Building climate resilience through commercial agroforestry tree nurseries
This climate resilience case study (No.4) from Kenya is the fourth of ten case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). It describes the actions of the Lake Elementaita Tree Nurseries Self Help Group (LETNSHG) in finding nature based solutions (NbS) that give climate resilience.
The Lake Elementaita Tree Nurseries Self Help Group is made up of 48 tree nursery owners established along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway within the dryland Gilgil area of Nakuru county, Kenya. Members grow and sell more than 3 million seedlings annually. Sales include a wide range of ornamental trees and plants, agroforestry species, fruit and timber trees, herbs and medicinal plants both to local farmers, passing motorists and government agencies. They also provide advisory services on cultivation to local farmers. Climate change is perceived as a major threat, with rainfall irregularities, prolonged dry spells, intense weather events (including floods and hailstorms), and an increase in pests and diseases. Women’s work has particularly suffered as they are the main water collectors and nursery workers.
LETNSHG has both helped its members and, through them, local community-based adaptation (CbA) to these changes. Nursery owners have been trained towards more resilient business and financial management, including diversification into poultry and other local farm produce, the establishment of local saving and loans groups, alongside installing improved water collection infrastructure and shading. Local farm clients have been encouraged, and been supplied seedlings for, agroforestry diversification, conservation and organic farming methods, and organic composting and mulching to reduce or spread the risk of climate-related failures.
The case study shows how organisational innovations promoted by an association of tree nurseries can improve their own resilience and that of adjacent smallholder farms.