
2
nd
rainy season: Late mat. maize (Aug.-F.)
Whole year: Taro (near water good)
15
182
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 16
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
About 0.4 ha/LU, feeding Napier grass, banana leaves and stems, sweet potato vines and many
others (see fodder list Table XII)
UM 1
m/l i m/s
= Coffee-Tea Zone
with a medium to long cropping season and a medium to short one
(see Diagram Chuka)
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: Cabbages, kales, leek, lettuce, carrots
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: Leek, lettuce, carrots
Whole year: Passion fruit, black wattle
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize H 511, 512, 513-18 ( iI soil moisture is well stored), fnger millet:
e. mat. beans, m. mat. dolichos beans, peas: potatoes: m. mat. sunfower, onions
2
nd
rainy season: E. mat. maize, fnger millet: beans (Sep.-Jan.), m. mat. sunfower like HS 301
A; cabbages, kales, onions, tomatoes
Whole year best pl. time mid March: Tea, Arabica coffee, bananas, mountain paw paws, passion
fruit, yams, loquats, avocados, khat (=miraa)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Sweet potatoes; tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. maize, fnger millet: potatoes,
Whole year: Citrus, loquats
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Potential almost as UM 1 m/l i m
183
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 17
UM 2 = Mai n Coff ee Zone
UM 2
m+s/m
= Main Coffee Zone
with a medium and a short to medium season
5)
Small, potential see Embu District
UM 2
m + m
= Main Coffee Zone
with two medium cropping seasons
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end oI March: M. mat. maize and fnger millet, e. mat. sorghum
(lower places): beans, sweet potatoes: e. mat. sunfower like 252 (70-80) or m. mat. like HS
301 A; cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: E. mat. maize, e. mat. sorghum (lower pl.); m. mat. beans,
sweet potatoes, e. mat. sunfower: cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions
Whole year: Arabica coffee
6)
, bananas, mountain paw paws, loquats, avocados, passion fruits,
citrus (lower places), dolichos beans (perennial var.)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. maize; potatoes (higher places
Whole year: Cassava, yams (50-60%), sugar cane in lower valleys
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Originally about 0.6 ha/LU on secondary pasture of star grass (Cynodon dactylon), down to
about 0.12 ha/LU feeding Napier or Bana grass, banana leaves and stems, sweet potato vines,
maize stalks
UM 3 = Margi nal Coff ee Zone
UM 3
m/s+s
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with a medium to short and a short cropping season
7)
Small, potential see Embu District
UM 3
m/s + m/s
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with two medium to short cropping seasons
8)
(See Diagram Mayna)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. maize like Katumani comp.B
10)
, m. mat. maize
EMCO 92 SR, e.mat. sorghum like Serena (< 1500m) or KARI Mtama -1; e. mat. beans; e.
mat. sunfower like HS 345 (1 500 m): onions, cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: Almost the same as in 1
st
rainy season but due to higher
rainfall normally about 10% higher yield expectations, m. mat. sorghum (60-70%)
Whole year: Pineapples, perennial castor
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize H 511-518
10)
, m. mat. sorghum (50-60%); m. mat. beans, sweet
potatoes, pigeon peas; kales, tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: Same crops but normally about 10% higher yield expectations
Whole year: Arabica coffee (fair in higher places, poor in lower places, there add. Irrigation;
paw paws, cassava, citrus, bananas (lower places poor); Macadamia nuts, mangoes, passion
fruits
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
0.7-1.1 ha/LU on secondary high grass savanna of zebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa) but almost
none is left; down to 0.25 ha/LU feeding Napier or Bana grass, sweet potato vines and other
forage (see fodder list).
UM 3
m/s + s/m
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with a medium to short and a short to medium cropping season
Very small, potential as UM 3 m/sm/s in frst rainy season about 10 lower yields
UM 3
m/s + s
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with a medium to short and a short cropping season
Very small, potential see Embu District
184
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
UM 4 = Mai ze- Sunf l ower Zone
UM 4
fs + fs
= Maize- Sunnower Zone
with two fully short cropping seasons
9)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: Katumani Comp. B. maize
10)
(good to fair in higher
places, fair in s/vs, there Dryland comp. better), e. mat. sorghum like Serena (lower places);
e. mat. dolichos beans, v. e. mat. beans like Mwezi moia, e. mat. sunfower like HS 345
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: Almost the same as in 1
st
rainy season
Whole year, best planting time end of Oct.: Sisal
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize EMCO 92 SR or hybrids 5.. (fair to poor, recommended only on
soils with good water storage), e. mat. fnger millet, Meru Ioxtail millet: e. mat. beans, sweet
potatoes: Virg. tobacco (Sept.-March, with add. irrigation during frst 6 weeks): tomatoes,
onions
2
nd
rainy season: Almost the same as in 1
st
rainy season
Whole year: Cassava, castor, pineapples (lower places), mangoes
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
1-2 ha/Lu on open high grass savanna; down to about 0.3 ha/LU feeding Bana grass, fodder
legumes like siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum), and planting fodder shrubs like horse
tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala) or saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)
UM 5 = Li vest ock- Sorghum Zone
UM 5
vs/s +
vs/s
= Livestock Sorghum Zone
with two very short to short cropping seasons
18
185
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
or 2
nd
rainy seasons: V. e. mat. sorghum like IS 8595
Poor yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
or 2
nd
rainy seasons: V.e. mat. beans like Kat/Bean 9
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
More than 2.5 ha/LU on nat. mixed grassland; down to about 0.5 ha/LU with forage like hay or
silage of fodder sorghum and fodder legumes
UM 6 = Upper Mi dl and Ranchi ng Zone
UM 6
br
= Upper Midland Ranching Zone
with bimodal rainfall
Not suitable for rainfed agriculture
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
More than 3 ha/LU on nat. short grass savanna; with vines of Marama beans and palatable
shrubs like saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) as dry season forage much higher capacity
LM = LOWER MIDLAND ZONES
LM 3 = Cot t on Zone
LM 3
s/m +
s/m
= Cotton zone
with two short to medium cropping seasons
(see Diagram Mayna)
Transitional strip. Potential between LM 3 s+s and UM 3 m/s+m/s but excluding coffee and
including millets, grams, cow peas and groundnuts
LM 3
s + s
= Cotton zone
with two short cropping seasons
9)
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start nom. End of March: E. mat. foxtail millet, e. mat. proso millet
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid Oct.: E. mat. foxtail or proso millet, e. mat. bulrush millet
(awned var.)
11)
: dwarI sunfower
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: E. mat. maize like Katumani Comp. B
10)
or PH 1, PH 4, ratoon of m. mat.
sorghum like 2 KX 17, e. mat. sorghum like Serena (70-80), m. mat. fnger millet like
Ekalakala, cow peas, green grams (spraying important), e.mat. soya beans: e. mat. sunfower
like 252
2
nd
rainy season: Katumani Comp. B maize
10)
, e. mat. sorghum like Serere Comp. II, Serena (70-
80%); green grams, cowpeas, v.e. mat. beans (higher places), e. mat. beans (lower places), e.
mat. soya beans, pigeon peas (O.-S.), sweet potatoes: e. mat. sunfower like HS 345, Virginia
tobacco (Sept.-March, higher places, with add. irrig. during frst 6 weeks): cotton on deep
black or dark reddish brown volcanic soils (~60%)
Whole year: Best planting time end of Oct.: Sisal, castor like C 15, cassava (on deep light soils),
pineapples (on deep heavy soils), avocados, guavas
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Med. Mat. maize like EMCO 92 SR or H 511-518 (on deep, heavy but well
drained soils): e. mat. dolichos beans, groundnuts (in light soils); e. mat. sweet potatoes,
tomatoes, onions
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. maize like EMCO 92 SR or H 511-518 (on deep soils); e. mat. dolichos
beans, e. mat. sweet potatoes; cotton bimodal variety on medium soils (e. of S./O.-Aug.)
Whole year: Mangoes (but fungus diseases), Macadamia nuts, bananas, paw paws, passion
fruits
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
0.6-1.0 ha/LU on high grass savanna with zebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa) predominant; down to
about 0.2 ha/LU feeding bana grass, fodder legumes like siratro (Macroptilium atropupureum)
or horse tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala) as a suitable palatable shrub
19
186
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
LM 4 = Margi nal Cot t on Zone
LM 4
s+s/vs
= Marginal Cotton Zone
with a short and a short to very short cropping season
Small, potential see Embu District
LM 4
s/vs +
s/vs
= Marginal Cotton Zone
with two short to very short cropping seasons
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. end oI Oct.: E. mat. Ioxtail and proso millet, v.e. mat. sunfower
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy seasons, start norm end of March: Dryland Comp. maize (60-70%), e. mat. bulrush
millet
11)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: Dryland Comp. maize (60-70%), e. mat. bulrush
millet11); e. mat. foxtail and proso millet, v.e. mat. dwarf sorghum; cowpeas, v.e. mat.
sunfower, moth beans, rai
12)
.
2
nd
rainy season; Dryland Comp. maize, e. mat. sorghum, e. mat. bulrush millet
11)
; e. mat. beans;
rai
12)
, e. mat. onions, e. mat. bambarra groundnuts (on light soils), chick peas (late planted on
heavy soils), green grams, moth beans
Whole year: Buffalo gourds (on light soils)
13)
, Marama beans
13)
, perennial castor like C 15
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season:E. mat. maize like Katumani Comp. B., e. mat. sorghum; e. mat. beans, chick
peas (on heavy soils), black and green grams, e. mat. soya beans, dolichos beans, e. mat.
bambarra groundnuts on light soils, e. mat. sweet potatoes
2
nd
rainy season:E. mat.maize Katumani Comp. B on deep soils, m. mat. bulrush millet, e. mat.
fnger millet: dolichos beans, pigeon peas (S.-O.), e. mat. sweet potatoes
Whole year: Cotton (fair on deep black cotton soils, poor on medium and light soils), sisal
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Originally 0.8-2 ha/LU on mixed medium grass savanna with red oats grass (Themeda triandra)
predominant; if degraded well improvable by saltbush (Atriplex nummularia), Mesquite
(Prosopis chilensis), and horse tamarind (Leucaena leucocephala) as palatable shrubs; Makueni
guinea grass and legumes like moth bean vines as fodder allow higher stocking rates
LM 4
s/vs +
vs/s
=
Marginal Cotton Zone
with a short to very short and a very short to short cropping season
Very small, potential see Embu District
LM 5 = Lower Mi dl and Li vest ock- Mi l l et Zone
LM 5
vs/s +
vs/s
= Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
with two very short to short cropping seasons
Very small, potential see Meru North District
LM 5
vs/s+vs
= Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
with a very short to short and a very short cropping season
Very small, potential see Embu District
LM 5
vs + vs
= Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone
with two very short cropping seasons
Small, potential see Meru North District
20
187
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
End notes
1)
Rainy seasons are not clearly defned because this zone is transitional between the rainIall pattern oI the RiIt Valley with
one period and Eastern Kenya with two shorter periods of rainfall.
2)
Pest danger
3)
Depending on farm scale, but maize ecologically less suitable
4)
A medium maturing variety for this rel. high altitude would be better but is not yet proofed, may be KH 600-18a
5)
On medium soils, on heavy soils there is a long to medium and a medium to short cropping season. Given potential refer to
the predominant heavy red loams.
6)
Very good yields on heavy deep soils with runoff-protection and mulching
7)
On medium soils: on heavy soils frst cropping season has a medium length, the second one becomes short to medium.
Given potential refers to predominant heavy red loams.
8)
On medium soils; heavy ones both seasons are of medium length. Given potential refers to predominant heavy red loams.
9)
On medium soils, on heavy soils short to medium cropping seasons. Potential refers to predominant friable clay.
10)
Although Katumani Comp. B has climatically a good yield potential here, it is on deep soils eventually more advisable to
plant a hybrid maize variety of H 5.. series especially in 2nd rainy season (except in UM 4 s/vs+s/vs); because of its higher
productivity it may yield more, even if the climate is not so suitable for it. (But more fertiliser and manure is necessary.)
11)
Bird rejecting awned varieties recommended, available at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India.
21
188
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 5: CLIMATIC YIELD POTENTIALS FOR FOOD CROPS
1)
IN THE SEMI-ARID
ZONE OF MERU SOUTH DISTRICT (estimated by interpolation between stn.
Kindaruma Dam of Mbeere District and stn. Gatunga of Tharaka District)
First rainy season
(start end of March till end of April)
Second rainy season
(start end of October till end of November)
Yield
Potential
(in % of
Optimum)
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
2)
Total
crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Crop variety
Estim.
average
yield
(kg/ha)
2)
Total
crop
failures
out of 10
seasons
Good
(60 80 %)
Tepary beans
Grams (KVR 26)
720
650
0
0
Fair
(40 60 %)
Maize (DLC)
Finger millet (Kat/FM 1)
Pearl millet
(Kat/PM1, PM2)
Proso millet (Serere 1)
Foxtail millet (Ise 285)
Cowpeas (HB48/10E)
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Grams (Kat Dengu 26)
Chickpeas
Soyabeans (Nyala)
1030
570
1040
1450
1570
740
890
510
620
1270
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
Proso millet (Serere I)
Foxtail millet (Jodhpur)
Grams (KVR 26)
1220
780
440
1
1
1
Poor
(20 40 %)
Maize (KCB)
Bulrush millet
(Serere Comp. I)
Foxtail millet (Kat/Fox-1)
Sorghum (IS 8595)
Sorghum Seredo
Sorghum (KARI Mtama-1)
Sorghum (Serena)
Cowpeas (K 80)
Green grams
Black grams
Dolichos beans (Kat/DL-1)
Groundnuts (Makululu
Red)
1130
1510
520
1320
860
1080
1010
620
440
560
750
710
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
Maize (DLC)
Pearl millet (Kat/PM1, PM2)
Bulrush millet
(Serere Comp. II)
Foxtail millet (Jodhpur)
Foxtail millet (ISe 285)
Sorghum (Serena)
Sorghum (IS 8595)
Sorghum (Seredo)
Sorghum (KARI/Mtama-1)
Tepary beans
Cowpeas
(MTW 63; MTW 610)
Moth beans (Jodhpur)
Green grams
Black grams (Kat Dengu 26)
Dolichos beans (Kat/DL-1)
Chick peas
Soyabeans (Nyala)
560
600
920
680
940
780
940
590
750
430
440
580
360
360
570
470
850
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
2
2
2
1)
Only crops listed with total crop failures (TCF) generally less than 33 % (acc. to yield calculations with MARCROP model of HORNETZ,
2001; see Methodology in Vol. II/M).
2)
Well manured, fertilized and protected. Water loss as surface runoff is stopped by contour ridges, calculated with MARCROP.
22
189
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 23
190
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 24
SOIL DISTRIBUTION, FERTILITY AND MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS
Mt. Kenya and its foot-hills determine the physiography of the upper part of Meru Central District. Tis
mountain of olivine basalts and ashes occupy most of the district, followed by foot-hills. Te northern and
north-western boundary is taken up by plateaus of Tertiary basic igneous rocks. Non-dissected erosional
plains of the same parent rock occur in the north. Te Meru South District stretches from the Mt. Kenya
basalts to the foot-hills and lower, where erosional peneplains are dominant, surmounted by some inselbergs
as relicts from the old mountain area.
On the highest parts, soils of variable fertility (map unit MV1) are found. On slightly lower areas, soils of
unit MV2 of moderate to high fertility occur. Te volcanic foot-hills are dominated by soils of unit RB1
and RB2, which are of moderate to high fertility also but becoming exhausted by many years of cultivation
without fertilizing and manuring.
Plateau soils which are in general highly fertile (units LB11, LB13) make up the north-western boundary.
Two small areas in Meru South consist of less fertile upland soil (unit UU1). Low to moderately fertile soil
(UI1) can be found on foot-hills and lowermiddle uplands.
LEGEND TO THE SOIL MAP OF MERU CENTRAL AND SOUTH DISTRICTS
1. Explanation of the rst character (physiography)
M Mountains and Major Scarps
H Hills and Minor Scarps
L Plateaus and High Level Structural Plains
R Volcanic Footridges
F Footslopes
U Uplands (upper, middle and lower levels)
Pn Non-Dissected Erosional Plains
Pd Dissected Erosional Plains
A Floodplains
B Bottomlands
2. Explanation of second character (lithology)
B Basic and ultra-basic igneous rocks (basalts, nepheline phonolites; older basic tus included)
I Intermediate igneous rocks (andesites, phonolites, syenites, etc.)
