Climate change

Push-pull technology enhances resilience to climate change and prevents land degradation: Perceptions of adopters in western Kenya

Climate change and land degradation adversely affect food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Smallholder farmers are the most affected. Therefore, it is imperative to identify technologies that boost resilience to climate change, and restore lands. Push-pull technology is among proposed solutions. This technology controls stem borers, fall armyworm, striga, mycotoxins; improves availability of nitrogen and phosphorus, and stores increased carbon in biomass and soils. Though much has been published about push-pull technology, there is a lean in publications about how this technology can help smallholder farmers to cope with climate change and variability. Here, we present perceptions of adopters of push-pull technology in western Kenya with regard to climate change and land degradation, and discuss reasons it should be adopted widely. We compared push-pull and other maize-based cropping systems in western Kenya, through interviews. Push-pull technology produces 0.3–1.1 ​t more maize ha−1 compared to maize-bean intercrop, and maize monocrop when the season is drier than normal. Additionally, push-pull provides 3.6–9.8 ​t more fodder during drought-stricken seasons. Push-pull technology covers 70% of the soil surface compared to 20% cover found in maize-bean intercrop and maize monocrop. In push-pull farms, 150–280 ​kg nitrogen, 13–24 ​kg phosphorus and 370–470 ​kg potassium can be recycled through biomass and this is five times greater than the potential for maize-bean intercrop and maize monocrop. There is need for wide adoption of push-pull technology to increase resilience of farmers to climate change and restore degraded lands.


Authors: Pierre Celestin Ndayisaba, Shem Kuyah, Charles Aura Odhiambo Midega, Peter Njoroge Mwangi & Zeyaur Rahman Khan

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Institution: Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, Huye, Rwanda

Twitter name of the institution: @RwandaAgriBoard

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Push-pull technology enhances resilience to climate change and prevents land degradation: Perceptions of adopters in western Kenya

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