60 Decibels Dashboard: How are Kenyan Farmers Faring in the Face of COVID-19?

Published on

July 20, 2020

We found this dashboard created by 60 Decibels (funded by DFID’s Research and Evidence Division) to be a useful resource in understanding the lived experience of Kenyan farmers through the pandemic. Here’s a summary of what they are learning:

  • The data was collected from a representative sample of 500 Kenyan crop and livestock farmers in June. All respondents planted less than 3 acres last year and 66% planted less than 1.2 acres last year. 50% of the respondents were women. 
  • 87% of farmers say that their financial situation has worsened due to the pandemic. Over 50% have had to take a significant step like selling an asset (13%) or borrowing money (39%) to cope with the pandemic. 
  • 25% of farmers have at least one less source of income compared to same time last year. Only 10% of farmers currently have income from a non-farm income source compared to 26% at this same time last year. 
  • Farming has become more important as a source of food as well: 61% report increased importance. This is likely a respite given a similar proportion speak of increased food prices.  
  • But farmers are having to make several adjustments to the way they farm to cope with COVID-19. In the last two weeks, over 90% said they hired labour less labour than normal. Over 40% of this group compensated by spending additional hours on the farm.
  • Potential returns from farming might be limited too. Over 60% of farmers reported harvesting and selling less than normal. A similar proportion got lower prices for their produce and said they bought lesser inputs for the upcoming season than they normally would.
  • When asked about the kind of support they need, cash or food donations were mentioned by over 2/3 of the farmers. 

Explore the full dashboard here.

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