Farmer groups which graduated from the Farmer Field Schools (FFS) will benefit from a new financing programme that will see them progress the projects they begun while still in FFS. This will be through the Support to Community Based Farm Forestry Enterprise Project (SCBFFE) a new project within KFS started to assist farmer groups to start forestry related income generating activities within their areas.
The project sponsored by the Japanese Government through the World Bank and implemented by KFS in three pilot districts of Kitui, Mbeere and Tharaka will go on for four years and will be used to inform the establishment and operationalisation of the Forest Conservation Fund as established in the Forest Act 2005.
According to the Project Manager Ms Jane Ndeti, the Government of Japan which sponsored the now ended Intensified Social Forestry Programme (ISFP) and which saw the formation and eventual graduation of over 300 farmer field schools through JICA realised the need of following up on the progress of the farmers with a view to assisting them especially considering the climatic challenges associated with the three districts.
This she says resulted in the formation of the project.
Already a financial expert from Japan Mr. Teshima Naoyuki is in the country and recently interviewed some of the farmers on the projects they would like funded by the project and their ideas on how the financial scheme should be implemented. He said the scheme would help the farmers who cannot access financial services from major institutions like banks due to the bureaucracies involved and high interest charged.
Report by Leakey Sonkoyo