Responding to Climate Related Risks to Address Food Insecurity in Nyando, Kenya

Field Visit

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Published on: 2015-06

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Synopsis

The Nyando basin in western Kenya is a rich agricultural flood plain
around Lake Victoria. Nyando is one of the highly populated rural areas
in East Africa with a population density of more than 400 persons per
square kilometer. Climate variability limiting agricultural productivity
and high poverty rates are some of the challenges in the area. About
half of the population live below the poverty line. HIV prevalence rates
are equally high with an adult infection rate of about 7.5% leading to a
high proportion of widow and orphan-headed households, reduced agricultural
productivity and labor shortage. About 81% of the households
in Nyando experience 1-2 hunger months in a year, while 17% experience
3-4 hunger months—a period when they are unable to produce
from their own farms.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood. Crops grown include staple
cereals mainly maize and sorghum, intercropped with legumes such as
beans and cow peas. Livestock is also an important source of income
and include local zebu cattle, small ruminants (sheep and goats) and local
poultry.