TEGEMEO INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURAL             POLICY AND DEVELOPMENTClimate Variability and Household Adaptation Strategie...
IntroductionClimate change manifests itself through global warming and the occurrence of an increasednumber of extreme wea...
and their responses to such changes. Also information on factors constraining adaptation toclimate variability and change ...
amount             amounts Decline in yields                              58.5              96.1         68.9 Difficult to...
changing varieties of crops grown, followed by use of soil and water conservation methods,planting of trees and irrigation...
institute measures to adapt to changes in rainfall patterns. These findings point out the need forproviding farmers with r...
Family and friends                                                               40.5Government aid                       ...
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Tegemeo climate change report cena

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Tegemeo climate change report cena

  1. 1. TEGEMEO INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURAL POLICY AND DEVELOPMENTClimate Variability and Household Adaptation Strategies By Tegemeo Institute, Egerton University, Kindaruma Lane, Off Ngong Road, P.O. Box 20498 -00200, Nairobi, Kenya. Telephone 254-20-2717818/76 October, 2011
  2. 2. IntroductionClimate change manifests itself through global warming and the occurrence of an increasednumber of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, and it’s arguably one of the mostprofound challenges facing the international community in the 21st century. Currently, a rise oftwo degrees centigrade in global temperatures is considered to be the threshold for catastrophicclimate change. This type of rise in temperature would expose millions to drought, hunger andflooding. Climatic variability has always presented a threat to food security in Africa through itseffect on rainfall, soil moisture and productivity. In recent years, Kenya has been affected by thedroughts of 1991-2, 1992-3, 1995-6, 1998-2000 and 2004, the El-Niño rains that resulted in thefloods of 1997-8 and the more recent droughts of 2008-9.Any climatic change or deviation from the norm directly affects agricultural production and foodsecurity given that about 70% of the population in Africa lives in the rural areas and relies onagricultural activities for their livelihoods. This is exacerbated by the fact that agriculture ispredominantly dependent on rainfall, and thus, any changes in the rainfall pattern have asignificant effect on agricultural activities. It is, therefore, important that clear response strategiesin terms of mitigation and adaptation be designed in order to deal with the threats posed byclimate change. Mitigation strategies refer to actions that would tend to increase carbonsequestration and reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, thusdecreasing the probability of climate change occurrence and its severity. On the other hand,actions that are undertaken in response to the changing conditions as a result of climate changeare referred to as adaptation strategies. These are aimed at enhancing resilience to the impacts ofclimate change and stabilizing agricultural systems.Tegemeo Institute conducted a household survey in 2010, which covered 1,309 householdsspread across 8 agro-regional zones and 22 old and larger districts1 in Kenya. Some of the datacollected was aimed at understanding farmer perceptions about climate variability and change1 Agro-regional zones consist of Coastal Lowlands, Eastern Lowlands, Western Lowlands, Western Transitional,Western Highlands, Central Highlands, High Potential Maize Zone and Marginal Rain Shadow.Districts, as per existing boundaries in 1997: Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Mwingi,Kisumu, Siaya, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisii, Vihiga, Meru, Murang’a, Nyeri, Bomet, Nakuru, Narok, Trans Nzoia,Uasin Gishu, and Laikipia. 2
  3. 3. and their responses to such changes. Also information on factors constraining adaptation toclimate variability and change was collected.Perceptions on climate variability and changeFarmer perceptions with regard to changes in temperature and precipitation over the last 10 yearsare summarized in Table 1. Eighty three percent (83%) of the households indicated that therainfall pattern had changed. The most noticeable change as reported by 46% of the householdswas an increase in the amount of rainfall. Other households also reported a decline in amount ofrainfall (40%), while a smaller percentage indicated that there were changes in the timeliness ofrainfall. About 47% of the households reported that there had been changes in temperature. Over75% of the households indicated that temperatures had increased over the last ten years.Table 1: Household perceptions about changes in rainfall and temperature Percent of households reportingResponse If rainfall pattern has changed If temperature has changedYes 83.2 46.7No 15.3 50.3Don’t know 1.5 3.0How rainfall pattern has changedIncreased amount 46.3Decreased amount 39.9Timeliness 13.3Fluctuates 0.1Ways in which temperature has changedIncreased 75.6Decreased 23.9Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010Households indicated that increased amounts of rainfall were linked to a decline in yields (59%),increased yields (38%), difficulty in timing seasons, and a decrease in land quality (Table 2). Onthe other hand, decreased amounts of rainfall were associated with reduced yields and difficultiesin timing seasons. Where changes in rainfall timeliness were reported, the two major effects ofthese on farming activities were decreased yields and difficulty in timing seasons.Table 2: Household perceptions on the effects of rainfall changes on farming activities Effects of rainfall changes Perceived changes in the rainfall pattern on farming activities (% response) Increased Decreased Timeliness 3
