An ethnographic exploration of the impacts of HIV/AIDS on soil fertility management among smallholders in Butula, western Kenya
NJAS-WAGENINGEN JOURNAL OF LIFE SCIENCES
This paper shows how HIV/AIDS negatively affects soil fertility management strategies among Kenyan smallholders. The paper examines this relationship, using ethnographic interviews of purposively selected affected households in Butula Division, Busia District, Kenya. Soil fertility management was given low priority in the face of high HIV/AIDS prevalence although it is a critical resource for meeting basic needs. Findings show that HIV/AIDS poses a significant and complex threat to the already deficient soil fertility management practices among smallholders. The disease's synergistic relation with poverty increases the stress on soil fertility management. It destructs local social structures and households by taking away resource persons, overburdening traditional insurance systems, and obliterating any modest capital and labour useful for soil fertility management that has been accumulated by the household. There is need for robust soil fertility policy-action frameworks that can be sustained tinder the limiting conditions of affected households and that can mitigate HIV/AIDS impacts amidst high poverty.