Central Rift Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is agricultural and community development program for farmers to help sustainably improve productivity. Delivered in partnership with World Vision Australia, local and international governments and farmers in the Rift Valley of Kenya the aim is to improve access to food and increase resilience for 10,000 households with 10,000 hectares under regenerative management. FMNR is a practice that is growing across Kenya, supported by policy and government arrangements to improve the livelihoods of all farmers and the community.
Project: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration
Location: Central Rift, Kenya
Across the Rift Valley counties of Nakuru, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot local farmers, World Vision Kenya, World Vision Australia, the Australian Government, Moi University, The Kenyan Government and the World Agroforestry Centre are reimagining rural landscapes. Over 65% of Kenya’s total land area is degraded yet over 12 million people are reliant on the land for their livelihoods. As a result, restoration of these landscapes, future proofing against ongoing climate change and increasing productivity sustainably is vital.
The FMNR program works across counties with small landholders and pastoralists agreeing to institute the regeneration of the natural environment. On-farm projects to support this regeneration include developing climate smart agriculture, holistic pasture management and grazing practices and agroforestry. For pastoralists and small landholders, the goal is to make the land more arable and productive and in the first phase of the program, over 33,000 people have benefitted.
The program is delivered using the community education model, Citizen Voice and Action (CVA). CVA educates and shares with all community members information about their rights, equips citizens to be greater advocates for their community and provides the skills and knowledge both to monitor and request adequate essential government services.
FMNR advocate and farmer Joyce, says the program works. “We cleared all the vegetation on our two acres when we moved to the area in 2014, we didn’t know we were causing more damage”. Now Joyce is one of 629 lead FMNR farmers and for her family including her four-year-old granddaughter, Blessing, the results have been significant. “FMNR has truly changed our lives. Our mindset towards taking care of the environment has changed because we know and have experienced the benefits of trees. Our roofs are no longer carried away by strong winds. The trees act as wind breaks. Planting the indigenous Acacia trees has also improved soil fertility increasing yields from our crops and pasture fodder for our livestock with surplus making hay for the tough times”.
It is the practical community led approach of FMNR that The Phillips Foundation supports to help create better and more sustainable futures for all. Samson, chairperson of the farmer organisation, farmer, living and working the land with a disability from polio, is an advocate of the program. Having been trained in 2022, Samson immediately set aside three acres of farmland for natural regeneration of indigenous tree species and he says “we are now reaping greater benefits as a result of implementing the correct practices”.