  4. 4. amount amounts Decline in yields 58.5 96.1 68.9 Difficult to time seasons 23.9 31.8 65.2 Increased weeds 6.2 5.4 3.7 Increased pests 1.1 7.3 6.7 Increased diseases 5.2 3.7 5.2 Decrease in land quality 10.5 4.9 8.1 Increase in yields 38.3 0.5 2.2 Good timing of seasons 3 0.2 0.7 Reduced weeds 0 0.5 0 Reduction of pests 0.9 0 0.7 Reduction of diseases 0.9 0 0 Increase in land quality 4.5 0 0 Too much rain destroys crops in the field 1.1 0 0 Decline in livestock pasture 0 0.2 0Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010An increase in temperature was associated with a decline in yields, and an increase in pests anddiseases, while a decrease in temperature was associated mainly with a decline in yields and to alesser extent, and increases in diseases and yields (Table 3).Table 3: Household perceptions on the effects of temperature changes on farming activitiesEffect of temperature changes on farming Perceived changes in temperatureactivities (% response) Increased Decreased FluctuatingDecline in yields 75.3 61.5 100.0Difficult to time seasons 11.8 4.2 33.3Increased weeds 5.8 2.1 0.0Increased pests 26.8 9.4 33.3Increased diseases 17.4 30.2 0.0Decrease in land quality 5.5 0.0 0.0Increase in yields 2.6 17.7 0.0Good timing of seasons 0.8 6.3 0.0Reduced weeds 0.8 1.0 0.0Reduction of pests 0.8 2.1 0.0Reduction of diseases 0.5 1.0 0.0Increase in land quality 0.5 7.3 0.0Crops mature faster 1.1 0.0 0.0Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010Given the changes in rainfall during the past ten years, 42% of the households had adapted tothese changes in various ways. The main adaption measures taken by the households were 4
  5. 5. changing varieties of crops grown, followed by use of soil and water conservation methods,planting of trees and irrigation (Table 4).Table 4: Adaptation measures in response to changes in rainfallMeasures adopted (% response) PercentChanging crop varieties 53.5Use of soil and water conservation measures 30.1Planting trees 29.4Irrigation 13.6Harvesting water 5.6Planting more crops or more often 4.2Better storage 2.3Change timing of planting 0.9Keeping livestock/ growing feed 0.2Proper timing of harvesting 0.2Bought more land 0.2Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010Only 34% of households took any measures in response to temperature changes. The mostfrequent one was changing varieties of crops grown, followed by planting of trees and use of soiland water conservation methods (Table 5). These measures are similar to those used in adaptingto changes in rainfall.Table 5: Adaptation measures in response to temperature changesMeasures adopted (% response) PercentChanging crop varieties 38.9Planting trees 35.8Use of soil and water conservation measures 24.1Irrigation 13Use of chemicals 8Harvesting water 4.3Using ashes to treat grain 1.2Better storage 0.6Keep livestock, grow feed 0.6Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010About 58% and 66% of the households did not adapt to changes in rainfall and temperature,respectively. The main reason was that households had no idea on how to adapt to the observedchanges (Table 6). A reasonable proportion of households reported that it was expensive to 5
  6. 6. institute measures to adapt to changes in rainfall patterns. These findings point out the need forproviding farmers with relevant information and creating awareness about climate variability andpossible adaptation measures. Also there is need to build the capacity of farming households toundertake coping strategies and measures.Table 6: Reasons for not adapting to changes in rainfall and temperatureReason for not adapting Changes in rainfall pattern (% households)Dont know what to do 75.5Expensive/ lack of money 16.9Shortage of labor 3.8Act of nature 2.6No need to adopt 0.6Reason for not adapting Changes in temperatureDont know what to do 84.3Expensive/ lack of money 5.6Shortage of labor 4.9Act of nature 3.6Effect is desirable, no need to adopt 1Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010Nearly 25% of the households required assistance in order to undertake adaptation measures todeal with changes in rainfall and temperature. Generally, family and friends were the mostimportant source of help, followed by the government (Table 7). This stresses the importance ofsocial networks in dealing with changes in climatic variables. These networks have also beenfound to be important for dealing with many household shocks and in providing credit andinsurance. In addition, the government has an important role in helping households cope withchanges in climate.Table 7: Sources of assistance required in adapting to rainfall and temperature changesMain source of help Rainfall changes (% of households)Family and friends 54.2Government aid 25.2Media 11.2NGO aid 4.7Religious group 1.9Farmer group 1.9Input dealer 0.9Main source of help Temperature changes 6
  7. 7. Family and friends 40.5Government aid 38.1Media 11.9NGO aid 4.8Religious group 2.4Farmer group 2.4Source: Tegemeo household survey: 2010ConclusionFindings from this study show that farmers in Kenya are aware of climate variability and change.While an increase and a decline in rainfall were reported by nearly similar proportions ofhouseholds, most of the households reported an increase in temperatures. The changes weremainly associated with decreased yields, difficulty in timing of seasons, and an increase in pestsand diseases.Adaption measures taken in response to rainfall and temperature changes were similar. Theseconsisted of changing varieties of crops grown, use of soil and water conservation methods, andplanting of trees. Irrigation was also important in response to changes in rainfall.About 58% and 66% of the households did not adapt to changes in rainfall and temperature,respectively, mainly because of lack of information regarding the measures to take. Somehouseholds cited high cost as a hindrance to adaptation. Most of the households relied on familyand friends, and the government for assistance in taking up adaptation measures. Therefore, inorder to help households build resilience to climate variability and change, there is need toprovide farmers with relevant information and create more awareness about climate variabilityand possible adaptation measures. Also, it is important to build the capacity of farminghouseholds to undertake coping/adaptation strategies and measures. 7

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