Climate Change Effects on Rainfall Patterns and It’ S Implications on Sorghum and Millet Production in Kenya: A Review
Ogolla, A. Egesa
Muui, W. C.
Kibet, N. Korir
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Climate change is greatly affecting precipitation resulting to the recent startling trends of variation in amount, period and distribution. This causes incidences of high rainfall intensity within a short time leading to flash floods and soil erosion. The high temperatures that often follow, cause decreased soil moisture. This severely affects weather dependent agriculture in Kenya. Heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture, elevates vulnerability, especially with unpredictable cessation of rain during the growing season causing significant loses to smallholder famers. This hindrance to optimum productivity is being addressed by uptake of hardy crops. Sorghum and millet are super cereals which have high potential to buffer the losses experienced in the more vulnerable but highly popular maize farming. Sorghum and Millet are small grained cereals that exhibit tolerance to water stress, display the water efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway, superior in utilizing water during flash flood phenomena and are highly adaptive in high temperatures. They have good growth in resource deficient environments and soils whose nutrient capacity is prone to depletion. This makes them highly valuable in coping with climate vagaries. In addition, they are highly nutritious grains, which are gluten free, an excellent characteristic against celiac diseases. This review illustrates sorghum and millet as feasible alternatives against climate change effects. This is through outlining the lags in varietal improvement of these cereals and addressing value addition components which are crucial for sustainability.