By Morris Aron
The intervention will go towards improving research and information, spreading knowledge on better crop and technologies, as well as giving small-scale farmers better access to inputs and markets.
The programme will improve livelihoods of those living in the arid and semi-arid areas through drought mitigation initiatives that will enhance preparedness and quick response.
The KRDP will also include initiatives that contain weather indexed livestock insurance with the potential to upgrade the livelihoods and incomes for millions of people in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands.
Speaking at the launch of KRDP, Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, Mohamed Elmi, said his ministry had completed paperwork for the creation of the National Drought and Disaster Contingency Fund, which will ensure quicker response to the earliest signs of drought.
The support from the EU comes at a time when Kenya has established a fully-fledged National Drought Management Authority—NDMA. Kenya also recently approved a strategy to end drought emergencies within ten years by signing a document adopted and endorsed by regional heads of States.
The EU assistance comes amid concern from the World Bank and other international agencies over a looming food crisis due to drought in wheat and maize producing areas in Russia and US.
The drought in the US is expected to lead to a 30 per cent decline in maize production in a country that accounts for a third of all the world’s maize exports.
Food experts say that developing countries such as Kenya are bound to suffer the most as economies round the world react to the development by banning food exports, or engaging in panic buying to stock up on maize and other basic foodstuff.