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[Ambassador report] Thematic report: Effects of climate change on agriculture

by Okoth Okoth | 12-08-2020 16:28 Comments 9 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. 

9 Comments

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings okoth
    I hope you are doing well
    Thank you for your report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Regards
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 19-09-2020 11:17

Sang Su Mentor

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

    Do not try to deceive mentors and tunza ambassador platform. I know that this article is exactly the same as the article written on July 25th, 2020. Please write the article again.

    P.S. I sincerely hope to believe that this article is published by mistake...

    Regards
    Posted 18-08-2020 01:28

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Okoth,

    Greetings and Namaste from Nepal
    Wishing you a safe stay
    Thank you for your report on Effects of climate change on agriculture. Agriculture is highly sensitive to climate and agrarian countries like Nepal are highly vulnerable.

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

    Best wishes,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 13-08-2020 21:54

ALOK DHAKAL

  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 13-08-2020 15:04

Taehyun Mentor

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

    The whole world seems to be suffering from extreme climate change. Not only in Kenya but also in East Asia, South Korea is suffering from heavy rain due to the abnormal weather conditions in the Arctic, so I hope there will be no significant damage from the disasters caused by climate change around the world, and I hope that this opportunity will help many people understand environmental protection!

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 13-08-2020 12:30

Aarati Khatri

  • Aarati Khatri says :
    Greetings Okoth Okoth,
    I hope you are doing fine and is safe wherever you are,
    Not only on agriculture, the worldwide burning issue climate change have effected various sector. In agriculture it has created various incident that have resulted in the food insecurity in the country.
    Thank you for providing the information through your detailed report.
    Posted 13-08-2020 00:51

Aashka Oza

  • Aashka Oza says :
    Hello Okoth,

    You have written a very informative article. Thanks for sharing!


    Posted 12-08-2020 17:51

Shobita Neupane

  • Shobita Neupane says :
    Hello Okoth
    This was a informative report about Effects of climate change on agriculture. Thank you for the writing.
    Regards,
    Shobita
    Posted 12-08-2020 17:27

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Okoth Okoth,

    I hope you are fine and doing great!

    Yeah,Climate change has affected Agriculure badly .Farmers are highly in loss due to Climate change impact like unseasonal rain,drought,infestation of new pest and diasese.

    Thanks for sharing!

    GREEN CHEERS FROM NEPAL!

    Regards,
    Sonika
    Posted 12-08-2020 17:13

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