On Tuesday 14 February 2012, ILRI together with partners held a workshop on biodiversity in the drylands whose full project title is : Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Social sustainability and Tipping points in African Dry lands (BEST). Coast week newspaper covered the event. Here is what they reported: Livestock experts seek to conserve Kenya drylands
Kenyan farmers adopt climate smart sheep and goats
In 2013, the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in partnership with the Breeding and Genetics team at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), scientists at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and other partners, introduced The Red Maasai sheep, Galla and Alpine goats to farmers in Nyando, Western Kenya. This was in a bid to support the farmers adapt to the changing climate through “climate smart agriculture”.
The insufficient rainfall which was both unreliable and significantly lower than expected had led to the drying up of the main cash crop which is maize, long before harvest time. Introduction of livestock and specifically small ruminants, i.e. sheep and goats, was a way of diversifying the farmers’ incomes to shield them from over dependence on cash crop sales. Small ruminants in western Kenya are owned and managed mainly by women and are their main source of income. ILRI provided some of the initial livestock and continues to provide management skills to the farmers to enable them get the maximum benefits.
Read more from the local media here