New Innovators Work with Local Communities
Innovators of different projects aimed at helping the alleviation of drastic climatic changes are working with the local communities to upscale their interventions as well as make use readily available resources. This is also in a bid to increase their impacts on climate change. Two innovators who were visited last week by Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) are in the process of forming joint ventures with farmers in Kericho and Bomet Counties in a move meant to facilitate: The construction of a local modern community apiary; and soil rehabilitation programmes in the two counties respectively.
In Nyangares, Bomet County, Pinemark Africa Limited is an applicant who is working with the area Community Forest Association (CFA) to produce organic fertiliser from locally available waste materials. This is based on the premise that over the years, the soils in the area have been worn out by the consistent use of synthetic fertilisers; they have gradually become less productive.
The communities have also been felling trees in the adjacent Mau Forest to burn charcoal as a form of livelihood. Noting that the communities are also avid farmers, the innovator is working to have a joint venture with the farmers to rehabilitate the soil and reduce deforestation by giving them innovative and productive farming technologies.
Consequently, the farmers have recently gotten a market for their French beans with Meru Greens Limited, a major exporter of French beans into the European Union market. The European Union has however made it a requirement that they shall cease buying beans produced using synthetic fertiliser. Pinemark Africa Limited is therefore coming up with the innovation to rehabilitate the soil using compost manure to ensures that the farmers will still be in the market after the 2020 deadline.
The innovator is seeking to be incubated into the KCIC incubation programme to learn how they can develop a comprehensive and inclusive business model as well as tap into available funding opportunities.
In Kericho, Taplangoi Ltd, a pioneer company of a young innovator is constructing modernised beehives in a remarkable business models for local farmers. His innovation involves deviating from the traditional beehives used in the bee-rich area into up-to-date top-bar bee hives that have the capacity of accommodating more bees in a more friendly habitat and consequently producing more honey. Considering that mobility from one farmer household to another to take care of the bees may prove to be a challenge, the innovator is setting up an apiary where farmers can centrally keep bees and receive management and value addition services. He endeavors to have the farmers own at least one beehive at the apiary where they shall reap benefits from the harvest of honey. Besides the mass production of the honey, the innovator is planning to have diverse products from the byproducts of honey.
Opportunity: ClimateLaunchPad Competition
The two applicants are part of a growing number of innovators who have made submissions to join the KCIC incubation programme. They were visited by business analysts from KCIC to further appraise their applications. The next step involves the clients being contacted to give further input as needed, after which they will be informed of the status of their applications. Application to become KCIC clients are normally received on a rolling basis. They are submitted through an online portal that is accessed through https://kenyacic.org/apply/
By Solomon Irungu