Analysis of Climate-related Biophysical Constraints to the Integration of Wheat for Food Security in Kenya

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Presentation by Mr. C.N. Macharia (KARI, Kenya) at Wheat for Food Security in Africa conference, Oct 9, 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Presentation by Mr. C.N. Macharia (KARI, Kenya) at Wheat for Food Security in Africa conference, Oct 9, 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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  • 1. Analysis of Climate-related Biophysical Constraints to the Integration of Wheat for Food Security in Kenya 1C.N.Macharia*, 1M., Gethi, 1P.A Ooro, 1C.M. Njeru, and 1A. Gichangi, 1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Private Bag, Njoro; 20107 *Correspondence: cngarimacharia@yahoo.com KENYA’S WHEAT PROFILE: •Second most important cereal crop •Production : 350,000 MT p.a • Acreage : 157,000 Ha. •Consumption: 950,000 mt. •Imports: 600,000 tons (Value: 162.5 US $)
  • 2. PRODUCTION STRUCTURESmall-scale (<2.5 ha) = 53 % of AcreagePoorly developed & inefficientAverage Yield: 1.9 t ha-1Contribute:13% of National productionLarge scale = 47 % of acreage Wheat growing areas of Kenya Wheat growing areas of KenyaHighly DevelopedYields 4 – 6 t/ha per hectare.87 % of National Production
  • 3. Trends in Kenyan wheat Sector1. Declining acreage in high potential areas •Competition from other enterprises •Subdivision of large-scale wheat farms2. Shift to marginal and fragile ecosystems • Conflicts over resources (farmers, pastoralists &wildlife) • Threat to environment • Climate-induced stress more intense.3. Expansion to fragile ecosystems limited • Lower yields and Higher production costs • Environmental and sustainability concerns4. Pop. Growth @ 3.5% = Demand @ 15% p.a.
  • 4. The future Kenya has potential to attain self sufficiency in wheat (Viable potential = 300,000 ha) Higher yield/per unit area to make small scale wheat economically viable (improved seed, fertilizers etc ) Overcome biotic/abiotic constraints
  • 5. CONSTRAINTS TO WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY IN KENYAABIOTIC •Drought and Temperature Stress •Low Soil Fertility •Acid Soils •Adverse climate changeBIOTIC •Poorly adapted varieties •Diseases; Pests; Diseases; Weeds
  • 6. Acid soils: > 50 % of high potential wheat areas •high rainfall and natural tendency to soil •highly intensive & over reliance on acid forming.Amelioration is limited by high cost (liming; organic matter; high phosphorus)Pathway to higher yields in acid soils •Exploit genetic variability in tolerance to soil acidity•Progress – •Some Varieties released •Screening of germplasm is ongoing
  • 7. Low soil fertility -Main constraint underpinning decline in productivity of small holder farms. •Low investment in soil fertility •Nitrogen and Phosphorus •Conservation Agriculture •Aware of benefits of fertilizer is high • High purchase costs • Aversion to risk crop failure. ACTION Weed, Pest, HighISFM + Adapted Varieties + Disease = Yield Control
  • 8. Vulnerability due droughtKenyan agriculture is rain fed -highly vulnerable to stress factorsinfluenced directly by climate. Official Predictions Reduced rainfall increase in Water shortages area under Higher temperatures ASALs Large scale wheat in marginal areas under threat
  • 9. Potential Coping strategies At national & policy At the local level level Pricing policy adjustments Technological adaptationsTargeted subsidies on essential Development & promotion inputs new crop varieties and (fertilizer, Diesel, Financial) hybrids •Better water management at catchment level •conservation agriculture • irrigation.
  • 10. At the farm level •Manage crop to capture more water for grain (Good water productivity = 20 kg ha-1 mm-1 for well-managed disease- free BUT water-limited cereal crops)• Soil and stubble management to promote infiltration and water storage in the soil • Proper use of herbicides • Conservation tillage, • Timeliness of sowing• Sound Nutrient Management • 4R concept • Crop rotations• Use of “climate-smart” crop cultivars • Good emergence • Early canopy cover • Evenness of establishment