Kenya County Climate Risk Profile Series: Climate Risk Profile – Murang’a County – Kenya
Agriculture is the main economic activity in Murang’a County. It plays a crucial role in food and nutrition security and accounts for 57% of the county’s employment.
The main farming systems in Murang’a County are cash crop farming, mixed subsistence farming, animal husbandry and fish farming. These systems range from large to small scale.
As part of the National Inclusive Agricultural and Rural Growth Project, four products in the value chain – local chicken, dairy cows, avocado and banana – have been prioritized in Murang’a County, based on their economic value and their resilience, the number of people engaged in the value chain and their contribution to food security and income.
The potential of these four value chains depends on the agro-ecological zones in which they are cultivated. Dairy cattle are mainly practiced in the agro-ecological zones of the highlands and middle lands due to the favorable climatic conditions, while the local chicken, avocado and bananas are mainly raised in the agro-ecological zones of the high and lowlands. medium.
It is estimated that 23% of the total county population is considered to be poor in nutrition, while 19% of the county’s under-5 population is stunted and 1% of the under-5 population is stunted. less than 5 years of the county is wasted (KDHS, 2014).
Murang’a County faces challenges that limit its agricultural productivity. These challenges include high prices, pests and diseases, post-production losses, poor road networks and decreased land availability.
Historically, the lowland agro-ecological zone of the county experiences more periods of drought and water stress than the agro-ecological zones of the highlands and midlands. Conversely, these latter zones are at greater risk of flooding and erosion than the agroecological zones of the middle lowlands.
On-farm climate change adaptation strategies in Murang’a County include water harvesting, conservation agriculture, use of drought tolerant and early maturing breeds, planting and breeding. timely conservation of fodder, use of certified agricultural inputs, diversification of value chains and use of sustainable land management practices such as grass strips, fanya juu, retention ditches and waste disposal lines.
Murang’a County’s off-farm climate change adaptation strategies include the use of early warning systems, weather advisories, extension, training and credit facilities, appropriate post-management production, use of storage facilities, indigenous knowledge and market information gathering.
The county has adopted several national policies aimed at adapting to climate change and the risks associated with it. These policies provide information to farmers, enabling them to plan, make viable economic decisions and adapt to anticipated climate risks.