Extension officers should provide continuous training to local farmers on the current mitigation measures in anticipation of unpredictable climate change that might hinder food production in the country.
The Nakuru County Executive for Agriculture Immaculate Maina said there has been a reduced interaction of farmers with extension officers, although they have implemented various social media platforms to enable officers reach as many farmers as possible.
While speaking during an interview by KNA at the county offices today, she said climate change requires changes in land preparation, rotation of crops and efficient irrigation methods so as to save water since the county was water scarce.
Dr Maina added that due to the unpredictable weather patterns, the extension officers should teach farmers on how they could remain productive, by identifying and finding solutions on a need to need basis since blanket solutions were no longer workable.
She noted that extension officers were strategically placed to influence productivity and hence the need for correct information, skills and approaches to implement climate-smart interventions.
“Climate change is a new challenge facing farmers and extension officers have to learn about it to enable them to answer questions posed by farmers who are grappling with a rise in pests, diseases, poor rainfall and flash floods,’’ says Dr. Maina.
Saying that the smallholder farmers produce 80 per cent of the food consumed in the country, the extension officers should, therefore be well versed in climate change issues, as its impact is already being witnessed in more extreme and erratic weather that threatens the country’s food security.