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UNDP GEF SGP

The ALIN/UNDP SGP Project
Title Enhancing Communities’ Participation for effective Natural Resources management and Enhanced Resilience in Laikipia County.This Project offers a platform for knowledge sharing between partners supported by UNDP under its Small Grants Programme, being implemented in Laikipia County. 
ALIN-UNDP partnership is grounded on ALIN extensive experience in knowledge management and work with Laikipia communities over the last seven years.

Project Goal: To create an effective knowledge sharing platform to build communities’ capacity for effective stewardship of natural resources and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County.

Specific objectives

  1. To facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about sustainable landscape management (SLM)
  2. To disseminate Project information out of Ng’arua Maarifa Centre
  3. To promote adoption of clean energy use to enhance biodiversity conservation and adaptation as well as mitigation against climate change
  4. To capture and document indigenous knowledge relevant to sustainable natural resources use and management for posterity.

Planned outcomes 

  1. Better informed community members capable of adapting good SLM practices
  2. Preservation of biodiversity in Laikipia County
  3. Improved livelihoods of communities
  4. Improved communication and knowledge sharing
  5. Enhanced online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP Project
  6. Improved accessibility of indigenous knowledge for enhancing communities resilience
Expected outputs
  1. A revamped Ng’arua Maarifa centre into a community SLM knowledge focal point 
  2. An active group of trained community journalists
  3. Quarterly newsletter in SLM available throughout Laikipia and online 
  4. Demonstration area for tubular biogas digesters and other clean energy alternatives established at Ng’arua Maarifa centre

Activities

  1. Establishing a information repository at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre and meetings space 
  2. Disseminating Project information through a variety of channels including blogs, a quarterly newsletter and mainstream media
  3. Regular field forums revolving around global environment events 
  4. Regular communication with all the partners in UNDP-GEF-SGP Project in Laikipia
 
ALIN hold inception workshop for knowledge sharing project
By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) held an inception workshop for knowledge sharing project supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) at Beisa Hotel, Nanyuki, Laikipia County from 10th to 11th June 2014. The inception workshop titled Enhancing communities participation for effective natural resources management and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County provided an avenue for UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme grantees to deliberate on knowledge sharing.
The UNDP GEF SGP  funded grantees present at the workshop included; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Rumuruti Forest Association, Ilmamusi Forest Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP), Segera Jirani na Mazingira, Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
Also present included representation from Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) and the Laikipia County Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources.
Speaking while opening the workshop, Mr. Anthony Mugo ,ALIN Deputy Director said the project offers a platform for knowledge sharing between partners supported by UNDP GEF SGP being implemented in Laikipia County.
“Our role is to facilitate knowledge sharing between partners. We aim to share the knowledge to help our communities improve their livelihood,” said Mr. Mugo.
Mr. Mugo said the project goal is to create an effective knowledge sharing platform to build communities’ capacity for effective stewardship of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County.
He further mentioned the specific objectives of the project that included; to facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM), to facilitate better knowledge sharing between UNDP SGP Projects in Laikipia County, to establish a knowledge access space for sharing and demonstration of technologies in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and to learn what the other partners are engaged in.

" Ng'arua Maarifa Centre will act as a space for knowledge sharing for natural resources and sustainable land management," said Mr. Mugo.
The  outcome of the project is to ensure better informed community members capable of adapting good SLM practices, preservation of biodiversity in Laikipia County, improved livelihoods of communities, improved communication and knowledge sharing, enhanced online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP project and improved accessibility of indigenous knowledge for enhancing communities resilience.
Mr. Kingori David Kariuki, Chief Officer, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources department in Laikipia County government thanked ALIN for holding the inception workshop as it had brought together different stakeholders involved in natural resource management and sustainable land management practices. Mr. Kingori noted that there is no need of duplication of activities among partners and encouraged sharing and collaboration among them.
Mr. Kingori said that the Laikipia County government is taking the concept of sustainable development seriously by ensuring that it has been incorporated in the County activities.
“We are looking at global environmental issues and emerging problems like climate change, loss of biodiversity, ozone layer depletion and trans boundary movement of hazardous waste as this will also affect Laikipia County communities,” said Mr. Kingori.
Mr. Kingori said the County government is looking at ways of utilizing resources in a sustainable way. The County government is currently involving the local and indigenous knowledge in the management of natural resources.
“As a County we respect the indigenous knowledge in place of management of our natural resources. Indigenous knowledge is very critical in sustainability of natural resources,” said Mr. Kingori.
Mr. Kingori said the Laikipia County government is currently mapping out all the natural resources in the county so that the resources can be effectively utilized by the communities.
“The global environmental problems are affecting everyone and thus as a county we are looking at ways of addressing this issues. The County government has prioritized environmental conservation,” said Mr.Kingori.
The environment is an important issue in Kenya’s development agenda, with many communities directly relying on natural resources surrounding their localities to generate food for consumption and income. SLM is crucial in minimizing land degradation, rehabilitating degraded areas and ensuring the optimal use of land for the benefit of present and future generations.
SLM practices can contribute significantly to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It harbours great potential for preservation and enhancement of ecosystem services in all land use systems, degradation of water, soil and vegetation as well as gas emission.

