Economic impact of climate change on agricuture in Kenya: a production function approach
Kabara, Millicent A
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This study examines the impact of climate change on agriculture in Kenya using a production function approach based on time series data. The study relies on secondary data on climate and other variables. The climate variables are obtained from Kenya Metrological Department (KMD) while data on agriculture and economic variables are obtained from Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) , Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). For the purpose of this study, the climate variables (precipitation and temperature) have been transformed from annual mean to anomalies. The main objective of the study is to assess the potential impacts of climate change on Kenyan agriculture, to predict future impacts and propose options for adaptation based on the findings. The study hypothesizes that Kenyan agriculture is sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation. The translog model is employed to estimate the impact of climate change on agriculture in Kenya. The study results show that output was negatively affected by changes in precipitation and temperature anomalies over the forty year period of the study. Regression results indicate loss of output when precipitation and temperature increases. Interaction between temperature and precipitation leads to a modest decrease in output. An increase in irrigation on the other hand is found to increase output. Simulations based on climate scenarios for possible future climate, suggest that the country is likely to be more vulnerable in future with output reduction predicted to be up to 23% by 2100. The paper concludes that given the negative impact of climate change, appropriate adaptation measures need to be undertaken to avert the loss of output. The paper also notes that irrigation may be a viable adaptation option for Kenya. The paper therefore recommends that the government needs to develop a policy to encourage extensive water harvesting which can be used partly for irrigation and partly for other general uses.