L Limestone and calcitics Mudstones
U Undierentiated Basement System rocks (predominantly gneisses)
V Undierentiated or various igneous rocks
191
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 25
3. Soil description
MV1 imperfectly drained, shallow to moderately deep, dark greyish brown, very friable, acid humic
to peaty, loam to clay loam, with rock outcrops and ice in the highest parts
dystric HISTOSOLS, lithic phase; with LITHOSOLS and rock outcrops
MV2 well drained, very deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown, very friable and smeary, clay loam
to clay, with a thick acid humic topsoil; in places shallow to moderately deep and rocky
humic ANDOSOLS, partly lithic phase
HB1 well drained, shallow, dark reddish brown, friable, rocky and stony, clay loam
chromic CAMBISOLS, lithic phase; with rock outcrops
HB2 well drained, shallow to moderately deep, very dark brown, rm, stony and rocky clay loam
LITHOSOLS; with verto-luvic PHAEOZEMS, lithic phase and rock outcrops
HU2 somewhat excessively drained, shallow, reddish brown, friable, rocky or stony, sandy clay
loam
eutric REGOSOLS, lithic phase; with rock outcrops and calcic CAMBISOLS
LB1 well drained, very deep, dark red, very friable clay
nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
LB11 imperfectly drained, deep, very dark greyish brown, very rm, cracking clay
chromic VERTISOLS
LB13 well drained, deep, dark reddish brown to red, friable sandy clay to clay; in places shallow to
moderately deep
chromic and ferric LUVISOLS; with LITHOSOLS
LBC Complex of:
moderately well drained, shallow, yellowish red to dark yellowish brown, friable, gravelly clay
over petroplinthite or rock (50-70%)
IRONSTONE SOILS; with LITHOSOLS
and:
poorly drained, deep to very deep, dark brown to very dark greyish brown, mottled, rm to
very rm, cracking clay; in places moderately deep to very deep over petroplinthite
undierentiated VERTISOLS and vertic GLEYSOLS
RB1 well drained, extremely deep, dark reddish brown to dark brown, friable and slightly smeary
clay, with an acid humic topsoil
ando-humic NITISOLS; with humic ANDOSOLS
RB2 well drained, extremely deep, dusky red to dark reddish brown, friable clay, with a acid humic
topsoil
humic NITISOLS
RB3 well drained, extremely deep, dusky red to dark reddish brown, friable clay; with inclusions of
well drained, moderately deep, dark red to dark reddish brown, friable clay over rock, pisofer-
ric or petroferric material
eutric NITISOLS; with nito-chromic CAMBISOLS and chromic ACRISOLS and LUVI-
SOLS, partly lithic, pisoferric or petroferric phase
RB4 well drained, moderately deep to very deep, dark reddish brown, friable to rm clay; in places
with an acid humic topsoil
nito-ferric LUVISOLS; with humic NITISOLS
192
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 26
RB5 well drained, moderately deep to deep, dark reddish brown, friable to rm clay; with a humic
topsoil
chromo-luvic PHAEOZEMS; in places very deep and overlying buried eutric NITISOLS
RB6 well drained, moderately deep, dark reddish brown, rm, cracking clay, with a humic top-
soil
verto-luvic PHAEOZEMS
FUC Complex of:
somewhat excessively drained to well drained, deep to very deep, dark red to dark yellowish
brown soils of varying consistence and texture; in places gravely
ferralic ARENOSOLS; with ferralo-chromic/orthic LUVISOLS and ACRISOLS
UI1 well drained, very deep, dusky red to dark red, friable clay
nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
UU1 well drained, moderately deep to deep, dark red to yellowish red, friable, sandy clay loam to
clay
rhodic and orthic FERRALSOLS; with ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric ACRISOLS
UU3 well drained, moderately deep to deep, dark red to yellowish red, friable to rm, sandy clay
to clay, often with a topsoil of loamy sand
chromic LUVISOLS, with ferralo-chromic/orthic/ferric LUVISOLS
UUC2 Complex of:
well drained, shallow to deep, red to dark red, friable to rm, sandy clay loam to sandy clay;
in places rocky
chromic and ferralo-chromic LUVISOLS ; with chromic CAMBISOLS, lithic phase and
rock outcrops
PnB2 well drained, very deep, dark reddish brown to dusky red, friable clay; in places bouldery
nito-rhodic FERRALSOLS
AA2 well drained, very deep, very dark greyish brown to dark yellowish brown, friable, stratied,
micaceous, moderately sodic, loam to clay
calcaric FLUVISOLS, sodic phase
NOTES for denitions (of underlined words):
1. mollic Nitisols and chromo-luvic Phaeozems: soils are equally important
2. mollic Nitisols, with chromic-luvic Phaeozems: Nitisols are prevalent
3. in places: in < 30% of the area
4. in many places: in 30-50% of the area
5. predominantly: in > 50% of the area
6. deeper subsoil: below 80 cm
193
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 27
3.3.2 POPULATION AND LAND
MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Meru Central District is one of the thirteen districts that form the Eastern Province. Te district lies to the
east of Mt. Kenya whose peak cuts through the southwest border of the district It shares borders with Lai-
kipia District to the west, Nyeri and Kirinyaga Districts to the south, Meru District to the south, Taraka
District to the east, Meru North and Isiolo Districts to the north. Of the total area (2,982 km
2
), Mt. Kenya
and Imenti Forests cover 1,030 km
2
and the remaining 1,952 km
2
is under human settlement. Te district
comprises of ten administrative divisions (Table 6).
During the last Population and Housing Census of 1999, Meru Central had a total population of 498,880
(Table 6). Out of this, a rural area equivalent to 1680 km
2
is suitable for agriculture as well as livestock pro-
duction (Table 8). Tis translates to 56.3% of total area devoted for agricultural production. According to
the 2001 Population Projection, Mirigamieru West Division had the highest population of 62,539 people
followed by Abothuguchi West Division with 59,544 and Mirigamieru East Division with 56,958. Tis
high population in Mirigamieru West Division is mainly attributed to the population concentration within
Meru Municipality and its environs. Te high population in Abothuguchi West Division is attributed to the
fact that much of the division is high potential, while the high population in Mirigamieru East Division is
attributed to the fact that a section of Meru Municipality and its environs fall within the division.
Abothoguchi Central Division had the least population of 31,020 people followed by Abothuguchi East Di-
vision with 38,700 people and then Buuri Division, which is the third least populated with 42,356 people.
Although Abothuguchi East Division has the second highest density of 537, it has the least population
because of its small size (57.8 km
2
), while the low population for Abothuguchi East and Buuri Divisions,
respectively is attributed to the fact that these divisions are mainly arid and semi arid lands (ASALs).
Te remaining four divisions namely Nkuene, Abogeta, Igoji and Timau had a population of over 47,000
people. Except for Timau Division, the other three divisions have large areas comprising of high and me-
dium potential agricultural land. Population in these divisions is to a large extent evenly distributed. Timau
Division is also expansive with large areas that are ASALs. Population in the ASALs is low while the high
potential areas carry large populations.
Te average population density for the district was 167 persons/km
2
in 1999, and is expected to rise to 191
by the year 2008. Miriga Mieru W. has the highest population density of 1306 persons/km
2
, while Timau
has the lowest density of 72 persons/km
2
. Te former holds 13.9 % of the district total population (Table
6). Timau Division, on the other hand comprising of 22.8 % of the districts size, holds only 9.8 % of its
population.Tis huge dierence between the two divisions can be explained by the fact that Timau hosts
large-scale dairy and wheat farms of an average size of 680 ha. However, in the district the statistically aver-
age household of 4.1 persons (Table 7) on only 1.4 ha. Of land were available (i. e. 0.34 ha/person), (Table
8). In 1979, these were 2.8 ha and 0.52 ha respectively. By 2009 these would have fallen to as little as 0.9 ha
and 0.22 ha respectively. Tis catastrophic situation needs more family planning as well as more fertilizing
and manuring of land because maize yields per ha have been reduced to less than half during the last 25 years
due to exhaustion of soils (see Chapter 3.3.4)
Te density in all other divisions ranges from 513 persons/km
2
in Abothuguchi C. to 170 in Buuri and on
average these divisions have 343 persons/km
2
. Tis high population density will put a lot of population
pressure on land. As population densities increase, this eliminates the ability of the people to derive their
livelihood in a sustainable manner from land and natural resource endowment of the district. Rapid popu-
lation growth will narrow the scope for further expansion on production and lead to subdivision of land
into uneconomic units, soil erosion and declining yields. Te district will be facing deforestation, depletion
of water resources and loss of natural habitat. Population will encroach into the forests and marginal areas
hitherto unsettled.
194
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 28
Pockets of poverty in the district are found in the slums in the urban areas especially in Meru Town, Nkubu,
Mitunguu, squatters in Timau Division, all divisions where there are large families with more than six
people, especially in ASALs. Families with small uneconomic parcels of land especially in ASALs are also
among the poor.
TABLE 6: POPULATION PER DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION IN MERU POPULATION PER DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION IN MERU
CENTRAL DISTRICT (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION
& SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
MERU CENTRAL 248027 250853 498880 120265 2982 167
TIMAU 25600 23518 49118 13769 680.7 72
ONTULILI 6762 6116 12878 3595 68.8 187
Kangaita 1341 1287 2628 636 11 239
Katheri 2565 2515 5080 1279 18.7 272
Antu Bamwitu 2856 2314 5170 1680 39.1 132
KIRIMARA 5866 5690 11556 2979 43 269
Kithithina 2562 2395 4957 1192 22.8 217
Kiambogo 3304 3295 6599 1787 20.2 327
NGUSISHI 5174 4803 9977 3253 166.2 60
Mutarakwa 2914 2641 5555 1621 59.4 94
Maritati 2260 2162 4422 1632 106.8 41
KISIMA 7798 6909 14707 3942 402.7 37
Ntirimiti 2451 2112 4563 1116 39.1 117
Buuri 2551 2440 4991 1257 82.6 60
Ngare Ndare 1216 1155 2371 684 130.1 18
Mutunyi 1580 1202 2782 885 150.9 18
ABOTHUGUCHI W. 29318 30505 59823 14318 147.1 407
KIBIRICHIA 2605 2446 5051 1139 9.7 521
Kimbo 2215 2119 4334 958 8.2 529
Gathuine 390 327 717 181 1.5 478
KIAMIOGO 3991 4081 8072 2202 16.8 480
Kiamiogo 1580 1605 3185 699 14.1 226
Mburugiti 2411 2476 4887 1503 2.7 1810
NTUMBURI 2059 2294 4353 992 40.3 108
Thiira 1127 1212 2339 543 23.5 100
Barrier 932 1082 2014 449 16.8 120
NTUGI 3901 4109 8010 1889 19.3 415
Mboroga 1362 1462 2824 697 13.1 216
Murinya 2539 2647 5186 1192 6.2 836
KATHERI EAST 2245 2375 4620 1107 8.5 544
Kirima Kiathi 770 822 1592 376 3 531
Kianthumbi S. 599 626 1225 279 1.9 645
Kinjo North 448 473 921 221 2 461
Kinjo South 428 454 882 231 1.6 551
KATHERI CENTRAL 3621 3863 7484 1828 11.5 651
Kathita 876 878 1754 440 3.6 487
Nkiriri North 771 867 1638 382 2.1 780
Nkiriri South 1509 1652 3161 785 4.4 718
Mwirangombe 465 466 931 221 1.4 665
KATHERI WEST 2176 2119 4295 847 8.5 505
Kathiranga N. 649 612 1261 145 3.1 407
Kathiranga W. 544 493 1037 236 2.2 471
Kathiranga C. 503 495 998 225 1.4 713
Kathiranga E. 480 519 999 241 1.8 555
GITHONGO WEST 2393 2612 5005 1133 7.8 642
Kibaranyaki 636 662 1298 275 2.1 618
Gikuune 1046 1152 2198 533 3.1 709
Kaugu 711 798 1509 325 2.6 580
GITHONGOEAST 1673 1791 3464 935 6.3 550
Gakurwene 722 752 1474 492 1.2 1228
195
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 29
TABLE 6: Continued
DIVISION/LOCATION
& SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
Karugwa 515 580 1095 238 2.7 406
Marathi 436 459 895 205 2.4 373
KITHIRUNE EAST 2245 2267 4512 1138 9.1 496
Nduruma 1232 1237 2469 660 5.3 466
Nkandone 419 434 853 209 1.9 449
Mbwinjeru 594 596 1190 269 1.9 626
KITHIRUNE WEST 2409 2548 4957 1108 9.3 533
Kioru 1001 1023 2024 446 4.1 494
Murugi 1078 1145 2223 508 4 556
Kiarago 330 380 710 154 1.2 592
BUURI 20196 20321 40517 9819 238.4 170
NAARI 7507 7597 15104 3443 44 343
Gitimene 1578 1568 3146 699 11.5 274
Muruguma 1958 2038 3996 910 9.1 439
Maitei 2412 2467 4879 1163 16.6 294
Runkuru 1559 1524 3083 671 6.8 453
KIIRUA 4609 4455 9064 2503 70.4 129
Kithima 1462 1034 2496 795 29.1 86
Nkando 1346 1425 2771 668 28.5 97
Kiirua 1801 1996 3797 1040 12.8 297
RWARERA 2716 2689 5405 1367 79.8 68
Mugae 495 399 894 253 22.8 39
Kirwiro 392 374 766 208 20 38
Mworoga 779 771 1550 392 14.7 105
Kathwene 1050 1145 2195 514 22.3 98
RUIRI 5364 5580 10944 2506 44.2 248
Mutuma 1953 2063 4016 907 22.2 181
Ncoroiboro 2117 2158 4275 959 15.2 281
Kamutune 1294 1359 2653 640 6.8 390
MIRIGA MIERU E. 28629 28329 56958 12331 168.7 338
MULATHANKARI 5573 5594 11167 2369 14.9 749
Nkabune 1466 1503 2969 607 6.6 450
Kaaga 1804 1758 3562 787 3 1187
Mukua 1157 1169 2326 479 2.2 1057
Njoka 1146 1164 2310 496 3.1 745
CHUGU 6405 6273 12678 2716 22.6 561
Chungari 1989 2017 4006 845 4.9 818
Runogone 1544 1574 3118 693 4.7 663
Kithoka 2872 2682 5554 1178 13 427
MUNITHU 4590 4774 9364 1949 15.8 593
Kirimene 1599 1663 3262 691 3.9 836
Gankere 1345 1282 2627 514 6.6 398
Kauthene 1646 1829 3475 744 5.3 656
THUURA 4875 4731 9606 2119 32.1 299
Rwanyange 2175 2066 4241 921 16.2 262
Kiamwitari 2700 2665 5365 1198 15.9 337
GIAKI 3758 3782 7540 1712 44.1 171
Mbeu 752 756 1508 346 10.8 140
Kirimaitune 1214 1173 2387 526 13.4 178
Kambereu 1105 1139 2244 523 10 224
Kanjagi 687 714 1401 317 9.9 142
KIBURINE 3428 3175 6603 1466 39.2 168
Ciothirai 1029 975 2004 441 10.7 187
Gachua 1367 1297 2664 587 11.4 234
Mbirikene 1032 903 1935 428 17.1 113
MIRIGA MIERU W. 34551 34918 69469 18658 53.2 1306
NTIMA 4537 4729 9266 2953 5.1 1817
Upper Igoki 3794 4131 7925 2497 4 1981
Tuntu 743 598 1341 456 1.1 1219
196
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 30
DIVISION/LOCATION
& SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
MUNICIPALITY 12529 11766 24295 6823 9.5 2557
Township 3105 2382 5487 1339 0.9 6097
Kaaga 4732 4930 9662 2694 5.1 1895
Gakoromone 4692 4454 9146 2790 3.5 2613
IGOKI 3715 3885 7600 2047 6.2 1226
Gachanka 2004 2040 4044 1268 1.7 2379
Lower Igoki 944 1059 2003 444 2.3 871
Muringombugi 767 786 1553 335 2.2 706
NTAKIRA 8433 8938 17371 4414 16.6 1046
Kirugua 1551 1622 3173 687 2.9 1094
Magundu 2735 2977 5712 1790 2 2856
Nchaiure 1509 1607 3116 781 2.7 1154
Ngonyi 1764 1849 3613 754 5.7 634
Gitugu 874 883 1757 402 3.3 532
NTHIMBIRI 5337 5600 10937 2421 15.8 692
Mpuri 2608 2747 5355 1163 8 669
Nthimbiri 1580 1616 3196 731 4.6 695
Kainginyo 1149 1237 2386 527 3.2 746
ABOTHUGUCHI C. 14347 15326 29673 6602 57.8 513
MARIENE 2920 3342 6262 1425 10.7 585
Nyweri 1311 1464 2775 621 4.8 578
Mariene 1118 1328 2446 580 4 612
Mugambone 491 550 1041 224 1.9 548
GATIMBI 4844 4998 9842 2109 26.4 373
Baragu 1342 1387 2729 570 5.3 515
Ruiga 1729 1765 3494 738 9.8 357
Nkuene 1773 1846 3619 801 11.3 320
Kariene 6583 6986 13569 3068 20.7 656
Kiria 1833 1845 3678 785 6.3 584
KARIENE 3019 3249 6268 1443 7.9 793
Gitauga 1731 1892 3623 840 6.5 557
ABOTHUGUCHI E. 18049 18971 37020 8322 213.1 174
MWANGANTHIA 6811 7131 13942 3166 54.7 255
Gitie 1454 1590 3044 699 6.5 468
Gatuune 1509 1529 3038 686 5 608
Igane 1750 1838 3588 800 19.2 187
Kiija 2098 2174 4272 981 24 178
NDURUMA 7006 7468 14474 3236 69.5 208
Gaitu 3650 3895 7545 1684 36 210
Nkandone 1525 1628 3153 678 23.6 134
Kaongo 1831 1945 3776 874 9.9 381
KIAGU 4232 4372 8604 1920 88.9 97
Makandume 1736 1783 3519 788 28.1 125
Kathwene 1527 1579 3106 701 38 82
Kiamuri 969 1010 1979 431 22.8 87
NKUENE 26858 27696 54554 13113 131.4 415
MIKUMBUNE 6072 6314 12386 2720 19.8 626
Kigane 2307 2310 4617 971 6.4 721
Mikumbune 3765 4004 7769 1749 13.4 580
NKUENE 12857 13581 26438 6532 39.4 671
Uruku 5565 5701 11266 2534 21.5 524
Kathera 7292 7880 15172 3998 17.9 848
MITUNGUU 7929 7801 15730 3861 72.2 218
Ngonyi 3933 4086 8019 1779 21.7 370
Kirindene 3996 3715 7711 2082 50.5 153
ABOGETA 27991 28584 56575 12843 148.5 381
Abogeta 5251 5442 10693 2285 27.8 385
Upper Kiungone 5251 5442 10693 2285 27.8 385
KITHANGARI 6164 6094 12258 2722 29.5 416
TABLE 6: Continued
197
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 31
DIVISION/LOCATION
& SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
Upper Kithangari 3762 3837 7599 1652 19.2 396
Ntharene 2402 2257 4659 1070 10.3 452
IGOKI 9592 10055 19647 4449 38.3 513
Upper Chure 4591 4895 9486 2120 21.8 435
Mwichiune 2605 2638 5243 1204 9.3 564
Kothine 2396 2522 4918 1125 7.2 683
KANYAKINE 2684 2831 5515 1407 10.5 525
Kanyakine 2684 2831 5515 1407 10.5 525
NKACHIE 1829 1770 3599 833 20 180
Igokine 440 459 899 201 3.5 257
Kithakanaro 835 826 1661 380 9.6 173
Maraa 554 485 1039 252 6.9 151
KIRINGA 2471 2392 4863 1147 22.4 217
Kairaa 803 777 1580 347 2.6 608
Kithatu 1668 1615 3283 800 19.8 166
IGOJI 22488 22685 45173 10490 113.1 399
KARIA 4581 4640 9221 2143 20.8 443
Nkunjumu 765 821 1586 306 4.5 352
Kiangua 1062 1094 2156 524 3.9 553
Karia 2754 2725 5479 1313 12.4 442
IGOJI 6498 6467 12965 3152 24.7 525
Gakiiri 1379 1392 2771 673 5.9 470
Kuiri 1512 1599 3111 897 3.2 972
Gikui 3607 3476 7083 1582 15.6 454
KINORO 3103 3204 6307 1566 17.7 356
Kiamweri 896 971 1867 477 4.4 424
Kiroone 686 688 1374 318 6 229
Kinoro 1521 1545 3066 771 7.3 420
KIANJOGU 3969 4170 8139 1793 16.6 490
Kianjogu 1358 1516 2874 635 5.9 487
Mitune 1085 1163 2248 475 4.3 523
Miruriiri 1526 1491 3017 683 6.4 471
MWERU 4337 4204 8541 1836 33.3 256
Kiathathi 2117 2137 4254 925 9.5 448
Mweru 1465 1433 2898 593 8.8 329
Mworoga 755 634 1389 318 15 93
MT.KENYA FOREST 1030
MT.KENYA FOREST 962
Mt.Kenya 1 Forest 422.3
Mt.Kenya 2 Forest 168.3
National Park 371.4
IMENTI FOREST 68
Imenti Forest 68
TABLE 6: Continued
198
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 32
TABLE 7: COMPOSITION OF HOUSEHOLDS IN MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT PER
DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
TIMAU 1.30 2.26 3.57 13769
ONTULILI 1.31 2.27 3.58 3595
Kangaita 1.51 2.62 4.13 636
Katheri 1.45 2.52 3.97 1279
Antu Bamwitu 1.12 1.95 3.08 1680
KIRIMARA 1.42 2.46 3.88 2979
Kithithina 1.52 2.64 4.16 1192
Kiambogo 1.35 2.34 3.69 1787
NGUSISHI 1.12 1.95 3.07 3253
Mutarakwa 1.25 2.18 3.43 1621
Maritati 0.99 1.72 2.71 1632
KISIMA 1.36 2.37 3.73 3942
Ntirimiti 1.49 2.60 4.09 1116
Buuri 1.45 2.52 3.97 1257
Ngare Ndare 1.27 2.20 3.47 684
Mutunyi 1.15 2.00 3.14 885
ABOTHUGUCHI W. 1.53 2.65 4.18 14318
KIBIRICHIA 1.62 2.81 4.43 1139
Kimbo 1.65 2.87 4.52 958
Gathuine 1.45 2.51 3.96 181
KIAMIOGO 1.34 2.33 3.67 2202
Kiamiogo 1.66 2.89 4.56 699
Mburugiti 1.19 2.06 3.25 1503
NTUMBURI 1.60 2.79 4.39 992
Thiira 1.57 2.73 4.31 543
Barrier 1.64 2.85 4.49 449
NTUGI 1.55 2.69 4.24 1889
Mboroga 1.48 2.57 4.05 697
Murinya 1.59 2.76 4.35 1192
KATHERI EAST 1.52 2.65 4.17 1107
Kirima Kiathi 1.55 2.69 4.23 376
Kianthumbi S. 1.60 2.79 4.39 279
Kinjo North 1.52 2.65 4.17 221
Kinjo South 1.39 2.42 3.82 231
KATHERI CENTRAL 1.50 2.60 4.09 1828
Kathita 1.46 2.53 3.99 440
Nkiriri North 1.57 2.72 4.29 382
Nkiriri South 1.47 2.56 4.03 785
Mwirangombe 1.54 2.67 4.21 221
KATHERI WEST 1.85 3.22 5.07 847
Kathiranga N. 3.18 5.52 8.70 145
Kathiranga W. 1.60 2.79 4.39 236
Kathiranga C. 1.62 2.82 4.44 225
Kathiranga E. 1.51 2.63 4.15 241
GITHONGO WEST 1.61 2.80 4.42 1133
Kibaranyaki 1.72 3.00 4.72 275
Gikuune 1.51 2.62 4.12 533
Kaugu 1.70 2.95 4.64 325
GITHONGOEAST 1.35 2.35 3.70 935
Gakurwene 1.09 1.90 3.00 492
Karugwa 1.68 2.92 4.60 238
Marathi 1.59 2.77 4.37 205
KITHIRUNE EAST 1.45 2.52 3.96 1138
Nduruma 1.37 2.37 3.74 660
Nkandone 1.49 2.59 4.08 209
Mbwinjeru 1.62 2.81 4.42 269
199
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 33
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
KITHIRUNE WEST 1.63 2.84 4.47 1108
Kioru 1.66 2.88 4.54 446
Murugi 1.60 2.78 4.38 508
Kiarago 1.68 2.93 4.61 154
BUURI 1.51 2.62 4.13 9819
NAARI 1.60 2.78 4.39 3443
Gitimene 1.64 2.86 4.50 699
Muruguma 1.60 2.79 4.39 910
Maitei 1.53 2.66 4.20 1163
Runkuru 1.68 2.92 4.59 671
KIIRUA 1.32 2.30 3.62 2503
Kithima 1.15 1.99 3.14 795
Nkando 1.52 2.63 4.15 668
Kiirua 1.33 2.32 3.65 1040
RWARERA 1.44 2.51 3.95 1367
Mugae 1.29 2.24 3.53 253
Kirwiro 1.34 2.34 3.68 208
Mworoga 1.44 2.51 3.95 392
Kathwene 1.56 2.71 4.27 514
RUIRI 1.59 2.77 4.37 2506
Mutuma 1.62 2.81 4.43 907
Ncoroiboro 1.63 2.83 4.46 959
Kamutune 1.51 2.63 4.15 640
MIRIGA MIERU E. 1.69 2.93 4.62 12331
MULATHANKARI 1.72 2.99 4.71 2369
Nkabune 1.79 3.10 4.89 607
Kaaga 1.65 2.87 4.53 787
Mukua 1.77 3.08 4.86 479
Njoka 1.70 2.96 4.66 496
CHUGU 1.70 2.96 4.67 2716
Chungari 1.73 3.01 4.74 845
Runogone 1.64 2.86 4.50 693
Kithoka 1.72 2.99 4.71 1178
MUNITHU 1.75 3.05 4.80 1949
Kirimene 1.72 3.00 4.72 691
Gankere 1.87 3.24 5.11 514
Kauthene 1.71 2.96 4.67 744
THUURA 1.66 2.88 4.53 2119
Rwanyange 1.68 2.92 4.60 921
Kiamwitari 1.64 2.84 4.48 1198
GIAKI 1.61 2.80 4.40 1712
Mbeu 1.59 2.77 4.36 346
Kirimaitune 1.66 2.88 4.54 526
Kambereu 1.57 2.72 4.29 523
Kanjagi 1.61 2.81 4.42 317
KIBURINE 1.64 2.86 4.50 1466
Ciothirai 1.66 2.88 4.54 441
Gachua 1.66 2.88 4.54 587
Mbirikene 1.65 2.87 4.52 428
MIRIGA MIERU W. 1.36 2.36 3.72 18658
NTIMA 1.15 1.99 3.14 2953
Upper Igoki 1.16 2.01 3.17 2497
Tuntu 1.07 1.87 2.94 456
MUNICIPALITY 1.30 2.26 3.56 6823
Township 1.50 2.60 4.10 1339
Kaaga 1.31 2.28 3.59 2694
Gakoromone 1.20 2.08 3.28 2790
TABLE 7: Continued
200
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
IGOKI 1.36 2.36 3.71 2047
Gachanka 1.16 2.02 3.19 1268
Lower Igoki 1.65 2.86 4.51 444
Muringombugi 1.69 2.94 4.64 335
NTAKIRA 1.44 2.50 3.94 4414
Kirugua 1.69 2.93 4.62 687
Magundu 1.17 2.03 3.19 1790
Nchaiure 1.46 2.53 3.99 781
Ngonyi 1.75 3.04 4.79 754
Gitugu 1.60 2.77 4.37 402
NTHIMBIRI 1.65 2.87 4.52 2421
Mpuri 1.68 2.92 4.60 1163
Nthimbiri 1.60 2.78 4.37 731
Kainginyo 1.65 2.87 4.53 527
ABOTHUGUCHI C. 1.64 2.85 4.49 6602
MARIENE 1.60 2.79 4.39 1425
Nyweri 1.63 2.84 4.47 621
Mariene 1.54 2.68 4.22 580
Mugambone 1.70 2.95 4.65 224
GATIMBI 1.70 2.96 4.67 2109
Baragu 1.75 3.04 4.79 570
Ruiga 1.73 3.01 4.73 738
Nkuene 1.65 2.87 4.52 801
Kariene 1.62 2.81 4.42 3068
Kiria 1.71 2.97 4.69 785
KARIENE 1.59 2.76 4.34 1443
Gitauga 1.58 2.74 4.31 840
ABOTHUGUCHI E. 1.62 2.82 4.45 8322
MWANGANTHIA 1.61 2.80 4.40 3166
Gitie 1.59 2.76 4.35 699
Gatuune 1.62 2.81 4.43 686
Igane 1.64 2.85 4.49 800
Kiija 1.59 2.76 4.35 981
NDURUMA 1.63 2.84 4.47 3236
Gaitu 1.64 2.84 4.48 1684
Nkandone 1.70 2.95 4.65 678
Kaongo 1.58 2.74 4.32 874
KIAGU 1.64 2.84 4.48 1920
Makandume 1.63 2.83 4.47 788
Kathwene 1.62 2.81 4.43 701
Kiamuri 1.68 2.91 4.59 431
NKUENE 1.52 2.64 4.16 13113
MIKUMBUNE 1.66 2.89 4.55 2720
Kigane 1.74 3.02 4.75 971
Mikumbune 1.62 2.82 4.44 1749
NKUENE 1.48 2.57 4.05 6532
Uruku 1.62 2.82 4.45 2534
Kathera 1.39 2.41 3.79 3998
MITUNGUU 1.49 2.59 4.07 3861
Ngonyi 1.65 2.86 4.51 1779
Kirindene 1.35 2.35 3.70 2082
ABOGETA 1.61 2.80 4.41 12843
ABOGETA 1.71 2.97 4.68 2285
Upper Kiungone 1.71 2.97 4.68 2285
KITHANGARI 1.64 2.86 4.50 2722
Upper Kithangari 1.68 2.92 4.60 1652
Ntharene 1.59 2.76 4.35 1070
TABLE 7: Continued
34
201
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
IGOKI 1.61 2.80 4.42 4449
Upper Chure 1.63 2.84 4.47 2120
Mwichiune 1.59 2.76 4.35 1204
Kothine 1.60 2.77 4.37 1125
KANYAKINE 1.43 2.49 3.92 1407
Kanyakine 1.43 2.49 3.92 1407
NKACHIE 1.58 2.74 4.32 833
Igokine 1.63 2.84 4.47 201
Kithakanaro 1.60 2.77 4.37 380
Maraa 1.51 2.62 4.12 252
KIRINGA 1.55 2.69 4.24 1147
Kairaa 1.66 2.89 4.55 347
Kithatu 1.50 2.60 4.10 800
IGOJI 1.57 2.73 4.31 10490
KARIA 1.57 2.73 4.30 2143
Nkunjumu 1.89 3.29 5.18 306
Kiangua 1.50 2.61 4.11 524
Karia 1.52 2.65 4.17 1313
IGOJI 1.50 2.61 4.11 3152
Gakiiri 1.50 2.61 4.12 673
Kuiri 1.27 2.20 3.47 897
Gikui 1.64 2.84 4.48 1582
KINORO 1.47 2.56 4.03 1566
Kiamweri 1.43 2.48 3.91 477
Kiroone 1.58 2.74 4.32 318
Kinoro 1.45 2.52 3.98 771
KIANJOGU 1.66 2.88 4.54 1793
Kianjogu 1.65 2.87 4.53 635
Mitune 1.73 3.00 4.73 475
Miruriiri 1.61 2.80 4.42 683
MWERU 1.70 2.95 4.65 1836
Kiathathi 1.68 2.92 4.60 925
Mweru 1.78 3.10 4.89 593
Mworoga 1.60 2.77 4.37 318
TABLE 7: Continued
35
202
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
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36
TABLE 8: AVAILABLE LAND AREA PER DIVISION
1)
AND AEZ IN MERU CENTRAL
DISTRICT (Source: Calculated from DAOs Reports)
203
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Meru South was curved from the larger Meru in 1992. Te district was formerly known as Taraka Nithi
but later it was renamed. Taraka district was hived o in 1997. To the north it borders Meru Central, Ta-
raka to the northeast, Embu and Mbeere to the southwest, and the peak of Mt Kenya to the west.
Te total area of the district is 1,092.9 km
2
, including 360 km
2
of Mt Kenya Forest. Te district is divided
into ve administrative divisions, 25 locations and 76 sub-locations (Table 9). Chuka and Magumoni have
the largest number of locations followed by Igambangombe and Mwimbi, while Muthambi has the least.
With respect to sub-locations, Mwimbi has the largest number followed by Chuka and Magumoni, respec-
tively. Igambangombe and Muthambi have the least number of sub-locations.
Te 1999 Population and Housing Census recorded 100,226 males and 105,225 females (205,451 per-
sons). Te projections for the year 2008 are 112,250 males and 116,800 females (229,050 persons), which
represent 54 % and 56 % of the population, respectively. Eorts will need to be put in place immediately to
control the rising population. Based on the same period, Magumoni Division is the most densely populated
with 528 persons/km
2
, while Igambangombe is the least populated division with 114 persons/km
2
. Chuka,
Mwimbi and Muthambi have 327, 328 and 385 persons/km
2
, respectively (Table 9). Te highly populated
divisions are located in the high agricultural potential areas such as Mwimbi, Chuka, Magumoni and Muth-
ambi. Igamba Ngombe in the marginal agricultural zones is the least populated.
Te population density averages 188 persons/km
2
, however the spatial distribution across divisions is quite
remarkable. Statistically, an average of 4.3 persons/household (Table 10) and only 0.87 ha of available agri-
cultural land in 1999 prevailed (0.2 ha per person, Table 11).
Poverty is one of the major development challenges the district is facing. It is manifested in various forms,
and can be dened both in monetary and human capability terms. It has signicantly reduced the disposable
incomes of a large part of the district population over the years. Tese phenomena have impacted negatively
on the general welfare of the community particularly in terms of access to basic services, such as education
and health care. Te Welfare Monitoring Survey II report showed that approximately 57 % of the district
population live below the poverty line. Although this situation may hold, a number of factors have since
emerged adversely aecting the status of the vulnerable groups and their needs in the district. According to
the Participatory Poverty Assessment reports, 72 % of the population in the district are considered to be in
the poverty bracket. Tese are found all over the district although a great portion is drawn from the marginal
zones comprising of Igambangombe and Magumoni Divisions and the lower parts of Chuka, Muthambi
and Mwimbi Divisions.
Te HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the district is 30 % and has been attributed to slow response of behav-
ioural change, irresponsible sex, breakdown of social structure and poverty, among others. Te way forward
to contain the spread is through intensication of campaigns geared towards behavioural change, observance
of the societys cultural beliefs, which are development oriented. Counselling to encourage voluntary testing,
establishment of Home Based Care programmes need to be intensied. Tis includes training families and
relatives on the care of the aected/infected. Syndrome management, inventory of orphans, the infected
and widows/widowers, continued oering of services to deserving clients, e.g. ante-natal mothers and also
oering anti-retroviral drugs to those infected. Establishment of recreation centres for people living with
HIV/AIDS and of orphanage homes is necessary.
