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Prosperity in Rural Kenya

In this video, IGP Research Associate Constance Smith introduces our work in Kenya

Professor Henrietta Moore has been studying the links between agro-environmental changes and wellbeing in rural communities in Kenya for 35 years. In the video above, Dr Constance Smith who leads our research in Kenya explains some of the obstacles to prosperity. Currently, livelihoods of 12 million people are at risk due to the deteriorating quality of soil. In the area, maize mono-cropping, promoted by local markets and local policies, has led to accelerated desertification, having a long-term impact on soil productivity. Maize is also particularly water-intensive. All these factors make communities more vulnerable to climate change.

Traditionally, the area grew sorghum and millet, which are more suited for inconsistent rainfall. The communities also have a history of sustainable farming, with practices like intercropping, and irrigation systems that are hundreds of years old. However, they have been under increasing pressure to focus more on cash crops in recent decades. These changes, done in the name of economic growth, ultimately made communities more vulnerable to soil degradation and climate change.

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Global Prosperity Beyond GDP

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