DefinitionDevising project idea, defining the aim and main components
DesignSpecifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
Open to FinancingSearching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
ImplementationExecution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
MaintenanceOperational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
Scaling UpScaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.
The Ambakofi Organization aims to introduce regenerative agroforestry practices to improve biodiversity and restore deforested land in Chalinze district, Coast Region. The project will restore the original forest cover in the area while improving livelihoods for rural communities by implementing a model farm and a model school. Agroforestry practices and extension on sustainable firewood practices will counter the trend of deforestation in the area and increase resilience to droughts. Producing fruits and vegetables will not only provide food and nutrition to local communities but will also supply growing cities nearby for income generation. By establishing a stable source of water, the ambakofi tree nursery will be able to provide smallholder farmers with trees as well as training on their care. The project will build on existing programmes of environmental education of children and efforts to restore mangrove forests at the coast zones villages which together work on land restoration and the provision of alternatives to destructive firewood practices.
This project will benefit 800 smallholder farmer households for the Model Farm, upscaling to neighbouring villages and reaching 2000 households for our Model School.
Overcoming challenges set forth by climate change
The combination of droughts, shifting cultivation, overgrazing and increased needs for firewood, charcoal, timber and logs have exacerbated deforestation and land degradation in the Chalinze district. As the effects of climate change are increasingly felt, the need to adapt to resilient and drought resistant agricultural practices increases. There is a need for productive restoration of the landscape to drive food security and increase resilience whilst creating new economic opportunities for farmers and their communities.
Overall, this project aims to increase resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change, create income opportunities and regenerate the area. ambakofi and reNature will set up a regenerative agroforestry Model Farm on communal land of Mihuga village to demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of such a farming system. In the long-term, the plan is to scale the model through a Model School intervention.
Blurring the lines between human activity and nature
The Model Farm will show how farming practices can achieve harmonized living in nature. It will be situated on a communal village plot in Mihuga village to allow for farmers to have easy access and see the agroforestry system for themselves when they pass by and experience the productivity, cooling effect and biodiversity such a system has to offer. Learning amongst peer farmers will be strengthened and easily facilitated around this communal plot.
The land surrounding Mihuga once had a full forest cover but has degraded into a savannah landscape due to deforestation. By introducing an agroforestry system in Mihuga which will supply firewood, the forest will have a chance to regrow. By making agricultural practices biodiverse and nature inclusive, natural biodiversity will increase both within Mihuga and in surrounding areas which enhances carbon stocks in soil and biomass. Both the natural and agricultural systems will benefit from increased resilience against climatic shocks. The agroforestry systems will reduce erosion, improve water retention and as a result benefit soil fertility.
Improving livelihoods through time poverty reduction & economic opportunity
Deforestation by firewood collection and charcoal burning does not only have an impact on the ecosystem, but also on the communities living there. Women and children especially have to spend increasing amounts of time searching for firewood, which limits their capacity to spend time on other activities. Producing and selling vegetables, fruits and other commodities to nearby towns will provide the farmers with sustainable livelihoods and cash for school fees, building/improving the house or business investment.
The model farm will allow for experimentation with different species of crops and prove the business case and feasibility of investing in a diverse set of commodities. The ecosystem services provided by regenerative agroforestry will show increasing benefits to yields of local food crops as well as the commodities grown in the agroforestry system. Once the Model Farm is set up, farmers from nearby communities will be able to learn from the farming system as well, to be able to spread the impact to different communities. On a longer time scale, upscaling agroforestry systems and the establishment of a farmer cooperative will allow them to connect with more large-scale buyers and possibly install processing facilities to add value to their produce.
Measuring our impact
reNature offers a range of different methodologies to capture the impact of the project. Those are applied on custom-basis and can be tailored to the needs of the respective project stakeholders. Our expertise and network allows us to measure indicators illustrating the project impact on biodiversity, soil health, farmer income and well-being as well as the climate. For this project in particular, an M&E component could be included in the Model School service.