In a bold and transformative move towards combating climate change, empowering women, and fostering sustainable development, the Association of Women in Agriculture Kenya (AWAK) has formed a groundbreaking partnership with Oxfam in Kenya. Through their Women’s Rights and Empowerment (WRO) support program, AWAK and Oxfam are spearheading an ambitious Agroforestry and Soil Health Project, aimed at revitalizing Kenya’s agricultural landscape, starting with Kitui County.
In a remarkable display of collaboration, AWAK has enlisted the support of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) as their strategic partner, ensuring comprehensive research and technical assistance throughout the project’s implementation.
The Agroforestry and Soil Health Project are set to benefit 2,000 women beneficiaries every year for the next three years, empowering them as catalysts of change in their communities. This innovative initiative promises to bring about a multitude of positive outcomes, including improved agricultural productivity, enhanced nutrition, environmental restoration, and ultimately, better lives for all Kenyans.
With Kenya facing the dual challenges of food insecurity and climate change, the importance of the AWAK-Oxfam partnership cannot be overstated. By adopting agroforestry practices, the project aims to restore degraded lands and boost agricultural yields through the strategic integration of trees and crops. This not only enhances soil health and water retention but also reduces carbon emissions, contributing to the fight against climate change.
Revered as the backbone of rural communities, women in Kenya have historically played a pivotal role in agriculture. However, they have often been marginalized and lacked access to resources and decision-making processes. Through this partnership, AWAK and Oxfam are committed to addressing these gender inequalities head-on, ensuring that women actively participate in decision-making, benefit from economic empowerment opportunities, and receive the necessary support to become agents of sustainable change.
Kitui County, a region known for its arid and semi-arid conditions, has been carefully selected as the launchpad for this transformative initiative. By leveraging the collective expertise of AWAK, Oxfam, and KEFRI, the project seeks to create a blueprint for sustainable agriculture that can be replicated throughout Kenya and beyond.
AWAK Chairperson, Judy Matu, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “Through this collaboration with Oxfam and KEFRI, AWAK is embarking on a journey to restore our land, combat climate change, and uplift the lives of women in agriculture. We firmly believe that when women are empowered, entire communities thrive. This project is not only about planting trees; it is about nurturing a sustainable future for our children.”
The Agroforestry and Soil Health Project in Kitui County represents a shining example of how local organizations can come together, harnessing their unique strengths and resources to address complex challenges. By nurturing a greener and more inclusive future, AWAK, Oxfam, and KEFRI are sowing the seeds of change and empowering women to shape their destiny.
As the project kicks off, all eyes are on Kitui County, where the lush greenery of rejuvenated landscapes will soon bear witness to the transformative power of collaboration, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of Kenyan women in agriculture.
With the collective effort of AWAK, Oxfam, KEFRI, and the dedicated women beneficiaries, Kenya is well on its way to a future of sustainable agricultural practices, food security, gender equality, and a healthier environment.