Since 2015, the Accelerating Adoption of Agroforestry (Triple A) project has supported 24 project groups in the Middle Nyando Valley in western Kenya. Implemented by the World Agroforestry Research Centre (ICRAF), and funded by the Comart Foundation, the project has sought to address the effects of climate change by supporting community members to strengthen their adaptive capacity by building resilient livelihoods. Using an Asset-Based Community-Driven (ABCD) approach, the project has been directed at supporting the sustainable development of agroforestry practices, driven by small-holder farmers themselves. To date, each group has seen an increase in farming for business rather than subsistence, a shift to higher value crops, and cooperation within and across groups to share technical expertise.
First, the groups assessed the various assets at their disposal through participatory mapping of human, social, natural, physical and financial assets. Following a series of participatory workshops on leadership, group dynamics, and personal and group finance, groups then drew community action plans that define the short- and mid-term development objectives for the community, and design the trajectory towards these objectives, based on existing assets. Each group then selected six Lead Farmers for three of their priority activities. These lead farmers were the recipients of technical trainings from ICRAF staff, which included value-chain analysis (VCA) and “Commodity Ledger” trainings in addition to technical trainings in various ‘climate-smart’ practices. Altogether, lead-farmers received technical and practical training in agroforestry, coffee, poultry, dairy and horticulture farming. These individual lead-farmers have been responsible for sharing their knowledge with the group as the project progressed. In the current stage, every group has set up village savings and loaning associations (VSLAs) to promote financial access and inclusion, farmers are practising diverse farming activities, and sharing expertise with other communities, thus expanding adaptive agroforestry practices across the Valley.
Since the Triple A Project’s inception, each of these groups has demonstrated the capacity to effectively adapt and respond to the effects of climate change, while building their household and community economies. By basing their activities on their existing strengths and resources, farmers have leveraged their position to move from subsistence practices to entrepreneurship.