Our founder James Finlay Kenya partnered with the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) in a broader effort to improve and conserve 60,000 hectares of the Mau Forest by 2030. This is in line with Finlays broader effort towards restoring and protecting natural resources.
A key driver of forest degradation in this area is overgrazing by livestock, which damages vegetation and inhibits natural forest regeneration. To tackle this, ISLA is working with farmers in forest-dependent communities to intensify their dairy production. This teaches farmers best practices in cow rearing and feeding, which includes grazing livestock within their farms and feeding them with farm-grown fodder. Following a successful two-year pilot, this work was scaled up in 2021 to include more farmers and members of the wider community. The new, scaled-up project is co-funded by Finlays and focuses on capacity building, including training for 756 farmers at demonstration farms.
In 2021, this project led to a 37% increase in milk production at the farm level. Four new dairy cooperatives have been established, giving farmers access to the more reliable formal markets and the ability to improve local infrastructure and the economy. 46 farmers have also invested in sustainable water harvesting techniques. By helping to improve farming methods and increasing incomes, farmers are motivated to keep livestock at home, reducing forest grazing and protecting the forest.
Finlays is committed to empowering communities, protecting and conserving the environment, and fostering long-term growth in Kericho and Bomet Counties. Over the years, James Finlay Kenya has spent approximately Kshs 125 million on environmental protection and conservation.