Contribution of Climate-Smart Agricultural Activities to Household Livelihoods in Masii Ward, Machakos County, Kenya
Keywords:Climate-Smart Agriculture, Climate Change, Household Livelihoods, Masii Ward, Machakos County, Kenya
Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach that seeks to achieve three outcomes, which include increasing productivity, enhancing resilience, and reducing GHG emissions. It is pivotal in the context of Climate change-induced vulnerabilities. To ensure food security amidst climatic change-induced vulnerabilities, it is essential to incorporate CSA activities that will increase food production, enhance resilience to unpredictable weather patterns, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The study sought to assess the contribution of CSA activities to household livelihoods in the Masii ward of Machakos County, Kenya. Two theories guided the study: the theory of change by Anderson (2005) and the hierarchy of needs theory by Abraham Maslow (1943). The research design for the study was a descriptive research design, and the study was conducted in Masii ward, Machakos County. The target population for the study was household heads practicing CSA. The extension officer of the ward and KCSAP officials made up the key informants for the study. Cluster random sampling was used to get the study sample. A sample size of 281 household heads was used as a representative sample from a total of 939 households in the ward that have already been funded by the CSA project. The farmers were already in groups consisting of between 20 and 35 members. Since they didn’t contain an equal number of people, proportional allocation was used to select the study sample. Purposive sampling was used to select key informants who took part in the study. Interview schedules were used to collect data from the household heads and the extension officer, whereas focus group discussions were held with the KSCAP officials. Qualitative data was coded for ease of analysis, whereas quantitative data was run through the SPSS program to generate the required data, such as summary statistics such as means and percentages. The findings show that CSA has truly had a positive impact on household livelihood in terms of enabling the farmers to cater to their essential needs, maintain nutritional uptake, and get surplus income to cater to their other needs. Households are able to afford a balanced diet due to increased plant and animal productivity and the availability of surplus income. If CSA is embraced by more people, it will for sure help in alleviating hunger, especially in these times when climate change is a main issue due to its unpredictability. In the long run, the whole community will have benefited from the improved agricultural practices. Besides, if the CSA activities are consistent, it will achieve its three pillars, which are adaptation, resilience, and mitigation of greenhouse gases. Based on the study's findings, the study recommends that sensitization on CSA continue so as to create more awareness about it and enable more farmers to embrace it. Youth should be encouraged by the government to venture more into agriculture since the agricultural benefits accrued can be a source of livelihood for the unemployed. Additionally, the success stories of the youth already reaping from agriculture can be shared to serve as motivation for others that indeed it is possible to make a living from agriculture.
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