Promoting Agroforestry & a Sustainable Dairy Cycle
Deforestation, uncontrolled grazing and soil erosion are having a negative impact on biodiversity and soil fertility in the lands upstream of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Crop yields & milk production are very low and farmers have no sustainable connections to markets.
A new project, launched at the beginning of 2016 in the Mount Elgon area, seeks to reverse this trend. Funded by the Livelihoods Fund, it is implemented by the NGO VI Agroforestry. It involves 30,000 farmers and covers 20,000 hectares.
The project aims to implement sustainable agricultural practices to help farmers:
- Produce more and better – by enhancing soil fertility with agroforestry and crop diversification,
- Increase milk production – by providing feed for cows all year (fodder production by farmers themselves) thus avoiding uncontrolled grazing,
- Preserve the ecosystem and water resources – by planting trees which prevent soil erosion (boosting Lake Victoria’s resilience) and sequester CO2
In conjunction, a partnership has been signed with Brookside, a local milk company in which Danone owns a stake, to buy milk produced by the participating farmers over the next 10 years. Brookside will also support milk cooperatives by providing milk collecting services and cooling tanks.
The project is expected to increase yield on subsistence & cash crops by 30% for farmers. The partnership with Brookside will sustain farmers’ livelihoods in the long term: dairy farmers’ revenues will double and the project will involve women in 1200 farmers groups. In total, the project is expected to sequester around 1 million tons of CO2.
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