Determinants of Agricultural Production in Kenya under Climate Change
Nwachukwu, Ifeanyi N.
Shisanya, Chris A.
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Climate change has been described as the most significant environmental threat of the 21st century with vast impact mostly on agriculture, altering food production processes. As an important sector in the Kenyan economy, agriculture continues to dominate other sectors despite its declining contribution to real GDP. Given that the performance of the agricultural sector is determined by a large number of factors, the need to articulate this study has become imperative in view of the climate phenomenon. Therefore, the study examined the determinants of agricultural production in Kenya under climate change with specific interests in assessing the trend of climate variables and growth rate of agricultural production within 1970-2012 periods; estimating factors influencing agricultural production and deducing policy implications from the findings. Data used were secondary and include value of agricultural production, livestock, machines, fertilizer, agricultural land, labour, annual precipitation and temperature over the study period. These were obtained from databases hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT), the World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Data analysis was done using trend analysis, log quadratic trend equation and multiple regression model. The trend results show that precipitation pattern traced out high amplitude decadal variability with the forecast showing off a slightly upward trend. In temperature, the inter-annual variability observed was wide with a forecast of a slight increase up to 2020. In terms of growth analysis, the log quadratic equation indicates that agricultural production posted a compound growth rate of 3.252% during the period while production was determined by the quantum of labour, livestock, agricultural land, precipitation and its squared term. The implication is that precipitation both on the short and long run affected agricultural production. It is recommended that ecosystem based and technologically driven adaptation measures be taken to address climate change effects on agricultural production.