Project partners:

German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Witzenhausen, Germany
(PD Dr. B. Kaufmann, Dr. C. Hülsebusch)

Kenya agricultural research Institute (KARI), Nairobi, Kenya (Dr. H. Warui)

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya (Dr. O. Mwai)

Producing a camel bell
Collecting bark for cough treatement
young cattle
Caring for young stock

Mutual learning of livestock keepers and scientists for adaptation to climate change in pastoral areas

(Small grant funded by BMZ)

Project duration: April 2010 to March 2012, total budget: 60 000 Euro

With increasing climate variability farmers strategies to buffer against variations become of predominant importance. This applies even more for pastoral livestock keepers since they earn their livelihoods in temporally and spatially highly variable environments under high production risk. In recent years, farmer to farmer exchange has been identified as a promising approach to facilitate learning of farmers to improve their production and livelihood systems.

The purpose of the project is to enhance adaptation to climate variability through effective knowledge sharing processes in vulnerable ecosystems of the arid and semi arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya. This involves development and adaptation of methods that render mutual learning between livestock keepers and scientist more effective.


The focus of the project lies on enhancing livestock keepers and scientists learning on buffering strategies to climate variability based on knowledge generated during farmer-interactive extension. Facilitation of information exchange tools will be borrowed from both Participatory Learning and Action Research and systemic management. Capturing and sharing the knowledge gained thus requires reflection after the exchange sessions. Reflection will therefore be introduced as a systematic component into the livestock keepers’ exchange methodology. Results of the reflection process will enable:

The rules will be integrated in an agent based model and simulated for socio-climatic conditions and phenomena to enable testing of different possible scenarios by the scientists. Outcomes of the “what – if” analyses will be discussed with livestock keepers in feedback seminars.