Embu and Tharaka Nithi, Kenya
Trees for Kenya
Aiming to improve the livelihoods of local farmers through income diversification, this project also focuses on improving soil fertility for increased yields. Supporting local biodiversity is the cherry on top.
This project aims to improve the livelihoods of local farmers through income diversification (via tree produce and carbon finance). It also intends to improve soil fertility of the lands for higher crop yield and fewer inputs, reduce massive soil erosions on farms from extreme weather, improve farmer nutritional intake by planting fruit trees, and increase plant biodiversity on farms.
In 2019, approximately 300 small-scale farmers were involved through mobilization and workshops carried out in partnership with government institutions. Unfortunately, these meetings couldn’t occur in 2020 and 2021 due to restrictions from the government regarding gathering and COVID-19. During these meetings, a facilitator encouraged farmers to share their needs, values, and worries when it came to tree planting, the long-term duration of tree planting projects, and the transition of their farms to an agroforestry system permanently. To date, the mobilizations and workshops have introduced farmers to Trees for Kenya and to empowered them to be involved in the agroforestry design.
Most of these farmers live on less than $2 a day, with the level of poverty being more than 75% in the project area. They rely purely on cash crops and food crops grown from their farms, while the prices of cash crops are currently very low and the cost of inputs is rising. Because of this, farmers are unable to take care of their basic needs (health, food, education, and so on). The population in the project area is growing rapidly, especially due to its proximity to Nairobi, leading to a lack of resources in the community (among which food). Finally, farmers are facing a loss of topsoil and fertile land due to the increasing impacts of climate change.
Agroforestry and the additional income of carbon credits would ensure farmers see improved crop yields, tree produce to sell, increased income (and access to inputs, medicine, and education), and a more nutritious diet, as farmers rely on consuming the food grown on their farms. The local ecosystem is also set to benefit, as a diverse mix of trees will be planted as part of this project which increases plant biodiversity on farms. Native birds will have a habitat to seek shelter in, resulting in a limit to biodiversity loss, and the increased shade from these trees will be favorable for local creatures that live within the soils and on the land and offer refuge against the harsh heat and UV exposure.
The carbon credits farmers receive for the trees planted as part of the project are ex-post based. They will only be derived from one year before CRU issuance.
Full project documentation available upon request.