Climate-smart Agriculture in Kenya

The effects of climate change on agriculture are severe, and one of the most significant emerging challenges to household livelihoods in Africa. As such, it is imperative that efforts to address agriculture in the context of food security and rural development need to take climate change into consideration. Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) is defined as agricultural practices that sustainably increase productivity and system resilience, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is not a single specific agricultural technology or practice that can be universally applied; it is a combination of policy, technology, and finance options that involves the direct incorporation of climate change adaptation and mitigation into agricultural development planning and implementation. The first recommendation from this policy brief is that county-level approaches should be employed to maximize success in implementing CSA in Kenya. Secondly farmers need to be engaged in designing and implementing CSA practices, and should receive immediate and long-term benefits from implementing these approaches. Thirdly CSA practices are knowledge-intensive, and promoting their adoption requires well-designed, inclusive, and innovative knowledge-management systems. Efforts must be made to fully engage Kenya’s robust research and extension stakeholders in promoting the uptake of CSA. Lastly scaling-up promising CSA requires institutional coordination between private and public agriculture and climate-related institutions at national, regional, and international levels. Efforts must be made to ensure that the implementation of the National CSA strategy complements the implementation of other national climate change initiatives.