Browsing by Author "Rao, K.P.C."
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ItemClimate variability and change : farmer perceptions and understanding of intra-seasonal variability in rainfall and associated risk in semi-arid Kenya(Cambridge University Press, 2011) Rao, K.P.C.; Ndegwa, W.G.; Kizito, K.; Oyoo, A.This study examines farmers’ perceptions of short- and long-term variability in climate, their ability to discern trends in climate and how the perceived trends converge with actual weather observations in five districts of Eastern Province in Kenya where the climate is semi-arid with high intra- and inter-annual variability in rainfall. Field surveys to elicit farmers’ perceptions about climate variability and change were conducted in Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Mwingi and Mutomo districts. Long-term rainfall records from five meteorological stations within a 10 km radius from the survey locations were obtained from the Kenya Meteorological Department and were analysed to compare with farmers’ observations. Farmers’ responses indicate that they are well aware of the general climate in their location, its variability, the probabilistic nature of the variability and the impacts of this variability on crop production. However, their ability to synthesize the knowledge they have gained from their observations and discern longterm trends in the probabilistic distribution of seasonal conditions is more subjective, mainly due to the compounding interactions between climate and other factors such as soil fertility, soil water and land use change that determine the climate’s overall influence on crop productivity. There is a general tendency among the farmers to give greater weight to negative impacts leading to higher risk perception. In relation to long-term changes in the climate, farmer observations in our study that rainfall patterns are changing corroborated well with reported perceptions from other places across the African continent but were not supported by the observed trends in rainfall data from the five study locations. The main implication of our findings is the need to be aware of and account for the risk during the development and promotion of technologies involving significant investments by smallholder farmers and exercise caution in interpreting farmers’ perceptions about long-term climate variability and change. ItemCoping better with current climatic variability in the rain-fed farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa : a dress rehearsal for adapting to future climate change?(International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), 2006) Cooper, P.J.M.; Dimes, J.; Rao, K.P.C.; Shapiro, B.; Shiferaw, B.; Twomlow, S.Far greater investment in the rain-fed farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is essential if chronic food shortages and poverty are to be reduced and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals is to be achieved. However, in such systems, rainfall variability is the fundamental factor that defines production uncertainty, and whilst farmers have learned to cope with current climatic variability, they and many associated potential investors are ‘risk averse’ and over-estimate the impact of rainfall variability on crop and livestock production. As a result they are reluctant to make such investments when the outcomes seem so uncertain from year to year. Climate change will result in even greater rainfall variability in many parts of SSA and can only exacerbate this situation. However, unless the livelihoods of resource poor farmers and the natural resource base upon which they depend are made more resilient though coping better with current climate variability, the challenge of adapting to future climate change will be daunting for most and perhaps impossible for many. ICRISAT is helping to bring together a consortium of national, regional and international partners that will bring new and proven climate risk management tools to address the concerns of farmers and stakeholder investors and will help them build strategic and tactical climate risk management approaches into their planning and activities. Indeed, if a better understanding of the constraints and opportunities of climatically induced risk is not provided to key stakeholders and farmers alike, investment in the rain-fed agricultural sector in SSA is likely to remain at its current low and inadequate level resulting in persistent poverty and vulnerability of rural populations. The Consortium experts are convinced that the successful application of these approaches will, by 2015, have facilitated and guided agricultural investments that will play a major role in moving towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and in answering Secretary Kofi Annan’s call for a truly African Green Revolution. ItemFarming with current and future climate risk : advancing a 'hypothesis of hope' for rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics(lCRISAT, 2009) Cooper, P.; Rao, K.P.C.; Singh, P.; Dimes, J.; Traore, P.S.Better formulated and targeted policies that facilitate and support the adoption of agricultural innovation will assume greater urgency in the light of climate change. Given the lead-time required, ICRISAT should embark on an intensive characterization of its existing germplasm without delay, and develop better adapted cultivars. This in-depth article covers work carried out by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) regarding agricultural innovation, crop yields, soil-water balance, and changing rainfall patterns. Current climate-induced production risk and future climate change will impact on all of ICRISAT’s crop improvement and natural resource management endeavours in the SAT. ItemKenya : améliorer les stratégies adaptatives des agriculteurs en intégrant les savoirs endogènes en matière de prévision et d'adaptation climatiques(Centre de recherche forestière internationale (CIFOR), Bogor Barat, ID, 2010) Ndegwa, W.; Rao, K.P.C.; Ngugi, R.K.; Kwena, K. ItemKenya : improving farmer adaptive capacity by integrating local and indigenous knowledge in climate forecasting and adaptive response(Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor Barat, ID, 2010) Ndegwa, W.; Rao, K.P.C.; Ngugi, R.K.; Kwena, K.This bulletin looks at how localized “downscaled” climate information helps farmers to develop appropriate agricultural response strategies. The project ‘Managing risk, reducing vulnerability and enhancing agricultural productivity under a changing climate’ applied a participatory research approach with smallholder farmers in three Districts of Kenya to develop location-specific, simplified climate forecasts. This has led to improved adoption of agricultural technologies with the potential to enhance productivity and local adaptive capacity. Traditional forecasting indicators have become increasingly unreliable due to recent and significant changes in seasonal rainfall patterns. ItemRainfall analyser user manual(2010) Rao, K.P.C.; Oyoo, A.; Ndegwa, W.This is a user manual for the Rainfall Analyser, a tool that assists in generating information helpful for understanding distribution and trends in rainfall and average rainfalls at any given location. The Rainfall Analyser allows for automatic analysis of long-term daily rainfall observations, and to compute monthly, dekadal and weekly averages. It is a simple Excel based tool to automate calculations required for characterizing the temporal variability in rainfall. ItemTemperature analyser user manual(2011) Rao, K.P.C.; Oyoo, A.; Ndegwa, W.The Temperature Analyser is a simple Microsoft Excel based tool to automate calculations required for characterizing the variability in temperature over time. The Temperature Analyser" allows the user to automatically analyse long-term daily temperature observations and compute monthly, dekadal and weekly averages, as well as understand the associated variability through simple statistical and trend analysis. It also allows users to group the available data into time periods for comparison.