IN 13 COUNTIES

Over 14,000 households benefit from Ifad climate resilience project

Project is aimed at reducing rural poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid lands.

In Summary
  • The programme targets 14,000 smallholder farmers to commercially oriented, climate-resilient agricultural practices.
  • KCEP senior programme coordinator Cosmas Munyeke said the programme enhances food and nutrition security among the beneficiaries.
A team from IFAD plants trees at Kararacha school in Kilifi
A team from IFAD plants trees at Kararacha school in Kilifi
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

Over 14,000 households in 13 counties have benefited from a climate resilience programme undertaken by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Ifad country programme coordinator Ronald Ajengo said the project is aimed at reducing rural poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid lands.

Ifad developed their economic potential while improving their natural resource management capacity and resilience to climate change in an increasingly fragile ecosystem.

While supervising the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme in Kilifi county, Ajengo said the programme targets 14,000 smallholder farmers to commercially oriented, climate-resilient agricultural practices through improvement in productivity, post-production management practices and market linkages for targeted value chains.

Speaking at Kararacha in Kilifi North constituency, he said the programme also empowers county governments and communities to sustainably and consensually manage their natural resources and build resilience to climate change.

“As Ifad, we support the government in terms of agricultural development but we understand that the issues of ecological integrity are very critical for agriculture, and that explains why Ifad's several interventions in this country deal with natural resource management, supporting the communities to manage the fragile ecosystem where they live,” he said.

KCEP senior programme coordinator Cosmas Munyeke said the programme enhances food and nutrition security among the beneficiaries.

It also helps in resilience to climate change through the provision of clean water for household use and kitchen gardening to increase income generation.

“Key achievements of the programme have been increased productivity among the value chains to 50 per cent and reduction of post-harvest losses among the households, which were common among the Asal counties,” he said.

Ifad environment and climate analyst Clemence Monier said the climate resilience benefits are both short-term and long-term, which involves conservation of the ecosystem for stabilisation to combat environmental disasters like floods.

“We are seeing a lot of benefits both in the short-term and in the long-term, so as mentioned from a resilience perspective trees are helping to provide nutrition to the communities but from an environmental and climate perspective especially in this context of a lot of disasters, we are also seeing a lot of benefits in soil stabilisation and soil health," she said.

She said trees are important to bring the right nutrients to the soil that are necessary for it to be stable to absorb water better and to provide the right nutrition to different crops.

In terms of disasters, she said trees help not only to absorb water but also to stabilise the slopes in the country.

Norah Sanzua, a beneficiary of the project from Matsangoni ward, said schoolgirls and women who used to walk for long distances to access water have got a sigh of relief as they can get the commodity easily.

“The programme has helped to reduce school dropout rates among girls who are always vulnerable and disadvantaged compared to boys,” she said.

Nuru Chembe, the head teacher of Kararacha Comprehensive School that hosts the water project, said it benefits the school by providing water for sanitation and supporting their irrigation project to boost food security.

The head teacher said more than 2,000 households adjacent to the school use the water in their homes.

“The project has solved the water scarcity problem in the region,” she said.

 The team planted trees to support environmental conservation initiatives within the school.

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