The Role of Sustainable Farming Practices in Mitigating Climate Change Effects in Bungoma County


Located in the Western part of Kenya, near the border with Uganda, Bungoma County is a region where agriculture is the backbone of the local economy. A proportion of approximately 70% of households are directly engaged in farming, making agriculture a critical pillar of the County’s economy. This sector not only ensures food security but also serves as a source of raw materials for agro-industries.

The agricultural landscape of Bungoma County is diverse, with families cultivating a variety of crops. Staple crops such as maize, beans, sweet potatoes, and various vegetables form the core of the County’s agricultural output. These crops, primarily grown for household’s consumption, often yield a surplus that is sold to meet other family expenses. Besides these staple crops, the County is also recognized for its production of cash crops such as sugarcane, cotton, coffee, sunflower, and tobacco, which significantly contribute to its economy and serve as a source of income for many families.

However, the agricultural sector in Bungoma County is grappling with significant challenges, primarily stemming from the impacts of climate change. These include erratic rainfall patterns and temperature fluctuations, which have resulted in an increase in pest and disease incidences and resistance to pesticides. Furthermore, these climatic hazards, along with moisture stress and variations in planting seasons, have contributed to a decline in crop yields and an increase in post-harvest losses. Moreover, the County has experienced leadership changes within the Department of Environment, leading to interruptions in the consistent execution of planned activities on climate change. Delays in disbursing funds from the FLLoCA Program have also led to the postponement of the planned climate change activities. The increasing population and land fragmentation have led to a decrease in the average size of landholdings, rendering them uneconomical. Unsustainable farming practices, soil erosion, pollution, and climate change have resulted in land degradation. Coupled with the high costs of farm inputs, poor market infrastructure, inadequate storage facilities, and poor governance in cooperative societies, these factors have led to low agricultural productivity.

Despite these challenges, the resilience of the farming community in Bungoma County is evident. Farmers have adopted various adaptation strategies for both crop and livestock production in response to the changing climate.

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