KARI IDRC Funded Project on ‘Agricultural productivity and climate change in the ASALS’
Agricultural research has continued to develop and disseminate technologies to both farming and pastoral communities in Kenya. However, with the already occurring changes in climate and their projected effects, there is need to ensure research includes climate vulnerability, risks and impact assessments and that technologies promoted are the best for adapting to effects of climate change in specific situations and areas. The 3 year project (2011-2013) will therefore address capacity of KARI to undertake climate change adaptation studies in the context of agricultural research and use research results to develop and better target adaptation strategies in three ASAL districts of Kenya namely Transmara, Ijara and Tana Delta. Likewise, action research based results will be used to inform various policy organs in Kenya for better decision making.
The overall aim of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity and improve resilience of agricultural livelihoods in selected agro-ecological systems in Kenya in a changing climate.
The specific objectives include;
- Assess and document climatic risks and vulnerabilities of the communities and agro-systems and establish coping strategies
- Identify and pilot-test innovations/options/strategies that would work best through participatory approaches and document them for optimal adoption
- Develop information sharing initiatives on climate change, variability and best bet adaptation strategies
- Build capacity of KARI scientists and stakeholders to address challenges of climate change and variability
- Inform and influence the climate change adaptation policy/decision-making process through scientific action research based results
Key Project Activities
- Conducting climate risk and vulnerability assessments in the project sites to inform design of priority adaptation interventions/options/strategies.
- Demonstration, training and piloting of adaptation options in identified project sites with a view to upscale them.
- Analysis of livelihood vulnerabilities and local climate data to establish pre-project conditions in the specific sites which will form a basis for measuring impacts related to improved food and livestock production systems at project completion.
- Inform and guide Kenya’s engagement in the ongoing climate change policy development process and dialogue aimed at developing and implementing a National Climate Change policy. The research and policy knowledge will also be used to inform national reports including the National Communication and National Adaptation Programme (NAP)
- Incorporate gender in research to help understand how the identities of women and men determine different vulnerabilities and capacities to deal with climate change.
- Avail climate risk information and help farmers/pastoralists make use of it to make choices about their farming practices hence manage/cope with climate change and vulnerability. This is with a special focus on strengthening the coping mechanisms of highly vulnerable groups.
- Avail and disseminate information and knowledge generated to stakeholders at local, national and international levels. In light of this, research findings will be published in internal publications and peer reviewed journals.
- Improve KARI’s capacity to undertake climate change research.