Agriculture is the main industry in Murang’a County. It plays a crucial role in food and nutrition security and makes up 57% of the county’s employees.
The main farming systems in Murang’a County are arable farming, mixed subsistence farming, livestock and fish farming. These systems range from large to small.
As part of the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project, Murang’a County prioritized four value chain raw materials – local chicken, dairy cattle, avocado and banana – based on their economic value and resilience, the number of people in the value chain and their contribution to food security and income.
The potential of these four value chains depends on the agroecological zones in which they are cultivated. Due to the favorable climatic conditions, dairy cattle are mainly farmed in the agroecological zones of the Upper Highlands and Central Plateau, while local chicken, avocado and bananas are mainly raised in the agroecological zones of the Upper and Lower Central Plateau.
An estimated 23% of the total population of the county is considered to be nutritionally poor, while 19% of the county’s population with children under 5 years of age show stunted growth and 1% of the county’s population with children under 5 years of age is wasted (KDHS, 2014).
Murang’a County is facing challenges that limit its agricultural productivity. These challenges include high prices, pests and diseases, post-production losses, poor road networks and the decreasing availability of land.
Historically, the agroecological zone of the lower plateau of the district experiences more periods of drought and moisture stress than the agroecological zones of the upper highlands and the plateau. Conversely, the latter zones are exposed to a higher risk of flooding and erosion than the agroecological zones of the lower central plateau.
In-house strategies for adapting to climate change in Murang’a County include water use, conservation agriculture, the use of drought tolerant and early maturing breeds, timely planting and breeding, feed preservation, use of certified farm inputs, value chain diversification and the use of sustainable land management practices such as grass strips, fanya juu, retention ditches, and garbage pipes.
Climate change adaptation strategies outside of Murang’a County farms include the use of early warning systems, weather warnings, extensions, training and credit facilities, proper post-production handling, use of storage facilities, indigenous knowledge and market intelligence gathering.
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.