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Toward Climate Resilient African Indigenous Vegetable Production in Kenya

  • Winifred Chepkoech
  • Nancy W. Mungai
  • Hillary K. Bett
  • Silke Stöber
  • Hermann Lotze-Campen
Living reference work entry

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Abstract

Climate change presents a global environmental threat to all economic sectors and particularly to the agricultural sector. Kenya is one of the countries negatively affected by climate change due to its high exposure to extreme events and the low adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers. Farmers are facing water scarcity, unpredictable weather patterns, dry spells, droughts, and rising temperatures. The effects of high temperatures, drought, and dry spells lead to serious losses in vegetable yields. Smallholder farmers involved in vegetable production are most at risk due to the sensitivities of vegetable production and their high vulnerability. Drought and water stress have been identified as important limiting factors in vegetable production. This paper examines the climate change adaptation strategies of farmers of African indigenous vegetable (AIV) in three agro-climatic zones (ACZs) in Kenya. Data from 18 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 269 interviews with farmers were analyzed. This study showed that AIV farmers have responded to climate change with a wide range of farm-level adaptation measures and all of the respondents use a combination of these strategies. Farm production practices, such as the application of manure, frequent weeding, and watering of vegetables, were most widespread, while migration to urban areas and buying insurance were the strategies adopted least across all zones. The results revealed a significant association between particular adaptation strategies and ACZs, particularly in soil and water management practices and land-use adjustments. This study offers policy recommendations for accelerating AIV farmers’ resilience by supporting opportunities for livelihood diversification.

Keywords

Climate change Adaptation strategies African indigenous vegetables Agro-climatic zones Kenya 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winifred Chepkoech
    • 1
  • Nancy W. Mungai
    • 2
  • Hillary K. Bett
    • 3
  • Silke Stöber
    • 1
  • Hermann Lotze-Campen
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Rural Development (SLE)Humboldt Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Crops, Horticulture and SoilsNjoroKenya
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness ManagementEgerton UniversityNjoroKenya
  4. 4.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)PotsdamGermany
  5. 5.Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Sustainable Land Use and Climate ChangeHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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