Virtual Graduation Ceremony

45th Graduation Ceremony

PhD in AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION


Enhancing Integration of Livestock Protection ITK with Information from Extension Service Providers among the Maasai of Loita Ward of Narok County, Kenya

Abstract: The Maasai rely on livestock for food, clothing and shelter, and almost all their indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) practices have been geared towards protecting the livestock from risks that could cause injuries or death. However, knowledge and dissemination of the livestock protection ITK practices has been diminishing in recent years. On the other hand, access to and use of modern scientific knowledge from extension service providers is low among the Maasai. This means that there is insufficient knowledge on livestock protection from both ITK sources and extension service providers, which makes the Maasai livestock vulnerable to lack of feeds, improper breeding, pests, injuries and diseases. Therefore, this study sought to profile the Maasai livestock protection ITK practices, so as to enhance their integration with extension information, for improved protection of the Maasai livestock. The study employed a survey design and was carried out in Loita Ward of Narok County, Kenya. The target population was the 30,130 pastoral Maasai households in Narok South Sub-county while the accessible population was 2,437 households in Loita Ward who applied indigenous livestock protection techniques. A sample of 120 respondents was selected through proportionate random sampling method. Fourteen purposely selected cultural specialists and professionals were interviewed as key informants. Eight male and eight female respondents were also purposively selected for the two separate focus group discussions held. The instruments were examined by supervisors and agricultural extension experts in the University to ensure they yielded valid data. A pilot test was done at Olokurto Ward where a Cronbach’s Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.881 for the Interview Schedule was estimated. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences at 5% level of significance. Thematic Content Analysis was used to analyze data generated from Focus Group Discussions and Key Informants. The study revealed that livestock protection ITK practices were passed from one generation to another through stories, songs, poetry and proverbs. The ITK is available for use in livestock protection among the Maasai of Loita Ward than is extension service. With the livestock protection ITK practices profiled, identification of opportunities for integration with extension information from extension service providers (ESPs) becomes easy. Therefore, posting more ESPs in Loita Ward by government would help reinforce, build synergies and disseminate the enhanced information in the area. Subsequently, this would help create a conducive environment favourable for increased livestock survival rates, improved community livelihoods and overall food security of the Maasai living in Loita Ward.

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Egerton University
P.O Box 536-20115, Egerton, Kenya

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Email: raca@egerton.ac.ke

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