Category “Kenya”

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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Kenya: Young Kenyan Farmers Engage On Social Media

Farming is getting an image ‘make-over’ in Kenya to make it more attractive to young people. A new website and the imaginative use of social media are helping to change attitudes about farming as a career, encouraging young Kenyans to see it as a profitable profession.

Until recently, many young Kenyans saw farming as an unskilled, unrewarding profession, suitable only for the retired or the uneducated. Now, however, a group of determined young farmers are challenging traditional prejudices and trying to explain the attractions of farming as a profession. They are the ‘Mkulima Young Champions’ and have become figureheads for a digital initiative to change the way farmers are viewed by young people. Using a range of technologies, they are proving that farming in Kenya really is a profitable 21st century career path.

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Kenya: Ancient Solution Brings Water to Makueni

A mature dam looks dry on the upper side but it’s actually storing a lot of water Construction of the sand dam wall Farmers in Makueni dig terraces Fish farmed with water from one of the sand dams Richard Barnes, trustee of Excellent Development with Anita Gorasia, during the building of Sand Dam on Thange River Water flows over a sand dam Residents have learnt the tricks Romans used 2,000 years ago to make their land green.

In many parts of Makueni County, donkeys used to scavenge for water often die on roadsides because they get very little to drink themselves. The region is in many ways the poster child of Kenya’s recurrent droughts, sometimes blamed on the changing climate.

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