The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has launched a project to help vulnerable groups in Busia and Migori counties to fight the effects of climate change.

KALRO, through Cornell University, has offered training on climate-smart farming methods and inputs to six groups living below the poverty line in the two counties most affected by climate change.

Felista Makini the Deputy Director General of crops at KALRO said they targeted widows, single mothers under 35 and infants, people living with HIV, People with disability and youths.

“Negative effects of climate change like prolonged drought and erratic rains are felt mostly by these groups and most mitigation effects are not geared towards them,” Makini said.

She said they have offered climate-smart farming techniques using local fertilizers, soil conservation and offered seed inputs to farmers on sorghum, millet and beans farming.

“These are traditional crops which can be resilient to climate change and we will work with other stakeholders to ensure we get value addition to them and help farmers further,” Makini said.
She was speaking in Masaba social hall in Migori county when they launched the pilot project only days after a similar event in Alupe, Busia County.

Paul Tana, KALRO research scientist said the seeds offered to farmers are “improved, early maturing and have high yields even in climate adverse conditions because in the past farmers said access to these seeds was not possible.”

“During droughts or poor yields these groups are more prone to living under a dollar a day and to even have a meal, we want to give them alternatives to maize farming,” Tana said.

Damaris Adhiambo, the chairperson of 27 members of Andingo Support Group which have benefitted from the project said it will help them as they are key in supporting those affected and infected with HIV.

“We have been able to boost our nutrition and to be able to count on sorghum and millet in each season despite a shortfall of rain, this has boosted our income and nutrition greatly,” Adhiambo said.

Rogers Owenga, an officer with Pillars Care Foundation which has been working on climate change farming said they will work with experts, crop scientists and extension officers on climate change.

“Because it is special farming we will work with experts on farming practices like making compost manure and boost soil diversity,” he said.

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