Climate Change Impacts on Small Scale Farmers in North Kinangop Location, Kenya

By Nancy Wanja Njenga, Monica Wanjiku Muna and John Njagi Muriuki.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Climate variability and change has been considered to be posing the greatest threat to agriculture and food security in many of the poor, agriculture-based countries in Africa. In recognition of this, an assessment of climate change impacts on small-scale farmers was conducted in Nyandarua South District to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on the small-scale farmers in the area. The area is nationally known as a high agricultural potential area producing all year round horticulture produce. Data was obtained through administration of questionnaires, observation and focused group discussions. Through systematic random sampling the researcher administered 375 households’ questionnaires representing 10% of the total households in the study area. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean, percentages) and inferential statistics (chi square) were used to produce associations between variables assessed. The results indicate that small-scale farmers in North Kinangop Division are struggling with impacts of climate variability. According to analysis, there was a strong association between perceived rainfall intensity variations and impacts on small-scale farmers in North Kinangop (X2 = 15.411, P =0.05) and strong association between rainfall distribution and loss of crops and reduced freshwater (X2 = 41.226, P=0.001). Extreme climatic events occurrences had a strong association with impacts on small-scale farmers (X2 = 32.692, P = 0.001). It can therefore be concluded that small-scale farmers have perceived climate variability to be impacting heavily on their agricultural activities as rainfall intensities, reliability and distribution continue to vary in time and space. Other meteorological extreme events (droughts and frost) have been observed to intensify in the area with consequent impacts on crop production. This paper therefore recommends more capacity building programmes to be initiated in the area to enhance awareness of climate variation and change, impacts and adaptation measures to enhance the farmers’ resilience.

Keywords: Perceptions, Climate Variability, Impacts, Small-scale Farmers, Rainfall Variations, Extreme Events, Agriculture, North Kinangop, Kenya

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.19-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 203.946KB).

Nancy Wanja Njenga

Graduate Student, Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University, Naivasha, Kenya

I am a graduate student undertaking Masters of environmental studies (climate change and environmental sustainability). I have dedicated interests in environmental conservation, and look forward to assisting communities derive sustainable livelihoods from natural resources without compromising the integrity of ecosystems services. I have my Bachelor degree in environmental studies from Kenyatta University. Since then I have worked with WWF Kenya in implementing environmental projects that entail natural resources conservation, community livelihoods improvement, and economic development. While working, I realized the challenges the small scale farmers are undergoing due to increased unpredictability of the weather in the area, and I felt the need to further my studies in the area of climate change and environmental sustainability. I chose to undertake practical research assessing the impacts of climate change and variability on small scale farmers of a section of the community groups I was working with so that I can understand the level of vulnerability and assist in developing adaptive measures useful to the farmers.

Monica Wanjiku Muna

Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University. She has been conducting research on crops, soil fertility and climate change.

John Njagi Muriuki

Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

Chairman Department of Environmental Education, School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University. He has been working on research in biodiversity and climate change.

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