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Research Paper | Environmental Science Studies | Kenya | Volume 4 Issue 8, August 2015
Climate Variability and the Associated Impacts on Smallholder Agriculture in Senetwo Location, Kenya
Yaluk Elly Arukulem | Stanley M. Makindi  | Gilbert O. Obwoyere
Abstract: In the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs) part of West Pokot County of Kenya, the growing season for agricultural activities occurs during the peak rainfall season of March, April and May (MAM). Farmers in these areas rely on smallholder agriculture as their livelihood source which in turn depends on the amount and distribution of rainfall. This paper examines the changing pattern of rainfall and the associated impacts on smallholder agriculture in Senetwo Location, Kenya. Annual rainfall trend between 1983 to date showed that in the MAM season rainfall increased in Senetwo location a condition suitable for the good subsistence agricultural performance. Conversely, the smallholder farmers of Senetwo location occasionally suffer heavy economic and resources loss due to unprecedented adverse variability in rainfall patterns. The annual numbers of rain days declined but rainfall intensity increased. Coupled with declining number of rain days, the study established a shift in the onset of the MAM rainfall season. During the main growing season, the number of rain days declined in March but increased in April and May. Rainfall intensities increased in March, April and May. The effect of the changing rainfall pattern on smallholder agriculture in Senetwo location was evidenced by decreased growing period, irregular planting dates and ineffective rainfall with overall negative effects on yields.
Keywords: Climate change, rainfall patterns, growing season, smallholder agriculture
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 8, August 2015,
Pages: 845 - 850