Facilitation of alternative livelihoods requires that there be established demonstration plots for the alternative livelihood options that we wish to promote. A model farmer has the responsibility of acting as a learning centre for the community at large.
For one to call themselves a model farmer, they have to have a well functioning Ecosan toilet and biogas digester. They also practice farming in accordance to an integrated farm plan and be in a position to teach other members of the community on these alternative livelihood options.
They are therefore selected on the basis of a well drafted Eligibility criteria which requires that he/she be a farmer who is not farming in the wetland or they are willing to move from the wetland and establish productive farms away from the wetlands, preferably in their homesteads.
Conservation Scheme Agreements
After the selection of the model farmer, he is to sign a conservation scheme agreement which outlines his responsibilities, alongside Ecofinder Kenya’s responsibilities, in the new found partnership between the two parties.
The model farmers that we are establishing all have farms in their homesteads, they have a number of cows from which they can get cow dung that they need for the regular feeding of their biogas digesters.. Their farms have been planted and arranged as per an integrated farm plan that has been developed on a participatory basis with the model farmers and the project team.
In order to promote a tree protection and conservation culture, all the model farmers have planted trees covering 10% of their entire homestead. The gas that is being produced by the farmers is being used in the homesteads for cooking and lighting purposes.
The model farmers therefore do not have to spend their money on wood fuel or paraffin, they do not also have to go farming in the wetlands with the notion that they will get better yields. They can produce good yield in their homestead farms, without having to spend any money on acquiring fertilizers, which are also pollutants.
This works to reduce pressure exerted on the wetlands through encroachment into the wetlands. This will help reduce human wildlife conflict which will help in conserving the biodiversity of the wetlands.