Climate Variability and Adaptation Among Small Holder Banana Farmers in Mountain Regions of Kenya
Karienye, David K.
Nduru, Gilbert M.
Kamiri, Hellen W.
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Banana production is the mainstay industry for majority of small holder farmers living in the mountain regions of Kenya. These regions are affected by climate-related impacts at all levels of the value chain. This paper therefore discusses climate trends, related impacts, and adaptations in banana value chain in Mt. Kenya region for the period between 1980 and 2017. The study locations were purposively selected from Mt. Kenya region to include both Imenti South and Mukurweini sub-counties. A sample of 381 respondents was selected using simple random sampling. Triangulation research design was used to guide the study by integrating both qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection and analysis. Historical document analysis was used to examine climatic data (temperature and rainfall) from the Kenya Meteorological Department, Nairobi. Results showed that rainfall and temperature have changed during the study period. Temperature trends in Mukurweini showed R2 = 0.3314 while in Imenti South R2=0.3441 with an overall annual increase in temperature in Mukurweini by 0.02°C while in Imenti South we registered an increase by 0.016°C for the study period. Mukurweini sub-county rainfall trend line had R2=-0.1064 while Imenti South sub-county had R2=-0.1014. Adverse effects of climate variability on banana value chain included low yields in both Mukurweini (79.2%) and Imenti South (60.2%) sub-counties. Farmers in the study area preferred irrigation (57.2%) followed by crop diversification (13.9%) as adaptive strategies to climate variability.