The main goal of this collaboration is to increase employment and economic opportunities for communities in Kenya’s ASAL counties through unlocking their Gum Arabic potential.
The partnership provides key interventions which are expected to result in a streamlined and strengthened value chain for Gum Arabic, geared towards increased quantity and quality of collections and number of collectors engaged, and increased incomes through improved prices and turnarounds.
The project will especially help vulnerable households and demographics such as women and youth through creation of sustainable employment opportunities. The project’s activities include developing training materials for local training institutions, providing gum farmers with training on technical farming skills such as sustainable tapping methods and management of natural tree resource, offered in vocational institutions in the counties targeted by the project.
A database of all gum arabic collectors is being created, and the consolidated information will be presented on a new digital platform (for smart phones and desktops), making data about the supply chain – including yield production, prices, etc. – accessible to all.
In addition, the project focuses on improving quality assurance. New standards and guidelines for collecting, sorting, grading and storing gum arabic are being established with technical support from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, and collectors have access to capacity workshops on quality control to ensure the commodities being sold meet the required standards.
Production protocols for sustainable wild harvesting have been adopted, improved and disseminated at the national and county levels. The project puts emphasis on eliminating environmentally destructive practices such as charcoal burning that threaten the fragile ecology of the region.
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