Kalele Dorcas Nzasu

Kalele Dorcas Nzasu
Project Title
Climate-Smart Agriculture Options for Enhanced Resilience and Food Security: A Case Study of Yatta, Machakos County, Kenya
Degree Name
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Climate Change and Adaptation
Project Summary


In the recent decades, extreme weather events have increased in frequency, intensity and magnitude threatening and increasing the vulnerability of rural livelihoods particularly in the arid and semi-arid lands. This study explored climate change events, the extent of their impacts on farmers’ livelihoods, farmers’ adaptation strategies and the extent of the strategies on improving farmers' ability to manage the climate change impacts in the Yatta region, Kenya. The study adopted a multi-method approach that integrated qualitative and quantitative data sources. Quantitative data were obtained from 354 household interviews while qualitative data were obtained from 8 focus group discussions. The interview data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics while the discussion data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The most experienced climate events were drought (90.7%), crop diseases (79.1%) and floods (33.30%). Livelihoods aspects greatly impacted by the climate change events were food shortage (87.29%), increased food prices (76.27%) and decreased availability of water (72.43%). Although farmers had adopted several on-farm adaptation strategies, the adoption levels remained low. Water management strategies (water conservation and water harvesting) recorded higher adoption rates of 62.71% and 53.95% respectively. The adoption of on-farm adaptation strategies had proved some potential to improve farmers’ ability to deal with the experienced climate change impacts. The regression model showed that farmers were likely to adopt crop and water management practices which they perceived had a higher probability of improving their ability to cope with climate change impacts. The occurrence of climate change events in the study area has affected agriculture productivity, food security and socioeconomic status of the households. Effective integration of potential adaptation strategies into smallholder farming systems calls for measures to address adoption and implementation barriers while ensuring alignment of policies, programs and institutional support systems.