The initiative is currently being implement in Kiambu and Muranga County with technical and Financial support from Tudor Trust through a consortium of 4 organisations implementing agro-ecology with small holder farmers. The project implementing partners are Resources Oriented Development Initiatives (RODI) as the lead partner in collaboration with, Youth Action for Rural Development (YARD), Organic Agriculture Centre of Kenya (OACK) and Community Sustainable Development Empowerment Programme (COSDEP)
The initiative is targeting the following target beneficiaries:
- 600 small holder coffee farmers in 2 cooperative societies in Murang’a and Kiambu Counties
- 100 Youth from the households of the small holder coffee farmers to equip them with entrepreneurial skills and support them to establish cottage industries and other income generating activities as a form of creating self-employment for the youth
- 50 workers in 2 cooperative societies who are involved in coffee processing, drying, sorting and bulking
The overall objective is to achieve Improved livelihood among smallholder farmers and youth in coffee-producing areas through food security, value addition, cottage industries and marketing.
The expected outcomes are:
1. Diversified food and income enterprises among small holder coffee farmers
2. Enhanced conservation of environment and water catchment areas within the coffee growing areas of Kiambu and Muranga counties
3. Increased income by improving quality and quantity of coffee production among small holder coffee farmers
4. Increased youth employment creation
5. Increased capacity for project stakeholders and small holder coffee farmers in influencing the coffee sector management.
Some of the lessons learned and best practices are:
• Team work: upholding the spirit of collaboration among the consortium partners enhances synergy in implementation, learning and sharing amongst the partners based on the organisation capacity and strengths as well as cross pollinating ideas
• Networking and collaboration: Collaboration with key stakeholders within the coffee sector has greatly contributed to effective project implementation, support and influence of the coffee sector management for the benefit of small holder farmers as well as water shed management
• Capacity enhancement: Empowering small holder coffee farmers in improved farm management through agro-ecology, watershed management, environmental conservation and diversification of farm enterprises for food and income security is a gateway to sustainable livelihood.
• Tailor made training- enterprise driven training for youth is an effective approach in youth empowerment.
• Participatory planning and involvement of all stakeholders ensures effective implementation, project ownership and sustainability.
• The power of community/stakeholder contribution- The project will integrate local resource mobilisation as a key component in mobilising both in kind or financial resources. This gives the farmers and stakeholders a shift of power in project ownership, self esteem and sustainability. The project will workout on how the implementation could ride on the existing projects especially to scale down some of the core administration costs.
The initiative is warranted in the sense that it will contribute to improved livelihood for small holder coffee farmers by:
• Influencing coffee sector management to achieve better coffee production, marketing and farmers income
• Integrating agro-ecological farming practises in farm management including coffee and food production as well as diversification of farming enterprises for resilience to climate change effects.
• Involving the youth in the coffee sector as a sustainability strategy for the future of coffee sector, including supporting the youth to venture in to various business enterprises for employment creation.