Sharing evidence and experience on Climate-Smart Agriculture to inform policy

Farmer in Githunguri, Kenya - Photo by ICRAF - Sherry Odeyo

A farmer in Githunguri, Kenya. Photo by ICRAF/Sherry Odeyo

The Climate Change Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Kenya, with the support of FAO, ICRAF and CCAFS, convened the Kenya National Climate Change Agriculture Workshop from the 8th – 9th October.

The core objectives of the workshop, hosted at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi, were to engage stakeholders from research, practice and policy to interactively share scientific evidence and field experience to summarize the current state of knowledge on climate-smart agriculture within integrated farming systems within Kenya and provide targeted messages for decision makers. The workshop aimed to raise awareness and understanding and enhanced understanding of opportunities and trade-offs with CSA and the value of integrating research, practice and policy dimensions.

The workshop formed an interactive closing to the FAO Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) programme in Kenya (2011-2014) which focused on understanding how climate-smart agricultural practices in smallholder farming systems can contribute to the mitigation of climate change in agriculture while improving food security and livelihoods. Working with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) Project in Kaptumo, Kenya, MICCA pilot activities were undertaken to

  • Introduce climate smart agriculture practices,
  • Analyze soil health
  • Measure greenhouse gas emissions on different agricultural practices, and
  • Assess the socio-economic dimensions of the uptake of climate smart practices.

The MICCA project results were just one example of over 40 projects, field experiments and farmer evidence presented in thematic working groups throughout the first day of the workshop. The working groups included livestock, aquaculture and energy; agroforestry and conservation agriculture, cropping systems and climate information and insurance, adoption and capacity development and gender.

Constance Neely facilitating the workshop. Photo by ICRAF/Tabitha Obara

Through these highly informative and interactive working group sessions, focus was placed on quantifiable evidence with groups presenting a joint submission summarizing key evidence, knowledge gaps and recommendations. This in-depth technical analysis and findings from the working groups was presented to the high-level decision and policy makers and donors who convened on the second day of the workshop. Through an interactive plenary session the participants explored the dimensions of CSA specifically for Kenya.

This critical unpacking of CSA, in combination with integration analysis of the projects and experiences presented allowed for the development of joint messaging and policy recommendations as immediate input to the revision of the Draft National Climate Change Policy Framework (2014).

Further, the workshop delivered evidence based and jointly agreed upon recommendations on CSA, as a contribution to the policy dialogues of the upcoming UNFCCC conference (COP 20, December 2014, Peru) and other international efforts and for a, including the CSA Alliance for Africa.

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