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Kenya seeing benefits of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

World Vision
11 March 2017 by World Vision
Kenya seeing benefits of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

FMNR is being practiced across parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a low-cost land restoration technique used to combat poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate extremes.

In practice, FMNR involves the systematic regrowth and management of trees and shrubs from felled tree stumps, sprouting root systems or seeds. The regrown trees and shrubs – integrated into crops and grazing pastures – help restore soil structure and fertility, inhibit erosion and soil moisture evaporation, rehabilitate springs and the water table, and increase biodiversity. Some tree species also impart nutrients such as nitrogen into the soil.
As a result, FMNR can double crop yields, provide building timber and firewood, fodder and shade for livestock, wild foods for nutrition and medication, and increased incomes and living standards for farming families and their communities.

Here are a few stories from those who have benefited from practicing FMNR in Kenya!

School teacher, Mr. Kigen showing students how FMNR works.

School teacher, Mr. Kigen showing students how FMNR works.

Benefits in Emarangishu Primary School – Mr. Kigen, School Teacher

“FMNR has really changed our school for good since we began practicing it. We began by setting aside a demonstration site for FMNR. Everyone in the school received knowledge from the demo site and a majority of our children and teachers are practicing it in their homes. A lot of trees have grown naturally without planting. Currently the school is earning good income from selling what we get from the pruning of the trees where a bundle goes for about 100 Kenya shillings.

So far the school has sold over 200 bundles, earning the school 20,000 Kenya shillings (200 USD). I am also happy that after adopting FMNR, a lot of grass grew on the site and we managed to sell 100 bags to the nearest farmers earning us15,000 Kenya shillings (150 USD). The money accrued from sale of the grass was used for school repairs including the school fence, chairs and tables.

We are also happy the lives of many children have been improved both in school and their homes since they obtain food such as milk. Enrolment has also improved in our school since majority of our children no longer stay at home searching for food or going far to fetch firewood. We expect the school enrolment to rise over time. We plan to introduce school feeding program to utilize the firewood we obtain from pruning so that we can improve the well-being of our children.

As the head teacher of the school, I will continue supporting FMNR until everyone is transformed in our society especially on matters of food security and conservation of the environment. Many thanks to World Vision Kenya for their support and love in improving the living standards of our children and those for our community.”

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Collins now spends less time collecting firewood and is able to spend more time studying.

“FMNR has improved my marks at school” – By Collins, student

“FMNR has improved my marks in school. My mother taught me about FMNR after attending an FMNR training taught by World Vision. Every day after school my brother and I used to travel a kilometre away in search of firewood. We used to waste a lot of time and get tired thereafter that I would doze off before doing my homework. From the FMNR site, we now prune branches from trees for firewood.

For now I get enough time to study in the evening and even play with my younger brother. My school performance has also improved as this term I managed to improve to position 6 from position 13 out of 40 pupils last term. I attribute all this to FMNR. I have learnt that trees make our environment look beautiful and healthy as we get shade, wild fruits, and medicine from trees. I can only say, thank you FMNR.

“Now, I am a recognised leader” – By Peninah, village member
“I learnt about FMNR during a community meeting convened by our chief. The farmers in attendance from my village chose me as their FMNR extension agent. I was happy that the community trusted a woman as their leader. After the training, I practiced FMNR on my farm and after some time I harvested firewood from my farm.
My husband was pleased when he saw the pruned trees from my farm. I have been training and providing extension services on FMNR to farmers free of charge. Due to my hard work and leadership skills gained from FMNR training, I was chosen by my community to represent them in the water committee and county government forums on development. I always get an opportunity to talk about FMNR during our local chief’s meetings. I am now happy that FMNR has opened the eyes of my community to invest in women leadership.”

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Village member, Mirriam practicing FMNR on her property.

“FMNR expanded my source of income” – by Mirriam, village member
“I learnt about FMNR from the FMNR extension agent in charge of my area After that, I decided to set aside half an acre of my farm for FMNR. My main concern was firewood and I was also keen on environmental conservation after most of the trees in my area were cut down. I wanted my farm to be different from others and through FMNR I have realised my dream. I never expected the trees to grow fast but, with care and protection I can now boast of a small forest on my own farm. I started taking care of the sprouting trees and with time I noticed that there were different species of trees on the farm. I regularly prune the trees from which I get firewood for my household. From this my children have more time to study as they don’t travel far to look for firewood.

After pruning the trees I noticed that grass is now growing fast. I am happy now that even during this dry season, my cows have enough pasture. I also use firewood pruned from my farm in a food kiosk that I run in Kongasis centre. Before FMNR, I used to spend 200 Kenya shillings (2USD) daily to buy firewood for cooking but now with the firewood from my farm, I spend half the amount. This has increased my profits and enabled me to expand my food kiosk. I am thankful for the great knowledge that I got on FMNR!”

Originally published on FMNR Hub and as part of World Vision Kenya’s annual newsletter.

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