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Agroforestry Extension and Dietary Diversity – An Analysis of the Importance of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in West Pokot, Kenya
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics. Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6540-743X
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5464-5686
2016 (English)In: Food Security, ISSN 1876-4517, E-ISSN 1876-4525, Vol. 8, no 1, 271-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Worldwide, the challenges of nomadic, pastoralist systems are causing their slow but steady disappearance in favour of sedentary agropastoralism. This paper draws upon an existing household data set from a survey collected and organized by the Swedish non-governmental organization (NGO) Vi Agroforestry, directed at a livestock-based, agro-pastoralist area in West Pokot County, western Kenya. The study focuses on the question of food diversity and malnutrition and the role of agroforestry extension services, i.e. knowledge spread, transfer and development. Our basic hypothesis is that certain fruit and vegetable related food groups are under-consumed in West Pokot, especially in the dryland areas. The results of the study shows that agroforestry, combined with advice through extension efforts can imply a transition path for pastoralists which involves improved dietary diversity, especially concerning food groups that include roots, tubers, fruits and leafy vegetables. From the results certain restrictions that hinder this transition become clear. An important but often overlooked factor is lack of information and knowledge as a determinant of household behavior in developing countries. NGOs such as Vi Agroforestry can play an important role in overcoming this restriction by providing extension services. Developing countries in general are not information-rich environments, a fact that is especially the case for poor citizens living in rural areas. The paper illustrates that careful attention to the information and knowledge available to households is necessary when designing development cooperation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 8, no 1, 271-284 p.
Keyword [en]
agroforestry, dietary diversity, pastoralism, Vi Agroforestry, West Pokot
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Economics; Food and Nutrition
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112572DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0542-xISI: 000373637200025OAI: diva2:881289
Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2016-08-01Bibliographically approved

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Bostedt, GöranHörnell, Agneta
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