Kenya's Pastoral Needs


IN 1929, an agricultural commission under Sir Daniel Hall reported on the grave condition to which certain native reserves in Kenya had been reduced as a consequence of overgrazing and soil erosion, and recommended an immediate reduction in livestock and an increase in agriculture as means of countering a serious and growing menace to the existence of the country. In 1931, Sir Frank Stockdale reported that an increase in agriculture and consequent reduction of area available for grazing were accentuating the dangers of erosion. In 1933, the Kenya Land Commission recommended an extension of the cropped area, using dry-farming methods, in order to increase production in densely populated reserves. In 1936, Sir Alan Pim's report on Kenya directed attention to the danger of extending the cultivated area without suitable precautions being taken to maintain fertility, and to the absence of any definite policy with regard to soil erosion. In 1937, both Sir Frank Stockdale and the recently appointed soil conservation officer (Mr. C. Maher) expressed the view that the overworked land needed a complete and prolonged rest without which much of it was irretrievably doomed. They further recommended the development and intensification of agriculture to compensate for loss of production from ‘rested’ land.


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J., G. Kenya's Pastoral Needs. Nature 144, 255 (1939).

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