Adapting to climate change

In Kenya the effects of climate change have already been witnessed. In 2009 a drought in the Rift Valley led to a 30% drop in production. What’s increasingly of concern is that smallholder farmers, which account for up to 60% of Kenyan tea, are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

About the project

We’re partnering with the German Development Agency GIZ  on behalf of BMZ* on a 3-year, €390,000 public-private partnership. The project is helping more than 50,000 smallholder farmers supplying Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factories to become more resilient to climate change through improved farming practices.

Mapping the areas that will be affected

At the start of the project climate modelling was used to show how the geography of tea producing regions would look by 2020 and 2050 (based on climate alone). Using this information we selected 5 KTDA factories and the smallholder farmers supplying them to work with.

How we’re helping

The project increases farmers’ resilience to climate change by providing training on good-practice farming and adaptation measures using KTDA’s training and support structures (lead farmers and farmer field schools/FFSs). A training manual full of adaptation strategies was also produced for KTDA field workers and extension officers (see right).

Measures include:

  • Training on soil, water, and bush management
  • The use of composting, mulching and shade trees
  • Water harvesting, conservation, and drip irrigation
  • Crop diversification and introduction of kitchen gardens
  • Access to drought and frost resistant tea clones
  • Fuel wood conservation and access to energy efficient stoves

Working with Marks and Spencers

After learning about the ETP/GIZ project leading UK retailer Marks and Spencers commissioned us to run the training for producers and farmers in their supply chains. Ultimately the training will help a further +30,000  farmers to respond to the challenges of climate change.