You can download a copy of the inception workshop Report here

By Faith Kisiangani
Laikipia County Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources, has supported a knowledge sharing project by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP). Speaking during the inception workshop organized by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) at Beisa Hotel in Nanyuki on June 11, 2014, Hon Duncan Mwariri said that information sharing is a powerful tool that should be fully utilized.
Hon Mwariri congratulated ALIN and UNDP grantees for initiating a project that will help to improve the livelihood of communities at house hold level.  He encouraged farmers to have a project that will market and aggregate their produce.
 “Farmers have been exploited for a very long time because of individual interest and businesses and if they come up together and form a group this problem will be addressed,” said Hon Mwariri.
The inception workshop titled Enhancing communities participation for effective natural resources management and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County provided an avenue for UNDP GEF SGP grantees to deliberate on knowledge sharing.
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees present at the workshop included; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Rumuruti Forest Association, Ilmamusi Forest Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP), Segera Jirani na Mazingira, Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
Also present included representation from Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) and the Laikipia County Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources.
Hon Mwariri challenged farmers to be open-minded and not only rely on maize but to also venture into other farming activities. He said that the County government is interested in enhancing commercial villages so as to improve the livelihood of communities at house hold level.
Hon Mwariri said that he was impressed with Farm Record Management Information System (FARMIS) and SOKO+. This he said will help farmers particularly in the area of record keeping.
SOKO+ is a digital commodity trading and information system linking small scale farmers to end retailers. SOKO+ provides commodity prices from major markets around the areas of operation and beyond, e –extension services and a listing of various technical and logistical providers.
“I am happy with record keeping. A farmer cannot practice Kilimo Biashara when he does not keep records. Most of the time farmers are not able to acquire loans because of lack of proper farm records. I hope FARMIS will succeed and that the best farmer in record keeping should be given a trophy as a motivation,” said Hon Mwariri.
 He promised the participants that the County government will host the information notice board that will be used by UNDP funded grantees to disseminate information at the county office.
The specific objectives of the project will include; to facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM), to facilitate better knowledge sharing between UNDP SGP Projects in Laikipia County, to establish a knowledge access space for sharing and demonstration of technologies in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and to learn what the other partners are engaged in.

By Bob Aston
Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) held an inception workshop for knowledge sharing project supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) at Beisa Hotel, Nanyuki, Laikipia County from 10th to 11th June 2014. The inception workshop titled Enhancing communities participation for effective natural resources management and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County have initiated a quarterly newsletter called Laikipia Maliasili.
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees present at the workshop included; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Rumuruti Forest Association, Ilmamusi Forest Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP), Segera Jirani na Mazingira, Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
Also present included representation from Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) and the Laikipia County Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources.
Laikipia Maliasili will feature four different themes namely; biodiversity conservation, ecotourism-Climate change, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), carbon credit and REDD+, water and energy. A school corner will also be established to incorporate Sustainable Land Management (SLM) related activities done by schools.
The first edition of the newsletter will be in July and will consist of both English and Kiswahili version. The UNDP GEF SGP grantees also selected a team to sit in the newsletter editorial board.
“Through Laikipia Maliasili, grantees will be able to capture and document indigenous knowledge relevant to sustainable natural resources use and management for posterity,” said Ms. Esther Lung’ahi, ALIN- Project officer.
The news letter target audiences include partners, farmers, farmer groups, government extension workers, schools among others.
Ms. Esther said that in a bid to enhance content creation the grantees will each send two representations from their organizations to be trained on citizen journalism from 30th June to 4th July. They will be trained on news writing, creative writing, feature writing, photography, interviewing, videography, online journalism (blogging) and media law and Ethics.
Ms. Esther said  Laikipia Maliasili will help to close knowledge gaps, promote sharing of projects experiences among grantees, connect beneficiaries to policy makers, improve accessibility of indigenous knowledge, enhancing feedback of project activities, promoting replication as well as ensuring that the communities are better informed about Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
“The newsletter will help in providing a platform for knowledge sharing between partners supported by UNDP GEF SGP being implemented in Laikipia County,” said Ms. Esther.
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees also agreed to use Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV) blog for disseminating project activities.LRV will provide a platform in their blog for the same purpose. The blog has also been integrated with the social media to help in dissemination of information. This is also aimed at enhancing visibility of UNDP GEF SGP Project
Laikipia Maliasili will help to complement the UNDP SGP knowledge sharing project whose objectives include; to facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM), to facilitate better knowledge sharing between UNDP SGP Projects in Laikipia County, to establish a knowledge access space for sharing and demonstration of technologies in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and to learn what the other partners are engaged in.
The  outcome of the project is to ensure better informed community members capable of adapting good SLM practices, preservation of biodiversity in Laikipia County, improved livelihoods of communities, improved communication and knowledge sharing, enhanced online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP project and improved accessibility of indigenous knowledge for enhancing communities resilience.

