Friday, 11 May 2012

Kenya's Agriculture Sector Badly Impacted By Climate Change


NAIROBI, May 11 (BERNAMA-NNN-KNA) -- Climate change has impacted negatively on Kenya's agricultural sector, translating into heavy economic losses for the country, Provincial Commissioner of North Eastern Province James Ole Seriani said.

Agricultural operations are mainly rain-fed in Kenya, making the sector extremely vulnerable to climate change variability, said Ole Seriani, the head of administration of the province, who adds that it is worrying that the areas that are traditionally considered "safe" from extreme climate and weather events like droughts and floods have witnessed repeated crop failures in recent years.

In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Provincial Commissioner Jeremiah Were at the opening of a two-day stakeholder's consultation on Kenya National Climate Change Action Plan here Thursday, Ole Seriani noted that the trend would adversely impact on Kenya's food security.

"Agriculture is the mainstay of the Kenyan economy, directly contributing 26 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and another 25 per cent indirectly. The sector accounts for 65 per cent of Kenya's total exports and provides more than 70 per cent of informal employment in the rural areas," he said.

"It's on this regard that the Kenya government, with support from development partners and other stakeholders, is in the process of developing a Comprehensive Action Plan to implement the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) which was launched in 2010."

Once the action plan is ready, Ole Seriani added, the operational sub-components would be mainstreamed into the relevant socio-economic sectors and funds identified for implementation. The process was designed to involve county stakeholder's consultations in line with Kenya's new Constitution to ensure a true Kenyan process owned by Kenyans.

Ole Seriani asked the participants, drawn from Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties, to share their experiences on impacts of climate change and to suggest roles the government should play to help fight the adverse impacts of climate change.

The administrator said North Eastern Province was vulnerable to climate change and had borne the brunt of prolonged droughts, which were at times followed by floods, leading to further losses of life and property.

-- BERNAMA-NNN-KNA

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