Kenya envisions being a middle- income country with citizens enjoying high quality of life and a sustained annual economic growth rate of at least 10% by the year 2030 according to the National Development Blue Print “The Kenya Vision 2030”. The agriculture sector has been identified as one of the key sectors to contribute to the projected annual national economic growth.
About 98% of Kenya’s agricultural systems are rain-fed and susceptible to climate change and variability which would jeopardize attainment of the projected sector contribution to the national economic growth. There is evidence from historical records that Kenya’s has experienced increased temperature over the last 50 years and the frequency coupled with intense extreme climate and weather events like droughts and floods. Future climatic predictions for Kenya indicate possible temperature increase of 1ºC by 2020 and 2.3ºC by 2050. The changes in climate and weather patterns will expose the rain-fed farming systems, especially the arid and semi-arid lands, to more climate related vulnerabilities thereby predisposing farming communities to food insecurity and poverty through erosion of the productive assets and the weakening of coping strategies and resilience.
Innovative and transformative measures are therefore urgently required to assist stakeholders in the sector across the agricultural value chain to cope with effects of current and projected change in climate patterns. Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) has been identified as a viable alternative to provide solutions towards increased agriculture sector productivity while addressing effects of changing climate and weather patterns. Consequently, the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Environment and Natural Resources with support from COMESA, CCAFS and DFID are leading efforts towards development of a National “Country CSA Program for 2015-2030.” The Vision for the CSA Program is a “Climate resilient and low carbon growth sustainable agriculture that ensures food security and contributes to national development goals in line with Kenya Vision 2030.” In order to carry out a successfully implement the CSA country program, various stakeholders need to come on board to support this venture. We therefore, urge all the relevant stakeholders to play their respective roles in ensuring that the country CSA program is successfully implemented to ensure that the sector attains its vision of ensuring food security and employment creation for the all citizens.