Category Archives: Announcements

Flood Warning Message 23rd October 2017

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KMD Flood Warning message 23r-October 2017.pdf (397 KB)

Heavy Rainfall Update

Please download the PDF document:

Weather-Update_12_October.pdf (391kB)

Release of ASDSP Baseline Survey Report

The Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) is a National sector wide programme aimed at supporting the implementation of Agricultural Sector Development Strategy 2010-2020 (ASDS). The purpose of the programme is to increase equitable income, employment and improved food security.

In 2013, ASDSP commissioned 3 baselines surveys; Household, Agribusiness and policy in the 47 counties. The purpose of the surveys was to generate data and information that would be used by programme implementers and other stakeholders to set benchmarks to assess their performance and measure the programme impact. The baseline survey results were validated at county level and the finalized reports are ready for release.

National release of the baseline survey findings and the flagging off vehicles was held at Kenya School of Monetary Studies (off Thika super highway) on the 31st October, 2016.

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Download the ASDSP banner for the release of the Baseline survey

Smallholder farmers bear the brunt of weather change

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Written by Harrison Agundo for Farmbizafrica

Timothy Kiongo has grown maize, beans and soya in his one hectare piece of land for the last 50 years. Every harvest he gets 25 bags of maize, but since 2010 he is lucky to even get five bags per hectare. Timothy is among thousands of smallholder farmers in Kenya who have been hit hardest by the vagaries of weather and are not sure of what to do next, even as institutions pass one law after another.

“The climate is changing—it is very clear,” said Mukusya, a leader of the Utooni Development Organization, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partner organization. Formerly called Excellent Development, the Utooni Development Organization was formed in 1978 to help rural families improve food and water security by terracing land, building sand dams and planting trees.

“The majority of people here have no resources to cope with the situation,” he explained. “If we don’t make changes, we cannot survive.”

With assistance from MCC and other groups, Utooni Development Organization is helping rural families rediscover skills to grow, cook and store indigenous crops, such as millet, sorghum, cowpeas, cassava and sweet potatoes.

“Maize and beans used to grow well in our climate but we are now going back to the old crops which can withstand the drought,” he explained.

Rural families are also improving agricultural productivity and sustainability through building sand dams, reducing soil erosion, planting trees and other soil and water conservation projects.

“People are interested in making changes—everybody recognizes there is a need for change but the demand is bigger than we can reach,” explained Mukusya.

People most at risk of increased drought and other extreme events such as floods, hurricanes and cyclones, are those who are already experiencing poverty, live in vulnerable settings and have limited access to resources to help them cope with increased disasters, he said.

“For me, it is an equity issue,” said Guenther. “Those who are the least responsible for the crisis are most affected. How can we ignore it?”

Solutions are within reach but there needs to be political will to accept responsibility and accountability for actions that create hunger and hardships for people “who are already in precarious situations,” he said.

“These things are preventable—we need to show through our actions that as a Christian community we understand accountability,” said Guenther. “From a faith perspective, this is fundamental to what God calls us to do—to feed the hungry and to walk with the most vulnerable.”

In Canada, MCC is a member agency of Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), a partnership of 15 Canadian church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries.

CFGB and its member agencies are advocating that the new international climate agreement include measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help countries adapt to unavoidable climate change and transfer clean technologies from industrialized countries to developing countries.

Mukusya is hoping that countries will act on the strategies that are developed. “When you talk about what you are going to do, are you going to do it or are you just preaching a gospel that you won’t execute properly?” he asked.

“For us, this is a matter of survival. God created abundant land. We need to find solutions to the destruction we have made for ourselves.”

KEPHIS okays hardy new maize varieties:

In Summary

· Three other varieties also said to be highly tolerant are undergoing field tests. They include Wei 108, and WM1259, both from Kari, while the Kenya Seed Company (KSC) is working on MZ 1202 type.

· While parts of the maize-growing areas are still under attack, scientists estimate a drop in the current season’s crop at 60 per cent, from total losses in the previous two harvests.

Maize farmers can expect higher yields following the approval by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) of new varieties resistant to the deadly neucrosis disease.

Type Wei 101, also known as Tumaini 1, is suitable for the worst affected areas, including Bomet, Nakuru, Narok, and parts of lower eastern, according to Kephis managing director James Onsando.

“Kephis has gazetted and commercialised Wei 101. It has been bred jointly by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari), the Global Maize Programme of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), and the Africa Agricultural and Technology Foundation (AATF),” he said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Three other varieties also said to be highly tolerant are undergoing field tests. They include Wei 108, and WM1259, both from Kari, while the Kenya Seed Company (KSC) is working on MZ 1202 type.

“All these are at an advanced level of testing. We are fast-tracking the process and they could be released before end of the year,” said Dr Onsando.

“There is much less impact than in 2011/12 when farmers in lower Narok, Bomet and Borabu areas lost everything,” he noted. The breakthrough comes at a time when the maize seed industry in eastern Africa is under significant pressure to develop a disease-resistant maize variety.

While parts of the maize-growing areas are still under attack, scientists estimate a drop in the current season’s crop at 60 per cent, from total losses in the previous two harvests.

Nearly 650,000 bags of maize valued at Sh2 billion were lost to the disease, which affected several parts of the Rift Valley. Most of the commercial staple varieties grown in Kenya, including the preferred Hybrid 614, have been found highly vulnerable to the disease. Kenya Seed Company managing director Willy Bet said they had developed two pre-commercial hybrids resistant to the disease.

“We have two varieties that have shown a high level of tolerance. Kenya Seed 1 is now under trial, while another is undergoing field tests by Kephis,” he added.

Source: Daily Nation newspaper; By Zeddy Sambu

Agro-Weather Advisory Bulletins:

weather-bulletin-in-kiswahiliThe bulletin is based on the weather outlook for the long rains season i.e. March-April-May 2014 season. The version is in Kiswahili Language.

Click the following link for download kenyabulletinkiswahili-1-1