37
204
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 9: POPULATION PER DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION IN MERU
SOUTH DISTRICT (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
MERU SOUTH 100226 105225 205451 46984 1092.9 188
MUTHAMBI 15601 15938 31539 7194 84.8 372
MUTHAMBI 3743 3928 7671 1826 16.6 462
Iriga 896 890 1786 464 5.7 313
Igamurathi 1739 1974 3713 842 7 530
Weru 1108 1064 2172 520 3.9 557
GITIJE 4966 4781 9747 2139 34.4 283
Chamunga 2563 2456 5019 1089 9.2 546
Kandungu 2403 2325 4728 1050 25.2 188
MITHERU 6892 7229 14121 3229 33.8 418
Karimba 3238 3517 6755 1519 18.5 365
Gatua 3654 3712 7366 1710 15.3 481
MAGUMONI 15880 16835 32715 7433 64.2 510
Mwonge 2846 2993 5839 1334 9.6 608
Mwonge 1105 1221 2326 551 3.7 629
Kangoro 1102 1089 2191 452 3.4 644
Kagumo 639 683 1322 331 2.5 529
THUITA 5426 5656 11082 2447 18.2 609
Njuri 957 1022 1979 412 3.1 638
Nthambo 1699 1661 3360 723 7 480
Kathatwa 2770 2973 5743 1312 8.1 709
MUKUUNI 3793 3965 7758 1799 21.2 366
Mukuuni 1050 1062 2112 477 4.3 491
Kinoru 1404 1458 2862 702 11.3 253
Karamani 1339 1445 2784 620 5.6 497
RUBATE 1786 1946 3732 847 9.1 410
Rubate 1059 1106 2165 492 4.1 528
Kanthiri 727 840 1567 355 5 313
KABUBONI 2029 2275 4304 1006 6.1 706
Kabuboni 1216 1395 2611 603 3.5 746
Kanyakini 813 880 1693 403 2.6 651
MWIMBI 31715 32665 64380 14673 203.4 317
KIERA 4447 4614 9061 2040 85.7 106
Magutuni 4447 4614 9061 2040 85.7 106
MURUGI 6747 6613 13360 3089 29.3 456
Murugi 6747 6613 13360 3089 29.3 456
MAARA 5421 5707 11128 2395 22.2 501
Kiroo 1527 1551 3078 645 8.8 350
Iruma 2679 2860 5539 1174 8.1 684
Thigaa 1215 1296 2511 576 5.3 474
CHOGORIA 7371 7637 15008 3523 29.9 502
Chogoria 5692 5838 11530 2712 24.2 476
Kiraro 1679 1799 3478 811 5.7 610
GANGA 7729 8094 15823 3626 36.3 436
Kirumi 3685 3880 7565 1733 18 420
Mugumango 4044 4214 8258 1893 18.3 451
CHUKA 26113 27404 53517 12596 169.6 316
KIANGONDU 5921 6270 12191 3356 12.6 968
Kiangondu 1881 1900 3781 889 5.8 652
Township 2942 3223 6165 1972 3.3 1868
Mucwa 1098 1147 2245 495 3.5 641
GITARENI 3731 4166 7897 1800 20.6 383
Gitareni 1377 1606 2983 690 4 746
Karani 1002 1081 2083 469 5.3 393
Kiamucii 1352 1479 2831 641 11.3 251
KITHANGANI 1774 1905 3679 859 40.2 92
Kithangani 444 505 949 240 7.1 134
Weru 476 534 1010 231 7 144
38
205
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
DIVISION/LOCATION/
SUB-LOCATION
Male Female Total
Number of
Households
Area in
km
2
Density
Rianthiga 272 264 536 124 8.1 66
Marembo 582 602 1184 264 18 66
MUIRU 2348 2407 4755 1045 8.7 547
Muiru 1298 1354 2652 598 4.2 631
Nkuthika 1050 1053 2103 447 4.5 467
KARINGANI 7727 7822 15549 3496 72.9 213
Ndagani/Njaina 2242 2331 4573 1036 10.8 423
Mariani 2083 2123 4206 997 43.1 98
Karongoni 2033 2016 4049 888 13.6 298
Rukindu 1369 1352 2721 575 5.4 504
MUGWE 4612 4834 9446 2040 14.6 647
Mugirirwa 2284 2444 4728 1049 7 675
Kirege 2328 2390 4718 991 7.6 621
IGAMBANGOMBE 10917 12383 23300 5088 210.9 110
KAMAINDI 1129 1403 2532 530 32.3 78
Kamaindi 591 742 1333 279 18.8 71
Igambangombe 538 661 1199 251 13.5 89
MUTINO 3501 3955 7456 1583 66 113
Mutino 1246 1363 2609 562 26.2 100
Kanthanje 1507 1747 3254 656 23.9 136
Kamonka 748 845 1593 365 15.9 100
KAMWIMBI 2046 2408 4454 975 41.5 107
Kamwimbi 881 963 1844 432 18.1 102
Kiaritha 1165 1445 2610 543 23.4 112
KAJUKI 2886 3244 6130 1302 49.8 123
Kajuki 903 1014 1917 413 16.3 118
Kamutiria 1000 1133 2133 446 11.9 179
Makanyanga 983 1097 2080 443 21.6 96
ITUGURURU 1355 1373 2728 698 21.3 128
Mbogoni 513 513 1026 279 8.3 124
Igamatundu 842 860 1702 419 13 131
TABLE 9: Continued
39
206
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 10: COMPOSITION OF HOUSEHOLDS IN MERU SOUTH DISTRICT PER
DIVISION, LOCATION AND SUB-LOCATION (Source: Census 1999)
DIVISION/LOCATION
AND SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
MUTHAMBI 1.76 2.62 4.38 7194
MUTHAMBI 1.69 2.51 4.20 1826
Iriga 1.55 2.30 3.85 464
Igamurathi 1.77 2.64 4.41 842
Weru 1.68 2.50 4.18 520
GITIJE 1.83 2.72 4.56 2139
Chamunga 1.85 2.75 4.61 1089
Kandungu 1.81 2.69 4.50 1050
MITHERU 1.76 2.61 4.37 3229
Karimba 1.79 2.66 4.45 1519
Gatua 1.73 2.57 4.31 1710
MAGUMONI 1.77 2.63 4.40 7433
MWONGE 1.76 2.62 4.38 1334
Mwonge 1.70 2.52 4.22 551
Kangoro 1.95 2.90 4.85 452
Kagumo 1.61 2.39 3.99 331
THUITA 1.82 2.71 4.53 2447
Njuri 1.93 2.87 4.80 412
Nthambo 1.87 2.78 4.65 723
Kathatwa 1.76 2.62 4.38 1312
MUKUUNI 1.74 2.58 4.31 1799
Mukuuni 1.78 2.65 4.43 477
Kinoru 1.64 2.44 4.08 702
Karamani 1.81 2.68 4.49 620
RUBATE 1.77 2.63 4.41 847
Rubate 1.77 2.63 4.40 492
Kanthiri 1.78 2.64 4.41 355
KABUBONI 1.72 2.56 4.28 1006
Kabuboni 1.74 2.59 4.33 603
Kanyakini 1.69 2.51 4.20 403
MWIMBI 1.77 2.62 4.39 14673
KIERA 1.79 2.65 4.44 2040
Magutuni 1.79 2.65 4.44 2040
MURUGI 1.74 2.58 4.33 3089
Murugi 1.74 2.58 4.33 3089
MAARA 1.87 2.78 4.65 2395
Kiroo 1.92 2.85 4.77 645
Iruma 1.90 2.82 4.72 1174
Thigaa 1.75 2.61 4.36 576
CHOGORIA 1.71 2.55 4.26 3523
Chogoria 1.71 2.54 4.25 2712
Kiraro 1.73 2.56 4.29 811
GANGA 1.76 2.61 4.36 3626
Kirumi 1.76 2.61 4.37 1733
Mugumango 1.76 2.61 4.36 1893
CHUKA 1.71 2.54 4.25 12596
KIANGONDU 1.46 2.17 3.63 3356
Kiangondu 1.71 2.54 4.25 889
Township 1.26 1.87 3.13 1972
Mucwa 1.82 2.71 4.54 495
GITARENI 1.77 2.62 4.39 1800
Gitareni 1.74 2.58 4.32 690
Karani 1.79 2.65 4.44 469
Kiamucii 1.78 2.64 4.42 641
KITHANGANI 1.72 2.56 4.28 859
Kithangani 1.59 2.36 3.95 240
40
207
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
DIVISION/LOCATION
AND SUB-LOCATION
Farmers family
Number of
Households
Persons < 15
years
Persons 15
years & over
Total persons
Weru 1.76 2.61 4.37 231
Rianthiga 1.74 2.58 4.32 124
Marembo 1.80 2.68 4.48 264
MUIRU 1.83 2.72 4.55 1045
Muiru 1.78 2.65 4.43 598
Nkuthika 1.89 2.81 4.70 447
KARINGANI 1.79 2.66 4.45 3496
Ndagani/Njaina 1.78 2.64 4.41 1036
Mariani 1.70 2.52 4.22 997
Karongoni 1.83 2.72 4.56 888
Rukindu 1.90 2.83 4.73 575
MUGWE 1.86 2.77 4.63 2040
Mugirirwa 1.81 2.69 4.51 1049
Kirege 1.92 2.85 4.76 991
IGAMBANGOMBE 1.84 2.74 4.58 5088
KAMAINDI 1.92 2.86 4.78 530
Kamaindi 1.92 2.86 4.78 279
Igambangombe 1.92 2.85 4.78 251
MUTINO 1.90 2.81 4.71 1583
Mutino 1.87 2.77 4.64 562
Kanthanje 2.00 2.96 4.96 656
Kamonka 1.76 2.61 4.36 365
KAMWIMBI 1.84 2.73 4.57 975
Kamwimbi 1.72 2.55 4.27 432
Kiaritha 1.93 2.87 4.81 543
KAJUKI 1.89 2.81 4.71 1302
Kajuki 1.87 2.77 4.64 413
Kamutiria 1.92 2.86 4.78 446
Makanyanga 1.89 2.81 4.70 443
ITUGURURU 1.57 2.34 3.91 698
Mbogoni 1.48 2.20 3.68 279
Igamatundu 1.63 2.43 4.06 419
TABLE 10: Continued
41
208
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 11: AVAILABLE LAND AREA IN MERU SOUTH (NITHI) DISTRICT PER AEZ AND
HOUSEHOLD (Source: Calculated from DAOs Reports)
Division/
Location without
Townships in km
2
T
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a

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n

k
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2
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m
2
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONE (AEZ) in km
2
Agricultural
land in ha
L
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1
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1
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2
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3
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r

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MUTHAMBI 84.8 64.2 20.6 1 20 14 5 19 3.2 0.89 0.21
MUTHAMBI 16.6 12.84 4.12 4 2.8 1 3.8 0.64 0.70 0.18
GITIJE 34.4 25.68 8.24 8 5.6 2 7.6 1.28 1.20 0.26
MITHERU 33.8 25.68 8.24 1 8 5.6 2 7.6 1.28 0.80 0.18
MAGUMONI 64.2 51.1 13.1 1 3 2 10 17 18 0.69 0.16
MWONGE 9.6 7.665 1.965 1 1.5 2.55 2.7 0.58 0.13
THUITA 18.2 14.308 3.668 2.8 4.76 5.04 0.59 0.13
MUKUUNI 21.2 16.863 4.323 3.3 5.61 5.94 0.94 0.22
RUBATE 9.1 7.154 1.834 1 1.4 2.38 2.52 0.85 0.19
KABUBONI 6.1 5.11 1.31 3 2 1 1.7 1.8 0.51 0.12
MWIMBI 203.4 129 74.4 7 23 51 26 22 0.88 0.20
KIERA 85.7 54.18 31.248 2.94 9.66 21.42 10.92 8.4 2.73 0.60
MURUGI 29.3 18.06 10.416 0.98 3.22 7.14 3.64 2.8 0.59 0.14
MAARA 22.2 14.19 8.184 0.77 2.53 5.61 2.86 2.2 0.59 0.13
CHOGORIA 29.9 19.35 11.16 1.05 3.45 7.65 3.9 3 0.55 0.14
GANGA 36.3 23.22 13.392 1.26 4.14 9.18 4.68 5.6 0.64 0.15
IGAMBANGOMBE 210.9 169.3 41.6 54 29 12 43 31 3.33 0.73
KAMAINDI 32.3 25.395 6.24 8.1 4.35 1.8 6.45 4.2 4.80 1.00
MUTINO 66 52.483 12.896 16.74 8.99 3.72 13.33 10.68 3.32 0.70
KAMWIMBI 41.5 33.86 8.32 10.8 5.8 2.4 8.6 5.6 3.48 0.76
KAJUKI 49.8 40.632 9.984 12.96 6.96 2.88 10.32 6.72 3.13 0.66
ITUGURURU 21.3 16.93 4.16 5.4 2.9 1.2 4.3 3.8 2.43 0.62
Total Rural Area 1126.6 827.2 149.7 2 150 107 84 246 154.4 80 0.87 0.2
42
209
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
3.3.3 AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS
DEVELOPMENT AND TRENDS OF MAJOR CASH CROPS IN
MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Meru was one of the largest agricultural districts in the country until it was sub-divided into four districts.
Te agricultural potential of Meru Central covers only 168,000 ha. of land. Successful and productive rain-
fed agriculture is limited to this area and the outputs are among the highest in Kenya. Tea is cultivated by
a large number of smallholders on approximately 3,000 ha. yielding 8,900 kg of green leaves per ha. per
annum. Te development has reached its peak. On the other hand, coee is cultivated on 18,620 ha. by a
very large number of smallholders harvesting roughly 16,412 kg of clean coee per annum only. Te pro-
ductivity has witnessed a downward trend since 1999 partly due to high inputs costs as well as low coee
prices paid. A situation similar exists for pyrethrum since 1996 (see Chapter 2.3.4)
TABLE 12: TEA AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU C. DISTRICT (Source: Ministry
of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1997/98 3,040 26,329 8661
1998/99 3,033 25,520 8414
1999/2000 2,998 26,649 8889
2000/2001 2,995 24,915 8319
2001/2002 3,000 26,703 8901
2002/03 3,015 26,924 8930
TABLE 13: COFFEE AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU C. DISTRICT (Source:
Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1997/98 18,735 23,603 1,259.8
1998/99 18,641 14,525 779
1999/2000 18,676 38,446 2,058
2000/2001 18,650 10,426 559
2001/2002 18,630 29,496 1,567
2002/03 18,620 16,412 881.4
TABLE 14: PYRETHRUM, AREA PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU C. DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1996/97 100 109 1090
1997/98 120 101 842
1998/99 115 95 826
1999/2000 107 92 860
2000/2001 100 89 890
2001/2002 110 90 818
2002/03 90 75 833
43
210
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
DEVELOPMENT AND TRENDS OF MAJOR CASH CROPS IN
MERU SOUTH/CHUKA DISTRICT
Agriculturally potential land is only 55,000 ha (Table 11). Like Meru Central and North, the major
cash crops are tea and coee. Tea is cultivated on approximately 2,000 ha. (almost stable) yielding up to
2,500 kg/ha of green leaf per annum. Grown on over 6,000 ha and yielding 450 kg/ha per annum of clean
coee, this cash is declining. Miraa (also known Khaat) is a signicant cash crop although data unavailability
hinders quantication. Pyrethrum is grown in small quantities.
TABLE 15: TEA AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU SOUTH DISTRICT (Source:
Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1997/98 2,068 5,093 2,463
1998/99 2,025 5,079 2,508
1999/2000 1,989 4,982 2,505
2000/2001 1,950 5,000 2,564
2001/2002 2,000 5,106 2,553
2002/03 1,875 4,708 2,511
TABLE 16: COFFEE AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1997/98 9,497 1,617 170
1998/99 9,497 936 99
1999/2000 9,524 1,555 163
2000/2001 9,524 807 85
2001/2002 9,501 1,685 177
2002/03 9,477 843 89
TABLE 17: PYRETHRUM AREA, PRODUCTION AND YIELD IN MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture, DAOs Reports and CBS)
Year Area (ha) Productions (tons) Yield (kg/ha)
1997/98 30 6.5 217
1998/99 20 6 300
1999/2000 5 4 800
2000/2001 10 3.2 320
2001/2002 15 2.75 183
2002/03 20 4 200
44
211
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 45
FARMING ACTIVITIES DURING THE YEAR PER WEEK AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
212
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 46
213
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 47
214
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 48
215
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 49
216
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 50
217
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 51
218
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 52
219
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 53
220
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 54
221
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
3.3.4 FARM SURVEY IN MERU CENTRAL AND MERU SOUTH DISTRICTS
Te Farm Survey was conducted in seven main agro-ecological zones and the respective dominant subzones
in Meru Central and South districts as shown in Table 19. Te sample farm sizes were: 1.05 ha (LH 1), 0.8
ha (UM 2), 2.96 ha (UM 5), 1.59 ha resp. 1.71 (LM 3), and 4.84 ha (LM 4) (Table 19). Compared to the
Farm Survey of 1978, there is evidence of a tremendous decrease in farm sizes over the years. For example,
in 1978 the farm sizes in agro-ecological zones LH 1, UM 2 and LM 3 were 2.1 ha, 1.9 ha and 7.2 ha, re-
spectively. Te decrease in farm sizes has serious implications for food production in this area. Te resulting
land use intensication (Table 20) requires increased farm inputs to replenish the declining soil nutrients.
Te use of farm inputs is widespread in the Lower Highlands and Upper Midlands but very low in the Lower
Midlands. Tere is an urgent need for farmers to recycle back to the soil all the mined nutrients from the
soil. All crop residues, for example, should be recycled back into the soil.
