Farmers in Nakuru County have been urged to practice climate-smart agriculture to mitigate the effects of delayed rains and the unpredictable weather changes that threaten food security.
The County Executive (CEC) for Agriculture, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said the County produces 40 per cent of the country’s food basket. However, the sparse and belated rains for the last one month have made the leaders consider planning for relief food for the smallholder farmers, who are likely to lose their entire crop.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) seminar in Nakuru, she said the effects of unpredictable rain patterns would only be combated by a new way of farming because the former methods cannot withstand the changing environments.
Dr. Maina said there was a notable increase in pests that were never in the County and attributed the phenomenon to the changing climate that is becoming warmer and hence suitable for the multiplication of various vexations.
Also, she said the County has five ecological zones, tropical alpine, upper highland, upper midland and lower midland that in the past has enabled the County to grow all sorts of crops, fruits and spurred horticultural practices. But the various climate dimensions were no longer adding value.
She added that maize which is one of the main crops in the County has been declining for the last five years due to increased prevalence of pests and climate risks.
However, she said despite the climate change effects, last year the County generated over Sh23 billion from the horticulture sector and it has the potential of producing 500,000 tons of maize if modern farming methods are applied.
Due to the effects of climate change, the government has embarked on the formation of county climate-smart agriculture multi-stakeholder platforms, to alleviate the effects of the changes in the country and the rest of the world.
By Veronica Bosibori