What you need to know about Kenya’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Strategy for 2017-2026.

In February last year, Kenya declared drought a national disaster and appealed for local and international help after drought persisted for more than 10 years, affecting about 23 counties in 2017.

There is evidence from historical records that Kenya has experienced increased temperature over the last 50 years. The frequency of intense extreme weather events like droughts and floods has also increased. Future climatic predictions indicate a possible temperature increase of 10°C by 2020 and 2.3°C by 2050.

Agriculture is the main source of income for the Kenyan economy. According to the Kenya Economic Report (2013), the sector accounts for about 26% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 27% indirectly through linkages with sectors such as manufacturing and distribution.

With the country’s dream to become a middle- income country with citizens enjoying high quality of life and a sustained annual economic growth rate of at least 10% by the year 2030, the agriculture sector has been identified as one of the key sectors to contribute to the projected annual national economic growth.

The sector is envisaged to ensure food security, provision of raw materials for agro-industries, creation of employment opportunities, generation of income and foreign exchange earnings. 

However, the sector has become the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.

In 2013, the Kenya National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) put together by a number of stakeholders was launched in an effort to adapt to and mitigate climate change effects. Additionally, the plan would improve the country’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities that climate change offers.

This bore the idea of developing The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy (KCSAS) as a tool to implement Kenya’s nationally determined contribution for the agriculture sector. The objective of this Climate Smart Agriculture Project for Kenya is to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities in Kenya, and in the event of an Eligible Crisis or Emergency, to provide immediate and effective response. 

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) may be defined as an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural development under the new realities of climate change or put it simply as “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes mitigation where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals”. 
The strategy identifies four broad strategic areas:
1.       Adaptation and building resilience by addressing vulnerability due to changes in rainfall and temperature, extreme weather events and unsustainable land/water management and utilization;
  1. Mitigation of GHG’s emissions from key and minor sources in agriculture sector;
  2. Establishment of an enabling policy, legal and institutional framework for effective implementation of CSA; and
  3. Minimizing effects of underlying cross cutting issues such as human resource capacity and finance which would potentially constrain realization of CSA objectivities.
The implementation of KCSA strategy will require a total of KSh. 500 billion (US$ 5.0 billion) for adaptation and mitigation actions for agriculture sector up to 2026. Investment resources to implement the KCSAS will be mobilized from diverse sources and appropriate mechanisms established for access, disbursement, and utilization. 

CSA provides the means to help stakeholders at local, national and international levels to identify agricultural strategies suitable to their conditions.

Innovative and transformative measures are therefore urgently required to assist stakeholders in the sector across the agricultural value chains to cope with effects of current and projected change in climate patterns.


The County Governments will be responsible for implementation of this strategy with each county developing CSA policies, strategies and plans to guide implementation or integrating County specific strategies into their County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) and other plans.

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