By Philip Kimeli (CCAFS East Africa)
“We have heard the challenges these farmers face first hand due to climate change impacts. The various adaptation initiatives being demonstrated here are quite encouraging since farmers are now able to feed their families as well as earn income to address other household needs. However, the big question is: how can we upscale such initiatives?” asked Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Jean-Pascal was speaking during a field visit to Makueni, a CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa learning site organized for delegates who would later attend the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA9) held from 27 to 30 April in Nairobi. The visit provided an opportunity for shared learning based on ongoing work in the field for delegates from 21 countries.
Climate change and variability in Machakos and Makueni, Eastern Kenya, has led to increased frequency of severe droughts in the last 50 years. Incidences of failed seasons are reported in two out of every five seasons. Consequently, malnutrition and poverty levels are very high; over 65% of the population lives below the poverty line, on less than one dollar a day. The impacts of climate change have hardly hit most of the villages in these regions. Short rains, high temperatures and emerging crop diseases are problems commonly experienced by these farmers.
“Sometimes you expect it to rain so much but unfortunately it rains very little, for example in February there was a false start of the season, I planted but my entire crop failed and I had to replant again in March,” explained Moses Mukita, a farmer in Kiboko village, Makueni, to the delegates.Read more…….