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Food systems emissions in Kenya and their reduction potential: A country profile

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The global food system accounts for 23 – 42% of total net anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This share is expected to increase. Therefore, rapid and effective transformations are required in food systems to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. The Initiative on Low-Emissions Food Systems (Mitigate+) aims to offer a comprehensive and evidence-based view of national land use, agricultural production, diet, and food system emissions in various countries (China, Colombia, Kenya and Viet Nam) and explore possible pathways that reduce emissions while enhancing food security, nutrition, livelihoods and preserving the environment in these countries. This document focuses on Kenya.

Kenya ́s food system emissions remained stable in absolute level over the past decade (2010-2020) at around 63 MtCO2 eq. Building a large forest-related carbon sink has contributed in curbing emissions significantly between 2010 and 2020. So far, the largest sources of emission in Kenya’s food system are enteric fermentation (56% of total emissions), manure left on pasture (24%), and food waste disposal (11%). Altogether, these three categories account for 91% of all food system emissions.

This document highlights various priorities for action based on size of the emissions but also viability of the mitigation action. Effective climate action should not only consider the size of sectoral emissions, but also the cost and feasibility of implementing transformative measures. We therefore recommend as priority interventions: (i) reducing emission intensities from enteric fermentation and improve the management of livestock feed and manure on pastures; (ii) encouraging climate-resilient food waste management.


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