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Smallholder farmers in Kenya have been experiencing devastating impacts of climate change, ranging from changes in weather patterns, droughts, floods, new patterns of pests and diseases. Farmers have gone for seasons without yields possibly due to insufficient rains or attacks by new pests and diseases, even after acquiring inputs that were solely financed for the purpose of planting. Consequently, these have led to increased food in security in the region. As many of these farmers are subsistence farmers, who rely on their own crop to provide food for their households. Farmers in my region have also suffered economically and socially due to the negative effects of climate change.
Having studied agricultural sciences and natural resource management, I am currently working with farmers in my community to help them adapt to some of these challenges.I have helped farmers in identifying opportunities that can lead to diversification of their livelihoods by engaging in different activities that can earn them extra income. At Eco Fuels in Kenya, where I am employed we have engaged over 6,000 farmers in the supply chain. We have encouraged the farmers to collect nuts of the Croton Megalocarpus tree, an indigenous tree that grows within their farm boarders, and sell the nuts to EFK, which is an organisation that sources Croton nuts and processing them into oil used for biofuel, soap products, leathern tanning and paint manufacturing. In addition to that, I am training the farmers and leading them to access organic inputs that can help to rejuvenate their soil nutrients and increase soils fertility. With more fertile soil, the farmers will be able to reap high yields from their farms and overcome the problems of food insecurity.
By Faith John (Kenya)
Research Manager at Eco Fuel
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