Community & Livelihoods: Helping farmers live in harmony with Elephants

Helping Farmers Live in Harmony with Elephants 🐘🐝

Today we want to highlight the Elephants and Bees Community and Livelihoods team who have transformed the Kileva Primary School permaculture garden into a green productive garden full of food! and we would like to appreciate the donors who have supported this project. A huge shout out and  immense thank you to The Disney RTD fund, the Rufford Foundation, EKCT and all our other kind and generous supporters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organic farming is an integrated method using natural components from the ecosystem, with the goals of enhancing soil fertility, biological diversity and helping create sustainable food production. It uses techniques such as crop rotation, composting and biological pest control. It also discourages the use of synthetic farm inputs such as feed additives, pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones because of their negative effects on health and the environment.

Intercropping Marigolds and Sukuma wiki (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

Agriculture in elephant-conflict areas is often very challenging. Elephants carry out crop raids on certain crops when they are almost ready for harvest. This not only results in huge losses for the farmers, but also poses a threat to the elephants from upset farmers. One of the ways the Elephants and Bees Project is working to reduce these conflict incidences by supporting organic farming within the community.

 

New shade netting to help protect the crops (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

This past summer, the Community and Livelihoods team, led by Victor Ndombi, have worked tirelessly to put up a new shade net for the Kileva Primary School kitchen garden. The goals of this project are not only to help supplement school lunches with a more balanced diet and to stop over-reliance on the same meals, but to also help demonstrate alternative crops that can be grown in Sagalla, instead of maize. The Elephants and Bees team are encouraging farmers in Sagalla to grow non-palatable crops (those not preferred by elephants) instead of palatable crops (crops prefered by elephants), such as maize. Non-palatable crops can also be used in different enterprises, such as soap-making using aloe vera. In addition to reducing human-elephant conflict, non-palatable crops such as sunflowers also provide good forage for honeybees. 

Victor has led the team to green success and over the past year, this kitchen garden has experienced a total transformation. The children are now harvesting veggies twice a week!

 

The children in Farm club after a successful sukuma wiki harvest (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

Sukuma growing well with vertical farming techniques (Photo: Victor Ndombi)

 

We are thrilled to see an organic #foodmovement SPREADING. With the team’s help, Farmers in Sagalla, such as Charity, have already started implementing these organic and dryland-farming techniques in their farms 🐘🐝🌻

 

Charity’s farm. She has implement some dryland farming techniques with Victor’s help (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

 

Dryland farming techniques (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

 

Victor, Community and Livelihoods Research Assistant, standing in the shade of a Papaya tree in the school Kileva school Permaculture garden (Photo: Maureen Kinyanjui)

 

To learn more about this project and how you can help and support, Please read more here:

Permaculture Garden

 

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