High-input, rain-fed mechanized agriculture is the main livelihood source in Trans Nzoia County (Figure 1), contributing about 70% of an average household’s income.
Maize, beans, dairy cow , and indigenous chickens are the key value chain commodities that contribute to household food security and livelihoods.
Uncertainty about the growing season, including about the onset and end of the rainy season, moisture stress, and excess rainfall are the main climatic hazards that affect productivity along these value chains, thus compromising food security in Trans Nzoia.
Declining land productivity, high input costs, low producer prices, inadequate extension services, insufficient storage and processing facilities, little or no value addition, and inadequate markets and marketing infrastructure are some of the outstanding factors that aggravate the adverse impacts of climate change and variability, limiting farmers’ capacities to cope with these impacts.
Farmers employ on-farm strategies in response to climate risks and shocks, including growing early maturing varieties, dry planting, conservation agriculture, value addition, tree planting, animal feed conservation, improving livestock breeds, water harvesting, and agroforestry. The main constraints to the adoption of these strategies are the high costs of the technologies involved and limited knowledge about these technologies.
Off-farm services for supporting farmers in dealing with climate change and variability include weather advisories, the formation of producer organizations, and crop and livestock insurance. The provision of these services is hampered by a lack of information and inadequate financial and human resources.
Governmental, non-governmental, faith-based, and private organizations support climate-change adaptation efforts by providing financial and human resources. These organizations boost farmers’ resilience by supplying inputs and offering extension services to improve their technical know-how.
A stronger framework for collaboration will enable stakeholders to engage more fully through a participatory forum.