ROA is a partner in the implementation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-funded Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project, in Kakamega, Vihiga and Nandi counties of western Kenya. SLM project is a 3-year project (2017-20) implemented by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). The project’s approach is to scale out the adoption of best-bet agricultural practices and to extend the benefits of food security and incomes to communities living within a 5 kilometer radius of the Kakamega and Nandi South forests so that they can stop encroachment and degradation of the forests.
The overall goal of the project is to contribute to food security and incomes of smallholder farmers and other actors along maize and beans, indigenous vegetable value chains, and secure sustainable land and forest ecosystems in Western Kenya. The project will directly benefit 50 producer groups and indirectly reach 100,000 beneficiaries in rural households within the 3 targeted counties.
The SLM project builds on AGRA’s earlier projects conducted in western Kenya between the year 2009 and 2013 on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices in which ROA was an implementing partner. ‘Going beyond demos (GBD)’ – is a value chain innovation of AGRA that enables African smallholder farmers to increase farm productivity through the use of improved seeds, blended fertilizers, access to remunerative input and output markets and affordable financial services.
ROA’s specific roles in the project are:
Rural Outreach Africa (ROA) partnered with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) to promote Drought TEGO™ maize hybrids, a water efficient maize variety in the four counties of western Kenya: Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma.
A pilot research project looking at human-centred design approaches in addressing the labor burden of ageing smallholder farmers in Kenya by improving the design of farming tools.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-funded soil health project dubbed Integrated Soil Fertility (ISFM) was implemented from 2011 to 2014 for phase one, and 2015 to 2018 for phase two.
The Food Security and Nutrition Improvement intervention in Western Kenya came at a time when the country was reportedly 400,000 MT in deficit on the main staple crop. This resulted from the fact that 4 million people were in dire need of food aid after the country was hit by its worst drought in 37 years and was expected to worsen.
The project mainly concentrated on Corchorus olitorus (Jews-mallow) Crotaloria brevidens (Sun hemp), Gynadropsis gyanandra (black nightshade), Amaranths ssp (amaranths) and Vigna ungiculata (Cowpeas). An impact assessment in the last year of the project revealed that 70% of the project beneficiaries were women, and 12% youth farmers.
The project was initiated in 1998 with the generous support from the Headley Trust, UK ( one of the Lord Sainsbury’s Trusts) and it envisaged to ensure that: community members from Butere/ Mumias district access clean potable water, better health and sanitation, clean environment, and better protected and utilized riverbeds.
ROA in collaboration with Gatsby Foundation-UK set up the Shikunga HIV/AIDS Resource Center in 2003 in Butere sub-county. This was a community-initiated project derived from the need by the local community project management committee to respond to challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In October 2018, ROA distributed sanitary pads to girls in a few schools in Kakamega County as a menstrual hygiene intervention to reduce school absenteeism. ROA staffs Doris, Makeba and Andala presented 99 packets of pads to classes 7 and 8 girls in Emukangu primary school.