The scientists from the
Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
centers under the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
said the project key aim is to get first hand information on how
much GHG is released through agriculture in smallholding farms
and inform government and agricultural organizations to develop
policy on management of the problem.
are looking at the landscape changes in the last three decades
by collecting climate information data and building local
capacity for researchers in East Africa through the
collaboration with Maseno University,” CGIAR Projects Lead
Researcher Professor Klaus Butterbach told Xinhua at a recent
field visit in Western Kenya.
He said that researchers are
being trained on how to measure GHG emissions resulting from
agricultural activities and to identify best mitigation options
for the Country.
Butterbach observed that even
though agriculture and specifically livestock is blamed for the
production of 40 percent of GHG emissions, no good data exists
to prove the claim as Kenya has no capacity to study the level.
local researchers involved in the study are meant to carry on
the work once the project study ends,” he noted.
Butterbach noted the current
population is changing the concentration of gases in the
atmosphere since the pre-industrial time.
Today agriculture is following
industrial revolution through its emissions that stands at 30
It is obvious that the human
activities are currently changing atmosphere by producing more
carbon dioxide and hence contributing to the global warming.
CIFORs Senior Scientists for
Forest and Environment Dr. Mariana Rufino said that the National
Research institutions are involved to help inform the government
of the development that also helps in reporting to the United
Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC).
going to prove that decisions are supposed to be made with
scientific involvement,” Rufino added.
She said that the project is set
to help promote climate smart agriculture and also inform other
regional countries about the importance of developing home grown
mechanisms as opposed to using acquired technology.
Under the project, a mini
meteorology station and a Greenhouse gases measurement site has
been set up in the farms to help make inventory of the amount of
gasses produced by the farms through agriculture and the
farmer’s economic production per season.
Rufino observed that most farmers
lack capacity to apply irrigation and fertilizer in their farms
hence over reliance on organic manure.
Dr. James Kanyangi, the CCAFS
Regional Program Leader said that the project is looking at the
GHG emissions from the farms with the aim of informing the
government on the best actions to take in controlling the gases.
He observed that the findings
will ensure that Kenya develops its own mechanism of reducing
the gases in agriculture and report back to the UNFCC.
findings are to help inform national climate change action
plan and as well as help the country come up with specific
actions for the whole country,” Kanyangi added.
He noted that the findings will
also help empower County governments to have their own
monitoring units to advice farmers regularly on ways of
disposing the farm remains instead of burning them.
Kanyangi revealed that Kenya’s
carbon dioxide is generated by farmers through charcoal burning,
cutting down of forests and burning of farm remains after
is need to keep the soil balanced by using farm remains as
fertilizer instead of burning them to produce carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere,” he added.
Saying that the process of
retaining carbon in the soil is not easy as opposed to taking it
out, Kanyangi revealed that black and red soils are good at
retaining carbon in soil unlike sandy soil.
Kanyangi noted that once the
study succeeds and it is proved that it is proper monitoring
equipment; Kenya will use it to ask for funding from the UNFCC
since it is a home grown solution to adapting to climate change.
money will be used in building farmers capacity, pay for
farmers inputs and also helps finding markets,” he added.
Dr. Todd Rosentock, Climate
change and soil health scientist at World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)
revealed that the study is expected to provide standard
guidelines for measurement of greenhouse gasses from the farms.
Besides informing communities in
knowing their contributions to the global warming, institutions
that are based in rural areas are also building capacity of
their young researchers to be able to carry forward with the
The trials are ongoing in 60
landscape plots in different farms. There are two meteorology
stations, one on the low lands in the Nyando Basin in Kisumu
County and another one on the highlands at Kaplerartet in
It also has 150 sites for
agricultural research and 160 sites doing soil research alone.
This project involves 220 households and is expected to come up
with the way they do farming and what to add to better their
Kenya amongst other developing
countries lack the capacity to study the data yet global warming
has effect on agriculture.
The project is being done in
collaboration with Maseno University at Nyando Basin in Kisumu
and Kericho County is meant to help sustain the technology once
the donors pull out.
A similar project is also being
undertaken in Wote in Eastern Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and
The project is funded by Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA), Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) and the German Ministry of Science and
Technology at the tune of 2 million U. S. dollars.