Around the Mount Elgon region, deforestation, agricultural practices, uncontrolled grazing and soil erosion have a direct impact on local biodiversity & soil fertility. They also threaten the ecosystem of Lake Victoria as huge quantity of sediments are carried by rivers downstream.
On an economic level, the area is poorly developed. Crop yields & milk production are very low and farmers have no sustainable connections to markets.
Upstream Lake Victoria, the project tackles simultaneously poverty, environmental degradation & sustainable supply chain. It involves 30 000 farmers & aims at restoring 20 000 ha through agroforestry. An innovative partnership has been signed with Brookside, a local milk company in which Danone owns a stake, for the sale of milk produced by the farmers over 10 years. The project will be implemented by our NGO partner VI Agroforestry.
The project will implement smart agricultural practices to sustainably increase yield and milk production with crop diversification, cow efficient feeding, watering & breeding. Local farmers will be involved in the project through 1 200 groups and 15 existing cooperatives. Afterwards, a sustainable supply chain will be created on a win-win basis for famers and Brookside on the long term.
The positive impacts
The project, launched beginning of 2016, is expected to increase yield on subsistence & cash crops by 30%. Eventually, it will provide feed for cows all year, avoiding uncontrolled grazing & substantially increasing milk production. In addition, Brookside has committed to purchase milk produced by farmers during 10 years. Agroforestry along river banks will reduce soil erosion, contributing to protect Lake Victoria.