Kenya

AICCRA-Kenya develops tailored climate information services and digital agricultural advisory services that are gender and socially inclusive.

AICCRA's Kenya team is actively engaging with multiple aspects of the climatesmart development ecosystem to promote sustainable and equitable change.

Our activities focus on improving the quality of climate information services (CIS) and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in Kenya, while increasing access to and use of these resources for women and youth.

We’re facilitating collaboration between Kenya’s public and private sectors to develop tailored, gender- and socially-inclusive climate information services and digital agricultural advisory services.

Our researchers work with national public institutions to provide the foundation for promoting CSA and CIS, and we also work with national civil society organizations investing in equitable rural development and climate change adaptation.

We work with county governments – including agricultural and meteorological extension services and county planning stakeholders – to bolster last-mile delivery of CSA and CIS technologies to farmers and herders, and embed climate-smart development into counties’ spatial planning processes.

With our institutional partners, we employ a ‘training-of-trainers’ approach and work directly with farmers and herders to embed knowledge and skills for supporting cutting-edge CSA and CIS into their practices and protocols.

To more effectively institutionalize capacity strengthening efforts, we are also developing tailor-made curricula for universities and technical/vocational education training centres.

By improving how markets function for farmers under climate change, and developing user-friendly crop forecasting systems (with a focus on loss and yield) with accessible digital tools and interfaces, AICCRA Kenya is ensuring that useable and actionable information is reaching farmers in an inclusive way.

“As women, we are the breadwinners of our households, so we pay keen interest to our household food security, nutritional needs, and productivity of our farms…we should always be given the priority to be the first to learn from technologies that improve smallholder farming as you have done through this AICCRA project”.

Phoebe Mwangangi, a Lead Farmer on AICCRA CSA demonstration farm, Makueni County

Highlights

Integration of climate and agricultural data

AICCRA Kenya is integrating climate and agricultural data to provide targeted digital advisories that support climate risk reduction. A significant initiative is the creation of a national-scale AgData Hub, jointly owned by government meteorological and agricultural departments.

The hub amalgamates data from diverse sources at varying spatial and temporal resolutions, localizing this data and analytics to Kenyan administrative levels and significantly lowering the costs and efforts required to provide precise, data-driven advisories for crops and livestock. Integration with the AgDataHub has significantly enhanced Kenya Agricultural Observatory Platform (KAOP)’s capabilities and user experience by improving access to various types of weather forecasts and agricultural datasets, increasing the platform’s value to farmers and other stakeholders.

Recent enhancements to KAOP by AICCRA have expanded the platform’s reach.

In 2023, AICCRA Kenya supported KALRO in delivering climate agroadvisories to 471,000 farmers, 60% of whom are women, primarily via SMS and radio.

The project has also increased awareness and adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices among 37,000 farming households in Kitui, Makueni, and Taita Taveta counties through targeted advisories and ongoing training.

The power of partnerships for collaborative transformation

Through ICRISAT, AICCRA Kenya has tested drought-tolerant crops in the Kenyan drylands and demonstrated the benefits to local farmers. With partners, we are now facilitating the multiplication and distribution of the improved seed to farmers. AICCRA has built community-level capacities by training 150 Trainer of Trainees and 30 county extension staff to disseminate knowledge. 

Thirty demonstration plots, 10 in each targeted county, are showcasing the range of AICCRA’s high-yielding, drought-tolerant crops. So far, 243 lead farmers and extensionists have learned to cultivate drought-tolerant cereal and legume crops in the demonstration plots. An additional 12,500 farmers from 102 villages have received seed varieties of drought-tolerant sorghum, pearl millet, pigeonpea, and green gram.

The KAZNET digital crowdsourcing platform is improving both the quality of data collection and the access to climate information services by pastoralists contributing livestock market information (including prices, body condition, and milk yields). Data gathered helps to increase commercial livestock sales and income and provides critical information needed for policy making and prioritization.

Under AICCRA, KAZNET has expanded its operations in northern Kenya to collect and disseminate data on markets and the effects of drought on livelihoods and nutrition. KAZNET is currently working with 24 contributors across three counties to collect data from 144 households, while 2,250 households are receiving timely information about markets and pasture conditions. 

