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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture

by Okoth Okoth | 25-07-2020 02:00 Comments 13 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Unpredicted weather and climate conditions including invasion by swarms of dessert locusts and long heavy rains have cost the Kenyan agricultural sector including sustainable food production. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warns of imminent threat to livelihoods in the Horn of Africa if the increasing numbers of dessert locusts is not contained.

The long heavy rains in Kenya since October last year have greatly destroyed crops and affected normal food production patterns. Crops such as tomatoes and potatoes are rotting as a result of too much water while maize crops which require short rains remain stunted.

There is no consolidated data on the crops that have been destroyed by the long rains thereby creating a big gap in risk assessment. The excess soil moisture and flooding in most parts of the country is expected to result in short cycles legumes production and localized maize losses thereby increasing food prices.

Impacts of Long Heavy Rains on the Agriculture.

Kenya Agriculture PS assertions that the rains will improve food production in areas which depend on short rains season is short lived and unrealistic because the negative impacts have already been felt in former Nyanza region where maize crops the main staple food in the region are facing localized ponding, stunted growth and a possibility of long harvesting period.

The heavy rains have dealt us a blow, the prolonged rains have eroded the soil and lowered the soil temperatures thereby delaying tassel formation and the leaf stages of our corns. We are expecting reduced yields and huge losses during harvesting.” Said Otieno, farmer, Kenya.

The ongoing heavy rains is not only affecting the growth of crops but could probably increase post-harvest losses of various crops, especially the perishable crops due to accessibility problems. Disruption to critical transport infrastructure will further delay the harvesting period thereby increasing quality deterioration of horticultural crops.

The governments should construct dams to contain the floodwaters to be used during dry seasons and empower farmers with adequate information and timely forecasts of weather and climate conditions. This will help us from drier areas to continue with agricultural activities thus improve food security.” Said Olila, Bondo, Kenya.

Nonetheless, the rains have replenished grass and other rangeland resources in pastoral areas hence ease of livestock rearing and improved milk productivity.
 “The ongoing rains is a blessing to us. Our animals can now get enough grass to feed on therefore getting sufficient milk and meat products is no longer a problem for us. The animals can now fetch good market prices due to better body conditions.” Said Walala, livestock farmer, Kenya.

The Locust Threat

Kenya is facing a locust threat, destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of crops. The locusts are feared to continue ravaging crops until June this year as favorable breeding conditions continue to be created by the heavy rains. The country has been battling with the dessert locusts since the beginning of 2020.

Studies have linked a hotter climate to the more devastating dessert locust swarms affecting countries in Africa. Moreover, wet weather up to 400% above normal rainfall amount witnessed in the Horn of Africa since October 2019, favors rapid multiplication of the locusts. The heavy rains were attributed to the Indian Ocean dipole, a phenomenon caused by climate change. 

While climate change is a global phenomenon, Africa still remains at a higher risk due to the low levels of socioeconomic development. People living in poverty are vulnerable to climate change effects because they lack necessary resources to recover from the impacts. The dessert locusts continue to ravage crops in farms, wiping out livestock and wildlife feed with no substantial measures from the locals to contain them. 

The governments should invest in the safest methods which doesn’t affect the environment to control dessert locusts. In addition, communities should be empowered with sound technologies such as solar dryers, which are also climate action solutions to ensure they preserve their harvest at onset of unpredictable events such as long heavy rains and attacks of swarms of dessert locusts. 

13 Comments

Shobita Neupane

Shobita Neupane

  • Shobita Neupane says :
    Hello Okoth,
    This is another amazing writing of yours I read today. Thank you.
    Regards
    Posted 13-08-2020 13:28

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Okoth

    Greetings and Namaste from Nepal
    Wishing you a safe stay
    Thank you for your report on impacts of climate change on agriculture

    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.
    Green Cheers :)

    Best wishes,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 03-08-2020 20:37

Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Okoth Okoth, this is a mentor, Sang Su Lee.

    As I was reading through this article, I could feel that agriculture is the sector that is affected by the climate most severely. The world is experiencing extreme weather condition right now. As the result, South Korea is suffering from so many moths and big insects and heavy rain fall. China and Japan are also undergoing flood situation. I guess the earth is telling humans that it hurts so much... T.T

    Thank you for introducing some problems on agriculture regarding climate change.
    Posted 02-08-2020 00:02

Rafa Mohammed Ashique

  • Rafa Mohammed Ashique says :
    Ahlan Okoth!
    Greetings from UAE

    First off, congratulations on this post. Well written report!
    Sincerely
    Rafa

    Posted 30-07-2020 20:38

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Okoth, this is mentor Taehyun!

    Thank you for your article on the effects of climate change on agriculture! From ancient times, controlling the weather has been one of the important virtues of a leader, one of which is that the weather is linked to food reserves. Since ancient times, weather has been very closely related to agriculture, and these days, high-tech forecasting systems have been in place, but they don't seem to be properly predicting changes on a large scale, such as climate change. Heavy rains, especially in East Asia and parts of Africa, disproves this. What we need most is to slow down and stop climate change.

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 28-07-2020 23:39

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Greeting Okoth,
    I do hope you are staying safe in this pandemic and doing great with your works,

    Nepal has also been affected with various natural calamities due to the climate change,
    I felt sorry to know that kenya is also one of the most affected countries,
    Hope this crises ends so soon,

    keep writing,

    Yours,
    Sandhya
    Posted 28-07-2020 02:23

Yushika Subedi

Aarati Khatri

  • Aarati Khatri says :
    Greetings Okoth Okoth,
    I hope you are doing fine and is safe wherever you are.
    As climate change have raised many unpredicted impacts on agriculture of which locust invasion is also the one which have sabotaged all the efforts of farmers.
    Hope the concerned authority plays the active role in addressing this issue.
    Thank you for sharing your report.
    Warm Regards.
    Posted 26-07-2020 12:13

ALOK DHAKAL

  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Thank you for your report
    Posted 26-07-2020 11:45

Justice Obiri

  • Justice Obiri says :
    Thanks for sharing, Green Cheers
    Posted 26-07-2020 10:10

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Okoth!!

    I hope you are fine and doing great!

    As you mentioned in your report,heavy rainfall in Nepal has cause huge destruction to Agricultural crops like paddy. Similarly, Locusts has enters here in Nepal too .

    Thanks for sharing!

    GREEN CHEERS FROM NEPAL!

    Regards,
    Sonika
    Posted 25-07-2020 23:35

Bal krishna Pandey

  • Bal krishna Pandey says :
    Hello Okoth,
    Green cheers from Nepal. Climate change causes many devastating effects in Nepal too. Heavy rainfall and landslides causing many negative impacts on agriculture at the season of paddy cultivation.
    Locus attack now in Nepal is a headache for Nepali farmers. I hope there will be solution ideas to eradicate these problems.
    Posted 25-07-2020 17:09

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