The role of agriculture in poverty escapes in Kenya -- Developing a capabilities approach in the context of climate change.

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Date: Jan. 2022
From: World Development(Vol. 149)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 340 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Africa; Agriculture; Climate change; Kenya; Sustained poverty escapes Highlights * We explore the intersection between agriculture and poverty trajectories in the context of climate change in Kenya. * We use Q.sup.2 methodology that successfully combines panel data and life history interviews in analysis of poverty trajectories. * We apply the concept of conversion structures that support sustained poverty escapes in the context of Kenya's rural economy. * We discuss policy implications that aid understanding of agricultural practices that adapt to the climate change. Abstract Rural poverty poses a significant developmental challenge in Kenya. Using a panel survey in rural Kenya and qualitative material from focus groups and life history interviews from the regions of Makueni and Vihiga, we investigate the changing role of how agriculture and farming practices have contributed to sustained escapes from poverty since 2000. In this study we analyse environmental, social and personal structures that facilitate conversion of agricultural strategies that enable poverty escapes in the context of climate change. Our study identifies that agriculture still forms an essential aspect of Kenyan households' economic and social wellbeing. However, the study results indicate that links between accumulation of assets and poverty escapes are ambiguous, poor households find it problematic to convert agricultural strategies into a profit, and climate change shocks further exasperate these difficulties. We argue that constraints in conversion structures, such as limited infrastructure, and in conversion processes such as ongoing difficulties in land procurement and inheritance, unsustainable farming practices and continued lack of knowledge on climate-smart agriculture affect not only poverty escapes, but also the ability to adapt to and mitigate against environmental shocks. Development of conversion processes to improve existing conversion structures should be at the core of public interventions that seek to sustainably reduce poverty amidst climate change in rural Kenya. Author Affiliation: (a) University College Dublin, School of Sociology, Ireland (b) Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University, Kenya (c) University of Nairobi, Kenya * Corresponding author. Byline: Marta Eichsteller [marta.eichsteller@ucd.ie] (a,*), Tim Njagi [tnjagi@tegemeo.org] (b), Elvin Nyukuri [elvin@uonbi.ac.ke] (c)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679876610