UNDP supports Kenyan farmers through climate change project

Goats-Africa- Andrzej Kubik(Image source: Andrzej_Kubik)The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in conjunction with the Kenyan government has launched a US$4.2mn project in arid and semi-arid regions to boost crop and animal production in the wake of severe effects of climate change

The government has distributed 57 Galla goats, 17 dairy goats and 100 beehives to local beneficiaries in the sub-county. “This project will help reclaim dry land for crop and animal husbandry by addressing land degradation. This will increase the size of arable land and boost tree and livestock populations,” observed Prof Fred Sigor, Kenya’s agriculture and livestock principal secretary. Other aspects of the project will include the construction of sand dams, provision of hybrid goats, tree nurseries and the funds have been used in constructing sand dams, provision of hybrid dairy goats, tree nurseries and supply of piped water in Narok, Kitui, Embu and Garissa Counties. “Livelihoods of communities in arid and semi-arid areas continue to be threatened by recurrent drought. This will result in pastoralists and agro-pastoralists depending on food aid if they are not supported to mitigate the negative effects of climate change,” noted Prof Sigor. Accordingly, provision of Galla goats and dairy goats will provide farmers with sustainable income generating venture. “Goats survive well is semi-arid regions. We now expect farmers to embrace goat rearing as a serious business venture,” he said. UNDP wants the pilot project to be used by regional governments to learn climate change management. “County governments should help initiate similar projects to help sustainability. We plan to extend the project to other areas,” said Zeinabu Khalif, UNDP-Kenya Programme Analyst. According to Ms Khalif, first generation kids from the dairy goats will be returned to farmers’ field schools for distribution to other members of the groups to ensure sustainability of the project. Mwangi Mumero

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