Kenya County Climate Risk Profile Series: Climate Risk Profile – Kitui County – Kenya

Highlights

  • Agriculture is the main industry in Kitui County (Figure 1), contributes to food security and generates 87% of rural household income.

  • Local chickens, goats, mangoes and green gram (mung beans) were selected as priority value chains under NARIGP because of their economic value, their resilience to weather fluctuations and climate change, their contribution to household food security and their position in the district’s framework and programs .

  • Food insecurity is increasing in the county due to the low productivity associated with factors such as pests, weather fluctuations and prohibitive input prices. An estimated 39.4% of the population are considered nutritionally poor. Of the children under five years of age, 38.2% are stunted and 4.2% are stunted.

  • During the long rainy season (March-May), high temperatures and an increased risk of flooding occur, while in the short rainy season (October-December) the climate is more stable and can possibly be exploited through adaptations such as early-ripening plant varieties.

  • On-farm adaptation options used by farmers include the use of drought-tolerant plant and animal varieties, conservation agriculture, water harvesting techniques, zai pits for composting, preservation and planting of forage, disease monitoring, breeding programs, health management, and improvements in post-harvest handling and storage.

  • Off-farm services that support farmers include early warning systems, weather advice, value creation and processing, advice and training, the formation of farmer groups and cooperatives, and the provision of market information to farmers.

Many institutions in Kitui County, including the government, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, community-based organizations, and the private sector, are involved in promoting climate-friendly agricultural interventions. Limited financial and human capital and the lack of adequate infrastructure are their main obstacles.

  • The district has adopted several national measures to adapt to climate change and the associated risks. These guidelines provide farmers with information that enables them to plan, make sound economic decisions, and adapt to anticipated climate risks.

  • The adaptability of farmers to climate-sensitive agricultural practices and the ability of institutions to recognize climate risks and use climate opportunities are to be promoted and expanded in the Kitui district.

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