Mr Mugo Kamau, the project officer Solidaridad organization argues that climate change has ignited a global discussion and it needs experts to explain to the locals. He also said that the five-year project seeks to unlock the potential of agroforestry in reducing the carbon footprint in the coffee supply chain. “Solidaridad also aims to inherently pursue the climate victims to climate heroes”
By Tony Wafula
It was a big win for coffee farmers in Bungoma after the County government partnered with Solidaridad organization, an international civil society organisation whose main objective is facilitating the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable supply chain systems to launch a five-year project to increase coffee production.
Speaking in Bungoma on Tuesday after the launch of the project, Mr Mugo Kamau, the project officer said that the project aims at making farmers in Bungoma more resilient to climate change, improving the quality of life for the farmers and mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gases.
The officer said that they chose Bungoma because they have a good working relationship and also it is the food granary and food source in the region and the country. “In these five years that we shall be here in Bungoma, we are going to ensure that we engage all of the farmers and train them on the climate change issues,” he said, adding that many farmers haven’t understood much about climate change.
He argues that climate change has ignited a global discussion and it needs experts to explain to the locals. He also said that the five-year project seeks to unlock the potential of agroforestry in reducing the carbon footprint in the coffee supply chain. “Solidaridad also aims to inherently pursue the climate victims to climate heroes,” Kamau added.
He said that during the five years, the organization will be going around the county to try farmers, arguing that it will give a platform for the farmers to learn the new ways of farming, new coffee prizes and what the ministry of agriculture is doing to support them.
He said that the organization’s move also helps the country in achieving its target of ensuring that its food is secured. He said that Solidaridad has partnered with the national and county governments and cooperative societies to give basic support.
“We can’t work alone, that is why I have involved the county officials, the ministry of agriculture and farmers from the nine constituencies of Bungoma to be part of this great engagement,” he said. He said that they will also train farmers in smart agriculture. Kamau encouraged farmers to do agroforestry but practice alternative ways of sourcing funds that can support other activities on the farm.
“A part from planting coffee lets us also think of the economic aspect of the chain,” he said. Kamau noted that his dream is to fight poverty and climate change by enabling millions of smallholder farmers to invest in carbon farming and smallholder farmers will be transformed from climate victims to climate heroes.
Jane Mukonambi, director of climate change in Bungoma County lauded Solidaridad for including Bungoma on its list affirming the county government will give all the required support to benefit farmers. Ms Mukonambi told The Weekly Vision that Solidaridad is not a new organization revealing that it has worked in Bungoma before and its history can be traced. “Bungoma signed an MOU with Solidaridad and what they did was very fantastic that is why we have accepted and welcomed them back,” he said.
She said that Bungoma is also focused on ensuring that the forest cover is increased. On Friday, Governor Ken Lusaka signed a Climate change bill that is expected to be presented before the floor of the County Assembly of Bungoma. He added that if the bill is passed it will see each Ward bag Ksh. 50M to address the climate change challenges.