Category “Kenya”

Kenya: EU Release Sh 500 Million to Counties Affected By Poor Rains

The European Union has released Sh 500 million to be distributed to counties experiencing poor rains in a bid to prevent food shortage. The money will be channeled through the National Drought Management Agency.

Head of Development at the EU in Kenya Erik Habers said the funds are expected to be immediately dispersed to 23 arid and semi-arid Counties to reduce the impact of unusually low rainfall on livestock and livelihoods.

Habers said a further Sh 650 million will be provided soon for further drought mitigation activities. Habers in a statement added that the funds are from the Drought Contingency kitty that is aimed at responding to impending drought and is the first of its type in Africa.

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Kenya Moves Closer to GM Maize

Kenya is inching closer to the commercialisation of a drought-tolerant maize variety developed using the controversial genetic modification technology.

Local and international scientists estimate that the maize variety will be ready for farmers’ sampling in three years time.

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) has harvested its confined field trials, the fifth since the experiments started in 2010, which impressed scientists.

In such experiments, confined trials are conducted for seven seasons, and then subjected to National Performance Trials for two seasons.

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Kenya Can Restore Its Forestry and Ecology Just Like China Has

Many countries have realized the importance of forestry and ecological rehabilitation to forestall the adverse effects of climate change that include extreme weather events like droughts and floods, loss of animal habitat, food insecurity, loss of water resources, rise in sea levels etc. Kenya is among many countries that have made attempts to restore our forest cover; however, these efforts have not been sustained and more needs to be done.

In 1990, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s forests resource assessment classified Kenya among countries with the low forests cover of about 2 percent of the total land area. This is in sharp contrast to the 30% cover of closed canopy forests at the beginning of the twentieth century. With over two thirds of the country’s land mass in arid and semi-arid climate zones, and a population growth rate of over a million per year, forest cover in Kenya has experienced a sharp decline in recent decades.

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Kenya: Improving Feeding and Nutrition in Kenya

Agricultural extension officers and health workers will now have guide books to support their services in improving nutrition and support for people living with HIV/Aids respectively in Kenya.

The books, Family Nutrition and Living well with HIV/AIDS were launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. They are publication of the UN’s Food Agricultural Organisation (Fao) and the World Health Organisation (Who).

Statistics from the 2008/09 Kenya Demographic Health Survey show that approximately 3.5 million Kenyans (about 11.4 per cent of the population) are estimated to be food insecure. Malnutrition is alarmingly high, with one out of every three children below five years suffering from under-nutrition, and therefore unable to develop to their full potential.

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Kenya: Agro-Pastrolism in Transmara

Pastrolists in Transmara County are embracing diversity and adapting drought resistance crops for food and fodder for the animals. The shift to agriculture is attributed to the harsh climatic conditions that have forced farmers in Transmara to reduce the number of animals so as to grow traditional foods such as sweet potatoes.

Leonard Leina, 25, is now thinking of shifting from pastoralism to dairy farming. Currently Leina is growing fodder in part of his 10 acres of land that he inherited from his father.

” I take care of fodder crops and besides the little that I sell, my two indigenous cows do not eat much of it so I feel I am not utilizing it properly,” said the young beneficiary of the Agricultural Productivity and Climate Change in Arid and Semi-arid lands supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in partnership with Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Kisii.

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Kenya: Dairy Board to Work With 22 Counties

The Kenya Dairy Board has started sensitising county governments on prioritising the dairy sector in preparation for their integrated development plan.

“We have rolled out a plan to visit 22 counties to which dairy is important and talk with the governors in line with their integrated development plans to prioritise dairy,” said Machira Gichohi, the board’s managing director.

Speaking yesterday to stakeholders at a Kiambu hotel, Gichohi said the county governments should come and sit down with the dairy sector stakeholders to revive the sector since it is a major revenue contributor.

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Kenya: New Wheat Varieties Resist Deadly Fungus, Boost Yields in Kenya

Njoro — After counting their losses for over a decade, wheat farmers in East Africa are looking forward to a brighter future now that new varieties developed by scientists have proven to be resistant to a devastating wheat disease, and are boosting yields into the bargain.

Known as Ug99, the fungal stem-rust disease thrives in warmer temperatures, and the spores can travel thousands of miles aided by wind, according to Peter Njau, a research scientist at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).

As the name suggests, Ug99 was discovered in Uganda in the year 1999. It has since spread through Kenya to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, and across the Red Sea to Yemen and Iran, causing havoc for farmers along the way. There are fears the disease could reach India and other major wheat-producing countries in Asia.

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