The heart of Frigoken Limited (FKL) is in Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri and Embu counties where some of our small-scale farmers reside. The regions have beautiful sites with agricultural products grown by various farmers. It is impossible to miss how nature has flourished in the regions and the serenity of the environment. The different tree species, French beans farms, landscapes and hills are nothing but breathtaking. You could feel the fresh air when you are in these counties. But then, will this last much longer with the current projections on the change of weather patterns?
Climate change in the world
The world is experiencing the impact of Climate change. A report indicates that the sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and the world is experiencing extreme changes in weather patterns because of global warming. Clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter which are the basics for human survival are elements that are most affected.
In addition, weather natural disasters have tripled since the 1960s which resulted in multiple deaths and destruction of property. Research shows that Between 2030 and 2050 climate change is expected to intensify and the countries prone to be most affected are developing countries. Kenya is among the third-world countries, which makes it vulnerable to climate change. Projections indicate that the temperature in Kenya has been rising since 2000 and they are meant to go up, while rainfall will have unpredictable patterns.
Frigoken approach to mitigating climate change
While the Kenyan government has come up with a National Climate Change action plan, Frigoken as a company has come up with ways of ensuring that they help curb climate change and also adapt to the new change of weather patterns.
FKL has adopted Agroforestry as a land use management system that combines tree growing and agriculture. The benefits cannot be imagined as it is one of the key drivers of sustainable agricultural systems which support both soil and plant growth. The Programme was piloted in 2018 and focused on training 19 employees on seedling nursery management. To date, over 51,000 seedlings have been grown and distributed to over 600 farmers and is still ongoing.
Environmental friendly cooking stoves
FKL in partnership with Burn International has supported farmers in rural areas to purchase the modernized cooking stoves called Kuniokoa. The stove uses less firewood, is energy efficient, and produces less or no smoke upon lighting. The average CO2 emissions results of the Kuniokoa compared to the traditional metal stove show a percentage improvement of above 60%. The stoves also reduce CO2 emissions by 2.3 ton per a stove in a year and save on wood by 1.5, which translates to 10 tons of CO2 and 6 tons of wood saved over its lifetime. This initiative also helps farmers to conserve the environment by reducing the cutting down of trees.
Over the years, Frigoken has planted over 3 million growing trees, this has been together with other like-minded partners such as Premier Food Limited, BURN International, The Nature Conservancy (T.N.C.), Mt. Kenya Trust, farmers, and counties within which FKL engages farmers; Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos and Embu. Environmental conservation is an initiative that FKL has put to heart.
Frigoken embarked on implementing multiple water initiatives to assist small-scale farmers to access sufficient water to maximise yields. The company has trained its staff on the importance of harvesting rainwater amid climatic change that has affected rainfall patterns. Frigoken conducted training on rainwater harvesting and proper installation of water pans to members of staff from Muranga and Mt. Kenya (Embu, Kirinyaga and Nyeri) regions.
Thousands of farmers have been supplied with material to construct such mini reservoirs and FKL continues to support the repair of community water furrows to ensure consistent water flow for irrigation. Apart from ensuring the use of the right technique and material, the success of these activities is attributed to the farmers’ ownership of the project and the support gained from the local authorities. As a result of these activities, loyalty and goodwill are enhanced, productivity is expected to increase, and more sustainable farming practices have become possible in areas susceptible to dry spells.
‘’ Climate change is drastically affecting the environment and any strategy put in place to help mitigate goes a long way. As Frigoken we are actively involved in developing more environmentally friendly activities to help conserve the environment.’’ -KD, FRIGOKEN