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Farmers in Semi arid regions of Kenya experience a lot of farming challenges because of low and erratic rainfall, land and water depletion. The resulting decline in agricultural productivity leads to food insecurity and rising levels of poverty. Climate change also has negative effects on households and coupled with institutional/policy failures, such as the lack of appropriate grass-roots level institutions, minimum access to extension services, poor state of transport and other infrastructure and high input transaction costs all contribute to make the situation worse.
Despite the availability of diverse crop innovations for the semi arid areas produced by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and partners, severe food insecurity, poverty and environmental degradation are still prevalent in these areas. Farmers who have adopted these technologies have registered positive impacts on their income and food security levels. There is however a gap in understanding the differences between the adopting and non-adopting households and yet such understanding is a prerequisite for formulating appropriate policies and strategies to improve and maximize the benefits of adopting risk reducing practices, as well as designing new interventions.
To enhance agricultural productivity while preserving the environment there is need to go beyond the ‘’technical‟ performance of technologies and address the capacity of existing institutional and policy frameworks to enable local innovations and foster stakeholder participation.
The general objective of the proposed The KARI/McGill project is to contribute to improved food security among women and men in hunger-prone communities. This is achieved by facilitating farmer adoption of proven agricultural technologies that enhance ecological resilience in the face of a changing climate. These technologies include indigenous technologies drawing on local resources as well as those promoted by agricultural research institutes and government extension services.
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