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Articles by R.N. Kinuthia
Total Records ( 3 ) for R.N. Kinuthia
  C.W. Recha , C.A. Shisanya , G.L. Makokha and R.N. Kinuthia
  This study investigates perception and use of seasonal forecast and the influence of the 2004 October-December (OND) seasonal forecast on agricultural decision-making amongst smallholder farmers in semi-arid Kenya, in agro-ecological zones UM4 and LM5. Field surveys were conducted before and after the release of OND growing season climate forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) in 2004. Seasonal forecast issued by the KMD indicated that the two agro-ecological zones were to receive normal tending to above normal OND rainfall of 2004. However, observed rainfall show that agro-ecological zone UM4 received near normal rainfall while LM5 received below normal rainfall. Although KMD`s prediction of onset was accurate, a poor distribution in LM5 led to crop failure and losses in other farm enterprise. Despite farmers′ access to seasonal forecast from KMD, majority made farm-level decisions in the light of what they perceive rather than what actually is. Majority of farmers lack confidence in seasonal climate forecast, but rate it useful, suggesting that there is a vast market for forecast information. This makes it necessary for the climate community, extension and farmers to adopt a collaborative approach to improve utilization of seasonal forecast products. Farm management strategies are not influenced by agro-ecological zones but farmers showed potential to respond to forecasts when they altered planting date and changed crop cultivars. The study demonstrates the effect of generating climate forecast on a large geographic scale and suggests a downscaled forecast product at a local level as a way of improving forecast quality. Although farmers′ access forecast information and considers it useful, its integration in farm-level decision-making is still limited, a reason for concern for policy makers.
  O.K. Koech , R.N. Kinuthia , R.G. Wahome and S.K. Choge
  A study was conducted to investigate the effect of increasing amounts of Prosopis juliflora seedpod meal on the growth rate of weaner Galla goats. The overall aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of incorporating Prosopis seedpods into a typical dryland livestock production system. Twenty weaner Galla goats of similar age (6 months) and weights (11-14 kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments of five weaners each. The treatments were T1 No Prosopis (control treatment), T2 (100g/goat/day Prosopis), T3 (200 g/goat/day Prosopis) and T4 (400 g/goat/day Prosopis). Prosopis contained 88.4% Dry Matter (DM), 18.5% Crude Protein (CP), 83.2% Organic Matter (OM), 51.8% Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF), 29.8% acid detergent fibre and 5.2% Ash. The experiment lasted for 70 days. Overall, all the treatment groups exhibited higher average weekly weight gains than T1 (control) throughout the experimental period. However for the first 3 weeks these differences were not statistically significant (p<0.05). From the 5th week on wards however, the differences in growth rates were statistically significant (p<0.05). Treatment T3 exhibited highest total weight gain (3.96 kg) followed by T4 (2.70 kg). Group T1 had lowest weight by the end of the experiment. This study demonstrated that Prosopis could be used as goats feed up to 200 g/goat/day giving good weight gains and no negative effects on feed intakes and digestibility.
  B.K. Korir , R.N. Kinuthia and D.M. Nyariki
  This study was conducted to determine the effects of overnight housing, helminthes control, supplementation and their combinations on average weight gain of weaned Small East African Goats (SEAG) in the semi-arid southeastern rangelands of Kenya. The study also evaluated the economic viability of these goat husbandry practices. About 40 weaned Small East African Goats of similar age (7±1 months) and weights (21±3 kg) were randomly assigned to the following eight treatments: housing (Th); helminthes control (Td); supplementation (Ts); housing+supplementation (Ths); housing+helminthes control (Thd); supplementation+ helminthes control (Tsd); housing+supplementation+helminthes control (Thsd) and control (Tc-traditional husbandry). All the animals were weighed every week and weight gains calculated as the difference between the current and previous weight. The experiment lasted for 18 weeks. All treatment groups consistently exhibited higher average weekly weight gains than the control over the entire trial period. However, the enhanced weight gains were not statistically significant (p<0.05) up to the end of 3rd week. On the 4th week, however all treatment groups except housing, registered significantly (p<0.05) higher weight gains than the control. Overall a combination of all the three treatments (Thsd) had the highest impact on the goats weight gain (6.95 kg) followed by Tsd (6.65 kg). The cost-benefit analysis indicated that the most cost-effective treatment was helminthes control with a Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) of 9.45. Supplementation and supplementation combined with helminthes control with 2.35 and 2.75 RBCs, respectively were also cost-effective. The results of this study support the conclusion that housing; control of internal parasites; enhancement of nutrition or a combination of any of these practices has the potential of substantially improving the weight gain rate of weaned Small East African Goats which would translate into increased off-take and ultimately, income.
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