Steps towards Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions for Kenya’s dairy sector

Rose Koech, milking a cow at her farm in Kembu, Bomet County in Kenya. She grows fodder trees, shrubs and grass for dairy cattle. ICRAF/Sherry Odeyo

Rose Koech, milking a cow at her farm in Kembu, Bomet County in Kenya. She grows fodder trees, shrubs and grass for dairy cattle. ICRAF/Sherry Odeyo

Dairy is a major activity in Kenya’s agricultural sector and a source of livelihood to some 500,000 people engaged through the value chain. The industry engages one million smallholder farmers who account for 80% of milk produced in Kenya, with large-scale farming accounting for the remaining 20%.

Worldwide the livestock sector is responsible for 14% of all human induced greenhouse gas emission. As part of an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, developing countries may undertake Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These NAMAs are prepared under the umbrella of a national governmental initiative, in the context of sustainable development.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions though NAMAs

Within the framework of the National Climate Change Action Plan, the Government of Kenya is developing NAMAs in the agricultural sector to support climate-smart agriculture, i.e. low-emission, climate resilient and productivity-increasing agricultural investments. The intention is to submit the proposed NAMAs for support by international climate finance..

A Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action in Kenya’s dairy sector is necessary for the development of approaches to improve productivity and contribute to green economic growth through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience benefits.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, is currently developing the NAMA with participation of numerous players in the dairy industry.

Stakeholders at a workshop to initiate the development of a NAMA for Kenya's dairy sector. Photo ICRAF/Susan Onyango

Stakeholders at a workshop to initiate the development of a NAMA for Kenya’s dairy sector. Photo ICRAF/Susan Onyango

Stakeholders meet

The Kenya Dairy Board, together with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, World Agroforesty Centre, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS), FAO and UNIQUE forestry and land use, recently convened stakeholders at a workshop to initiate the development of a NAMA for the country’s dairy sector.

The workshop was intended to identify existing value chain actors and supporting institutions key in the development of a NAMA for Kenya’s dairy sector, to sensitize stakeholders and create awareness on a dairy NAMAs, and to outline steps towards the development of a NAMA for Kenya’s dairy sector.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Livestock, Prof. Fred Segor, outlined challenges affecting the dairy sector. These include low quality animal genetics, insufficient extension services, inadequate and poor quality feeds, high cost of inputs, lack of certified inputs, land tenure, inadequate investments, effects of climate change, among others.

He added that to address these challenges, the government has put in place polices and strategies to develop both legal and institutional frameworks. These include the dairy policy and bill, the Dairy Master Plan and Implementation Strategy, the Agricultural Policy 2015, the revised Livestock Policy and the Veterinary policy.

All these efforts are geared towards increased productivity from the dairy sector, and one of the greatest challenges that will hinder the achievement of this will be climate change effects. This therefore calls for the design and implementation of climate-smart policies and strategies.

Stakeholders at a workshop to initiate the development of a NAMA for Kenya's dairy sector. Photo ICRAF/Susan Onyango

Stakeholders at a workshop to initiate the development of a NAMA for Kenya’s dairy sector. Photo ICRAF/Susan Onyango

Next steps

During the workshop, participants identified interventions along the value chain that can bring transformational change covering input suppliers, farmers, processors and producer organizations. Following the consultations, further investigations will be made to confirm interventions to include in the dairy NAMA.

A structured engagement between the national and country government, the private sector, dairy cooperatives and processors, development partners, research institutions, training institutions and farmers will be critical in ensuring there is increased productivity and profitability from the dairy sector through a low carbon and climate resilient pathway.

Also see:

Blog: Livestock mitigation: Opportunities for farmers, climate agreements across the globe

Livestock NAMAs in Costa Rica, Kenya and Mongolia: Presentation at the joint ICRAF/CCAFS side event on livestock NAMAs at the UNFCCC SBSTA42, June 2015.

s.onyango@cgiar.org'

Susan Onyango

Susan Onyango is the Global Communications Coordinator at the World Agroforestry Centre and is based at the headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. With over 15 year’s experience in communication, she ensures efficient and effective coordination of communication support to units and regions at ICRAF. She joined ICRAF in 2014 as communications specialist for the Climate Change Unit. Susan holds a MA communication studies and a BA in English. Twitter: @susanonyango

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