Adaptation to climate change to improve food safety and livelihoods among pastoral communities in Kenya (ADAPTiVE)

Project summary

Climate change adversely affects food security and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), especially among pastoralists in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL). The dairy sector, in particular, is sensitive to climate change, with negative implications for vulnerable groups like smallholder female farmers in the ASAL. Furthermore, climate change amplifies the risk of microbiological hazards in livestock production and food spoilage, undermining progress towards UN sustainable development goals. Despite increased attention to the climate change-food security nexus, there is a lack of understanding regarding the climate change-food safety nexus.

The ADAPTiVE project addresses four research gaps:
1. Lack of knowledge about whether and how climate change contributes to food safety hazards in the Kenyan dairy value chain, whether value chain actors are aware of this, and how their livelihoods are impacted.
2. Lack of knowledge regarding smallholder women dairy farmers’ awareness, constraints and preferences for adaptation strategies related to climate-induced food safety and spoilage in SSA.
3. No evidence for the impacts of adaptation strategies on food safety, food spoilage and livelihoods of smallholder female dairy farmers in the ASAL.
4. Limited understanding of the scalability of climate-robust food safety practices in the dairy sector.

The project combines expertise from social and natural sciences to address these research gaps, with Kenya as a case study area. The project will undertake research and knowledge dissemination activities addressing the mentioned research gaps and will contribute to capacity building via training of four PhD students and development of channels for effective knowledge dissemination. The PhD students will all be enrolled at the project’s two partner universities in Kenya, and will be co-supervised by researchers from University of Copenhagen. Knowledge dissemination will follow a multifaceted strategy, combining
1. Communication with the national and international scientific community via academic journal articles, PhD dissertations and participation in scientific conferences,
2. Dialogue-based communication with policy makers and stakeholders in the Kenyan dairy supply chains via a number of workshops, learning exchanges, and preparation of policy briefs,
3. Communication with the general public in Kenya and surrounding countries via regional conference, newspaper articles, web-based media and other outreach activities.

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