Climate-Smart Agriculture Practices to Benefit Thousands of Kenyans

Tana River farmers have faced severe challenges due to the prolonged drought and lack of rainfalls in the past recent times. Pasture deterioration and water insecurity are the main cause of livestock death and declines in productivity. This has in turn wiped out household incomes as well as food security in the region.

A solution comes through from a partnership between ALIVE, Kerry Group, the world’s leading taste, and nutrition company, and Concern Worldwide, an Irish humanitarian organization. The partnership aims at improving the lives of over 46,000 Kenyans by providing access to climate-smart agricultural practices.

Efforts by the two organizations will be directed towards improving food security, boosting household incomes by at least 20 percent annually, and reducing malnutrition levels in the Tana River region. This will be done by training farmers as well as providing access to climate-resilient seeds and opening new areas for agricultural production and irrigation.

Participants in the ALIVE project are set to receive training on post-harvest handling, support for mango processing at the community level, and the introduction of post-harvest processing machines.

In addition, farmers will be empowered to interact with markets, with an aim to improve household incomes, form farmer-producer cooperatives, and establish relationships with regional processors and traders. Many farmers in the region are not organized in any form of cooperative and they rely on local traders and handling agents. This translates into low farm gate prices for their produce.

The project also targets malnutrition among children aged under five and mothers in the community, which will see the scaling up of health screening and improving nutrition and health knowledge and care practices.

Welcoming the ALIVE partnership with Concern Ajay Sharma, Kerry’s East Africa General Manager, explained that the company chose Tana River for this climate-smart agriculture project given the glaring need for intervention.

In Tana River County in Kenya, where this new ALIVE project with Concern is underway, 62 percent of the population live below the poverty line and most rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. On one hand, Tana River is vulnerable to flooding – only those farms that are situated beside irrigation canals have been able to sustainably engage in agricultural production,” Sharma says.

On the other hand, areas further away from the river are facing extreme drought. The area is crying out for assistance in the form of long-term value creation. The ALIVE project with Concern will create long-term value for smallholder farmers, by farming the land once again to support themselves, their families, and the community. I’m delighted that Kerry is investing in creating long-term value in Kenya,” Sharma says.

On her part, Concern Worldwide Director of International Programmes, Carol Morgan, notes that climate change is having a devastating impact on the region with the loss of pasturelands and the reduction in water supplies.

“Many households in Tana River depend on this traditional way of livestock rearing but we are seeing that the full potential of the mango crop is untapped. This is an opportunity to further positively impact the lives of farming communities at the sharp end of climate change,” Morgan adds.

The ALIVE project builds on a partnership between Concern and the Kerry Group which spans over 12 years and has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people in Niger, Zambia, and Kenya.

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