NAKURU (Xinhua) --
Keeping livestock in dry areas is one of the most
effective ways to cushion households from extreme climate
fluctuations, a senior official of Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) has said.
Piers Simpkin, FAO’s
Senior Program Coordinator in Kenya said in an interview with
Xinhua on Thursday that livestock keeping is an adaptation
mechanism to climate variability.
in dry rangelands is considered one of the most effective
livelihoods that is adapted to reduce the impact of drought
through mobility. Mobile livestock systems by definition are low
input and low output systems,” he said.
Simpkin said FAO is
supporting improvement of grazing management in Kenya by
encouraging planned grazing mainly benefiting pastoralist
Although it is
imperative for farmers to adopt drought tolerant crops,
uncertainties over prices of substitute crops complicate their
transition to climate smart farming.
“It is difficult for
farmers to change overnight from growing their own food and cash
crops to becoming fully market dependent and feeling comfortable
to give up growing their staple food crop for a crop whose
production might be more reliable but whose market price is
unknown and liable to global fluctuations,” he said.
FAO has established
Early Warning Early Action Fund (EWEA) from which county
governments in Kenya would receive financial support to provide
animal feeds for selected breeding animals for individual
families, Simpkin said.
communities for weather extremes, FAO is executing an early
warning system of which 100,000 people are targeted with early
warning messages and response options, according to the
Simpkin said FAO is
collaborating with National Drought Management Authority (NDMA)
on a predictive livestock early warning system which is intended
to assist the state agency tasked with assessing drought
situation in the country in informing public, identifying
possible responses and preparing adequately to avert crises
associated with severe drought.
better than cure—hence resilience building and preparing
communities in advance to mitigate or avoid drought risk is
vital. The increasing frequency and severity of drought is not
purely climatic but due to a number of factors,” he said.