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El Niño could boost agricultural production in Kenya

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Arjan van de Merwe/UNDP

El Niño rains could be double-edged sword for Kenya

Gilbert Nakweya

“If [people in] such areas do serious farming during this season, they will increase the country’s agricultural productivity.” – Samuel Mwangi, Kenya Meteorological Department

Speed read

  • The El Niño-related rainfall is expected to peak this month
  • Experts say it could boost agricultural production and power generation
  • But it could also increase the spread of diseases such as malaria

Kenya should take advantage of the predicted El Niño-related rainfall expected to peak this month and extend to early parts of 2016, according to meteorologists.

Kenyan meteorologists say that although the rains will negatively impact on people and their livelihoods, the country should be prepared to reap the benefits of the rains.

“We have positives that Kenyans, especially those in the agricultural marginalised areas, should take advantage of,” said Samuel Mwangi, a meteorologist from the Kenya Meteorological Department.
Mwangi tells SciDev.Net that farmers in such areas as Mbeere, Makueni and Machakos which usually experience dry seasons, should tap into the rains and plant food crops.

“If [people in] such areas do serious farming during this season, they will increase agricultural productivity on their farms, hence improving the food security situation in the country,” explained Mwangi adding that the national and county governments should help farmers in these areas by providing farm inputs such as seeds.
Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.