ChildFund's agriculture project delivers life-changing results for Kenyan farmers

ChildFund's agriculture project delivers life-changing results for Kenyan farmers
Community members in Emali, Kenya not only face the daily challenges of living in a very poor and remote area, but they are vulnerable to drought which can destroy their crops and leave families without food and income.
To help mitigate this ChildFund has worked with the community, through local partners, with funds from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Kiwi supporters, to deliver the Agriculture Dairy and Economic Development (ADED) Project project over the past four years. The project has created around 5,000 employment opportunities in Emali. 
Project initiatives have included introducing a more drought resistant fodder for stock; new cattle varieties that produce a better milk; extensive training in animal care, basic vet skills and stock husbandry; youth vet clubs to train young people about animal care; along with farm and business management training.

Alongside dairy farming, the superfood, drought-resistant crop Moringa has been introduced as not only a source of income but of high nutrition, with extensive training and support given to crop farmers on how to grow it and sell it.

Local cooperatives are now up and running for both milk and moringa creating a large pool of enterprising small business owners in Emali.

Dairy Achievements Include:

  • Establishment of the Samli Dairy Cooperative with over 600 farmers and up to 10,000kgs of milk collected per day.
  • Two milk collection centres and three milk collection points were constructed.
  • Market linkage with Brookside Kenya Company established a dairy processing company.
  • Milk productivity per cow increased from 4.5 to 5.6 litres with a wastage rate of under 2% on aggregated milk due to farmer trainings.
  • Household monthly income from the sale of milk more than doubled.
  • 10 in-calf heifers were procured and delivered to 8 farmers and 2 schools to provide ongoing quality breeds to farmers in the community.
  • Hundreds of farmers were trained on pasture and fodder management to ensure livestock health in times of climatic shock.
  • Over 600 farmers trained on artificial insemination services to strengthen breeding practices and animal health.
  • Five Vet Clubs were established in schools with over 160 children trained on agriculture practices.
  • Three local Animal Health Assistants were trained to aid farmers on animal health in the community.


Moringa Achievements Include:

  • The formation of Emuka Moringa Cooperative with 128 members (76 active) and a Board with 12 members.
  • A commercial market for moringa has been established and the potential exists for increased production as more households adopt and practice moringa production.
  • Establishment of market linkages have led to an increase in the proportion of households selling moringa leaves and seeds.
  • Household monthly income from the sale of moringa increased by 17%
  • Additional income earned from the sale of moringa is largely used to buy food (82%) and pay school fees (67%)
  • The volume of moringa yield per hectare increased to 57.3kg, against a target of 50kg.
  • A fenced, five-acre communal moringa plot was established in Kajiado County to suit Maasai farmers who do not traditionally grow crops.
  • Eighty-seven percent of trained farmers diversified their livelihoods, so they had more than one source of income.
  • 66% of farmers reported being trained in at least one of the Climate Smart Agriculture techniques and skills.
  • Up from 0%, 21% of households said they applied their knowledge and training to value add to moringa (powder, oil, soap).
  • 100Kgs of moringa powder and 400Kgs of seeds is produced monthly.


Social Outcomes:

  • At the start of the Project, 8% of female participants had a source of income, which increased to 19% by the end of the project.
  • Women made up three-quarters of the members of the VS&L groups that were established. The groups received training in development of small business plans and the trainings were located to minimise travel and disruption for women.
  • At baseline, 58% of households consumed three meals per day, which increased to 89%. Even during the worst months of drought, food deficit indicators declined.

ChildFund's Agriculture Dairy and Economic Development Project Summary

The four-year Agriculture Dairy and Economic Development (ADED) Project in Emali, Kenya, made significant achievements in diversification of livelihoods, the development of moringa and dairy value chains, and positive social outcomes for women and children. The two agricultural sectors prioritised were moringa, a previously underutilised household plant and overlooked commercial crop, and dairy, a commodity strongly linked to the traditional farming practices of Maasai farmers.
The ADED Project was extremely relevant for Emali farmers in the face of serious economic decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic and increasingly erratic climatic conditions such as drought which is currently devastating communities in Emali. Improved agriculture and livestock practices and market linkages have increased food security and resilience for families, with clear evidence that the proportion of households experiencing food deficits has decreased as livelihoods and market access, especially for women and children, has increased. This ChildFund projects has been evolving in Kenya for nearly four years with funds from the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Kiwi supporters.