Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy - 2017-2026

Climate change is real and has become an impediment to sustainable development globally. Climate change will have a range of positive and negative impacts in agriculture depending on the regions of the world. The negative impacts are expected to be more adverse in developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa such as Kenya which has experienced increasing temperatures from 1960’s coupled with increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as El Niño and La Niña. Effects of the negative impacts will include declining agricultural productivity and loss of crops, livestock, fish and investments in agriculture due to changing temperatures and precipitation regimes and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Further, fisheries and aquaculture are affected through acidification of the water bodies, changes in water temperatures and circulation patterns which alter the physico-chemical properties of the fish habitats and ultimately the productivity.

Agriculture is not only impacted upon by climate change but also contributes to the problem. The country’s agriculture is predominantly rain-fed and therefore vulnerable to climate change particularly changes in temperature regimes and precipitation patterns, and extreme weather events. This leads to, among others, unsustainable land and agricultural water management. Kenya’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were estimated to be 73 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2010 and are expected to rise to 143 MtCO2e in 2030 unless appropriate mitigation actions are taken. Agriculture is the largest source of GHG emissions; it was responsible for one-third of Kenya’s total emissions in 2010. Agricultural emissions are likely to increase from 20 MtCO2e in 2010 to 27 MtCO2e by 2030, largely driven by livestock methane emissions and land use change, which account for 90% of agriculture emissions and 30% of overall national emissions.

Weak polices, legislations, enforcement, and overlap of mandates among institutions involved in regulation coupled with poor coordination and collaboration among institutions and stakeholders in climate smart agriculture (CSA) have contributed to the country’s inability to effectively address vulnerability and GHG emissions. Further, cross cutting issues such as inadequate financing of CSA activities; limited capacity of Women, Youth, and Vulnerable Groups (WY&VG) to participate in CSA activities; unsustainable natural resource management (NRM) and utilization; limited human resource capacity to undertake CSA; limited CSA research technology development and innovations; and inadequate data and information on CSA have also led to poor implementation of CSA activities.

The country requires transformation of its agricultural systems to make them more productive and resilient while minimizing GHG emissions under a changing climate. CSA provides an excellent opportunity for the transformation by uniting agriculture, development and climate change under a common agenda through integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) by jointly addressing food security and climate challenges. CSA therefore sustainably increases agricultural production and incomes, builds resilience of agricultural systems to climate change and minimizes GHGs emissions. However existing national strategies and interventions such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2017) and the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (2010-2020) have not adequately mainstreamed adaptation, building resilience and mitigation of GHG’s into the agricultural sector. Consequently, the sector needs a sound and enabling CSA strategy that will simultaneously guarantee productivity and food security while addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The broad objective of the Kenya CSA Strategy (KCSAS) 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 CSA. Four broad strategic areas have been identified for KCSAS: (i) Adaptation and building resilience by addressing vulnerability due to changes in rainfall and temperature, extreme weather events and unsustainable land/water management and utilization; (ii) Mitigation of GHG’s emissions from key and minor sources in the agriculture sector; (iii) Establishment of an enabling policy, legal and institutional framework for effective implementation of CSA; and (iv) Minimizing effects of underlying cross-cutting issues such as human resource capacity and finance which would potentially constrain realization of CSA objectives.

The coordination framework and implementation mechanism for KCSAS will be harmonized with the inter-governmental coordination structure under development and near completion. This will ensure clarity in flow of information, policy direction and funds. The implementation of this strategy will be mainly by the County Governments.

The KCSAS is a tool to implement Kenya’s NDC contribution for the agriculture sector and will require domestic and international support. The implementation of KCSA strategy will require a total of KSh. 500 billion (US$ 5.0 billion) for adaptation and mitigation actions for agriculture sector up to 2026. This will contribute to building resilience and adaptive capacity in the sector as well as reducing sectoral emissions to 30 MtCO2e relative to the business as usual trajectory projection of 37 MtCO2e in 2026. Investment resources to implement the KCSAS will be mobilized from diverse sources and appropriate mechanisms established for access, disbursement and utilization. The strategy provides a detailed implementation framework with clear stakeholder roles and responsibilities. The implementation framework also  forms a basis for the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework.