Bio-physical environment

Bio-physical environment in Western Kenya That the bio-physical environment in Western Kenya is wired for commercial agriculture is not in doubt. The climate is truly tropical with warm and wet conditions distributed uniformly in time and space. Farming is the main economic activity on the local landscape and the communities here have subsisted on farming for centuries. The region however is in a big dilemma. It is rated very highly in poverty and general food insecurity. Unwise farming practices characterised by rampant cutting and burning of soil cover over time, has downgraded soil fertility with expected adverse consequences. Reduction in biodiversity has destroyed the agro-ecosystem immunity to the point where livestock and crop pests and diseases are rampant. This has pushed up the potential cost of keeping livestock and producing crops. Despite soil fertility and pests and diseases being major constraints to agricultural production in the region, fertilizers and pesticides are not widely used by smallholder farmers, due to lack of access to the inputs mostly because of high prices. […]