Climate change is impacting food security in Kenya
Shared by: Caroline Nyakeri , Chief Operating Officer, Green Gates Ecofarm, Kenya
Agriculture is the main economic activity in Cherangany, Kenya, however recent developments, such as land degradation and climate change have negatively impacted crop production. As a result, the population is suffering from malnutrition and famine. To address this challenge, the government imported maize (a local staple food) from Mexico in order to achieve the national demand for food. The high poverty rates combined with the food production crises have also exacerbated deforestation, settlement & cultivation along wetlands. In 2017, the European Union provided 34.8 million Euros for ecosystems' rehabilitation, alternative income generation, and product diversification.
Rural women comprise 80% of agricultural labor in Kenya, thus are key to development, however have limited access to education, financial resources, land and employment opportunities. Consequently, they are harder hit by poverty and climate change.
Likewise, more effort is needed to include persons with disabilities (PWDs) in programmes related to food security and nutrition. For this reason, women and PWDs should be considered in any project regarding poverty and malnourishment.
In terms of policies in place, Kenya’s Forest Services, as well as the Total Eco Challenge & NETFUND Green Innovations Award are promoting agroforestry, commercial tree farming and forest protection to guarantee the preservation of 10% of the national tree cover by 2030. Their mandate is to promote and support Kenya’s national green growth.
In addition, the ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries in Kenya are working on sustained rural development by providing non-formal training to the local population in order to improve people’s livelihood through the use of community resources.
Furthermore, several private sector organizations, such as the Botanic Treasures are training small farmers to grow, process and commercialize Moringa trees, nationally & internationally.
Lastly, Kenya’s leading communications company, Safaricom Limited has been involved, namely to engage stakeholders to discuss food security, education and socio-economic empowerment of persons with albinism (PWAs).
Empower smallholder farmers; connect them to markets
End malnutrition, especially in children, women, elders
Ensure sustainable, climate-resilient food systems
Several programmes would improve this development challenge, such as a home-grown school meals model, which would help farmers diversify their production and increase their income. Moreover, it would favor children’s school attendance and performance. Over a 100 schools in Kenya's Trans Nzoia County would benefit from the program. http://schoolsnetkenya.com/secondary-schools-in-trans-nzoia-county/