Capacity development and innovative communication

S. Odeyo (ICRAF)
Outcomes & Impacts

Pulling together to develop capacity for climate-smart dairy farming in Kenya

East Africa
Low Emissions Development

Demand for dairy products in Kenya will rise. However, more dairy farming will mean more emissions of greenhouse gases, especially methane, unless farmers adopt climate-smart farming practices. Scientists, government authorities, the private sector, producer organizations and development agencies are pulling together to develop the capacity of the dairy industry in climate-smart practices to reduce emissions.

Climate-smart practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming

  • Incorporate fodder shrubs and herbaceous legumes in cropping systems to sequester carbon
  • Zero-graze to manage manure
  • Use manure as a fertilizer
  • Install biogas units to process manure

CCAFS scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are helping to scale out climate-smart practices suitable for dairy farming in Kenya. Using information gathered and analysed about how farmers elsewhere in the world cope with challenges to production, scientists worked with farmers to select the climate-smart practices that would work best in Kenyan dairy farming conditions. Information on successful practices that farmers already use is the key to mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture.

S. Odeyo (ICRAF)

Throughout 2015, CCAFS scientists and UNIQUE Forestry and Land Use Ltd consultants met with ministries, donors, dairy companies and producer organizations – especially those that have the capacity for outreach. They also met frequently with officials in the State Department of Livestock and the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries. In addition, they partnered with the Mt Elgon smallholder dairy development and watershed protection project, funded by the Livelihoods Fund (Danone) and Brookside Dairy.

These climate-smart feeding and husbandry practices were disseminated among members of 6 producers’ organizations comprising 600 000 farmers, 25% of whom are women. The team also targeted organizations and companies that might offer technical and financial support. A Kenyan company, Brookside Dairy and the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F), an investment fund launched in 2015, are progressing a USD 3.5 million project. The project will help 30 000 Kenyan farmers to put climate-smart dairy farming methods into practice.

“Potential improvements to the livestock sector are wide and include increased market access, decreased fragmentation of value chains, improved private sector participation and stable milk supplies. In turn, this increases incomes and improves nutrition for rural people engaged in livestock-based livelihoods.” Timm Tennigkeit, Unique Forestry and Land Use Ltd

The potential for the dairy industry to raise productivity and at the same time reduce livestock emissions by 18–30% is significant. CCAFS work to develop capacity in climate-smart dairying across the sector helps scale out practices that reduce emissions, boost livelihoods and build resilience.

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