- Category: News and Highlights
The Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in partnership with FAO and country local institutions are implementing climate smart agriculture (CSA) projects in 16 member countries. The overall objective of the FANRPAN CSA programme is to increase agricultural productivity and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers to the impact of climate change.
KIPPRA, with support from FANRPAN, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), held a one day national validation workshop on October 29, 2014 at Fairview Hotel, Nairobi. The objectives of the workshop were to share the draft CSA scoping study report outputs, validate them and solicit policy recommendations from stakeholders. Given that a majority of the rural population in Kenya are highly vulnerable to weather variability and climate change due to high dependency on rain-fed agriculture for food and livelihoods, the attainment of food and nutrition security goals is closely linked to the development of market based agricultural systems so as to increase and sustain yields in the face of climate change. Thus, there is need to develop resilient food systems.
The driving force of CSA policies are the global agendas/meetings and increased drought frequency and food insecurity that indicate that some activities undertaken in the past have not worked well. Nonetheless, more people are now conscious of climate change as evidenced by the programmes developed in different ministries. For example, 10 percent tree cover on individual farms is now a policy and, as a result, the speed of responding to climate change is encouraging as donors and development partners are citing the legal framework in the country to support their funding for CSA projects.
Key challenges to implementing the CSA programme in Kenya are low uptake of CSA technologies pointing to the challenges related to finance/resources, knowledge and poverty; top-down as opposed to bottom up approach strategy; current education system/curriculum which does not address CSA issues; and land use change from agricultural to real estates. Constraints to adoption of CSA include insecurity, especially in ASALs; lack of political goodwill; illiteracy; and inadequate finances. Several opportunities exist including water use efficiency in agricultural sector; potential in the youth as most are picking up high value and commercialized farming; technology-use of media to pass information on climate change to a wider audience can be tapped and more donor willingness to support climate change initiatives.
A common basket with a consolidated policy, regulatory framework for the donors to contribute to CSA projects would be a more efficient way to manage finances for the CSA programme, instead of funding individual sectors as is the practice currently. Climate change could be incorporated in the school curriculum at all levels of education to help increase awareness and build capacity. Creation of a platform where the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries can engage with development partners would be another viable option to coordinate CSA programme, since the ministry prioritizes the same.