The KENAFF Farm Forestry and Afforestation Programme, 2021 – 2030, has been conceptualized, developed and shall be implemented by KENAFF over ten (10) years. Originally conceived in May 2019; it is meant to support the government of Kenya’s Regreening Kenya Initiative; the target to achieve 10% forest cover by December 2022; contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 13: Climate Action, and is as a strategy through which Kenyan farmers contribute to climate action as envisaged under the Paris Agreement, specifically to; contribute to mitigation (Article 4) and conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs for greenhouse gas emissions (Article 5).
It is also timely: COP26 resolved this is the time for action and delivery; not promise. KENAFF believes that the only pathway for Kenya to achieve these goals is for farmers to be engaged in the planting and nurturing of trees. Indeed, the government alone on public land would not accomplish these goals.
Farm Forestry and Afforestation
KENAFF FF & AP 2021 - 2030
Farm Forestry: The intentional establishment and management of trees on farms by farmers has enormous potential to improve agricultural production and diversify farmers’ incomes for better livelihoods. It can also reduce and control land degradation, enhance biodiversity, and is a great climate strategy for adaptation and resilience building.
Afforestation: The establishment of new forests by sowing seed or planting seedlings in the places where there was no forest before. It remains one of the most effective means of tackling climate change. It reduces the impact of desertification, supports ecosystems, and removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Afforestation slows the impact of climate change while also addressing other environmental issues, such as reducing the incidence of land degradation, enhancing carbon sequestration and improving of soil, water and air quality.
While land is a critical factor of production world over, it is even more so in a country like Kenya whose majority population is dependent on agriculture. Land provides not just food and nutrition security but also a wide range of other ecosystem services. To this end, the best we can do is take care of this resource that is on loan to us by posterity. There’s no better way to take care of the land than continuously enhancing vegetation cover; including afforestation, farm forestry and re-forestation. The tree/forest ecosystem provides many services (food, feed, fuel and fibre), enhances environmental and biodiversity conservation, regulates the risk of natural hazards like flooding, landslides and fires; and supports numerous other economic, social, environmental, cultural and emotional imperatives.
Climate change [including, Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought (DLDD)] negatively affects ecosystem service provision; with severe implications for livelihoods and the wellbeing of millions of people. Indeed, the agriculture sector in Kenya is highly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change; with the 8 million smallholder farmers that primarily depend on the sector being the most susceptible.
Farm forestry, afforestation and reforestation are key to the transformation, growth and thriving of the Kenyan agri-food system. These practices support sustainable land management practices (including reclamation and restoration of degraded landscapes), improve soil health as well as enhance water use management technologies, innovations and management practices. These are all practices that inform a sustainable agri food system; something Kenya really needs as it makes efforts to achieve 100% food and nutrition security.
It has been proven that permanent and near-permanent tree cover on a wide-range of ecological niches is a great way to sequester carbon and enhance soil carbon stocks. KENAFF is convinced that through this ten- year programme (that is, nonetheless, envisaged to exist in perpetuity) is a great way for Kenyan farmers to contribute to climate action and support the government’s regreening Kenya and 10% (and above) forest cover goals.
The programme’s development objective, enhancing the incomes and livelihoods of Kenyan smallholder farmers through tree value chains, is premised on the mutualism between agriculture and forestry. The overall goals include to:
1. Encourage farmers to allocate at least 15 per cent of their agricultural landholdings for farm forestry, conservation of agrobiodiversity, re-forestation, and reclamation of degraded landscapes to slow down the impact of climate change globally over the next 10 years (2021 – 2030) and in perpetuity.
2. Build farmers’ capacity on soil and water conservation and train smallholder farmers (including women, the youth and farmers living with disabilities) on the importance of establishing and developing sustainable tree value chains, for economic, environmental, and food and nutrition security among other benefits.
- Promote tree value chains among farmers through capacity building on-farm forestry and tree value chain development;
- Support tree nursery establishment and development by the KENAFF Youth Council as well as the KENAFF Women Council;
- Promote fodder bulking as an adaptation mechanism for livestock-based livelihoods in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs);
- Enhance protection and reclamation of the commons;
- Establish and strengthen experiential learning and modelling on farm forestry and afforestation;
- Enhance business case development for trade-in tree and tree products;
- Develop and implement payment of ecosystem services (PES) initiatives for the social, economic, and environmental benefits of carbon sequestration; and the practice of related services; including apiculture, aquaculture, agrotourism, and biogas technologies, and,
- Mobilize and organize farmers into farm forest associations to leverage revenue potential in carbon markets.