Published on July 23, 2020, 8:14 a.m.

The agricultural sector in Kenya plays a huge role in sustaining the country’s economy. Agriculture in Kenya is quite large as it comprises stakeholders from all sectors in the public, NGOs, parastatals and even private domains.
 A lot of Kenyans depend on small scale farming. From a tender age, children in the rural areas have grown up seeing their parents practice farming for a living. This farming comprises of mixed farming of both crops and livestock. The produce is mainly for family consumption and the excess is sold locally to the small markets. Children that have grown watching their parents practice farming have also followed in their footsteps hence, farming is a very prevalent activity in the rural areas as it is a key source of livelihood to many.
However, over the last decade, there has been a drastic change in the climate globally. It is estimated that the changes in temperature, rainfall patterns and sea water levels will have devastating effects on agricultural production.
A paper on Climate Change and Variability (Kipkemboi B. et al 2020) sought to examine the past and future crop production and food security in Kenya under variable climate. Kenya is already experiencing climate change with seasonal changes in precipitation and temperature of varying severity and duration despite overreliance on rain-fed agriculture. The findings revealed that climate change would continue to negatively affect crop production and food security to the already vulnerable communities in the arid and semi-arid areas. Future projections from the study also showed that climate variability will likely alter cropping patterns and yields in several regions. As the country is faced with a high population growth rate and rapid urbanization, crop production and food security systems need to become more adaptive as uncertainties of projected climate variability unfold. From the above study, it is clear that there is a global climate emergency, and everyone has a role to play.
In July 2019, the UK’s Department for International Development announced its biggest package ever to tackle climate change across Africa. The £250 million UK aid package would ensure that their expertise and experience can help developing countries in Africa move onto cleaner energy sources and become more climate resilient.
The UK is one of Kenya’s largest bi-lateral donors. The support is aimed at helping countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa build their resilience to climate change as well as develop low carbon economies. DFID is working closely with the Kenyan government to ensure that this funding is appropriated in the right way. With the UK’s expertise and experience, there is a guarantee that communities in the country will become more aware about season and planting patterns. This will ensure better rain harvesting techniques, irrigation skills, food security and job creation for many.