East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 86(3 & 4), 9-9.
Published on 15 December, 2022
Rangeland ecosystems are dynamic and complex socio-ecological systems that support extensive livestock production in Africa. However, productivity of arid and semi-arid rangelands currently exhibits a downward spiral trend, which is partly attributed to poor resource governance and in particular management of pasture and water in these areas. Attempts aimed at enhancing resilience of rangeland ecosystems and pastoral production systems should therefore give priority to promoting sustainable rangeland management practices. This study determined socio-economic factors influencing the willingness to pay for sustainable grazing management practices in Tana River County. The data were collected through household interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The study used contingent valuation method to determine the willingness of pastoralist households to pay for sustainable rangeland management practices. The results show that willingness to pay increased (p≤0.05) with membership in resource user associations, level of education, main source of livelihood, household income and marital status with regression coefficients of 1.38, 1.6, 3.71, 2.02 and 2.81, respectively. In an ecosystem where the grazing resource base had shrunk due to unsustainable grazing practices, pastoralists were willing to pay for maintenance of a sustainable grazing management practices that would guarantee adequate pastures and water. Membership in resource user associations, pastoral governance systems and the distribution of income among the households are therefore factors which policy and strategic actions should give priority to, in a bid to improve the welfare of pastoral communities.