Food security/Improved livelihoods projects
Integrated Food Security Project (IFSP)
The Integrated Food Security Project is a 5-year initiative (2013-2018) that is currently being implemented in five selected areas of Makueni and Kitui Counties of Kenya namely, Mutulu location in Kitui west sub county, Itoleka location in Kitui central sub county, Kiomo location in Mwingi west sub county, Mavindini location in Makueni sub county and Kithungo location in Mbooni sub county. The project has components of Agriculture, Water & Sanitation and Environmental Conservation. The purpose of the project is to improve the food and livelihoods security of the targeted rural populations in the Eastern Region of Kenya by 2018. Specifically, the initiative seeks to; increase crop and livestock productivity, increase access to clean water for household and agriculture use, reduce environmental degradation in the target areas by June 2018. the project is purposed to benefit at least 50,426 beneficiaries both directly and indirectly.
To increase crop and livestock productivity among farmers in the target areas, activities involving transfer of knowledge on good agricultural practices through trainings and demonstration, establishment of collection centres and linkage of farmers to input and output markets are being undertaken. Increased access to water among the project beneficiaries is been realized through construction of water structures such as sand dams and installation of water tanks in schools. Members of the community are also trained on proper hygiene and sanitation practices ie PHAST and LCTS trainings. To enhance environmental conservation, the communities in the target are involved in tree planting of trees and initiative for soil, water conservation and formation of school environmental clubs.
Livelihood Improvement Project
The Wanzauni Livelihood Improvement Project is implemented by ADS Eastern in partnership with Anglican Board of Mission (ABM), Australia. The project is implemented in Machakos and Makueni Counties and is aimed at increasing rural communities’ resilience to the effects of climate change. To achieve this, a number of interventions addressing issues on Water and sanitation, Agriculture (Crops and Livestock), Capacity building of CBOs, Environmental Conservation and Economic Empowerment are being implemented in Kiangini and Kalawani location, Makueni county and Kyua and Kyawango locations, Machakos County. HIV/AIDS, Child Protection, gender and disability are mainstreamed within the main components of the project. Community members in the project areas have been organized to form Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for ease of operation and to have a structure that will continue coordinating the project activities at the community level upon exit. The CBOs are used as a means to reach out to the larger community members since most of the projects, although coordinated and safeguarded by the CBOs, benefit the whole community members such as Water structures and demonstration of best farming methodologies among other interventions.
The project is in its 2nd phase where two Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Kalawani Progressive CBO (Kalawani location) and MAKAKYA CBO (Kyawango location) have being prepared for phase-out and two other new CBOs have been selected for phase-in in Kiangini location in Kathonzweni Ward in Makueni county and Kyua location in Katangi Ward in Machakos County.
Integrated Initiatives to Combat Food Insecurity in Lower Eastern Kenya
The integrated initiative to combat food insecurity in lower eastern Kenya is part of the Integrated Food Security Programme and is implemented by ADS Eastern in partnership with Transform Aid international, Australia. The goal of this project is to promote integrated initiatives to combat food insecurity for sustainable reduction in poverty and hunger in Lower Eastern Kenya by July 2018. Specifically, the project aims at increasing crop and livestock productivity, vegetation covers as well as access to water among project beneficiaries. The project has also enhanced effective governance of CBOs to undertake effective planning and monitoring of interventions in their communities, empowering communities, including children, to be able to claim and defend their human rights through documenting, reporting and referral of cases of abuses and violations, and enhancing ADS Eastern Capacity to effectively deliver the Programme by June 2018. The project is in its second phase after a successful first phase which was implemented between 2012 and 2014. By the end of the project at least 35,000 community members in the will benefit from the different project interventions.