TABLE 19: FARM SURVEY AREAS IN MERU CENTRAL AND MERU SOUTH
DISTRICTS
District No. in Agro-Ecological Unit Farm Survey Area
Kenya AEZone Subzone Soil Unit
MERU
CENTRAL
149
LH 1 - UM
1
m/l i m RB 1
Abothuguchi West Division, Katheri Central
Location, Kathita Sub Location
150 LM 3 s + s LBC
Nkuene Division, Mitunguu Location,
Kirendene Sub Location
151 LH 3 - 4 f(m) i (s/vs) RB 5
Timau Division, Kirimara Location,
Kithithina Sub Location
152 UM 5 vs/s + vs/s LB 11
Kibirichia Division, Ntumburi Location,
Thiira Sub Location
MERU
SOUTH
153 UM 2 m+ s/m RB 2
Chuka Division, Karingani Location,
Karingani Sub Location
154 LM 3 s +s RB3
Chuka Division, Karingani Location,
Mariani Sub Location
155 LM 4 s/vs +s/vs UI l
Igambangombe Division, Kajuki Location,
Makanyanga Sub Location
Cabbages and Irish potatoes besides tea dominate the cropping enterprises in the Lower Highlands. In all
the surveyed agro-ecological zones, except for LM 4, the cattle reared are of improved quality (Table 20).
Maize and beans still remain the most important and dominant annual crops in all the surveyed seven agro-
ecological zones (Table 21).Dramatically is the yield decrease of food crops, esp. maize. For instance, in
LM3 the small farm survey 1978 showed an average of 3,320 kg/ha in the rst rainy season and 3,378 kg/
ha in the second one. Te survey in 2004 revealed the very low average of between 695 and 887 kg/ha. Even
the farmers with high production level had between 1,016 and 1,396 kg/ha only, a mere third of the yield in
1978 (see Table 21f )! Te main reason is the rapid decline in soil fertility that has taken place over the years.
To reverse this trend is the main task of farm management. Increased use of fertilisers and manure with the
objective of maintaining soil fertility to increase food output per unit area, should be the immediate goal for
the intensively cultivated smallholdings in LH 1, UM1-3 and LM3-4. Specic advice on plant protection
and promotion of semi-zero grazing would be advantageous to the farmers. No mechanization other than
improved hand tools is required. Manual labour will continue to play a signicant role in food production
in all the AEZs.
55
222
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 56
223
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 57
TABLE 20a: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LH 1 OF
MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: m/l i m, Soil Unit: RB 1 Survey area 149 (Kathita)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
Labourers
Number of
children
under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Donkeys
Avg.0 1.05 3.1 0 1.53 3.03 0.07 2.47 2.3 0.67
Avg.1 1.05 3.21 - 3.07 30.33 2 2.47 3 2.22
Up. Qu. 1.69 4 0 2.25 0 0 3.25 3 1
Lo. Qu. 0.5 2 0 0 0 0 1.75 0.75 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.49 0.29 0.14 - 0.13
Avg.1 0.49 0.32 0.18 - 0.16
Up. Qu. 0.83 0.46 0.2 - 0.2
Lo. Qu. 0.19 0.1 0.05 - 0.07
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/
year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu
Total
TLU
Avg.0 5.7 3.2 0 3.3 24.2 0 25.3 100
Avg.1 5.7 3.3 0 - 20.0 0 100
Up. Qu. 8 2.7 0 - 22 0 100
Lo. Qu. 4 2.4 0 - - 0 100
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats mixed =0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha Manure
applied t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 18.9 38 -5 43 - - - 9.8 16.9 1.5 2.5 7.4 12.8
Avg.1 21.9 38 5- 45 - - - 11.8 18.3 1.9 2.9 8.3 12.8
Up. Qu. 26.2 34 - 34 - - - 10.3 18.4 1.2 2.2 5.3 9.4
Lo. Qu. 6.5 - - - - - - 1.2 2.3 0.04 0.08 - -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
224
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 58
TABLE 20b: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 3 OF
MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: s + s, Soil Unit: LBC Survey area 150 (Kirendeni)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
labourers
Perennial
Labourers
Number of children
under 14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry
Avg.0 1.71 2.13 0.06 2.09 7.34 3.5 1.19 0.4 0.97
Avg.1 1.71 2.72 1 3.94 13.82 3.5 2.38 1.1 1.94
Up. Qu. 2.22 3.75 0 3 14.25 4.75 2 1 2
Lo. Qu. 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.68 0.82 0.10 0.02 0.09
Avg.1 0.68 0.84 0.15 - 0.32
Up. Qu. 0.95 1 0.19 - 0.08
Lo. Qu. 0.06 0.23 0 - 0.71
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity Crops/
year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Pasture & Fodder
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 5.6 1.4 0.04 1.5 2.9 0.1 3.2 97.3
Avg.1 5.6 1.7 0.6 - 3.5 1.2 - 98
Up. Qu. 8 1.9 0 - 4.1 0 - 100
Lo. Qu. 3 1.1 0 - 4.9 0 - 70.8
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats=0.2
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved seed
% of area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 9.0 19 16 17 14 5 4 - - 1.1 0.9 1.6 1.3
Avg.1 18.0 21 22 18 18 19 20 - - 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.5
Up. Qu. 9.0 11 10 11 10 0 0 14.7 - 0.8 0.7 1.2 1.2
Lo. Qu. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - 0 0 0 0
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
225
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 59
TABLE 20c: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LH 3 4 OF
MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: f(m) i (s/vs), Soil Unit: RB5 Survey area 151 (Kithithina)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
Labourers
Number of children
under 14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Donkeys
Avg.0 0.31 0.97 0.03 3.9 0.23 3.13 0.97 0.9
Avg.1 0.31 2.42 1 9.75 3.5 3.13 1.81 3
Up. Qu. 0.3 2 0 4.25 0 4.25 1.25 1
Lo. Qu. 0.2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.30 0 0 0 0.01
Avg.1 0.30 0 0 0 0.01
Up. Qu. 0.3 0 0 0 0.01
Lo. Qu. 0.2 0 0 0 0
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total
cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 1.8 3.5 0.1 5.3 - - - 97
Avg.1 1.8 8.7 3.3 - - - - 100
Up. Qu. 2 7.3 0 - - - - 100
Lo. Qu. 1 0 0 - - - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 12.5 - - - - 4.6 - 3.4 - 5.2 -
Avg.1 41.5 - - - - 5.5 - 14.6 - 15.5 -
Up. Qu. 27.5 - - - - 5.3 - 0.8 - 10 -
Lo. Qu. 0 - - - - 3.6 - 0 - 0 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
226
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 60
TABLE 20d: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ UM 5 OF MERU
CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: vs/s + vs/s, Soil Unit: LB 11 Survey area 152 (Thiira)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land ha
Livestock Numbers
Family Adults
Casual
Labourers
Number of children
under 14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Avg.0 2.96 2.94 0.87 5.55 3.77 5.68 1.45
Avg.1 2.96 3.37 3.38 7.48 3.77 8.38 2.05
Up. Qu. 3.6 4 1 7 5 7 2
Lo. Qu. 1.2 1 0 0 2 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 2.14 0 0.77 0 0.05
Avg.1 2.17 - 1.01 0 0.43
Up. Qu. 2.4 0 1.2 0 0
Lo. Qu. 0.8 0 0.1 0 0.3
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 4.3 0.9 0.3 1.4 4.2 1.1 6.0 77.2
Avg.1 4.3 0.8 1.1 - 3.7 3.3 - 83.7
Up. Qu. 6 0.8 0.3 - 3.7 0.8 - 100
Lo. Qu. 2 1.1 0 - - 0 - 40
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 3.5 - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.5 - 1.0 -
Avg.1 7.8 - - - - - - 0.5 - 0.8 - 1.1 -
Up. Qu. 6.2 - - - - - - 0.3 - 0.8 - 1.3 -
Lo. Qu. 0 - - - - - - 0 - 0.0 - 1.3 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
227
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 61
TABLE 20e: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ UM 2 OF
MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: m + s/m, Soil Unit: RB 2 Survey area 153 (Karongoni)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
Labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits Pigs
Avg.0 0.80 1.47 0 3.5 2.7 0.3 0.77 3.87 13.3 1.6
Avg.1 0.80 2.44 0 4.2 6.75 2.25 7.67 3.87 19 2.29
Up. Qu. 1 3 0 5 6 0 0 5 15.25 2
Lo. Qu. 0.4 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 0.40 0.21 0.07 0.05 0.07
Avg.1 0.40 0.28 0.20 0.8 0.12
Up. Qu. 0.4 0.4 0.1 0 0.1
Lo. Qu. 0.2 0.01 0 0 0.19
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Pasture & Fodder
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 4.4 2.0 0 2.4 24.4 0 - 100
Avg.1 4.4 3.3 0 - 13.4 0 - 100
Up. Qu. 6 3.3 0 - - 0 - 100
Lo. Qu. 3 0 0 - - - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats mixed =0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 33.7 3.6 6.7 4.7 8.7 2.9 5.5 10.0 - 0.1 0.2 1.9 3.5
Avg.1 45.9 5.6 8.1 8.2 11.8 29.5 42.1 11.1 15.9 2.0 2.8 3.0 4.2
Up. Qu. 50.5 3.9 3.9 4.7 4.7 0 0 13.9 13.9 0 0 2.5 2.5
Lo. Qu. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.6 - 0 0 0 0
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
228
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 62
TABLE 20f: ASSETS, LAND USE, FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 3 OF
MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: s + s, Soil Unit: RB 3 Survey area 154 (Mariani)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
Labourers
Number of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits Pigs
Avg.0 1.59 1.47 0.1 3.7 6.07 0.63 0.07 2.47 4.57 2.43
Avg.1 1.59 2.10 3 4.27 8.67 2.71 1 2.47 5.48 3.17
Up. Qu. 2.05 2 0 5 10 0.5 0 3 5.25 4
Lo. Qu. 0.55 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0.75
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 1.22 0.03 0.13 0 0.21
Avg.1 1.22 0.3 0.44 0 0.31
Up. Qu. 1.6 0 0.1 0.14 0.21
Lo. Qu. 0.4 0 0.15 0 0
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 5.7 1.0 0.1 1.3 12.3 0.8 15.9 99
Avg.1 5.7 1.5 1.9 - 5.3 6.8 - 100
Up. Qu. 7 1.1 0 - 22 0 - 100
Lo. Qu. 4 0 0 - - - - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats mixed =0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 11.4 2.9 - 4.2 - - - 2.0 - 0.8 - 1.0 -
Avg.1 14.2 3.7 15.0 4.7 19.1 - - 2.1 8.7 2.2 9.1 2.1 8.4
Up. Qu. 10.9 2.5 - 4.1 - - - 1 - 0.8 - 1.3 -
Lo. Qu. 4.8 1.0 - 1.0 - - - 1.6 - 0 - 0 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
229
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 63
TABLE 20g: ASSETS, LAND USE & FARMING INTENSITY AND INPUTS IN AEZ LM 4 OF
MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: s/vs + vs/s, Soil Unit: UI 1 Survey area 155 (Makanyanga)
Range
Assets People on farm
Land
ha
Livestock Numbers
Family
Adults
Casual
labourers
Numbers of
children under
14 years
Dairy Zebu
Sheep &
Goats
Poultry Rabbits Pigs
Avg.0 4.84 0 6.03 16.67 14.2 0.27 0.1 4.1 0.8 2.27
Avg.1 4.84 7.54 17.86 21.3 8 3 4.1 1.85 2.62
Up. Qu. 7.6 0 9.5 20.25 21.25 0 0 5 1 3
Lo. Qu. 1.75 0 1 6 0 0 0 3 0 1.75
Land Use
Range
Ann. Crops
ha
Perm. Crops
ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
ha
Fallow
ha
Other Use
ha
Avg.0 2.19 0.04 2.61 0 0
Avg.1 2.19 0.08 2.70 0 0
Up. Qu. 2.5 0.05 4 0 1.05
Lo. Qu. 1.13 0 0.4 0 0.22
Farming Diversity & Stocking Intensity
Range
Cropping
Diversity
Crops/year
Stocking Rate
Improved
Cattle % of
total cattle
Farm Land
TLU/ha
Perennial pasture & Fodder Crops
TLU/ha
Dairy Zebu Total TLU Dairy Zebu Total TLU
Avg.0 6.93 0 1.25 1.6 0 2.31 3.0 0
Avg.1 6.93 0 1.56 - 0 2.80 - -
Up. Qu. 9 0 1.25 - 0 2.38 - 0
Lo. Qu. 6 0 0.57 - 0 2.5 - 0
TLU: Tropical Livestock Unit is a KARI derived factor loading for animals stock in the tropics e.g. dairy =1.1, local breeds=1.0,
cross breeds=1.05, sheep=0.11 and goats=0.09. Hence, sheep & goats mixed =0.1
Inputs Applied
Range
Improved
seed % of
area
Fertilizer applied as pure nutrient
kg/ha
Manure
applied
t/ha
Plant protection
N P
2
O
5
K
2
O
Insecticide
kg/ha
Fungicide
kg/ha
AC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC AC PC
Avg.0 5.3 0.1 4.0 0 0 - - 0.9 2.0 0.05 0.1 1.1 -
Avg.1 12.2 2.4 - 0 0 - - 1.0 2.3 0.15 0.3 1.1 -
Up. Qu. 8.9 0 0 0 0 - - 0.6 1.5 0.04 0.1 1.6 -
Lo. Qu. 0 0 - 0 0 - - 0.4 0.5 0 0 0.5 -
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. Qu. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
AC = Annual crops
PC = Perennial crops
230
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 64
TABLE 21a: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LH1 OF MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: m/l i m, Soil Unit: RB 1 Survey area 149 (Kathita)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average 0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.02 0.14 0 0 0.55 4.66
Beans & Irish potatoes 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.15 1.27
Cabbages 0.06 0.11 0.1 0 1.81 15.35
Carrots 0.02 0.06 0.04 0 0.7 5.94
Chewing cane 0.00 0.02 0 0 0.04 0.34
Cut fowers 0.03 0.11 0.02 0 0.95 8.06
French beans 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.4 3.39
Irish potatoes 0.10 0.17 0.2 0 3.08 26.12
Kales 0.01 0.06 0 0 0.23 1.95
Maize 0.05 0.17 0.05 0 1.53 12.98
Maize & beans 0.06 0.22 0.06 0 1.65 13.99
Spring onions 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.85
Red creoles 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 2.54
Snow peas 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 1.70
Tomatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.85
Total Sample Area 0.39 11.79 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.01 0.1 0 0 0.2 3.29
Beans & Irish
potatoes
0.01 0.08 0 0 0.15 2.47
Cabbages 0.01 0.08 0.03 0 0.68 11.18
Carrots 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.15 2.47
Irish potatoes 0.06 0.14 0.06 0 1.73 28.45
Kales 0.01 0.08 0 0 0.15 2.47
Maize 0.05 0.21 0.01 0 1.49 24.51
Maize & beans 0.04 0.12 0.06 0 1.23 20.23
Spring onions 0.01 0.15 0 0 0.3 4.93
Total Sample Area 0.2 6.08 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.05 0.58
Bananas 0.01 0.03 0 0 0.16 1.85
Coffee 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 2.32
Tea 0.27 0.34 0.43 0.1 8.22 95.25
Total Sample Area 0.29 8.63 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
231
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 65
TABLE 21b: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 3 OF MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: s + s, Soil Unit: LBC Survey area 150 (Kirendeni)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Asian vegetables 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.98
Beans 0.14 0.35 0.2 0 4.6 22.47
Cassava 0.03 0.41 0 0 0.82 4.01
Cow peas 0.01 0.09 0 0 0.37 1.81
French beans 0.04 0.24 0 0 1.42 6.94
Green grams 0.05 0.23 0 0 1.58 7.72
Karella 0.02 0.17 0 0 0.42 2.05
Maize 0.12 0.28 0.2 0 3.7 18.08
Maize & beans 0.12 0.34 0.2 0 3.24 15.83
Maize & French
beans
0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 1.95
Maize & green grams 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.98
Ndudhi 0.00 0.06 0 0 0.12 0.59
Okra 0.06 0.5 0 0 1.5 7.33
Pigeon peas 0.02 0.18 0 0 0.7 3.42
Sorghum 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 1.95
Tobacco 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 3.91
Total Sample Area 0.68 20.47 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Brinjals 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 1.32
Beans 0.08 0.31 0.08 0 2.5 16.45
Cassava 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 5.26
Cow peas 0.01 0.06 0 0 0.17 1.12
Finger millet 0.00 0.03 0 0 0.03 0.20
French beans 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 1.32
Green grams 0.04 0.20 0 0 1.18 7.76
Karella 0.02 0.25 0 0 0.5 3.29
Maize 0.10 0.28 0.2 0 3.3 21.71
Maize & beans 0.12 0.37 0.18 0 3.74 24.61
Okra 0.01 0.1 0 0 0.2 1.32
Pigeon peas 0.02 0.25 0 0 0.5 3.29
Pigeon peas &
sorghum
0.01 0.2 0 0 0.4 2.63
Sorghum 0.01 0.21 0 0 0.43 2.83
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.08 0 0 0.15 0.99
Tobacco 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 5.26
Tomatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.66
Total Sample Area 0.5 15.2 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.00 0.06 0 0 0.06 0.25
Bananas 0.61 0.66 0.93 0.2 17.25 71.70
Mangoes 0.21 0.48 0.2 0 6.75 28.05
Total Sample Area 0.82 24.06 100
232
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 66
TABLE 21c: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LH 3 4 OF MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: f(m) i, (s/vs) Soil Unit: RB5 Survey area 151 (Kithithina)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.1 1.15
Beans & Irish potatoes 0.04 1.1 0 0 1.1 12.64
Chewing cane 0.00 0.01 0 0 0.01 0.11
Irish potatoes 0.01 0.09 0 0 0.44 5.06
Maize 0.02 0.18 0 0 0.55 6.32
Maize & beans 0.02 0.23 0 0 0.7 8.05
Maize, beans & Irish
potatoes
0.19 0.23 0.2 0.1 5.6 64.37
Snow peas 0.01 0.1 0 0 0.2 2.30
Total Sample Area 0.29 8.7 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Irish potatoes 0.01 0.3 0 0 0.3 10.87
Beans & Irish potatoes 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 14.49
Maize, beans & Irish
potatoes
0.04 0.22 0 0 1.3 47.10
Wheat 0.03 0.25 0 0 0.76 27.54
Total Sample Area 0.09 2.76 100
Perennial Crops
Crop
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Bananas 0.0005 0.01 0 0 0.01 100
Total Sample Area 0.0005 0.01 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
233
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 67
TABLE 21d: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ UM 5 OF MERU CENTRAL DISTRICT
Subzone: vs/s + vs/s, Soil Unit: LB 11 Survey area 152 (Thiira)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.64
Chickpeas 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.16
Cotton 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.32
