MITIGATION MEASURES AND ADAPTATION MEASURES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The agricultural sector under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has taken some measures toward responding to the climate change effects. This has resulted in the assimilation of climate change effects into projects and programs in agriculture under the ministry. The integration has been done in line with low-carbon objectives and climate resilience to guarantee that climate change matters are applicable to the sector of agriculture. This implies that projects and programs being carried out are geared toward reducing climate vulnerability and also reducing emissions (Wegary et al., 2012). This will ensure that there is improved potential in agricultural production in Kenya. Most of the adaptation measures carried out is linked to the improvement of the livelihoods of many people staying in rural areas and in the ASAL parts of Kenya. The adaptation measures are community-based and also location-based since the climate change impacts affect locations and people differently. The adaptation measures in Kenya are always rolled out with a purpose of ensuring the communities are resilient to climate disaster and climate variability and as a result, this reduces the susceptibility to climate change effects at the community level.

The government of Kenya has rolled out some adaptation programs to help boost the agricultural sector. These programs are carried out to help both the small- and large-scale farmers to cope with the adverse weather events which are linked with climate change. For example, the government of Kenya has ensured there is water harvesting to improve water availability during the dry seasons (Walubengo, 2007). The government has dug dams in areas that are frequently affected by droughts. Besides, the government has promoted integrated management of soil fertility, the distribution of drought-resistant or tolerant crops, and development of strategic food reserves (Tambo and Abdoulaye, 2012). The government has also promoted insurance schemes and price stabilization schemes for fanners living in ASAL regions in Kenya. This has helped many livestock farmers who are at present feeling the impacts of the changing climate like droughts and floods. Another adaptation measure taken by the Kenyan government is incorporating climate change into extension services of agriculture and these services are delivered through the help of agricultural officers.

Mitigation measures have also been put in place to ensure there is a reduction in the emission level in the atmosphere. The government of Kenya has developed an improved grazing management system to enable control of pasture land and access to water by the pastoralists (Jaetzold et al., 2009).

There is also livestock breeding to improve the capability of livestock to cope with the changing climate and to produce lower emissions of methane (Herrera et al., 2010). There is also the promotion of livestock diversification by the government. Other mitigation measures include management of the daily herd by improving feeds and also the breeding system to enable farmers to cope with the changing climatic conditions. There is the management of manure thr ough the use of biogas technology to help in reducing the emission of methane into the atmosphere from the manure. Besides, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries have ensured that there is conservation, management, and rehabilitation of rangeland pasture. These measures have ensured the different communities in different locations have the ability to adapt to the shifting climatic circumstances (Okoba et al., 2010). Besides, these are of great importance for societies living in the ASAL parts of Kenya.

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY MEASURES

The government has established policies and acts to help streamline the climate change agenda within the country. These policies and acts help in decreasing the susceptibility of agricultural sector to the changing climate. Through the Kenyan parliament, the legislature came up with climate change Act 2016 to give guidelines on climate change issues in Kenya. The Act was established in line with international agreements such as the Paris Agreement.

The Kenyan parliament enacted the Crops Act 2013. The act was to ensure that agricultural production is earned out in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable. The act also gave the county government the responsibility to ensure that they implement other national laws and policies such as those that ensure that water and soil are conserved. This act has helped in ensuring that all agricultural lands are used in a productive and economical manner.

There is also the development National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) that was mandated with the implantation of National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS). The NCCAP activities benefit the climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives (GoK, 2010). There are also other rules that help in ensuring the agricultural sector is effective. These include land preservation rules, farm forestry rules, and rules of basic land usage. The farm forestry rules help in ensuring that farmers maintain and establish farm forestry and this should cover about 10% of agricultural land holding. The rules on basic land usage give guidelines on the use of land that is sloping in order to reduce the cases of soil erosion.

CONCLUSION

Climate change has a great influence on the agricultural industry since the sector is most vulnerable to the changing climatic conditions. Therefore, there is a need for coordination within the sector of agriculture to ensure there is food security within the country and also to build resilience among different communities. Projects and programs should be initiated to boost the agricultural sector. Adaptation measures should also be put in place to build the community resilient by reducing the vulnerability to climate change. The government should also work closely with the communities when carrying out the adaptation programs and projects. Working closely with the community members will improve the ability of the projects and programs being successful. Besides, full implementation of policies will help in reducing the emission rate from the agricultural activities earned out in the farm such as poor disposal of animal wastes.

KEYWORDS

  • climate change
  • agriculture
  • kenya
  • crop yield
  • adaptation and mitigation
  • policy measures

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