Assessment of the influence of climate variability and change on small holder tea productivity in Nandi East sub county of Nandi county
Climatic conditions determine both Tea productivity and its quality. Therefore climate change and variability has strong bearing on sustainable production of tea. The overall objective of this study was to assess the influence of Climate variability and Change on small holder tea productivity in Nandi East Sub County of Nandi County. Climate change signals were examined through analyzing the trends in rainfall and temperature over the study region. The relationship between the climate variables and tea yield was also investigated. Survey was conducted to establish the level of awareness of the local community on the climate change issues. The results from the analysis of rainfall showed negative trend in the April to June rainfall, while September to November rainfall season indicated a positive trend. The minimum and maximum temperature manifested positive trends throughout all the seasons which is consistent with the global warming. The minimum temperature, maximum temperature and rainfall were all positively correlated with tea yield. The relationship between climate variables and tea yield was however noted to be non linear which caused the correlation values to be low. The study revealed an increase in tea yield over the period of study. This may suggest that the rising temperature could be having a positive impact on tea yield. Results from survey data revealed that whereas there is a high level of awareness by the respondents about a changing Climate, most of them do not understand the real issues of climate change. The research recommends enhanced training on climate issues and implementation proper climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies over the area of study.
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