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The Impact of climate change on Agriculture and food security in Kenya
12 June 2023 - Grace Mwarania

As global temperatures continue to rise, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent. One area where its impacts are particularly pronounced is in agriculture and food security. Kenya, a country heavily reliant on farming for livelihoods, is facing significant threats to its economy and population’s well-being. In this blog post, we will explore how climate change is affecting agriculture and food security in Kenya and discuss strategies that social entrepreneurs in agriculture can employ to mitigate these effects.

Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in Kenya

Small-scale farmers, who lack the resources to adapt to changing conditions, bear the brunt of climate change. The decline in agricultural productivity has led to widespread food insecurity, with millions of people facing hunger and malnutrition. To address these challenges, it is crucial to promote sustainable agriculture practices that are resilient to climate change. This includes adopting drought-resistant crops, conservation agriculture, and improved water management techniques.

How Climate Change is Affecting Food Security in Kenya

The impact on food security has been devastating for the country’s vulnerable populations who heavily depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Hunger and malnutrition rates have spiked as access to nutritious foods has become limited due to high prices caused by low supply.

Long-term strategic planning is needed to improve both irrigation systems that can withstand changing weather patterns such as those that work with solar power rather than relying solely on seasonal rains.

Furthermore, educating small-scale farmers about Climate Smart Agriculture practices aimed at promoting soil conservation techniques like agroforestry will significantly reduce erosion while also improving soil fertility thereby reducing vulnerability to rising temperatures which affects crop yield negatively.

Climate smart agriculture

The Role of Agriculture in Mitigating Climate Change in Kenya

Agriculture plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change in Kenya. Sustainable practices, such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and integrated crop-livestock systems, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. Improving soil health through practices like crop rotation and reduced tillage enhances crop resilience to climate change impacts. 

Adopting climate-smart technologies, such as improved seed varieties, weather forecasting tools, and efficient irrigation systems, helps farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions. 

Promoting the use of renewable energy sources, like solar-powered irrigation pumps, reduces reliance on fossil fuels and lowers carbon emissions.

Solar powered irrigation pumps

Adapting to Climate Change: Strategies for Kenyan Farmers

Kenyan farmers need to adapt their agricultural practices in response to the changing climate. 

Climate-smart agriculture holds great potential, which involves implementing new technologies and farming practices that help sequester carbon while also increasing crop yields and resilience. 

For example, intercropping trees with crops can reduce soil erosion caused by heavy rainfall, while also providing shade for crops during hotter days.

Crop diversification helps mitigate the impacts of climate change on food security by increasing the chances of a successful harvest despite unpredictable weather patterns.

Another important adaptation strategy is improving water management techniques such as the use of rainwater harvesting systems and drip irrigation. 

These methods allow farmers to conserve water during droughts while maintaining consistent crop growth.

The Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture in Kenya

The economic impacts of climate change on agriculture in Kenya are significant. Unpredictable weather patterns result in reduced crop yields and livestock productivity, leading to increased food prices and decreased income for farmers. This exacerbates poverty and food insecurity. Climate change also leads to increased pest and disease outbreaks, further reducing crop yields and increasing production costs. Allocating more resources towards disaster relief efforts diverts funds from other development projects, hindering overall economic growth. It is essential for the government and stakeholders to invest in climate-smart agriculture practices that promote resilience, adaptation, and profitability for farmers.

Biodiversity & climate change

Collaborative Efforts to Address Climate Change and Food Security in Kenya

Addressing the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security in Kenya requires multi-stakeholder collaboration. The government, private sector, civil society organizations, and farmers must work together to develop and implement effective strategies. 

The Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Strategy aims to increase agricultural productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. International organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are supporting initiatives such as weather monitoring stations and early warning systems for droughts. Farmer cooperatives provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences and enable small-scale farmers to access markets, finance, and information on climate-smart practices.



In Kenya, climate change poses a serious threat to agriculture and food security. Reduced crop yields, increased food prices, and food insecurity are the results of changing weather patterns, unpredictable rainfall, and extreme weather events. The effects of climate change can, however, be mitigated and food security can be ensured by adopting various strategies. 

Utilizing drought-resistant crops, implementing water harvesting techniques, and conserving soil are some of these methods. In order to address the challenges posed by climate change, WE provide a platform for social entrepreneurs to collaborate, exchange resources, and foster innovation. Together with other stakeholders, we play a crucial role in securing a sustainable future for Kenya’s agricultural sector and ensuring food security for all.