Conservation agriculture to the rescue of farmers as climate change effects bite

Climate smart agriculture proving critical in reducing soil erosion in Taita Taveta

Obadiah Mjomba started farming maize, sorghum and green grams more than 10 years ago. “But as a farmer today, I can tell you that the weather is most unpredictable and low yields have negatively affected the community’s perception on agriculture,” he notes. Mjomba resides in Chawia Ward, Mwatate, Taita Taveta County, and is one among many farmers in the area who are affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Taita Taveta is considered an arid and semi-arid area despite the fact that it once was the breadbasket of the coastal region.

The decline in agricultural productivity is tied to environmental degradation due to climate change.

“We are using conservation agriculture, which is progressive and helps us retain soil structure,” he adds. He dug a hole during the recent heavy rains, and it filled with water.

“I got a donation of a dam liner from a local NGO, so it is a good reserve for water that I can use on my farm if I need to,” he states. Mjomba is preparing his land to plant cereals such as maize, sorghum, and pulses such as green grams and cowpeas for the upcoming season.

“I am also going to plant other crops such as tomatoes as I am not scared whether the rains fail or not,” he adds with great satisfaction.

He is looking forward to the more support from the county government which supports farmers, especially with proper investments in irrigation systems to reclaim the region’s former glory.

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