Integrated Approaches in Disaster Risk Reduction in Lower Eastern
The integrated approach in disaster risk reduction in lower eastern was a 6-year project aimed at improving the capacities and livelihoods of the targeted people through an integrated approach that makes them more resilient to the effects of hazards. The project was implemented in Kitui and Makueni counties through Community Based Organizations by the ADS Eastern in partnership with Christian Aid between 2011 and 2017. The project has built environmentally sustainable productive capacities of the targeted communities and beyond by improving their adaptation strategies to climate change and environmental impact mitigation strategies. This was achieved through improving the knowledge and capacity gaps among the community to make them more capable in managing the risks/hazards that affect them. The strengthening of advocacy platforms of the community to influence planning so that their interventions may be addressed and supported. Drought mitigation measures were put in place like Water harvesting through appropriate technologies such as construction of sand dams, water distribution systems so as to increase water accessibility by the community for domestic, livestock and for small scale irrigation for crop production. To improve on farming practices, dry land farming methods were promoted through establishment of demonstration plots/field school farms for drought tolerant seed varieties where the farmer groups will be trained on general crop husbandry, soil nutrition and fertility, and Integrated Pest Management. Climate and weather information dissemination of the seasonal forecasts were strengthened to enable farmers make informed decisions of the crops to be planted and livelihoods diversification strategies based on the weekly, monthly and seasonal forecasts. To reduce over reliance on rain fed agriculture, different technologies were promoted with the different farmers to enhance diversification and production throughout the year. Low head drip irrigation was promoted to enhance water efficiency in places where farmers practiced micro-irrigation. Increased adoption of these technologies led to diversification of production systems which provide a safety net to the farmers when rains fail to be reliable. It further reduces the overreliance on rain fed agriculture and acts as an income generating activity due to the increased demand for the indigenous poultry. Natural Resource Management (NRM) interventions were embraced through Agro-forestry, biodiversity conservation through establishment of tree nurseries and strengthening the existing ones.
Improving agricultural productivity in eastern Kenya through scaling up cereal-legume intensification
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) partnered with the Anglican Development Services (ADS) in a 3-year project (2011-2014) implemented in Makueni County, which sought to address the prevailing food insecurity due to low and declining production of the staple cereals and pulses in the region. The project was geared to promote the production of important and climate resilient cereal and legume food crops: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.), pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan), cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp) and cassava (Manihot esculanta crantz) through (a) increased access to farm inputs (fertilizers and improved seeds), (b) application of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) practices, and (c) increased access to output markets. The project achieved outstanding results, including building capacity of about 14,000 farmers with ISFM technologies (against a target of 10,000), 61% of whom were women farmers. There has been tremendous increase in productivity, with about 8,400 farming families now practicing at least two ISFM practices such as sorghum-pigeon pea rotations using improved seeds and fertilizers. The farmers have benefited through doubling of yields, with sorghum farmers now harvesting up to 1.6 MT/ha (from the initial 0.5 MT/ha). Yields of cowpeas and pigeon peas also doubled from less than 0.5 at baseline (both) to now 1.0 and 1.2 MT/ha, respectively, substantially improving farmer incomes and contributing to the nutritional and food securities of the people of Makueni County. The project developed linkages with buyers and farmers there has been tremendous increase in sales of farm produce.
Despite these investments, there was still existing gaps that needs to be addressed in order to lay a firm foundation for agricultural growth and intensification in the county. Principally, there was need for scaling out ISFM interventions to other geographies in Makueni county that were initially not covered in phase 1, in order to improve overall production and provide good economic sense for more participation by larger-scale agricultural produce off-take agencies. The first phase of the project reached approximately 14,000 farmers, which represents no more than 10% of the estimated 150,000 farmers in the expansive county. A second phase was proposed and is aimed at reaching additional 20,000 farmers with ISFM technologies. The 2nd phase of the project started in 2015 and is expected to end 2018. Specifically the project will achieve the following outcomes; Improved capacity of FOs to sustainably and inclusively serve the needs of their members and disseminate ISFM methods (use fertilizer, cereal-legume rotations/intercrops, improved seed and good agronomy) to members, Increased use of fertilizers and improved seeds among smallholder farmers among 20,000 smallholder farmers (10,000 farmers from Phase 1 and 10,000 farmers from Phase 2), Doubling of yields for sorghum to at least 2 MT/ha, and pigeon peas and cowpeas to at least 1.5 MT/ ha leading improved household food security and income, The project is expected to contribute at least 4,000 MT of sorghum to the breweries valued at USD1.4 million. This production will be able to meet at least 50% of the breweries demand. In addition, the project will also produce 1,000 MT of pigeonpea valued at USD0.4 million.