Knowledge sharing about SLM is essential to the successful management of natural resources. Opportunities for collaboration can play an important role in allowing different stakeholders to bring their unique skills and perspectives together to address various challenges faced.

By Bob Aston
The Ng’arua Maarifa Centre, located in Sipili Division, Laikipia West, is hosting a Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) knowledge sharing kibanda that will be archiving United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) grantees project’s information.
The Maarifa Centre which was founded in 2006 by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) will be utilized as a knowledge resource centre (library demo, archival and storage facility) by UNDP GEF SGP grantees operating in Laikipia County.
The knowledge sharing kibanda will house various technologies that include; Biogas, Tea Tree from Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), clay filters, wonder bags, recipe books, farmer innovation on value addition, jikos that do not require a lot of firewood and various water harvesting technologies.
The UNDP GEF SGP knowledge sharing project objectives include; to facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM), to facilitate better knowledge sharing between UNDP SGP Projects in Laikipia County, to establish a knowledge access space for sharing and demonstration of technologies in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and to learn what the other partners are engaged in.
The  outcome of the project is to ensure better informed community members capable of adapting good SLM practices, preservation of biodiversity in Laikipia County, improved livelihoods of communities, improved communication and knowledge sharing, enhanced online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP project and improved accessibility of indigenous knowledge for enhancing communities resilience.
The Maarifa centre is also disseminating two Sokepepe services called Farm Records Management Information System (FARMIS-Kenya) and SOKO+.
SOKO+ is a digital commodity trading and information system linking small scale farmers to end retailers. SOKO+ provides commodity prices from major markets around the areas of operation and beyond, e –extension services and a listing of various technical and logistical providers.
FARMIS is a farm management and diagnostic tool based on the use of farm records. It was developed for use by diverse stakeholders in the agriculture sector aimed at identifying productivity trends, profitability of different farm enterprises and producing evidence for use in decision making at the farm.
ALIN is also implementing a one year project on climate change on behalf of Act! Change! Transform! (ACT) through the Maarifa Centre. The project seeks to enhance community resilience to adapt to the impacts of climate change for improved livelihood in Laikipia County.
The centre serves more than 26,000 community members yearly on various services. More than 7200 have accessed E-government services; more than 1200 have been trained on ICT skills while 31 groups have been reached with technical farming information.
The Maarifa has shared more than 160 best practices on agriculture and climate change adaptation as well as increasing partnerships with government, local CBO’s and NGO’s.
The centre has overseen the formation of Laikipia Produce and Marketing Cooperative Society which now has more than 280 registered members as well as training over 600 farmers and groups on value chain, farming practices and markets.
The Maarifa centre has also been offering free training on basic journalism skills. More than 80 youths have been trained. Through their blog Laikipia Rural Voices the citizen journalists from the Maarifa Centre have posted more than 300 articles.

