Solidarity

PROJECTS

Italian support to the maasai women for agriculture

Initiatives of IPSIA Ngo with pastoral communities of Laikipia

05-01-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

There is an Italian hand in the sustainable growth of agriculture in the pastoral areas of Kenya.
The Laikipia plateau is a semi-arid savannah where, for centuries, the Maasai people have lived mainly from pastoralism, but in recent years, due to problems linked to the climate and deforestation, this has not been enough for the survival of entire communities.
One of the solutions that have been implemented at the local level is permaculture, that is recreating the original natural habitat of these lands with crops that support each other, creating environments and microclimates that can produce food for sustenance and trade.
With these goals in 2014 was born the "Laikipia Permaculture Center" which five years later was joined by the Italian non-governmental organization IPSIA (Istituto Pace Sviluppo Innovazione Acli) that has expanded the scope and organization of projects, bringing from 4 to 11 local community groups that from pastoralism as the only resource of life, are expanding with knowledge to agriculture.
The Italian NGO, thanks to the support of the Italian Cooperation that financed a 3-year project, in addition to assisting the groups (770 people, mostly women), has built water wells and strengthened a truly innovative initiative to transform a weed, the cactus of the "opuntia stricta" family, into an added value for the local communities.
How, IPSIA's Kenya project coordinator, Giulia Dal Bello, who Malindikenya.net met at the permaculture center in Nanyuki, tells us.
Opuntia is an invasive plant," explains Giulia, "in the sense that where it grows, no grass grows. Its elimination often produces the opposite effect, because seeds and leaves make it reproduce even more. So we decided to turn opuntia into a source of income, starting with the fruits but also involving seeds and leaves". Earnings that are in addition to the most profitable activity for the Maasai women, which is growing aloe.
The leading products that IPSIA is helping to commercialize are jam and juice, which have a good taste that is not overly sweet. But in the vision of the Italian NGO, supported by the University of Nairobi through collaboration with the University of Milan, there is also more, such as studies for the production of wine.
"By pressing the seeds - explains the Italian coordinator - we are obtaining oil that can be used for cosmetic use and marketed, especially together with aloe secundiflora that we already grow in permaculture. But that's not all, with the leaves, which cannot be eliminated either by burying or burning them because they would create new invasive plants, we have started a pilot project to create biogas. In this way in one stroke we would reduce the use of wood, therefore the deforestation of areas already marked by the lack of vegetation, pollution and also health, reducing respiratory problems and eye diseases within the communities. In addition, it saves the women a great deal of time and effort because, instead of cutting and transporting wood, they can dedicate themselves to other profitable activities, such as the production of honey or cosmetics, which we also support".
One of the great lessons of Africa is that every resource of the earth has its own original use and can contribute to improving the life of every animal and plant species. This is precisely the principle of permaculture: very different plants that, growing in the same environment, help each other. This is how IPSIA, with its expertise and the passion of its experts, researchers and volunteers and its ability to attract sponsors and collaborators, is helping the Kenyan communities of Laikipia.

 

TAGS: permacultura kenyalaikipiaong kenyaagricoltura kenyasostenibilità kenyasolidarietà kenya

One of the aspects of Italianness in Kenya that we always like to emphasize is that of...

CLICK HERE AND READ

The return to the big screens of the King of the Savannah, this time in flesh and...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

"I would like to express my gratitude to all Italian friends and readers - too many to be able to do it individually - for the wave of solidarity, affection and friendship that has poured on me and my flamenco...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

by redazione

Seven hours of perfectly successful surgery for Kuki Gallman in Nairobi.
His daughter and his closest associates have confirmed the conditions of the Italo-Kenyan writer born in Treviso 73 years ago.
The conservationist is admitted to intensive care and looks forward...

by redazione

A new endless swarm of desert locusts threaten Kenya, but this time they have gone as ...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

They shot her in the middle of the night at the stomach, yet it is unknown whether she is intimidating or intending to kill her.
Venetian writer and conservationist Kuki Gallman, owner of a ranch in Laikipia, Kenya's Rift Valley,...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

Fatuma Freedom Precious does not have it done.
She passed away last night in Mombasa, where she had gone for the umpteenth checkup.
 

READ ALL THE REVIEW

by redazione

A bullet in the stomach, and a lot of blood loss before air transport, more than an hour after the shootout she was involved with.
Kuki Gallmann, an Italian writer, a Kenyan citizen, is accustomed to struggle and has lived...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

The fighter is back. The Italian conservationist and writer Kuki Gallmann, born Maria Boccazzi, after nine...

READ THE ARTICLE

Agriculture and food security, education and health, with a focus on education...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

Italian environmentalist and writer Kuki Gallmann was seriously injured in the Laikipia Nature...

READ THE ARTICLE

A series of new rules with heavy fines have been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE