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The Struggle to Diversify Rural Livelihoods: Bio-enterprise Initiatives and their Impacts on Agro-Pastoralists and Pastoralists Communities in the Drylands of Kenya

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Author Info

  • Susie Wren

    (Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Bio-enterprise Development Programme, Nanyuki)

  • Chinwe Ifejika Speranza

    (German Development Institute, Tulpenfeld 6, D-53113 Bonn)

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    Abstract

    This article analyses the impacts of four different bio-enterprise initiatives on agro-pastoral livelihoods and on improved natural resources management (NRM) in the drylands of Kenya. In this way it contributes to an area of rural development that is gaining increasing interest, but still has little empirical evidence. Data were collected through interviews, focus group discussions, informal discussions and the study of reports. One of the key findings of this article is that diversification into enterprises requires cooperation among the stakeholders with their varying experiences in development, NRM and business development. In addition to initial investments, such enterprises need sustained financial, as well as other support like capacity development to survive the market introduction phase. For such enterprises to defend their market niches, the quantity and quality of the product are critical. In addition to support in human, financial, social, physical and natural capital, mentoring is another crucial factor for success.Cet article analyse l'impact de quatre entreprises biologiques diff�rentes sur les moyens de subsistance des communaut�s (agro-)pastorales et la gestion am�lior�e des ressources naturelles dans les zones arides du Kenya. Ce faisant, il apporte une contribution � un domaine du d�veloppement rural qui fait l'objet d'un int�r�t croissant mais qui reste empiriquement peu explor�. Les donn�es ont �t� recueillies lors d'entretiens, de r�unions de groupes, de discussions informelles et de lectures de rapports. Un des r�sultats cl�s mis en exergue par cet article est que la conversion vers des activit�s biologiques n�cessite une coop�ration entre les parties prenantes, dont les niveaux d'exp�rience dans les domaines du d�veloppement, de la gestion des ressources naturelles et du d�veloppement commercial varient. Outre l'investissement initial, de telles entreprises d�pendent non seulement d'un appui financier constant mais �galement d'un soutien au renforcement de leurs capacit�s afin de survivre � la phase de lancement sur le march�. Pour que de telles entreprises restent bien positionn�es dans leur niche, la quantit� et la qualit� de leurs produits jouent un r�le crucial. Outre le soutien en ressources humaines, financi�res, sociales, physiques et naturelles, le mentoring constitue un autre facteur crucial de succ�s.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 751-769

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:5:p:751-769

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