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Farmers in Loitokitok go green with permaculture

In a move to address the challenges posed by climate change and declining soil fertility, a group of farmers in Loitokitok, Kenya, have embraced permaculture. 

 

Coined from "permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture," permaculture is a holistic approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecosystems. It emphasizes sustainable land use, water conservation and biodiversity.

WWF-Kenya's permaculture initiative is set to enhance agricultural productivity among farmers in Loitokitok through the adoption of sustainable practices.

"WWF promotes agroecology as an approach that brings together food, climate and biodiversity goals. In different areas, we design agroecological approaches. For Loitokitok, we aim to limit the conversion of the Loitokitok forest while ensuring intensification. This makes permaculture the best agroecological practice for the area," said Nancy Rapando, Africa Food Future Initiative Lead, WWF-Kenya.  

 

The farmers WWF-Kenya has engaged recognize the urgent need to shift towards more sustainable farming practices. They have experienced first-hand the adverse effects of climate change and poor soil fertility.

Working with the Kajiado County Government and
the Dryland Natural Resources Centre, WWF-Kenya has equipped the farmers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement permaculture techniques on their farms.

 

Sofia Ntuyai, a farmer in Loitoktok, expressed optimism about the potential impact of permaculture on their farming practices. 

 

"Together with my group members, we are taking up this innovation because it is quite promising," said Ntuyai. 

She highlighted the importance of organic fertilizers and terracing using A-frames to curb soil erosion. The region is prone to flash floods.

 

John Jenga, another local farmer, echoed Ntuyai's sentiments, emphasizing the potential cost-saving linked with the adoption of permaculture practices. 

 

"Since WWF-Kenya taught us, we have benefited. We are envisioning the reduction of costs as we will not need to buy fertilizers because we will be making our own," said Jenga.

By embracing permaculture, the farmers hope to improve their livelihoods by attaining food security for their households.
 

“The farmers have experienced first-hand the adverse effects of climate change that is worsened by the degraded soils. We need approaches that will protect soils and other landscape resources,” said Baka Ogalo, Agroecology Officer, WWF-Kenya.

 
Through sustainable integrated land and water use planning and management, they hope to create nature-positive food production systems that can withstand the impacts of climate change.
 

This project was funded by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Alliance for Restoration of Forest Ecosystems in Africa (AREECA) project - Large-scale Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) in Africa.

By Faith Tanui - Communications Officer, Southern Kenya Landscape, WWF-Kenya