The purpose of this initiative is to resolve the issue of accessibility and usage of climate information by the vulnerable groups within Nakuru County. More than any other sector of the economy, agriculture relies directly on the natural resource base – that is the land and water resources that are essential elements of crop and livestock production. The biggest challenge that farmers have been facing is increasing their production levels. A fundamental way to enable farmers to meet this challenge in the face of climate related stresses is to provide them with timely and highly practical information for them to take appropriate decisions. Climate Information System (CIS) is supposed to help farmers with the practical understanding of what this information is and how best to use the same to manage their farming risks and to take advantage of any prevailing weather conditions or circumstances.
Climate Information includes the immediate and short term weather forecasts from Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) – rainfall, temperature – and advisories as well as longer term information about new seeds| technologies and market information. Well packaged climate information is especially useful in helping farmers to manage risks in what is already an exceptionally risky sector under which they operate and in reducing uncertainty that so often constrains their decision making. CIS should be designed to inform their decisions about what to grow| when to plant and harvest, how to allocate their labor and where to sell their produce. Much of this information should be adapted for use in local conditions and should be highly relevant to the needs of producers or users operating in local contexts. Our initiative involves linking climate information users with climate information providers in a system that enhances access to timely and highly practical information that is readily usable and relevant to their prevailing conditions.
We are looking at establishing an effective system that has the capacity to deliver a holistic package of climate related user information to the small scale farm holders within Nakuru County. When fully operational, the information will include the following:
i. Access to timely and usable climate information
ii. Soil sampling and analysis
iii. Water harvesting
iv. Farm inputs
v. Extension services
vi. Market information
vii. Energy harnessing (clean solar energy harvesting)
viii. Livestock breeding
This will be achieved through the establishment of technology transfer centres that have the capacity to besides giving this information to the users| demonstrate its use. Besides accessing timely climate information| the end users will have an opportunity to practically learn how they could collect and use such information on their farms. Whereas the technology transfer centres and other private users may have the capacity to record climate information| they may not have the capacity to forecast and offer projected climate information that is essential for both shorter and longer term planning. The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and which CCRAC has been liaising with have such capacity. CCRAC will thus be working very closely with KMD in getting such projected climate information for further packaging and onward delivery to the small scale users within Nakuru County. Soil sampling and analysis It is imperative that farmers understand their soil composition in order for them to correctly determine the type of fertilizers to use| the selection of crops| land preparation technologies| etc. The technology transfer centres will aim at linking the farmers with soil analysis experts who will train them on how to undertake soil sampling. Water harvesting At the top of the list of the challenges facing the Nakuru community members is the desperate need for greater and more efficient access to clean water. In the water cycle| while there are several methods by which the earth loses water| it is only through rainfall that water comes back to earth. At this stage the water is relatively clean and can be collected for use with minimal capital investment. Compared to the conventional systems of water supply for domestic consumption| agriculture| industrial and other uses that emphasize abstraction from surface streams| deep wells and even the seas| rainwater is much cheaper| as it requires minimum treatment and needs little if any reticulation systems.
Target Counties: Nakuru
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