Kenya is located in east Africa, at latitudes of 6°S to 6°N. Located on the Indian Ocean, its climate is tropical, but moderated by diverse topography in the west. Kenya’s topography rises from the coastal plains to the eastern edge of the East African Plateau, and the Great Rift Valley. The central highland regions are substantially cooler than the coast, with the coolest (highest altitude) regions at 15°C compared with 29°C at the coast. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, but drop by around 2 degree in the coolest season. Seasonal rainfall in Kenya is driven mainly by the migration of the Inter‐Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), relatively narrow belt of very low pressure and heavy precipitation that forms near the earth’s equator. The exact position of the ITCZ changes over the course of the year, migrating southwards through Kenya in October to December, and returning northwards in March, April and May. This causes Kenya to experience two distinct wet periods – the ‘short’ rains in October to December and the ‘long’ rains in March to May. The amount of rainfall received in these seasons is generally 50‐200mm per month but varies greatly, exceeding 300mm per month in some localities. Kenya’s geographic location makes it inherently prone to cyclical droughts and floods. However, according to the First National Communication (INC), such types of cyclical climate-driven events will increase in intensity and frequency due to global climate change. Livelihoods and economic activities in Kenya’s are highly vulnerable to climatic fluctuations in space and time. The country’s inland areas are largely arid with two thirds of the country receiving less than 500 mm of rainfall per year, limiting the potential for agriculture. In general inter-annual climate variability is high. The arid and semi-arid regions cover about 83 per cent of the country; only around 17 per cent of Kenya’s land is arable (MENR, 2010). Land degradation is a key issue in Kenya, driven partly by overgrazing and deforestation; biomass accounts for 78 per cent of the energy consumed in the country (MENR, 2010). Indeed, high population growth, deforestation, shifting climate patterns and overgrazing have significantly degraded the country’s environment (USDS, 2010). Rainy seasons can be extremely wet and associated with floods and landslides, but can also arrive late or fail, introducing considerable uncertainty in agricultural practices. The rural poor are the most vulnerable to the impacts of Kenya’s current climate variability.

Kenya has the largest economy in East Africa, and serves as a finance and transport hub for the region (USDS, 2010). Rain-fed agriculture, tourism and the services industry are major drivers of its economy (MENR, 2010). Additional key industries include livestock/pastoralism, horticulture, fisheries and forest products (MENR, 2010). Approximately 75 per cent of Kenyans derive their livelihoods from the agricultural sector (CIA, 2010). With many Kenyans living abroad, remittances also contribute greatly to Kenya’s economy; they constitute the single largest source of foreign exchange and act as a social safety net (USDS, 2010). Despite the relative regional strength of Kenya’s economy, a large number of Kenyans live in extreme poverty; mean annual income per capita is approximately US$700 (USDS, 2010).

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A list of participants in the NAPs Agriculture Inception Workshop held in Kenya.

Overview of integrating agriculture in National Adaptation Plans -- Inception Workshop Presentation (Kenya)

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Country Workplan -- Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (Kenya)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has begun implementation of a programme on "Implementing Agriculture into NAPs" in Kenya. The Ministry presented a workplan for implementing the programme between 2016 and 2018. This presentation slide deck outlines the expected activities that will be implemented to achieve expected outputs and impacts of the NAPs Agriculture project.

Country Workplan -- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Kenya)

The Government of Kenya -- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) -- has begun implementation of a programme on "Implementing Agriculture into NAPs". At the programme's inception workshop, Stephen King'uyu from MENR presented the workplan for programme implementation between 2016 and 2018.

Supporting developing countries to integrate the agricultural sectors into National Adaptation Plans: Kenya

The agricultural sectors form the basis of Kenya’s economy and employ a large percentage of the population. Over 80 percent of the population derive their livelihoods mainly from agricultural activities and the agricultural sector constitutes about a quarter of the GDP.
The dependence on climate- sensitive natural resources for livelihoods as well as food security and nutrition increases the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. To address these issues, Kenya is shaping the legal framework around how the country addresses climate change adaptation and mitigation.
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Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Kenya

Lucy Ng’ang’a, who is working as an Agriculture and Climate Change Expert in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya, describes why and how the country is preparing its national adaptation plan.
In Kenya, the most vulnerable people are already being impacted by climate variability. Ms Ng’ang’a underlines the need to build capacity at all levels as being essential for climate change adaptation, especially in rural areas.