Dolichos 0.02 0.18 0 0 0.54 0.86
Field peas 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.64
Green grams 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.16
Irish potatoes 0.2 0.34 0.2 0 4.46 7.12
Maize & beans 1.14 1.41 1.2 0.4 35.2 56.23
Maize & Irish potatoes 0.17 0.77 0 0 5.4 8.63
Maize & Njahi 0.08 0.8 0 0 2.4 3.83
Maize, beans & dolichos 0.02 0.6 0 0 0.6 0.96
Maize, beans & cowpeas 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 1.28
Njahi 0.03 0.27 0 0 0.8 1.28
Total Sample Area 2.08 62.6 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans & Njahi 0.02 0.5 0 0 0.5 0.91
Chickpeas 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.18
Cotton 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.37
Dolichos 0.03 0.3 0 0 0.9 1.65
Field peas 0.02 0.6 0 0 0.6 1.10
Green grams 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.18
Irish potatoes 0.23 0.45 0.4 0 5.9 10.79
Maize & beans 1.23 1.47 1.2 0.4 38.1 69.65
Maize & Irish potatoes 0.12 0.6 0 0 3.6 6.58
Maize & Njahi 0.04 0.6 0 0 1.2 2.19
Maize, beans &
dolichos
0.02 0.6 0 0 0.6 1.10
Maize, Beans & Njahi 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 1.46
Njahi 0.05 0.47 0 0 1.4 2.56
Total Sample Area 1.82 54.7 100
NB: No Perennial Crops were reported
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
234
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 68
TABLE 21e: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ UM 2 OF MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: m + s/m, Soil Unit: RB 2 Survey area 153 (Karongoni)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.25 0.39 0.4 0 7.56 62.84
Maize 0.09 0.18 0.13 0 2.55 21.20
Maize & beans 0.06 0.22 0.16 0 1.72 14.30
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.83
Tobacco 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.83
Total Sample Area 0.40 12.03 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.08 0.20 0.13 0 2.35 18.85
Maize 0.26 0.37 0.4 0.19 8.16 65.44
Maize & beans 0.05 0.20 0.12 0 1.62 12.99
Soyabeans 0.01 0.12 0 0 0.24 1.92
Sweet potatoes 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 0.80
Total Sample Area 0.4 12.47 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Bananas 0.05 0.11 0.1 0 1.69 26.66
Coffee 0.15 0.28 0.4 0 4.10 64.67
Mangoes 0.01 0.13 0 0 0.40 6.31
Paw paws 0.00 0.1 0 0 0.1 1.58
Pumpkins 0.00 0.05 0 0 0.05 0.79
Total Sample Area 0.21 6.34 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
235
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 69
TABLE 21f: CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 3 OF MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: s + s, Soil Unit: RB 3 Survey area 154 (Mariani)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.44 0.61 0.8 0 13.32 36.45
Cow peas 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.55
Maize 0.47 0.61 0.65 0.08 14.12 38.64
Maize & beans 0.28 1.06 0.28 0 8.5 23.26
Millet 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 1.09
Total Sample Area 1.21 36.54 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.41 0.56 0.65 0 12.42 34.58
Cow peas 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.56
Maize 0.48 0.66 0.65 0 14.42 40.14
Maize & beans 0.29 0.97 0.28 0 8.7 24.22
Tobacco 0.01 0.18 0 0 0.18 0.50
Total Sample Area 1.2 35.92 100
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Avocado 0.03 0.06 0.05 0 0.98 24.87
Bananas 0.06 0.08 0.05 0 1.66 42.13
Coffee 0.02 0.3 0 0 0.6 15.23
Mangoes 0.02 0.05 0.03 0 0.65 16.50
Paw paws 0.00 0.01 0 0 0.05 1.27
Total Sample Area 0.13 3.94 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
236
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 70
TABLE 21g CROPPING PATTERNS IN AEZ LM 4 OF MERU SOUTH DISTRICT
Subzone: s/vs + vs/s, Soil Unit: UI 1 Survey area 155 (Makanyanga)
First Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Cow peas 0.34 0.58 0.6 0 9.8 19.37
Cow peas & sunfower 0.05 1.6 0 0 1.6 3.16
Finger millet 0.01 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.40
Green grams 0.41 0.62 0.65 0 12.4 24.51
Maize 0.05 0.35 0 0 1.4 2.77
Maize & cotton 0.12 0.9 0 0 3.6 7.11
Maize & cow peas 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.79
Maize & green grams 0.03 0.33 0 0 1 1.98
Maize, cotton &
green grams
0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.79
Maize, cow peas &
green grams
0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 1.58
Bulrush millet 0.25 0.49 0.4 0 7.4 14.62
Millet & cow peas 0.05 0.53 0 0 1.6 3.16
Millet & green grams 0.05 0.7 0 0 1.4 2.77
Millet & sorghum 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.79
Sorghum 0.17 0.5 0.25 0 5 9.88
Sorghum & cotton 0.04 1.2 0 0 1.2 2.37
Sorghum & cow peas 0.05 0.53 0 0 1.6 3.16
Sorghum & green grams 0.01 0.4 0 0 0.4 0.79
Total Sample Area 1.69 50.6 100
Second Rainy Season
Annual & Bi-annual Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Beans 0.03 0.4 0 0 0.8 1.21
Cotton & cow peas 0.04 1.2 0 0 1.2 1.82
Cotton & millet 0.11 1.07 0 0 3.2 4.85
Cow peas 0.12 0.44 0.13 0 3.5 5.30
Cow peas & sunfower 0.04 1.2 0 0 1.2 1.82
Green grams 0.19 0.52 0.2 0 5.7 8.64
Maize 0.18 0.77 0.05 0 5.4 8.18
Maize & cotton 0.25 1.3 0.4 0 8.6 13.03
Maize & cow peas 0.06 0.6 0 0 1.8 2.73
Maize & green grams 0.12 0.51 0.05 0 3.6 5.45
Maize, cotton & cow peas 0.2 6 0 0 6 9.09
Maize, cotton & green
grams
0.11 1.6 0 0 3.2 4.85
Maize, cow peas & green
grams
0.04 1.2 0 0 1.2 1.82
Bulrush millet 0.31 0.58 0.5 0 9.2 13.94
Millet & cow peas 0.08 0.6 0 0 2.4 3.64
Millet & green grams 0.03 0.5 0 0 1 1.52
Millet & sorghum 0.04 0.6 0 0 1.2 1.82
Millet & sunfower 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 1.21
Sorghum 0.09 0.31 0.2 0 2.8 4.24
Sorghum & cow peas 0.05 0.53 0 0 1.6 2.42
Sorghum & green grams 0.05 0.4 0 0 0.8 1.21
Sorghum & pigeon peas 0.03 0.8 0 0 0.8 1.21
Total Sample Area 2.2 66.0 100
237
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 71
Perennial Crops
Crops
Average
0
ha
Average
1
ha
Upper
Quartile
ha
Lower
Quartile
ha
Total Sample Area of 30 Farms
ha %
Cashew nuts 0.01 0.19 0 0 0.19 14.84
Mangoes 0.03 0.08 0.06 0 1.05 82.03
Oranges 0.00 0.01 0 0 0.01 0.78
Paw paws 0.00 0.00 0 0 0.03 2.34
Total Sample Area 0.04 1.28 100
NOTES:
Avg.0 = average of all sample farms
Avg.1 = average of farms, excluding zero entries
Up. Qu./Lo. = Upper/Lower Quartile, refers to individual farms, 50% of all sample cases lie between these
238
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 72
3.3.5 INTRODUCTION TO THE ACTUAL LAND USE SYSTEMS AND POTENTIAL
INTENSIFICATION BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT
A more detailed description can be found together with calculations of rentability in the Farm Management
Guidelines of each district and in the KARI Fertilizer Use Manual (Muriuki and Qureshi, 2001). Zone UM
1 is not described here because it is similar to that in Embu district.
Subzone LH 1 m/l i m of the Tea - Dairy Zone
Tis is the Tea Dairy Zone, with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
as typied by Kathita sub-location of Meru Central district. Most of the cattle kept in this zone are of im-
proved type. Tis has enhanced milk production and in return cash income for the majority of farmers. A
variety of crops besides tea are grown. Tese include: beans, Irish potatoes, cabbages, carrots, chewing sugar
cane, cut owers, French beans, kales, maize, onions, snow peas and tomatoes (Table 21). Most are very
high value crops, which can be readily sold in nearby markets and in Nairobi city. Te main problem that
needs to be addressed with regard to these high value crops is the exploitation of farmers by middlemen. A
way out of this situation is for the farmers to form strong farmers groups, which can lobby for favourable
prices and can sell their produce directly to the buyers without having to go through the middle- men. Te
perennial crops grown include: tea, avocado, bananas and in lower places coee. Coee production has
been on the decline due to poor prices and the collapse of the marketing system. Maize and beans remain
the dominant food crops. With minimal inputs of 0.5 tons/ha of manure, farmers reported maize yields of
3312 kg/ha against the agro-ecological unit potential of 5000 kg/ha (Table 22). It can be clearly seen from
this that unless farmers use the required fertilizer inputs to replenish the soil nutrients, yields of the staple
crops like maize will continue declining at an alarming rate. Tis will in the near future mean inadequate
food to feed the population!
239
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 73
TABLE 22a: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LH 1, m/l i m, RB 1
Survey area 149 (Kathita)
Crop, Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: LH 1 TEA DAIRY ZONE
Subzone: m/l i m (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season 165 or more, 2
nd
rainy season 135 - 155)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 1= ando-humic NITISOLS; with humic ANDOSOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 700 1100
mm
2
nd
rainy season: 600 - 900 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
1575
0
0
-
0.3
1611
0
0
-
0.5
* 599
0
0
-
0.3
750
0
0
-
0.5
*
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- -
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
1845
0
0
-
0.1
3090
0
0
-
0.3
3312
0
0
-
0.5
ca. 5000 720
-
0
0
-
0
1428
-
0
0
-
0.3
1650
-
0
0
-
0.5
ca. 4500
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years; growing periods may be considered longer
due to immediately Iollowing second rainy season by middle rains. Then the second growing period is shorter than the given fgures
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
* Potential for local maize not known; no experimental results
240
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 74
Subzone LM 3 s + s of the Cotton Zone
Tis is a Cotton Zone with two short cropping seasons as found in Kirendeni sub-location of Meru Central
district and Mariani Sub-location of Meru South district. Although this is a cotton zone, no farmer reported
growing this crop (Table 21). Te reason for this is that the cotton industry in Kenya has been experiencing
serious marketing problems which forced many ginneries to close down. In the absence of these, farmers
found it extremely dicult to market their crop and hence abandoned growing the crop. With current new
marketing incentives through AGOA, it is hoped that farmers will resume growing cotton in the near future.
Te current crop list in this zone include: Asian vegetables, beans, cassava, cowpeas, French beans, green
grams, maize, okra, tomatoes, pigeon peas, sorghum, nger millet, sweet potatoes and tobacco (Table 21).
Te diversication of crops by farmers is encouraging as a measure of spreading risk. Te permanent crops
are avocado, bananas and mangoes. Maize and beans are the dominant staple food. Te yields of maize are
still far below the agro-ecological unit potential (Table 22). Farmers will have no choice but to increase the
fertilizer and manure inputs used on their farms if the issue of food security is to be adequately addressed.
241
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 75
TABLE 22b: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 3, s + s, LBC
Survey area 150 (Kirendeni)
Crop, Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: LM 3 COTTON ZONE
Subzone: s + s (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season 85 - 105, 2
nd
rainy 85 - 105)
Unit with predom. Soil: LBC = IRONSTONE SOILS; with LITHOSOLS and
undifferentiated VERTISOLS and vertic GLEYSOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season:
300 500 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 320 - 500 mm in at least 10
out 15 of years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Improved maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 2238
-
-
-
-
2230
50
50
-
-
ca. 3500
on better
soils of the
complex
- 2438
20
10
-
-
2944
50
50
-
-
ca. 3800
on better
soils of the
complex
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 1350 1374
50
57
-
-
* - - -
Improved maize
inter-cropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- - - - 1450
-
-
-
-
1505
57
57
-
-
*
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
* Potential of local maize not known; no experimental results
242
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 76
TABLE 22c: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LH 3 - 4, f(m) i (s/vs), RB5
Survey area 151 (Kithithina)
No table is reasonable here because less than 8 farmers reported growing maize or maize and
beans. Most farmers intercrop maize, beans and Irish potatoes. All the farmers did not use
Iertilizers but manure on their felds. There are very Iew Iull time Iarmers here near Timau.
Subzone UM 5, vs/s + vs/s of the Livestock Sorghum Zone
Tis is a Livestock Sorghum Zone, with two very short to short cropping seasons occurring in Tiira Sub-loca-
tion in the Northeast of Meru Central district. It is surprising that whereas this is a sorghum zone, none of
the farmers grew this crop because they come from maize zones (forced by population pressure) (Table 21).
Te farmers are still persistent on growing maize, even though it is not well suited for this zone. Tis explains
the low maize yields reported by farmers (Table 22). Te cropping matrix includes: beans, chickpeas, cotton,
Dolichos beans, eld peas, green grams, Irish potatoes and cowpeas (Table 21). No permanent crops were
reported in this zone.
243
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 77
TABLE 22d: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
UM 5, vs/s + vs/s, LB 11
Survey area 152 (Thiira)
Crop, Yields
3)
and
Inputs
AEZ: UM 5 LIVESTOCK SORGHUM ZONE
Subzone: vs/s+vs/s (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season 65 - 75, 2
nd
rainy season 65 - 75)
Unit with predom. Soil: LB 11= chromic VERTISOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season:
230 300 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 240-300 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- - - - - -
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 913 978 *
Hybrid maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 1823
15
10
-
-
2420
20
20
0.1
ca. 3400
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
* Potential of local maize not known; no experimental results
244
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 78
Subzone UM 2, m + s/m of the Main Coee Zone
Tis is the main Coee Zone with a medium and a short to medium cropping season, analysed in Karongoni
sub-location of Meru South district. About 64% of the farmers reported growing coee (Table 21). Tere
is less diversication of crops grown in this zone than in LH 1 as seen in Table 21. Te annual crops grown
include: beans, maize, sweet potatoes, soya beans, tobacco and pumpkins. Te permanent crops include:
coee, bananas, mangoes and paw paws. Most farmers grow mono-cropped French beans as a high value
cash crop. Maize yields hardly reach half the agro-ecological unit potential of 4500 kg/ha due to insucient
use of fertilizer inputs (Table 22).
245
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 79
TABLE 22e: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
UM 2, m + s/m, RB 2
Survey area 153 (Karongoni)
Crop Yields
3)
and Inputs
AEZ: UM 2 MAIN COFFEE ZONE
Subzone: m + s/m: (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season: 140 - 170, 2
nd
rainy season 110 - 120)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 2 = humic NITISOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season:
600 720 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 400 450 mm in at least 10
out of 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local
pure stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
more interest in monocropped beans
Hybrid maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Hybrid maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- - 2250
10
12
-
-
ca. 4500 - - -
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
246
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 80
Subzone LM 3 s + s of the Cotton Zone
Tis is a Cotton Zone with two short cropping seasons as found in Kirendeni sub-location of Meru Central
district and Mariani Sub-location of Meru South district. Although this is a cotton zone, no farmer reported
growing this crop (Table 21). Te reason for this is that the cotton industry in Kenya has been experiencing
serious marketing problems which forced many ginneries to close down. In the absence of these, farmers
found it extremely dicult to market their crop and hence abandoned growing the crop. With current new
marketing incentives through AGOA, it is hoped that farmers will resume growing cotton in the near future.
Te current crop list in this zone include: Asian vegetables, beans, cassava, cowpeas, French beans, green
grams, maize, okra, tomatoes, pigeon peas, sorghum, nger millet, sweet potatoes and tobacco (Table 21).
Te diversication of crops by farmers is encouraging as a measure of spreading risk. Te permanent crops
are avocado, bananas and mangoes. Maize and beans are the dominant staple food. Te yields of maize are
still far below the agro-ecological unit potential (Table 22). Farmers will have no choice but to increase the
fertilizer and manure inputs used on their farms if the issue of food security is to be adequately addressed.
