Harnessing the power of smallholder Kenyan farmers to plant millions of trees.
The majority of rural populations in central Kenya rely on subsistence and small-scale farming. However, the rise of crop monocultures, resource scarcity, and severe drought has led to a depletion in soil quality and biodiversity, thus affecting crop yields and putting the livelihoods of these communities at risk.
The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) supports smallholder farmers in Kenya (as well as India, Uganda, and Tanzania) in planting trees on their community land in order to reduce run-off and erosion, conserve water, and enrich the soil—leading to increased crop yields while mitigating climate change through the natural carbon-absorbing power of trees.
The project also supports sustainable development by creating a potential long-term income stream for the farmers: Participants receive a prepayment based on the number of trees they plant and ultimately receive 70% of the profit from the sale of carbon credits. The farmers can also receive alternative benefits including marketable commodities such as firewood, fruit, nuts, and honey.
Currently, over 52,000 TIST participants, in over 7,000 Small Groups, are registered in the TIST program in Kenya.