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Adaptation policies

Kenya has an advanced suite of national adaptation policies, strategies, laws and plans in place. The Kenyan National Adaptation Plan 2015–2030 (NAP) was finalized in 2015, and was one of the first NAPs to be launched in Africa, and globally, by a developing nation. The NAP supports the 2010 Constitution of Kenya and the Kenyan Vision 2030 for a sustainable future, and features an important aspirations for agriculture in national development.

NAP-Ag activities

In the long term, NAP-Ag activities in Kenya are oriented towards promoting and implementing climate-smart agricultural practices for the long-term. Short and medium term contributions include: increasing awareness on climate change impacts and assessing climate risk and vulnerability of agricultural value chains; identifying synergies between adaptation and mitigation; promoting uptake of climate-related information for agriculture; and developing and upscaling specific adaptation in the agricultural sub-sectors.
Resource mobilization (2018)   
In Kenya, results from the NAP–Ag Programme have fed into investment proposals under the NAP Readiness window of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which approved a US$3 million NAP Readiness project to be implemented between 2018 and 2020.
Analysis of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Nexus: The Case of Kenya (2017)
The objective of this study was to assess linkages between adaptation in the agricultural sector and sustainable development. The synergies and trade-offs between Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), the NAP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were evaluated and recommendations were developed.
Assessing Institutional Barriers to National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Implementation in Kenya’s Agriculture Sector (2017) 
A comprehensive study was commissioned by the NAP–Ag to assess the barriers and incentives to implement Kenya’s NAP in the agriculture sector, and identify strategies to strengthen the institutional arrangements and regulatory framework on climate change adaptation.
Cost–benefit analysis (2017)
The NAP–Ag Programme is planning training workshops in mid–2017 for government officials on cost-benefit analysis to help strengthen the evidence base for adaptation.
Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy (KCSAS) and Implementation Framework (2017)
The NAP-Ag supported the consultations and launch of the Kenya CSA Strategy (KCSAS). Its objective is to adapt to climate change, build resilience of agricultural systems while minimizing emissions for enhanced food and nutritional security and improved livelihoods. The specific objectives of the KCSAS are to: (i) enhance adaptive capacity and resilience of farmers, pastoralists and fisher-folk to the adverse impacts of climate change; (ii) develop mechanisms that minimize greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production systems; (iii) create an enabling regulatory and institutional framework; and (iv) address cross-cutting issues that adversely impact KCSAS. In 2018, the NAP-Ag will support the development of a monitoring and evaluation mechanism as well as an implementation framework, in cooperation with many other regional and international partners.
Capacity needs assessment for climate change adaptation planning (2016) 
Capacity needs assessments were carried out within the six key Kenyan institutions that the NAP-Ag is working with to identify areas requiring support to ensure the effective implementation of agricultural-related NAP activities in sectoral planning and budgeting processes.
Gender mainstreaming workshop (2016) 
Kenya was the first country in the NAP–Ag Programme to conduct a training workshop for government officers on gender, adaptation and the agricultural sectors. The training focused on why gender matters in the context of climate change adaptation policy frameworks, ways to address gender issues during the formulation and implementation of policies, and how to ensure that gender sensitive working approaches are used in practice.
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Strengthening Government's Capacity to Integrate Gender in Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Agriculture 

03 November 2016 -Three days training in Nakuru have taken place to improve the capacity to integrate gender issues in climate change adaptation planning for the agriculture sector. The training has been organized under the auspices of the NAP-Ag programme, jointly organised by FAO and UNDP.

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Agriculture contributes approximately 30.3 percent of Kenya’s GDP and another 27 percent indirectly via linkages to agro-based industries and the service sector. Increased temperatures and variation in precipitation are expected to affect crops, livestock and threatening livelihoods.

Kenya’s National Climate Change Response Strategy – April 2010

The first document to address climate change concerns of the country, the National Climate Change Response Strategy was formulated through a participatory process involving a wide range of stakeholders. Climate change has already had profound effects on the people of Kenya, the La Niña droughts in 2000 left more than 4.7 million facing starvation. To respond to these challenges, the document outlines a number of actions including the establishment of a climate change legislation as well as a climate change secretariat to ensure effective implementation of these actions.

Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan – 2012


The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) seeks to reduce Kenya’s vulnerability to climate change by increasing climate resilience and adopting a low-carbon development pathway. The plan summarizes an analysis of mitigation and adaptation options, which point to drought and water scarcity as key impacts of climate change. The country’s approach of transitioning to a low-carbon pathway is by adopting a cross-sectoral and high-level response to reduce risks and maximize opportunities.