Climate-smart agriculture and risk management in Laikipia and Nyandarua

© Hope Valley Family Institute

Country: Kenya
Organisation: Hope Valley Family Institute
Support area: Adapting to the impacts of climate change
BMU funding: 96,785 €
Project start: 01/06/2022
Project end: 31/05/2024
Website: http://hopevalleyfamily.org/

This IKI Small Grants project addresses climate resilient water management and climate resilient agricultural practices. Thereby it supports smallholder farmers in adapting to the negative impacts of climate change and land degradation. It introduces climate-smart agriculture techniques with a focus on irrigation by installing water pans, dam liners, shade nets and water pumps. The installations are accompanied by trainings for maintenance and repair of the pumps. Through trainings and innovation, farmers are guided for two years to use climate smart agriculture. Amongst other things, they receive trainings on climate change adaptation and mitigation, solar energy, disaster risk reduction, indigenous plants, and livestock breeds. The project further works with community driven initiatives such as village loaning and saving groups as well as community managed disaster and risk reduction groups, to enhance the resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems to climatic risk.

INITIAL SITUATION

Climate change is a major threat to the sustainable development in Kenya. Rural small-scale farmers normally bear the brunt of climate change that compound the existing challenges because of poverty, sensitivity of their geographical locations, high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to adopt new livelihood strategies. Kenyan households heavily rely on rain-fed agriculture, which in turn leaves them vulnerable to extreme droughts exacerbated by climate change. Many households in Kenya lack alternative sources of livelihood, hence diversification cannot be expected. It lacks strong and well-coordinated community driven initiatives for disaster and risk reduction.

TARGET GROUP

The main target group are 750 smallholder farmers in Laikipia and Nyandarua Counties, who are affected by the adverse effects of climate change. This include 60% women, 40% men, and 20% of the total target group being youth who are mostly smallholder farmers. Selected beneficiaries participate in trainings on climate-smart agriculture, receive improved irrigation systems, and act as multipliers to reach all targeted households.

300 community members more gain support from this project as climate change awareness is raised by public forums. 150 Government officers and 8 Civil Society Organisations benefit from trainings on climate risk planning and management. The participatory planning process of the project allows feedback loops from the beneficiaries and plans for several community engagement meetings during the project implementation.

APPROACH AND ACTIVITIES

The IKI Small Grants project addresses water management and climate-smart agriculture for 750 smallholder farmers in Laikipia and Nyandarua Counties. It provides dam liners and water shade nets and supports the construction of water ponds. Solar water pumps and irrigation kits will be provided to smallholder farmers’ groups. It further ensures its sustainability by providing maintenance trainings for the irrigation systems.

The project promotes climate-smart agriculture in principle. It advocates for and trains farmers to plant indigenous crops and use specific livestock varieties. Sorghum, millet, and drought resistant maize are more resilient to climate change, which also applies to cattle breeds like the boran.

To address the societal conditions in the project region, the project also involves the political level. It strengthens the climate risk management planning of the county level and mainstreams climate change into sectoral development plans. It further supports community driven initiatives including village commercial centre groups, village loaning and saving groups and community managed disaster and risk reduction groups, to enhance the resilience of ecosystems to climatic risk.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

IKI Small Grants supports Hope Valley Family Institute in their organisational capacity development, offering advanced project management skills. Measures include an intensive training on newest trends in monitoring and evaluation and the establishment of a cloud-based-system like Enterprise Resource Planning for better program management.

ABOUT THE ORGANISATION

Hope Valley Family Institute (HVFI) is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that began community development work in 1999 as a self-help group and formally registered as NGO in 2001. HVFI works for good health and well-being of communities and empowers women, girls, youth, and children who are marginalized and vulnerable. Through interventions in health, education, economic empowerment, and livelihood improvement HVFI directly addresses the target communities. It has its headquarters in Nyahururu, a town located at the border between Nyandarua and Laikipia Counties.