CCAFS carried out household baseline surveys in all its benchmark sites in 2010/2011. This report presents a summary of the main results of the analysis of the survey carried out in late 2010/early 2011 in 7 villages, with 139 households, in the Katuk-Odeyo CCAFS benchmark site, located in the Lower Nyando river basin, western Kenya. The survey was carried out using the standardised CCAFS household baseline tool.
The results show that the vast majority of surveyed households in Lower Nyando produce food crops and rely on livestock production for their livelihoods. Most of the crop production is consumed by the family members themselves, as few households sell their agricultural produce. Households that do sell produce usually sell vegetables and/or small livestock and animal produce. On-farm consumption is supplemented with off-farm produce as well, as the majority of households consume fruits and fish which are being harvested off-farm. Generally, maize, sorghum and beans have been cited as the three most important crops in this area, and fertilizer is not commonly used. Only one percent of households are food secure throughout the year; 81% experience difficulties in feeding their families from any source for one to two months each year. A further 17% are food insecure for three to four months annually. Households have been adapting and making changes in their farming practices over the last ten years, with the majority of households stating they had made changes to at least three of their crops, but fewer have made livestock-related management changes. Climate- and market-related reasons are behind these changes, as well as factors relating to land and labour issues.
The radio is the most common source of weather and climate-related information. Surprisingly, women tend to receive more weather-related information than men. With the exception of short-term weather forecasts, most of the information received by these households also included some advice on how to use the information. The aspects of farming that were most commonly changed upon receiving information on short-term weather forecasts, pest and disease outbreaks, or extreme events included changes in livestock (types, breeds), crops (types and varieties) and feed and land management, and in the case of extreme events forecasts, soil and water conservation measures. In response to receiving longer-term weather forecasts, households have been making land management changes, changes in the timing of planting and other activities, and changes in varieties and the types of crop planted.