Sat, 04 Feb 2023

TURKANA, Kenya, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Scientists in Kenya on Thursday advocated for the adoption of innovative farming practices to help build climate resilience among pastoralists, who are the worst hit by a drought that is ravaging the east African nation.

Lilian Jeptanui, a researcher from Egerton University, said to be climate resilient, pastoralists must grow fast-maturing and drought-resistant crops that can be used as both animal and human feeds.

"Some of the crops that can readily be grown, particularly under irrigation, and are both human and animal feeds are sorghum and pulses like groundnuts," she said in Lokichar, northern Kenya, during a training of Turkana pastoralist farmers.

According to her, these crops mature in about three months, therefore, would enable pastoralists to have feed for their animals and themselves in short spans.

These short-term crops can be grown even three times a year if done under irrigation, making pastoralists avoid the effects of drought, she said.

Kenya's National Irrigation Board agriculturalist Kennedy Yegon said the Kenyan government has intensified irrigation activities and training on climate resilience to enable pastoralists to be self-reliant.

According to Kenya's National Drought Management Authority, over four million Kenyans in arid areas are facing starvation in the worst drought in decades that has also affected Somalia and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa.

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