Livelihoods Mt Elgon project – an innovative partnership

October 27, 2016 · News/Okategoriserade/Press · No comments

The Livelihoods Fund, an investment fund created by private companies, has joined forces with Brookside Dairy, East Africa’s n° 1 dairy player, and Vi Agroforestry, a Swedish NGO with proven track record in sustainable agriculture. Together, they aim to improve the livelihood of 30,000 farmers through sustainable farming practices and milk-water-carbon value creation. The project was officially launched on Tuesday 11th October in Kitale.

esnusmunialo_margaretmuchanga_nivawamalwa_kiminini_kenya_livelihoods-16 Margaret Muchanga and her children Wamalwa (right) and Esnus Munialo (left), is one of the families who is trained on tree planting and sustainable agriculture by Vi Agroforestry, as a result of the investments from Livelihoods Fund and Brookside Dairy. Photograper: Laurent Joffrion

The slopes of Mount Elgon are home to 2 million people. This ever-growing population exerts pressure on agricultural lands and natural resources. Farmers are in a vicious circle. Degraded lands – due to deforestation, inefficient agricultural practices and uncontrolled grazing – lead to low yields and low milk production. This, in combination with dairy farmers’ weak links to the dairy industry make agriculture a poor source of income in the area. At the same time, the dairy industry faces unsecured milk supply due to low milk production and seasonality. Moreover, the fertile soil of farmers is washed away at each downpour and sediment loads threaten water resources and the entire ecosystem of the Lake Victoria.

The Livelihoods Mount Elgon project offers an integrated solution to address simultaneously these issues. Farmers are trained on sustainable farming practices such as agroforestry, crop diversification, fodder production and livestock management. These simple techniques require limited investment but deliver substantial results. In the project zone, crop yields are expected to increase by 30%, milk productivity is estimated to double and milk production in the area will be multiplied by almost 30 after 5 years. Farmers are involved in the project through 1,200 groups and 15 existing cooperatives. The cooperatives are strengthened to enable farmers bulk milk, obtain better supply contracts, and to offer more services such as artificial insemination and veterinary care.

Henrik Brundin and Bernard Giraud Henrik Brunding, Deputy CEO of Vi Agroforestry and Bernard Giraud, President of Livelihoods Venturt of Livelihoods Venture.

”This innovative project will make life a lot better for people who live in western Kenya. But we also hope that it can set a new standard for how businesses and NGO:s around the world can partner to fight poverty, hunger and climate change. It is an important step towards reaching UN:s Sustainable development goals”, says Henrik Brundin, deputy CEO of Vi Agroforestry.

In addition, a more efficient access to market is offered to farmers as Brookside Dairy is committed to purchasing their milk over a 10-year period.
“If a farmer increases milk production for example from 5 to 10 litres a day, he or she will find a guaranteed market. As a result, the farmer will definitely enjoy increased income. The private sector input in the project will make it very successful”, adds Emmanuel Kabaki, General Manager of Brookside Dairy.

The Livelihoods Mount Elgon project is built on an innovative model. A private fund bears the investment risk and receives result-based payments from investors. A dairy company pays according to milk production. An NGO implements it.
The project will improve the livelihood of 30,000 smallholder farmers by contributing nearly 2 billion Kenyan Shillings to the local economy. It will also sequester more than 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, and create tangible environmental benefits.

“The Livelihoods Mount Elgon project illustrates how investments in rural communities and family farming can be designed to deliver mutual value for farmers, businesses and society. It opens the way to new investment models, moving from impact investment to performance-driven models mixing public and private funding”, highlights Bernard Giraud, President of Livelihoods Venture.

Livelihoods: Nishal Ramdoo +33 6 23 10 12 21

Vi Agroforestry: Arne Andersson +245 733 964 568

Brookside Dairy: Wilson Ogot +254 722 698 903


Livelihoods investment funds offer innovative solutions to companies to secure sustainable sourcing and offset their activities with high-quality certified carbon credits while generating impact. The funds invest in large scale projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Livelihoods funds join forces with public institutions, NGOs and experts to maximize impact while reducing risks. The funds provide upfront financing to NGOs for project implementation and receive results-based payments to guarantee tangible social, environmental and economic impact. Twelve major companies have invested in the Livelihoods Funds so far: Danone, Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole S.A., Michelin, Hermès, SAP, Groupe Caisse des Dépôts, La Poste, Firmenich, Voyageurs du Monde, Mars Inc. and Veolia.Livelihoods currently has two funds: the Livelihoods Carbon Fund (which invests in the Mount Elgon project) and the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming.
In this project, Livelihoods Fund provides upfront financing for implementation and maintenance of the Livelihoods Mount Elgon project over a period of 10 years.

Vi Agroforestry is a development organisation, fighting poverty and climate change together with smallholder farmer families and their organisations in the Lake Victoria Basin in East Africa. The foundation of Vi Agroforestry’s work is sustainable agriculture and agroforestry – growing trees alongside crops and livestock. It sustainably provides increased access to food, energy sources and more income. Sustainable agriculture contributes to the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. Vi Agroforestry is a Swedish organisation with country offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, with a Regional Office in Nairobi. Vi Agroforestry has vast experience of implementing large-scale projects on sustainable agriculture and farmer empowerment. In 2015, the organisation reached 112,000 families in almost 4,000 farmer groups through 40 farmers’ organisations and cooperatives and helped plant 5,6 million trees spread across the four countries of operation.
In this project, Vi Agroforestry is in charge of implementation and monitoring.

Brookside Africa is East Africa’s no. 1 dairy player, with a portfolio of products ranging from fresh and Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk to powdered milk, yogurts, fermented milk, ghee, butter and both whole and skimmed milk powder. The company benefits from a strong regional milk collection network supported by over 200,000 farmers. It has over 3,000 employees and serves the East African region with a unique distribution platform supplying over 200,000 outlets. Brookside has upheld a tradition of quality, pure farm freshness and flavor in each of the products.
In this project, Brookside Dairy invests together with the Livelihoods Fund. It commits to buy quality raw milk from farmers in the project over a period of 10 years and will provide cooperatives with equipment and services.



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