The reach of KAZNET is expected to expand to 6,000 households by December 2024. 

Pastoralists are assigned a series of tasks to collect data using smartphones and upload it into the KAZNET app. (ILRI/Kabir Dhanji)

AICCRA Kenya is building capacities for participatory rangeland management (PRM), resulting in significant impacts for good governance, including women’s participation and community commitment to restoring land. 

Following a successful pilot in Baringo County with the support of the CGIAR Research Initiative on Livestock and Climate, AICCRA is now building capacities in several other counties and a variety of climatic contexts to scale PRM.

Boran women with flock of sheep and goats, Garba Tulla, Kenya (ILRI/Fiona Flintan )

Institutionalization of CSA and CIS knowledge

  • Curriculum development: In collaboration with four local universities—Murang’a University of Technology, Taita Taveta University, Chuka University, and Laikipia University—AICCRA has helped develop over eight university curricula in four counties. These include comprehensive Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programs, as well as professional short courses on specific CSA/CIS topics designed to enhance knowledge and skills. The curriculum development process has promoted collaboration among the four universities, facilitating knowledge sharing and identifying opportunities for scalable, sustainable growth and impact beyond AICCRA’s initial contributions.

    AICCRA Kenya is also enhancing curricula for extension services. This includes the co-design of the pioneering short course curriculum, Climate Risk Management in Agricultural Extension (CRMAE), developed in conjunction with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and representatives from KALRO. 
     
  • New tools for analysing, visualizing and disseminating climate information: AICCRA has also supported key developments by the Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative, including the Automatic Weather Station Data Tool (ADT) and Maprooms. In an important milestone, in 2023, following installation and training of KMD on Maprooms, capacity development was cascaded to all county meteorological offices across Kenya.
     
  • Climate-smart investment planning: The agriculture sector in Kenya is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to outdated technologies and 
    reliance on resources for production that are sensitive to a changing climate. In 2022, AICCRA, backed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development’s climate change unit (MOALD-CCU), developed the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Plan (CSAIP). This plan provides strategic guidance and identifies CSA technologies with the highest potential to boost productivity and household incomes in a changing climate, proposing investment opportunities for investors.

    AICCRA will collaborate with counties to design localized investment plans and packages that promote context-specific climate-smart agriculture within local communities.
Credit: Owen Kimani

Enabling women and persons with disabilities to lead farmer demonstrations to scale the uptake of climate-smart agriculture in Kenyan communities

In Kenya, household farming activities in 'Arid and Semi-Arid' (ASAL) regions are mostly led by women, who—despite being on the frontline of the climate challenge—are often at risk of being excluded from agricultural technology transfers.

Guided by World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) standard on the assessment and management of environmental and social risk, the AICCRA team in Kenya together with ICRISAT assessed and prioritized the inclusion of farmers who may be at risk of exclusion in the transfer of CSA technologies in Makueni, Kitui, and Taita Taveta counties.

The emphasis on these measures and the flexibility of the project to accommodate them has inspired progress in locally-led, bottom-up learning to scale CSA. Five of the nine local Agricultural Extension Officers (AEOs)—employed by the Kenyan government and engaged by the project to transfer and interact with the famers on the CSA technologies—are women.

“For us to crunch data of the scale that we have at Kenya Meteorological Department, we need good hardware, and this is exactly what (AICCRA) has done; they have filled our data processing gap.”

Onesmus Ruirie, Assistant Director, Data Management Services, KMD (Read more)

In May 2024, the AICCRA Kenya team hosted a mission and farm field trip bringing together AICCRA leads and key team members from all six focus countries, as well as local partners and representatives from the World Bank.

This coincided with a Public Forum held in Nairobi under the theme: Climate change in Kenya's drylands - How powerful new partnerships support resilient smallholder farmers which served as a platform to showcase how our work is contributing to practical and sustainable change in the Kenyan climate change adaptation ecosystem, and as an occasion to formally launch the additional finance phase of AICCRA.


AICCRA Kenya is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with:

  • The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

 

To learn more about AICCRA Kenya's activities, please contact:

Todd Crane, Country Coordinator - t.crane@cgiar.org

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