247
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 81
TABLE 22f: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 3, s + s, Unit: RB 3
Survey area 154 (Mariani)
Crop, Yields
3)
and
Inputs
AEZ: LM 3 COTTON ZONE
Subzone: s + s (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season 85 - 105, 2
nd
rainy season 85 - 105)
Unit with predom. Soil: RB 3= eutric NITISOLS; with nito- chromic CAMBISOLS and
ACRISOLS and LUVISOLS, partly lithic, pisoferric or petroferric phase
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season: 300 500
mm
2
nd
rainy season: 320 - 500 mm in at least 10
out 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
-
5
5
-
-
1138
6
10
-
2.5
1308
8
11
-
5.2
*
- 1138
6
10
-
2.5
1688
8
11
-
5.1
*
Improved maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Improved maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 1327
13
18
-
5.8
1904
15
24
-
8.6
ca. 3800 - 1814
12
18
-
5.8
2195
15
24
-
8.4
ca. 4000
NOTES
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus optimal crop
management
*Potential for local maize not known; no experimental results
248
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 82
Subzone LM 4 s/vs + s/vs of the Marginal Cotton Zone
Tis is a Marginal Cotton Zone with two short to very short cropping seasons, as typied by Makanyanga Sub-
location of Meru South district. Tis is a subzone with a large diversication of crops grown (Table 21).
Te crop list includes: maize, bulrush millet, nger millet, sorghum, cowpeas, green grams, cotton and
sunower. It is encouraging to note that many farmers grow cowpeas and millets, which are actual very well
suited to this subzone. Te yields of maize are still far below the agro-ecological unit potential (Table 22).
Farmers will have no choice but to increase the organic and articial fertilizer inputs used on their farms if
the issue of food security is to be adequately addressed. Much intercropping (Table 21g) is a step towards
more ecological sustainable land use. Te permanent crops include: cashew nuts, mangoes, oranges and paw
paws.
249
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 83
TABLE 22g: INCREASE OF YIELDS BY BETTER FARM MANAGEMENT IN AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT
1)
LM 4, s/vs + s/vs, UI 1
Survey Area 155 (Makanyanga)
Crop, Yields
3)
and
Inputs
AEZ: LM 4 MARGINAL COTTON ZONE
Subzone: s/vs + s/v s (Periods in days
2)
: 1
st
rainy season 75 - 85, 2
nd
rainy season 55 - 75)
Unit with predom. Soil: UI 1= nito - rhodic FERRALSOLS
Reliable rainfall: 1
st
rainy season:
250-330 mm
2
nd
rainy season: 220-270 mm in at least 10
out 15 years
Farmers in Prod. Level Farmers in Prod. Level
Maize local pure
stand
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
I=low II=med.
4)
III=high
5)
AEU Pot.
6)
Improved maize
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- 3375
-
30.7
20
-
-
- ca. 4000
KCB
- - - ca. 2500
DLC
Maize local
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
Improved maize
intercropped
with beans
Yields
3)
kg/ha
Fertilizer:
N kg/ha
P
2
O
5
kg/ha
K
2
O kg/ha
Manure t/ha
- - - - - -
NOTES:
1)
Source: Small Farm Survey (2004)
2)
Figures of these cereals growing periods should be reached or surpassed in 6 out of 10 years
3)
Achieved average yields with average rainfall
4)
Farmers with medium inputs
5)
Farmers with high inputs of fertilizer, insecticides, soil and water conservation
6)
Potential yield according to crop list and local climate of this Agro-Ecological Unit if soils are optimally fertilized, plus
optimal crop management
250
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 84
3.3.6 FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPORTANT
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL UNITS
Te Fertiliser Use Recommendation Project of the GTZ (1986 - 92) had two trial sites in the central and
southern part of the former Meru district, one on Nitisols at Kaguru FTC in UM2, the other in Mitunguu
in LM3 on Vertisols and nito-rhodic Ferralsol with low fertility. For the other zones, subzones and units
Muriuki and Qureshi showed which results from other districts could be representative (see map of Fer-
tiliser Recommendations and Farm Survey Areas) and made curves for fertiliser response
1
.
Recommended rates of an AEU increase into a wetter subzone and decrease into a drier one if the soil unit
extends there (see dark and light grey shades in the small maps). We have tend to lower the rates due to the
low nancial basis of the smallholder farmers. Te optimum can be calculated from the curve formulas in
Muriuki & Qureshi Fertiliser Use Manual, KARI, Nairobi 2001. In the long run the maintenance amount
must be given to maintain the nutrient content. Some quantities for it can be seen at the end of this chapter
and in the chapter 3.1 General Remarks.
Higher recommendations are given in the Smallholder Farming Handbook of the IRACC and MSS, Nai-
robi 1997, but the economic investment and risk is too high for the local farmers here. A rural small credit
system for the inputs could help a lot. Where scientic sources for quantifying the rates are lacking, some
conclusions could be taken from the dierence of inputs and yields between the low and high production
levels of the Farm Survey 2004/05. An empty column Other Nutrients Recommended does not mean that
there is nothing necessary, it is because of lacking trials. Signs of deciencies and methods of alleviating it
see Muriuki, A.W. and Qureshi, J.N. (2001), Table 1&2, p.22-23.
Finally it must be mentioned again that fertilising alone will increase the yields only for some years. Te
micronutrients not included in the fertiliser become exhausted. Manuring almost up to the full return of the
extracted nutrients is a must in order to have a stable agrobiological system with continuous production
2
.
On the other hand even macronutrients which is not yet mentioned like potassium (K) because there is still
enough in the soil, must be given in the long run because 1 t of maize needs 23 kg K, 1 t of sorghum even
45 kg, 1 t of groundnuts 50 kg. Cassava is less demanding, only 7 kg K per t, but needs additionally 2 kg of
cobalt (Co) and 1 kg of magnesium (Mg)
3
.
1
Muriuki, A.W. & Qureshi, J.N.: Fertiliser Use Manual. Nairobi kari .
2
Southern China has parts with similar soils to Kenya and stabilized productivity there for hundreds of years by returning to the
elds as much as possible, even the ashes, excrements and urea.
3
Figures in handbooks, from international experience.
251
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 85
252
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 86
253
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 87
TABLE 23a: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS LH1 m/l i m, RB1 and MV2 of the TEA ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize (H613) & beans 50 N 500 (maize)
3)
ca. 500 (maize) Lime 2t 1000 1000
Potatoes 50 N + 20 P 7500 ca. 1500 Lime
4)
Cabbages 50 N + 20 P 11260 ca. 5000 Lime
4)
Second Rainy Season
1)
Maize - - ca. 900 Lime
4)
Maize & beans - - ca. 700 (maize) Lime
4)
Perennial crops
Tea
2)
230 N + 50 P +
40 K
5700 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 128; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area
149.
1)
Late maturing crops continue to next rainy season.
2)
See also recommendations of local Tea Authorities or Companies. .
3)
Beans do not well, too wet and cold.
4)
Lime is very necessary due to very acid soils (except for tea), see Table 23 b.. .
TABLE 23b: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT 80LP, RB1 of the TEA-COFFEE ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize (H614) 50 N + 25 P 400 * Lime 2t 1230 1230
Maize & beans 25 P 350 (maize)
4)
- Lime
Potatoes 50 N + 20 P 4500 ca. 1500 Lime 2t 3420 3420
Cabbages 20 P 9940 ca. 5000 Lime 2t 11100 11100
Second Rainy Season
1)
Beans 20 P 750 * Lime 2t 290 290
Perennial crops
Tea
2)
370 N + 75 P +
50 K
ca. 7000 -
Coffee
3)
180 N + 100 P ca. 1000 Lime
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 132; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm., Vol.6
Embu District, Nairobi ca. 1995, and conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 143; FMHB
Vol. II C, 1983, p. 137.
1)
Late maturing crops continue to next rainy season.
2)
See also recommendations of local Tea Authorities or Companies. .
3)
See also recent recommendations of local Coffee Cooperatives and Embu Agric. Res. Station.
4)
Beans do not well in upper parts during frst rainy sason, too wet and cold. .
* = data not available
254
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 88
TABLE 23c: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS UM 2 m + m & m + s/m, RB 2 of the MAIN
COFFEE ZONE
Crop varieties and Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
kg/Ha
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
1
kg/Ha
Average Yield
Increase if
5 t/ha Manure
are Applied
Other Nutrients
Recommended
3)
First rainy season
Maize (H513 or other H5...) 75 N 1700 ca. 600 Lime
Maize & beans 50 N 1180 maize ca. 550 maize Lime
Beans (GLP2) 12 P 140 Lime
Potatoes (Annet) 50 N 6050 * -
Cabbage (Sugar Loaf)
1)
25 P 5960 * -
Second rainy season
Maize (H513) 50 N 1165 ca. 600 -
Maize & beans 50 N 1275 maize * Lime
Potatoes 50 N 5500
Cabbage 20 P 3700
Perennial crops
Coffee
2)
180 N + 100 P ca. 1000
Napier grass (Bana) 50 N + 20 P ca. 1000 ca. 4000 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertil. Use Manual 2001, p. 135; KARI & FURP: Fertil. Use Recomm. Vol. 3, Meru District,
Nairobi 1995; experim. results from Embu ARS and BIRGIT SCHMIDT; conclu. from the Farm Survey 2004, area 153;
FMHB Vol. II C, 1983, p. 140.
1)
Phosphate is very necessary here, without it very small yield only.
2)
See also recent recommendations of Embu Agricultural Research Station and Mariene Sub-Station.
3)
K and Mg after few years of cultivation if no manure is applied.; * = data not available
255
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 89
256
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 23d: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT UM3 m/s + m/s, RB3 of the MARGINAL COFFEE
ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
1)
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
Hybrid maize 75 N + 25 P 1200 ca. 900 -
Maize & beans 50 N + 25 P 1050 (maize) - -
Second Rainy Season
Hybrid maize 50 N + 25 P ca. 900 ca. 700 -
Maize & beans 25 P ca. 600 (maize) - -
Permanent
Coffee
2)
up to 100 C.A.N.
2)
650 * -
Napier grass (Bana) 50 N + 20 P 1000 ca. 3500 -
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 135; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area
145; IRACC: Small Holder Farming Handbook 1997, p. 147.
1)
Double rates at cereals will bring almost double increase if climate is suitable and there are no pests and diseases.
2)
Up to 100 kg per 10 trees per year, down to 50 kg if rain is below average or annual average is less than 1200 mm.
TABLE 23e: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT LM3 s + s, UI1 of the COTTON ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize KCB 20 N + 25 P 500 ca. 650 Ca, K, Mg
Maize KCB & cowpeas 20 P 210 (maize) *
Second Rainy Season
Maize KCB 25 N + 20 P 500 ca. 700
Maize KCB & beans 20 P ca. 300 (maize) *
Biseasonal (2
nd
to 1
st
r.s.)
Cotton
2)
120 N + 90 P ca. 1000 *
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 135; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm, Vol. 3
Meru District, Nairobi 1995; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 160; IRACC: Small Holder
Farming Handbook 1997, p. 155.
1)
Application in frst rainy season may be uneconomical due to a rain defcit, thereIore low quantities.
2)
See also recent recommendations of the Cotton Board. .
* = data not available
90
257
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 23f: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT LM4 s/vs + s/vs, UI1 of the MARGINAL COTTON
ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Maize DLC
none, rainfall too
risky
ca. 400 -
Maize & cowpeas * -
Second Rainy Season
Maize 15 N + 20 P 460 ca. 600 Ca, K, Mg
Maize & cowpeas 20 P 450 (maize) *
Biseasonal (2
nd
to 1
st
r.s.)
Cotton 50 N + 50 P ca. 600 *
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 135; KARI and GTZ: Fertil. Use Recomm, Vol. 3
Meru District, Nairobi 1995; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 161; IRACC: Small Holder
Farming Handbook 1997, p. 155; * = data not available
91
258
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 92
259
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH
TABLE 23g: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNITS LH3 f(m) i (s/vs) & LH4 (m/s or s/m) i (vs/s), RB5 of
the WHEAT/MAIZE-BARLEY and CATTLE-SHEEP-BARLEY ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Hybrid maize 75 N 950 ca. 800 *
Potatoes - - ca. 5000 *
Second Rainy Season
Barley
No fertiliser
recommended, uneconomical
ca. 500
Sources: MURIUKI & QURESHI: Fertiliser Use Manual 2001, p. 114; conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area
151.
* = data not available
TABLE 23h: FERTILISER AND MANURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AGRO-
ECOLOGICAL UNIT UM5 vs/s + vs/s, LB11 of the LIVESTOCK-
SORGHUM ZONE
Crop varieties and
Season
Recommended
Fertiliser Rates
Average Yield
Increase if this
Rate is Applied
Average Yield
Increase if 5 t/ha
Manure are Applied
kg/ha
Other Nutrients
Recommended
kg/ha kg/ha
First Rainy Season
1)
Very early mat. sorghum
No fertiliser
recommended, uneconomical
Manure
recommended
for sustainability,
although yield
increase depends
very much on rain
Katheka beans
Second Rainy Season
Very early mat. sorghum
No fertiliser
recommended, uneconomical
Katheka beans
Source: Conclusions from the Farm Survey 2004, area 152.
93
260
MERU CENTRAL & SOUTH 94
260
261
MERU NORTH & THARAKA
3.4 MERU NORTH AND THARAKA DISTRICTS GROUP
TABLE OF CONTENTS District Page
3.4.1 Natural Potential 3
Introduction 3
Annual Rainfall Map 4
Table 1: Annual Rainfall 5
Table 2: Temperature 6
Table 3: Potential Evapotranspiration 6
Seasonal Rainfall Maps 7
Table 4: Climate in the Agro-Ecological Zones and Subzones 9
Agro-Ecological Zones Map 10
Agro-Ecological Zones and Subzones (=Legend to the AEZ Map), with Land Use
Potentials and Water Availability &Requirement Diagrams 11
Tables 5 a-d: Climatic Yield Potentials in Semi-arid Subzones 18
Soil Map 22
Soil Distribution, Fertility and Major Characteristics with Legend to the Soil Map 23
3.4.2 Population and Land 26
Meru North District
Table 6: Population in Meru North District 27
Table 7: Composition of Households in Meru North District 7: Composition of Households in Meru North District 7: Composition of Households in Meru North District 31
Table 8: Available Land Area in Meru North District per AEZ and Household 35
Taraka District
Table 9 Population in Taraka District 37
Table 10: Composition of Households in Taraka District 38
Table 11: Available Land Area in Taraka District per AEZ and Household 39
3.4.3 Agricultural Statistics 40
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Meru North District 40
Table 12: Tea 40
Table 13: Coee 40
Table 14: Pyrethrum 40
Development and Trends of Major Cash Crops in Taraka District 41
Table 15a-c: Cotton, Passion fruit, Macadamia 41
Distribution of Farming Activities During the Year 43
Tables 16 a-q: Farming Activities in the Agro-Ecological Zones 43
1
262
3.4.4 Farm Survey 52
Table 17: Farm Survey Sites Representative of the Dominating Agro-Ecological
Subzones and Units 52
Farm Survey Areas and Fertiliser Recommendations Map 53
Tables 18 a-f: Assets, Land Use, Farming Intensity and Inputs 54
Tables 19 a-f: Cropping Pattern 62
3.4.5 Introduction to the Actual Land Use Systems and to the Potential Intensication
by Better Farm Management in Dominating Agro-Ecological Subzones 70
UM1 m/l i m of the Tea and Coee Zone 70
Tables 20 a-h: Increase of Yields by Better Farm Management 71-85
UM2 m + m of the Main Coee Zone 72
UM3 m/s + m/s of the Marginal Coee Zone 74
LM4 s/vs + s/vs of the Marginal Cotton Zone 76
LM5(-4) vs/s + vs/s of the Lower Midland Livestock-Mollet Zone 78
LM4 s/vs + s/vs of the Marginal Cotton Zone 80
LM5 vs/s + vs/s of the Lower Midland Livestock-Millet Zone 82
IL5 vs + vs of the Inner Lowland Livestock-Millet Zone 84
3.4.6 Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations for Important Agro-Ecological Units 86
Map of Important Agro-Ecological Units 87
Tables 21 a-f: Fertiliser and Manure Recommendations: 88-92
UM1 m/l i m, MV6 of the Tea and Coee Zone 88
UM2 m + m, MV6 of the Main Coee Zone 88
UM3 m/s + m/s, MV3 of the Marginal Coee Zone 88
LM3 s/m + s/m & s + s, RB3 of the Cotton Zone 90
LM4 s/vs + s/vs, UI1 of the Marginal Cotton Zone 91
IL5 vs + vs, UU3 of the Livestock-Millet Zone 92
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 2
263
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 3
3.4.1 NATURAL POTENTIAL
INTRODUCTION
Te Nyambene Ranges are the backbone of this District group, being the watershed and the origin of the
fertile volcanic soils within the right altitudes for good cash crops. Due to overpopulation, this zone has no
more space and the soils have become over-exploited and exhausted.
Te extension of cultivation into the zones lying within the rain shadow area north of the Nyambene Ranges
towards Isiolo has now reached its limit. Zone 6 receives inadequate rainfall and the growing periods here
are too short for rainfed agriculture. Livestock keeping can still be practised here because the occurrance of
volcanic ashes support nutritious grasses if they have not been overgrazed.
Te southeastern footplains belong mainly to the Taraka District. Isolated mountains here are relicts of the
600 Million years old folded zone which are almost completely eroded. Te dominating basement gneisses
of this area are less fertile and the application of manure is very necessary. Te rainfall is not very low but
is concentrated in the two rainy seasons which normally support only very short to short growing periods.