By Bob Aston
Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is set to hold an open day at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre, located at Sipili Sub-County office on July 12, 2014. The event which will be graced by among others Laikipia County representatives will also mark the official launch of a Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) knowledge sharing kibanda at the Maarifa Centre.
Also expected at the open day will be United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) grantees from Laikipia County that include; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Rumuruti Forest Association, Ilmamusi Forest Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP), Segera Jirani na Mazingira, Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
The open day aims to create an effective knowledge sharing platform to build communities’ capacity for effective stewardship of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County.
The event will provide an opportunity to see various technologies/innovations on climate change adaptation services or products which will be on display during the event. A lot of materials will also be archived at the knowledge sharing Kibanda during the open day.
Some of the innovations that the public should look out for during the open day include; Biogas, Tea Tree from Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), clay filters, wonder bags, recipe books, farmer innovation on value addition, jikos that do not require a lot of firewood and a Manyatta structure water harvesting innovation.
Farmers will also get an opportunity to learn more about SOKO+ and Farm Record Management Information System (FARMIS) and even register for the products.
“I am looking forward to seeing water harvesting innovation. I have kales in my nursery but I have not yet transplanted because of lack of water. I hope I will be able to learn how I can harvest water so that I will stop depending on rain fed water for farming,” said James Mwangi, a youth farmer, from Naibrom area.
Last year the centre also oversaw the successful launch of Sokopepe where over 500 people attended and trained on Sokopepe SMS services as well as registering for Sokopepe. Six (6) champion farmers from other Maarifa Centres also participated.
Innovations represent not only an important facet of the climate adaptation issue in agriculture but also provide farmers with an opportunity that they can explore. The development of new agricultural practices and technologies will help farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
It is clear that the effect of climate change has been widely felt by farmers in Sipili Division this year. The open day will provide farmers with a forum to learn about climate change adaption and mitigation.
On behalf of ALIN, Laikipia Rural Voices would like to welcome members of the public to the open day which will be held at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre on July 12, 2014 from 10:00 am. Feel free to come to the Maarifa Centre for any inquiries.


By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) conducted a three days Citizen Journalism training for United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) grantees from Laikipia County at Olympia Hotel in Nyahururu from 22nd to 24th July 2014.
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees present during the training included; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN),Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
Also present included representation from Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) and officials from Laikipia and Baringo County Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources.
Mr. Philip Nandwa, officer of Environment and Natural Resources in Baringo County said that he has now been empowered on how to create a blog. Mr. Nandwa has already created a blog that their department will now be using to disseminate natural resources and environmental conservation matters in Baringo County.
He was initially not included in the training but when he heard about it from ALIN he requested to attend the training.
“It will now be easier to document and disseminate what we are doing to the general public through the blog that I have created for Environment and Natural Resources in Baringo. The training came at an ideal time as knowledge sharing has always been an issue. Most people rarely share what they are doing,” said Mr. Nandwa.
The training provided the grantees with an opportunity to learn about news writing, creative writing, feature writing, photography, interviewing, online journalism (blogging) and media law and Ethics.
The training will help the grantees to capture and document indigenous knowledge relevant to sustainable land management practices for posterity. The training will also help to enhance content creation for the quarterly magazine called Laikipia Maliasili which was started by the grantees.
Laikipia Maliasili is expected to help in closing knowledge gaps, promote sharing of projects experiences among grantees, connect beneficiaries to policy makers, improve accessibility of indigenous knowledge, enhancing feedback of project activities, promoting replication as well as ensuring that the communities are better informed about Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees will be using blogs that they created for their respective organizations as well as Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV) blog for disseminating project activities. This is also aimed at enhancing online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP Project.
The training will enable the grantees to be able to look at news from different angles and in addition give them a deeper understanding of what is going on in the outside world.  It will also give them an opportunity to be part of a global community of men and women who are passionate about development news.
The development of information and communication technologies has led to the emergence of citizen Journalism, also referred to as “participatory Journalism.”Citizens are now playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.
You can download a copy of the UNDP GEF SGP grantees Citizen Journalism training Report here

