NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Leveraging Markets for Climate Friendly Sustainable Development, in Laikipia, Kenya [NDF C62 B 6]

Photo: Heli Sinkko
Photo: Heli Sinkko
Photo: Heli Sinkko
The project will contribute to secure livelihoods for small-scale farmers and mitigation of climate change in the semi-arid county of Laikipia

Leveraging Markets for Climate Friendly Sustainable Development, in Laikipia, Kenya
Ref: NDF C62 B 6

Nordic Partner: NEPCon
Local Partners: Zeitz Foundation Kenya
Total Project Cost: EUR 836,964
NCF Financing: EUR 489,919
Agreement Signed: 25.2.2015
Project Classification: Combination
Duration: 30 Months

Project Objective

The objective of the project is to improve livelihoods of marginalised communities living in an area highly vulnerable to climate change and to sequester significant amounts of carbon as a contribution to stabilising global GHG emissions.


The project, located in the Laikipia County in Kenya, seeks to improve livelihoods for 4,000 small-scale farmers directly and 20,000 people indirectly in a highly vulnerable area to adapt to climate change and to contribute to stabilizing GHG levels. Improved livelihoods will be achieved through the introduction and scaling up of resilient and environmentally and socially appropriate conservation agriculture (CA) practices and introduction of sustainable marketing and supply chains. Scaling-up conservation agriculture and innovative rainwater harvesting technologies will be the principle vehicle for adaptation that will also generate mitigation benefits. However, more significant carbon sequestration will be specifically achieved by restoring degraded privately or community managed wild lands. These gains, along with increased productivity and sustained access to profitable markets, will enhance the socio-economic well-being of local communities. Innovative low cost technologies will help mitigate human-wildlife conflict to ensure functioning ecosystems support adaptation and mitigation.

The project is expected to deliver the following main outputs:

  • (i) Introduction and scaling up of climate friendly conservation agriculture in 10 locations throughout Laikipia backed up by harvesting of 1,000,000 litres of rainwater annually and introducing human wildlife conflict mitigation technologies
  • (ii) Reversal of land degradation through ecological restoration on over 530,000 ha of which 10% will be reforested
  • (iii) Local business development through reliable and profitable market access for farm produce

Relevance for Climate Change

The main benefits of the project will be from adaptation to development across a wide range. The project will enable people adapt to scarcity of water complicated by unpredictable patterns of rainfall and higher rate of abstraction of surface and sub-surface water by the growing population. A focus on less water intensive crops and varieties, and scaling up water efficient technologies and promotion of varieties will lower the demand for irrigation and river water and ensure farming systems become more resilient, leading to enhanced food security and secure livelihoods. Ecological Restoration of degraded wild lands will result in conserving more soil and water and stabilising river flows. Improved environmental management practises will ensure that soil carbon, currently being released as a result of severe rangeland degradation, overgrazing of pasture and soil erosion, is maintained in-situ. Further, unsustainable tree cutting for charcoal production - arising largely because it is the cash income generating activity available to thousands - will be reduced as alternative income sources become available; complimenting this will be intensive reforestation activities on over 53,000 ha of degraded commercial and communal ranches and live-terracing activities integrated in CA.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The innovative and award winning new building designs and introduction of innovations used in China and elsewhere have been used for the first time in Kenya to create water-banks and facilitate rainwater harvesting. These interventions have been designed both for domestic and institutional level applications. Domestic level interventions include designs for roof water capture from traditional Manyattas and accompanying underground water storage cellars. These cost-effective designs use local labour and locally available materials. Human-wildlife conflict has been a major cause of degradation of ecosystems and their biodiversity. Wildlife invades farms and destroys agriculture produce and predates on livestock. Destruction of farm produce results in production losses and income reduction affecting farmers’ interest and ability to adopt sustainable farming practices. In part, human-wildlife conflicts result from the depletion of forage and prey in degraded habitats. Innovative solutions, developed in South Africa, such as chilli pepper fencing, beehives, and high wire fencing will be introduced to effectively deter wildlife from invading and destroying agricultural produce.

Key recent milestones achieved as of February 2017

  • Central Training and Demonstration Site completed andthe Conservation Agriculture plot upgraded to 10 acres
  • 26 Training of Trainers held, training extended to the 10 project sites
  • Ecological restoration on-going with 20,000 seedlings prepared
  • Four additional Conservation Agriculture plots established with rainwater harvesting facilities
  • Tree nurseries and conservation agriculture plots established
  • Agricultural certification standard analysis completed
  • Two Danish companies interested in sourcing (gluten free) produce from the project

More information

Zeitz Foundation Kenya