To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

June 10, 2009

Climate change may mean a dry future for Kenyan farms

by Gatonye Gathura

Life in Kenya’s famine-prone fringe areas will get worse with total crop failure within the next four decades, according to a new study. The study carried out by the International Livestock Research Institute says drought-tolerant maize and even the much more resilient millet will hardly survive hotter weather and rainfall shifts in the areas. It advises policy makers and residents to think of promoting the rearing of hardy livestock breeds.

In what could be the most extensive forward-looking prediction of climate change, the study published in a special edition of the Environmental Science and Policy journal, says up to one million square kilometres of African farmland will be ruined by climate change by 2050. If this proves right the lives of over 10 million Kenyans living in much of the country’s arid and semi-arid areas are at risk.

The study, done by the Nairobi-based institute in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Waen Associates is categorical that marginal farmlands will no longer be able to support even a subsistence level of food crops. The study is among others supposed to inform an ongoing UN meeting in Bonn, Germany, where experts from around the world are considering how a new global accord on climate change can offer adaptation strategies for the rural poor.

The Bonn meeting recommended that $1 billion to $2 billion of additional official development assistance be provided immediately by developed countries to help poor countries, particularly in Africa, to cope with climate change.The group also wants regional centres created to develop and distribute new crop strains that are resistant to heat, drought and salt water encroachment.

The Ilri Africa survey, though it did not name specific localities, described the characteristics of the continent’s most vulnerable areas, mainly inhabited by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists.

The findings mean that Kenya may have to review its national policy on development of such areas between 2004 to 2013, which is still in draft form. The document proposes spending 10 per cent of the government’s annual revenue on arid and semi-arid areas in the next 10 years.

Daily Nation

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP