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Science is very clear that climate change is real. Therefore research is critical to generate the information needed by decision–makers in government, in vulnerable sectors and communities to manage the risks associated with climate change impacts. Agriculture in developing countries will have to undergo a significant transformation in order to meet the related challenges of achieving food security and responding to climate change. The projections based on population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that agricultural production will need to increase by at least 70 percent to meet demands by 2050. Nearly all estimates also indicate that climate change is likely to reduce agricultural productivity, production stability and incomes in some areas that already have high levels of food insecurity.
Kenya is an agricultural economy and the key economic sectors include agriculture, tourism, livestock, horticulture, fisheries, and forestry. Climate change affects the four components of food security; food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food system stability - in various direct and indirect ways. Due to climate change, there will be increased frequency and
intensity of extreme weather events like droughts and floods, which will lead to losses of productive assets, personal possessions and even life. This has already been observed, especially in northern Kenya and the situation will intensify in the future if efforts are not increased to stop global warming.
Therefore adopting climate-smart agriculture is necessary to achieving future food security and climate change goals. To achieve this however, key technical, institutional, policy and financial responses are pre-requisite. KARI acknowledges that climate variability and change is a threat to sustainable development. As a result, KARI launched its climate change unit (CCU) in May 2010 in order to mainstream climate change in all its programmes. This web portal is intended to be used as a platform to share information on climate change and responce to it through adoption of climate smart agriculture among other strategies.
Dr. Jane W. Wamuongo,
Assistant Director, Natural Resource Management (NRM).