The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries in collaboration with the Society of Crops Agribusiness advisors of Kenya (SOCCA) has started cascading Climate Smart Agricultural practices to the counties and sub-counties in order to reach farmers countrywide and increase food production.
Nakuru County Climate Smart Agricultural Officer, Stephen Mureithi said the flowing and implementation of effective mitigation programmes at the grassroots would assist the farmers to continue producing enough food for the country despite the threats of climate change such as droughts.
The Officer said one livestock and agricultural officer will be trained from each of the eleven sub-counties and they will be expected to train other officers and farmers on how to handle challenges of climate change but still produce food.
Mureithi who was speaking on Wednesday at the Nakuru Agricultural Training Centre at Soilo noted that unlike in the past when farmers simply ploughed their farms, applied fertiliser, planted and weeded crops, and waited to harvest, climate change has changed this routine.
He said there was an urgent need for soil regeneration through treatment to reduce the acidity and planting of sufficient trees on each and every farm in order to prevent soil erosion and ensure water was retained.
He noted that the programmes agreed upon at the 27th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) meeting in Egypt last year in November, was being implemented in the country through the climate action department at the ministry of agriculture in collaboration with the county agricultural officers.
Mureithi urged farmers to plant fruits such as avocados, papaws, and mangoes because they create effective ground cover and were beneficial to families.
Other mitigation measures applied by the county include the construction of water pans in dry areas such as Solai in Rongai constituency.
Apart from that, he appealed to farmers to change their mindset and move away from rain-fed agriculture since it wasn’t attainable anymore. Giving an example of the current drought he said, it was disheartening that large portions of farms in the county are still fallow because the farmers are waiting for the rainy season to start planting.
However, he said seasonal planting should be a thing of the past since the worldwide climate alteration has changed and modified seasons. And nobody could predict effectively when the rains or drought cycles would embark and end. As it was done in the past when the ozone layers hadn’t been affected by excess carbon monoxide.
By Veronica Bosibori