There has been a lot of talk, research, and policy documents on climate change and what this portends for the country’s food and even national security.
However, not much has been done on the ground to mitigate the effects of climate variability despite the knowledge.
Prof Margaret Kamar, the Minister for Higher Education Science and Technology, has warned of a catastrophe unless practical steps are taken to increase forest cover and protect the environment.
Almost three years ago, the International Livestock Research Institute warned that Kenyan’s staple food — maize — would continue to perform poorly in parts of Eastern Province because the crop cannot tolerate high temperatures.
This year, the region is reporting another maize crop failure, despite efforts to support farmers with seeds and other inputs. It has been reported that almost 80,000 people in the region require relief food.
The next rains are around the corner and maize is likely to be planted despite the forecast of poor rains.
The Ministry of Agriculture has been promoting alternative heat-tolerant crops, but this campaign must be carried out more aggressively. Kenyans should also consider diversifying their diet.