By Noah Lusaka and Bob Aston
In this era of a knowledge driven society, many development organizations including governments involved in community development work, rarely share their experiences about their work, successes and challenges. This leads to many projects failing since similar mistakes are repeated quite often by different organizations yet solutions are there!
To enhance project experience sharing globally, there are many new tools that can be used. In the past and even now, some organizations shared experiences through newsletters, e-mail and face to face meetings. Some of the new online information sharing tools include websites, blogs, wikis, tumblr, Skype, twitter and much more.
To enhance United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) grantees from Laikipia County to share their project experiences, Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) organized a three (3) days workshop on citizen Journalism and blogging at Olympia Hotel in Nyahururu from 22nd to 24th July 2014.
The workshop involved eighteen (18) participants who learned how to document their project activities and use of social media to disseminate their activities.
The training provided the grantees with an opportunity to learn about news writing, creative writing, feature writing, photography, interviewing, online journalism (blogging) and media law and Ethics.
The knowledge gained will be key to meeting the project goals as the grantees seek to articulate their community project experiences and for wider sharing.
The development of information and communication technologies has led to the emergence of citizen Journalism, also referred to as “participatory Journalism.”Citizens are now playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.
This is what led ALIN to use the Citizen Journalism aspect to try and equip the grantees with basic journalism skills. This has also taken into cognizant the fact that in today’s internet-based society, having an online presence is one of the most powerful ways of sharing knowledge.
The forum provided the participants with an opportunity to create blogs for their organizations. 18 blogs were created and the participants will continue populating them with their project activities.
 During the workshop, participants were particularly impressed with learning how to blog as all of them picked the sessions that involved blogging as the most interesting part of the training. Learning how to take quality pictures as well as conducting an interview also elicited a lot of interest.
Mr. Philip Nandwa, officer of Environment and Natural Resources in Baringo County said that he has now been empowered on how to create a blog. Mr. Nandwa has already created a blog that their department will now be using to disseminate natural resources and environmental conservation matters in Baringo County.
 “It will now be easier to document and disseminate what we are doing to the general public through the blog that I have created for Environment and Natural Resources in Baringo. The training came at an ideal time as knowledge sharing has always been an issue. Most people rarely share what they are doing,” said Mr. Nandwa.
Mr. Godfrey Ndonye, from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Laikipia County has already started blogging. He has so far posted two (2) articles in their blog Laikipia County Govt. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He is happy that their department now has a forum to share what the County government is doing.
The work that the grantees are doing is expected to help enhance online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP project as well as helping in closing knowledge gaps, improving accessibility of indigenous knowledge as well as ensuring that the communities are better informed about Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
Fostering a knowledge sharing culture among organizations will go a long way in enhancing synergy amongst different stakeholders involved in similar projects. It is worth noting that organizations are increasingly recognizing that knowledge constitutes a valuable intangible asset for creating and sustaining competitive advantage.
Already ALIN is using the push and pull way to share knowledge between the various UNDP GEF SGP grantees. The grantees are set to use knowledge push by using a quarterly newsletter called Laikipia Maliasili to disseminate project activities. A knowledge sharing Kibanda was established at the Ng’arua Maarifa Centre to create a platform for Laikipia partners to share knowledge on environmental issues. .
Knowledge sharing about SLM is essential to the successful management of natural resources. Opportunities for collaboration can play an important role in allowing different stakeholders to bring their unique skills and perspectives together to address various challenges faced.

By Teresa Ndirangu
The Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Earthoil Company Limited and farmers within Nanyuki in Laikipia County have started scaling up production of tea tree. The implementation of the project which started last month will last for two (2) years. The project is being sponsored by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Project (SGP).  
The project is expected to improve food security and livelihood opportunities among small scale producers, women and youths through agro ecological approaches and development of organic tea tree value chain.
Tea Tree value chain is being promoted in arid and semi arid areas of Nanyuki as it is resilient to effects of climate change and does well in extreme harsh and dry weather conditions. The area is among the most affected by climate change such as long dry spells, unpredictable weather and degradation of the environment.
Laikipia County is mainly composed of farmers, pastoralists and ranchers. Most of the farmers and pastoralists have limited sources of income. Tea tree production is expected to provide an alternative source of income to the communities.
Currently 460 farmers from Matanya, Sweet Water, Marura and Ndurukuma have been incorporated in the project. With the current scale of production, the farmers are not able to meet the demand of tea tree oil.
KOAN and Earthoil Company Limited, intends to include more farmers from Ndurukuma, Thome, Kihato and Ngare Nyiro areas of Laikipia County to increase tea tree oil production hence meet the demand. 
Tea tree also referred to as Melaleuca alternifolia matures with 15 months after establishment and there after harvested twice per year. The crop requires low labour input and less field management since it is not affected by pests, diseases or eaten by domestic animals.
The production of oil per biomass weight is very high in tea tree compared to other crops. Therefore farmers return per unit area is higher than other crops grown in the region.



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