Tis climatic situation is dicult for maize cultivation. Runo-water catchment agriculture is a possibility
(see Chapter 2.5), because it also preserves the shallow soils. Te positive inuence of ENSO years in the
second season reaches Zone 5 here (see Chapter 2.4), but the negative inuence of Anti-ENSO years is also
experienced here too.
Livestock keeping is the second most important livelihood activity here, but overstocking poses a danger for
the restoration of the natural potential: On these shallow and stony soils, bush encroachment takes place
very quickly once the grass cover is destroyed, and useless thorny bushes become dominant. Eective growth
of the more palatable bushes is regulated by too much browsing.
Te colours in the rainfall maps give a rst rough optical association of the possible land use. Because of the
concentration of rainfall, some threshold gures are a bit higher compared to other districts. For detailed
information, see AEZ maps, potentials, and soil maps.
264
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 4
265
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 5
TABLE 1: RAINFALL FIGURES FROM SELECTED TYPICAL STATIONS HAVING AT
LEAST 15 YEARS OF RECORDS
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
Agro Ecol.
Zone
Subzone
Kind of
records
Annual
rainfall
mm
Monthly rainfall in mm
J F M A M J J A S O N D
8937003 Isiolo LM 5-6 Average 633 36 36 88 128 33 5 5 5 5 63 151 78
1104 m (Isiolo District) vs + vs 66%
1
616 28 12 75 115 16 0 0 0 0 36 141 56
8937014 Mikinduri UM 2 Av. 1915 46 34 165 490 184 125 10 12 17 300 424 217
1240 m Prim. School m + m 66%
2
1670 15 4 45 378 120 75 2 2 3 100 315 95
8937019 Miathene UM1-2 Av. 1576 46 23 132 385 168 19 12 12 17 264 384 153
1433 m m + m 66% 1360 15 1 32 310 55 0 2 0 0 56 298 39
8937021 Kianjai UM3 Av. 1256 47 32 107 276 115 5 6 4 28 199 318 117
1430 m ChieIs Centre m/s + m/s 66% 875 40 8 30 190 52 1 1 0 0 45 245 35
8937031 Tigania UM 4 - 3 Av. 1175 24 28 103 284 127 13 6 6 14 206 260 105
1478 m Water Supply fs + fs 66% 765 9 3 52 150 40 0 0 0 0 40 145 43
8937041 Laare, UM1-0 Av. 2177 53 40 174 503 258 19 35 23 23 369 443 238
1775 m Nyambene
Ranges
m/l i m 66% 1610 12 20 49 350 60 1 10 0 11 150 395 27
8937053 Mikinduri UM 2 - 1 Av. 2151 75 44 164 491 253 21 16 17 23 295 557 195
1405 m Girls Sec. Sch. m/l i m 66% 1840 30 14 95 398 152 1 3 6 0 140 420 125
8937059 Maua, UM1 - 0 Av. 2602 46 45 186 650 274 49 42 58 49 424 608 170
1600 m Nyambene
Ranges
m/l i m 66%
2
1900 17 6 55 485 250 35 30 25 30 215 450 115
8937060 Muchii UM LH 1 Av. 2304 48 43 178 615 280 28 28 34 44 415 462 129
1905 m Mukuru m/l i m 66% 1846 18 5 51 464 253 20 22 13 26 210 369 89
8937066 Miathene UM 2 Av. 1519 31 47 138 372 132 7 4 9 20 285 368 107
1350 m Sec. School m + m 66%
2
1295 11 5 35 302 45 0 0 0 0 65 280 25
8937071 Kiegoi LH 1 Av. 1804 34 23 101 300 287 56 66 59 42 267 455 114
1920 m Prim. School m/l i m 66%
2
1595 12 3 35 205 158 30 35 32 25 140 365 85
8937086 Atheru Gaiti UM1 Av. 2044 59 21 146 457 211 41 43 48 51 312 453 200
1300 m Coffee Factory m/l i m 66% 1735
8937091 Akachiu UM1 Av. 2293 56 14 137 527 205 34 49 52 53 341 550 275
1420 m ChieIs Camp m/l i m 66%
2
1725 15 8 85 410 130 10 20 22 33 170 415 150
8937092 Atheru Ruujine UM 2 1 Av. 1902 57 15 105 428 307 23 20 29 34 308 415 161
1300 m Coffee Factory m/l i m 66%
2
1300 20 3 35 320 260 20 15 11 20 160 318 110
9037160 Marimanti IL 5-4 Av. 871 29 20 83 268 82 6 2 2 4 86 219 76
610 m W. Dev. Dep. vs/s + vs/s 66% 635 6 3 28 195 15 1 0 0 0 30 135 40
9037184 Tunyai LM 4 Av. 1152 35 14 136 305 75 7 3 2 11 154 285 124
930 m Agric. Camp s/vs + s/vs 66%
2
780 11 2 50 265 25 0 0 0 0 80 165 60
9037187 Chiakariga LM 4 Av. 944 35 20 99 264 45 3 0 3 6 125 246 97
850 m D.O.s OIfce s/vs + s/vs 66%
2
695 7 3 32 193 10 1 0 0 1 48 160 50
9037221 Kiburine Tsetse LM 4 Av. 1090 77 16 108 250 94 10 5 3 13 145 260 110
890 m Fly Res. Centre s/vs + s/vs 66%
2
735 20 10 40 190 20 1 0 0 1 70 162 55
9038010 Gatunga IL 5 Av. 811 27 14 75 230 78 6 1 1 1 73 237 68
610 m Police Post vs/s + vs 66% 590 5 2 25 200 12 1 0 0 0 12 155 20
1
These fgures oI rainIall reliability should be exceeded normally in 10 out oI 15 years.
2
Estimate of this reliability by correlation, no detailed data were available for enough years.
266
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 6
TABLE 2: TEMPERATURE DATA
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
AEZ
1
Kind of
records
Temperature inC
Belt
limits
J F M A M J J A S O N D Yr.
8937003
1104 m
1500 m
LM
1000 m
Isiolo
(Isiolo D.)
LM
5-6
Mean max. 30.8 32.3 31.7 30.1 29.9 29.5 28.9 29.4 30.8 30.9 28.6 29.0 30.2
Mean temp. 23.3 24.3 24.7 24.0 23.9 23.2 22.6 23.0 23.9 24.3 22.6 22.3 23.5
Mean min. 15.7 16.3 17.6 17.8 17.8 16.9 16.3 16.5 16.9 17.6 16.6 15.5 16.8
Abs. min. 10.6 9.0 12.2 13.0 14.4 13.3 11.1 12.2 13.9 13.5 12.4 11.1 12.3
950 m
IL
0 m
9037160
610 m
Marimanti
Water Dev.
Dep.
IL 5
Mean max. 31.9 33.8 34.6 33.1 32.2 31.7 31.0 31.3 33.2 34.2 30.0 30.9 32.3
Mean temp. 25.2 26.8 27.8 27.3 26.5 25.5 25.2 25.4 26.6 27.7 25.2 24.9 26.2
Mean min. 18.4 19.8 20.9 21.4 20.8 19.2 19.4 19.5 20.0 21.1 20.3 18.9 20.0
Abs. min 13.9 12.6 17.0 17.4 17.0 14.5 14.5 15.5 14.6 17.2 16.4 14.1 15.4
1
AEZ = Agro-ecological zone
TABLE 3: AVERAGE POTENTIAL EVAPOTRANSPIRATION
No. and
altitude
Name of
Station
Type
1)
AEZ
Average Potential Evapotranspiration PET in mm Av. Rainfall
2)
J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Year
in mm
% of
PET
8937003 Isiolo interp.
208 203 232 194 206 210 215 233 234 230 184 190 2534 633 25%
1104 m (Isiolo District) LM5-6
8937019 Miathene interp.
133 140 155 135 122 110 110 122 140 150 115 116 1550 1576 102%
1433 m UM 1-2
8937021 Kianja interp.
139 150 165 143 133 120 119 132 152 160 125 126 1670 1256 75%
1430 m ChieIs Centre UM 3
8937041 Laare, interp.
115 126 135 115 110 93 90 95 120 133 110 108 1400 2177 155%
1775 m
Nyambene
Ranges
UM 1-0
9037160 Marimanti calc.
163 171 199 160 158 159 173 194 207 211 141 139 2076 871 42%
610 m W. Dev. Dep. IL 5-4
9037184 Tunyai interp. nterp.
161 168 183 154 150 145 155 170 180 184 138 139 1952 1152 59%
930 m Agric. Camp LM4
9037187 Chiakariga interp.
162 169 185 155 153 150 161 178 188 190 139 139 1969 944 48%
850 m D.O.`s OIfce LM 4
9037221 Kiburine Tsetse interp.
162 169 188 155 150 142 150 172 182 190 139 139 1948 1090 56%
890 m Fly Res. Centre LM4
9038010 Gatunga Interp.
165 175 200 165 160 160 175 195 210 215 140 140 2100 811 39%
610 m Police Post IL 5
1)
Type of equation: calc. = calculated by formula of PENMAN & MCCULLOCH with albedo for green grass 0.2; see
MCCULLOCH (1965): Tables for the Rapid Computation of the PENMAN Estimate of Evaporation.- East African
Agricultural & Forestry Journal, Vol. 30, No.3, p. 286-295; interp. = interpolated from neighbouring stations,
considering altitude and rainfall difference.
AEZ = Agro-Ecol. Zone, explaining table see general part.
2)
The average annual rainfall is very high due to very heavy rains during the rainy seasons. Therefore the
percentages of potential evapotranspiration covered are relatively high too, especially in zone 4. The problem
is to conserve the water surplus in the soil, to prevent the runoII! On the other hand at a place like Lare annual
rainIall amounts 155 oI ETo but it is not yet classifed as Forest zone, because it has 6 semiarid to arid
month.
267
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 7
268
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 8
269
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 9
TABLE 4: CLIMATE IN THE AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES & SUBZONES
Agro-
Ecological
Zone
Subzone
Altitude
in m
Ann. mean
temperature
inC
Ann. av.
rainfall
in mm
66% reliability
of rainfall
1)
66% reliability of cereal and
legumes growing period
1
st
rainy s.
in mm
2
nd
rainy s.
in mm
1
st
rainy s.
2)
in days
2
nd
rainy s.
in days
Total
3)
in days
LH 1
Tea-Dairy Zone
m/l i m 1830-2200 17.5-15.0 1700-2600 700-1100 600-900
165 or
more
135-155 -
LH 2
Wheat/Maize-
Pyrethrum zone
m + m 1890-2130 17.0-15.4 1200-1800 450-650 400-580 135-155 135-155 -
UM 1
Coffe-Tea Zone
m/l i m 1520-1800 19.2-17.6 1650-2400 700-850 650-850
160 or
more
135-155 -
UM 2
Main Coffee Zone
m + m 1280-1680 20.6-18.2 1500-2400 450-800 450-800 135-155 135-155 -
UM3
Marginal Coffee
Zone
m/s + m/s 1280-1520 20.6-19.2 1400-2200 420-750 350-730 115-135 115-135 -
UM 4
Sunfower-Maize
Zone
fs + fs 1520-1770 19.3-18.0 750-1600 250-400 250-450 75-115 75-115 -
LM3
Cotton Zone
s + s 910-1280 22.9-20.6 1000-1400 300-500 320-500 85-105 85-105 -
LM 4
Marginal Cotton
Zone
s/vs + s/vs 760-1220 23.7-21.0 800-1200 250-350 250-450 75-85 75-85 -
LM5
Lower Midland
Livestock-Millet
Zone
vs/s + vs/s
800-1000 24.0-22.9
800-900 230-250 180-270 65-75 65-75 -
vs/s + vs Very small, see Mbeere District
vs + vs/s 750-870 180-240 180-260 45-55 55-70 -
vs + vs 650-850 180-230 170-250 45-55 55-70 -
vu + vs/s 630-660 160-180 160-230 < 40 55-65 -
vu + vs 600-700 150-180 150-200 < 40 40-55 -
LM6
Lower Midland
Ranching Zone
b r Not suitable for rainfed agriculture
4)
IL 5
Inner Lowland
Livestock-Millet
Zone
vs/s + vs/s
550-900 26.0-24.1
730-870 220-250 220-260 55-75 55-75 -
vs/s + vs 730-820 220-270 190-220 55-70 40-55 -
vs + vs 650-750 180-200 150-200 40-55 40-55 -
vu + vs 500-750 130-190 140-190 < 40 40-55 -
IL 6
Inner Lowland
Ranching Zone
b r Not suitable for rainfed agriculture
1)
Amounts surpassed normally in 10 of 15 years, falling during the agro-humid period which allows growing of cereals and
legumes.
2)
More if growing cycle of cultivated plants continues into the period of second rainy season.
3)
Only added if rainfall continues at least for survival (> 0.2 PET) of most long term crops.
4)
Except on suitable places with runo catching techniques (see Chapter 2.6)
270
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 10
271
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 11
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES AND SUBZONES
LH = LOWER HIGHLAND ZONES
LH 1 = Tea- Dai ry Zone
LH 1
m/l i m
= Tea-Dairy Zone
with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. b. to mid March:Peas
1)
, cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. b. of Oct.: Peas
1)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Potatoes, cabbages, carrots, leek, kales, endive
2
nd
rainy season: Potatoes, cabbages, carrots, kales
Whole year, best planting time mid March: Tea, loquats
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Late mat. maize H 611
2)
; beans, lettuce
2
nd
rainy season: Late mat. maize H 611
2)
if planted end of Aug./b. of S.; leek, lettuce
Whole year: Pyrethrum; plums; miraa
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
About 0.2 ha/LU on secondary pasture of Kikuyu grass, suitable for grade dairy cows; Louisiana
white clover for higher productivity, Napier grass on lower places, green maize and fodder
beets as additional forage
LH 2 = Wheat/Maize-Pyrethrum Zone
LH 2
m + m
= Wheat/Maize-Pyrethrum Zone
with two medium cropping seasons
Very small, potential see Meru Central District
UM = UPPER MIDLAND ZONES
UM 1
m/l i m
= Coffee Tea Zone
with a medium to long cropping season, intermediate rains, and a medium one
Ve r y good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. mid March: Finger millet; cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start mid O.: Leek
Whole year: Passion fruit
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: Potatoes, sunfower like 252 or HS 301 A: sweet potatoes: beans, onions: Meru
foxtail millet ( in Gathano rains)
3)
2
nd
rainy season: Finger millet: sunfower like 252 or HS 301 A: beans, cabbages, kales, onions,
tomatoes
Whole year: Tea, coffee, bananas, miraa; mountain paw paws, yams, loquats, avocados, passion
fruit
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize H511-18; tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: Late mat. maize H612-14 (Aug. F)
4)
, H511-18 (O.-F.)
Whole year: Taro (near water good)
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
About 0.2 ha/LU; feeding Napier grass, banana leaves and stems and sweet potato vines down
to less than 0.1 ha/LU
UM 2 = Mai n Coff ee Zone
UM 2
m + m
= Main Coffee Zone
with two medium cropping seasons
272
MERU NORTH & THARAKA 12
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end oI March: M. mat. maize, fnger millet, e. mat. sorghum (lower
places): beans, sweet potatoes: e. mat. sunfower like 252 (70-80) or m. mat. like HS 301
A; cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: E. mat. maize, e. mat. sorghum (lower pl.); m. mat. beans,
sweet potatoes, e. mat. sunfower: cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions
Whole year: Arabica coffee
6)
, bananas, mountain paw paws, loquats, avocados, passion fruits,
citrus (lower places), dolichos beans (perennial var.)
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
2
nd
rainy season: M. mat. maize; potatoes (higher places)
Whole year: Cassava, yams (50-60%), sugar cane in lower valleys
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
Originally about 0.6 ha/LU on secondary pasture of star grass (Cynodon dactlon), down to
about 0.12 ha/LU feeding Napier or Bana grass, banana leaves and stems, sweet potato vines,
maize stalks
UM 3 = Margi nal Coff ee Zone
UM 3
m/s+m/s
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with two medium to short cropping seasons
6)
Good yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season, start norm. end of March: E. mat. maize like Katumani comp.B
8)
, e. mat.
sorghum like 2 KX 17 (70-80): e. mat. beans: e. mat. sunfower like HS 345 (1 500 m):
onions, cabbages
2
nd
rainy season, start norm. mid O.: Almost the same as in 1
st
rainy season but due to higher
rainfall normally about 10% higher yield expectations, also m. mat. sorghum (60-70%)
Whole year: Pineapples, perennial castor, Macadamia nuts, passion fruit
Fa i r yi e l d pot e nt i a l
1
st
rainy season: M. mat. maize H 511-518
8)
or EMCO 92 SR, m. mat. sorghum (50-60%); m.
mat. beans, sweet potatoes, pigeon peas; kales, tomatoes
2
nd
rainy season: Same crops but normally about 10% higher yield expectations
Whole year: Arabica coffee (fair in higher places, poor in lower places, there add. Irrigation
proftable: paw paws, cassava, citrus, bananas (lower places poor), miraa
Pa s t ur e a nd f or a ge
0.7-1.0 ha/LU on secondary high grass savanna of zebra grass (Hyparrhenia rufa); down to 0.1
ha/LU feeding Napier or Bana grass, sweet potato vines a.o.
UM 3
m/s+s/m
= Marginal Coffee Zone
with a medium to short and a short to medium cropping season
Very small, potential as UM 3 m/sm/s in frst rainy season, in second rainy season nearly 10
less
UM 4 = Mai ze- Sunf l ower Zone
UM 4
fs + fs
= Maize- Sunnower Zone
with two fully short cropp