The EcoLINE GREENS Kikapu Enterprise project Phase 1 will seek to implement an Organic Agribusiness Social Enterprise on MOOF – Africa 6 acres farm. This will open up a sustainable model of generating income to support MOOF –Africa organisation operations and farmers' training programs in Kenya.
The establishment of The EcoLINE GREENS COOP Grocers in Phase 11 of the project development and expansion will give an improved livelihood to smallholder farmers and bring customers together with farmers in the vegetable production systems. This will be achieved through open field days where customers will be invited to bring their family members, children, to see how their food is produced through Organic Farming Technology. This will also be used to introduce- SMART Agriculture Farming Technology to secondary school students through both training and demonstrations at MOOF- Africa farm.
Production: The project will involve operations and production of high-value organic vegetables, microgreens, and soft fruits grown at MOOF –Africa farm as the project start-up. Later in the project development, the project will source fresh high-quality vegetables from organized smallholder farmers’ cooperative to supply the increased demand.
Other outlets will include the supply to The EcoLINE GREENs COOP Grocers to be initiated in Nanyuki town and later expanded to other urban towns in Kenya. Fresh Organic Vegetable will be harvested and graded in an already existing pack warehouse at MOOF, packaged in the uniquely branded “Kikapu’ (basket), and delivered to the homes of pre-subscribed customers in Nanyuki town and its environs. A tricycle motorbike will be used in vegetable delivery services to cut -down the cost of fuel and its a more environmentally friendly mode of transport.
These customers will have paid an agreed subscription fee of Kshs 2,000 (£ 15.00) per year to become a member of the EcoLINE GREENS vegetables home delivery Initiative. MOOF –Africa will target a high niche of 100 customers in the first year of the Enterprise these will mainly be the white westerner settlers, expatriates, eco-tented Camps in the wildlife conservancies lodges frequented by foreign tourists. In this COVID-19 Pandemic crisis, local tourists are encouraged for local domestic community tourism to fill the gap of foreign tourism on subsidized costs.
The White Westerners and expatriates reside in 45 private ranches and conservancies in Laikipia county. There are 36 registered hotels and lodges for tourists, with 30,000 foreign visitors, and 200,000 local resident visitors. (Source Laikipia County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022). This forms a sustainable market outlets for our fresh Organic Vegetables.
This is a large enough customer base for our fresh organic vegetables. Incase the COVDI-19 does not restore foreign tourism visits, local companies are encouraging and working with local residents to visit these tourist lodges at a reduced price (Link: https://www.porini.com/special-offers/reduced-rates-for-residents/?fbclid=IwAR0v721UG5NJIIeNvt7IxGYXoOyUbTg2AmY3sZBGETotsUI-ekbP5Nm_KVs) I am being optimistic and thinking positive and ahead that soon the local domestic community tourism will open up soon and start receiving local guests. This will be feasible with reduced prices as compared with prices for international tourists. This is already happening in the Maasai Mara Game Park in Kenya , on the onset of Annual migration of the wild-beast from Serengeti National park in Tanzania to Kenya.
The project will start in October 2020 and hopefully, COVID-19 impacts will have subsidized to allow ease of local downs.! This will continue to bring in revenue in the Lodges before the foreign visitors tourism rebuild back after the air travels are opened up. Laikipia hosts 78 residential holiday homes at Mount Kenya Holiday Homes – Nanyuki and 60 residential holiday homes at Mukima Holiday Homes – Nanyuki ( Source: Department of Tourism of Laikipia county). These are our primary customers for high-quality organic vegetables, micro-greens and salads but later expand to supply high households’ conscious of healthy eating habits in Nanyuki town.
The Kikapu vegetables home delivery service will contain assorted vegetables, herbs, micro-greens, salads and Soft fruits as follows:
MOOF has a water pan with 500,000 liters storage capacity to be used for supplemental irrigation to be able to produce vegetables throughout the year for 12 months. Smallholder farmers have community based self-help water projects, which they use for smallholder irrigation systems on their farms. The water at MOOF –Africa property comes from the Maka self-help group community water project in which MOOF is a member No.189 and connection no.028.The water is abstracted from a perennial river- River Nanyuki, by a simple weir and delivered through closed pipes by gravity. A Water meter with a regulating gate valve is installed by WARMA-. Kenya to reduce water abstraction in the upstream in dry seasons to allow base flow to the downstream end users composting of pastoralists and wildlife conservancies. The Water Resources Management Authority- Kenya- (WARMA-Kenya), a state corporation under the Ministry of water and irrigation, established with the Water Resources Management Act No 21 of 2011 – to serve the regulatory body for the management and development of water resources in the whole country and ensure equal access to water for the various stakeholders. This monitors water abstraction from the rivers and if any mishandling or abuse of water the authority closes the gate valves.
The river source is Mt. Kenya forest water catchment. This water flows by gravity to two water storage tanks of capacity 125+ 225 +350,000 liters of water. This is then distributed by 3 main lines to three zones A, B, C. to community members through closed water pipes. Each member is provided with a ¾ inches pipe connection to his / her home for livestock and smallholder irrigation. The soils are rich volcanic soils with good drainage to support vegetable growing.
The beneficiaries are smallholder farmers who will be organized into vegetable producer cooperatives to supply the EcoLINE GREENS Kikapu COOP Grocers later in the project development and expansion.. MOOF is a member of Maka Water Self-Help Group water project and we are connected with a ¾ inches pipe into MOOF facility. The 500,000 Litres water pan at MOOF is filled with surplus water during the rainy season and this is stored for use on the farm in the dry months of the year. Roof water harvesting from MOOF buildings is stored in this water pan.as well. This ensures consistent production and supply of fresh vegetables throughout the year.
The Laikipia and Nyeri county local governments are promoting water harvesting by excavating water pans to individual households in the project locality. Hence more smallholder farmers will have access to irrigation water for sustainable agriculture in dry seasons. A soil moisture monitoring sensors will be installed on each member farmers plots to regulate the amount of water the farmer applies to the vegetables. Drip irrigation systems will be installed for all participating farmers towards sustainable water management in this project.