Smart Farming yields fruit in Nyando

Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and CGIAR Fund Chair interacts with one of the women farmers in the Nyando Climate Smart Villages.Photo: S. Kilungu
Nov 17, 2013

by

Rachel Kyte (World Bank)

Regions

Insights from Rachel Kyte, the CGIAR Fund Council Chair and World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development after her visit to CCAFS Climate Smart Villages in Kenya on 8th November 2013.

John Obuom and Poline Achieng’ Omondi are talking about their goats to a group of visitors that includes me. Turns out, cross-breeding local goats with Gala goats increases size, and cross-breeding Red Massai sheep with local sheep increases tolerance to heat and parasites. The result is a dramatically growing family income. Local goats fetch the equivalent of $20 at the markets; the improved goats bring in $80-90. The goats on the Obuom farm are noticeably plump and big for their age.
 

But that’s not the only benefit of the climate-smart techniques that John is describing. Milk production has tripled, leaving enough milk for the family and plenty left over to sell; flood and rainwater ponds reduce erosion and provide year-round water for irrigation; improved maize crops have increased disease-tolerance and productivity; intercropping pawpaw trees and food crops maximizes land use and more than doubles profits.  A small woodlot provides income and fertilizes the soil.
 
The countryside around the Obuom farm, where I was traveling last week, is not rich. The landscape is scarred by deep gullies caused by soil erosion. Half the people live below the poverty line; and malnutrition affects 45 percent of children under the age of five. Climate change and the resultant increasingly unpredictable rainfall will make this land even tougher to farm. Over the next 70 years, climate change could reduce food crop yields by as much as 16 percent worldwide and up to 28 percent in Africa. Yet climate-smart approaches are giving farmers better options and helping them increase production, incomes, and resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading Rachel's story on the World Bank Voices Blog.

Find out about other activities in Climate Smart Villages.

See more pictures from the visit by Rachel Kyte to Nyando Climate Smart Villages