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close this bookAgroforestry Extension Manual for Kenya (ICRAF, 1994, 190 p.)
close this folder12. Extension
View the document12.1. The role of the extension worker
View the document12.2. Extension planning and communication techniques
View the document12.3. Extension methods
View the document12.4. Agroforestry extension approaches in Kenya

12.4. Agroforestry extension approaches in Kenya

Numerous organizations and projects have been involved in agroforestry extension in Kenya, and most, if not all, extension methods have been tried. This section will not attempt a full review or evaluation of these experiences, but will highlight a few past initiatives.

Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Agroforestry extension in these two Ministries dates back to the 1970s, but initially with a strong emphasis on seedling production in central nurseries, and more lately with emphasis on training and education. In the Ministry of Agriculture, agroforestry extension is carried out through both the individual and the group T&V and catchment approaches. Schools are also addressed, and printed materials such as posters, calendars, and booklets for schools, have been produced. Thus these Ministries use all the major extension methods.

Ministry of Energy

This Ministry has been the host ministry for numerous projects. Agroforestry Energy Centres have been established for method demonstrations on how to grow trees, how to make improved jikos and how to produce biogas, and for result demonstrations on certain agroforestry technologies. Research was also part of that programme.

Figure 12.10 The direct impact of a demonstration plot

Kenya Woodfuel and Agroforestry Project, KWAP

KWAP, formerly called KWDP, and run under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy, has been operating in Kakamega and Kisii Districts for a long time and has recently expanded its activities to other Districts in western Kenya.

Figure 12.11 KWAP has used drama as an extension technique

Various extension methods have been used, but the project has become most well known for its development of the so-called "mirror" technique. Based on traditional techniques for getting slightly sensitive issues discussed, KWAP developed techniques where drama, songs, role-plays, films and poems are used in baraza (public meetings) or field days, or on radio and television to depict a real situation in the community. The technique places a "mirror" in front of the community so that it is able to detect its own problems and find solutions to those problems. The drama, role plays, songs or films should be simple, clear and realistic to the community so that social barriers are identified and they will open opportunities for family discussions.

The issue of fuelwood shortage has been a focus, and the mirror technique has been used to make the community aware of the need for better co-operation between men and women in solving such problems.

Kenya Energy and Environment Organization, KENGO

KENGO has been active in extension for some time. Being an umbrella organization for other NGOs in Kenya, KENGO works mainly through the group approach and providing support for organizations working at the grassroots level. It also uses the mass-media approach and the school approach. KENGO has produced a significant number of publications, notably on improved stoves and tree seeds.

Kenya National Farmers Union, KNFU

KNFU has been promoting agroforestry among its members by supporting study groups and various other activities. Booklets on agroforestry have been produced.

VI Tree Planting Project

This project has operated since the mid-1980s in Trans Nzoia and West Pokot Districts. Nurseries have been established mainly as centres for demonstrations on how to raise tree seedlings of a wide range of species. The nurseries also play a significant role as centres for production of seedlings. Extension workers are working in the areas around the nurseries assisting farmers and groups. Schools can obtain some technical and material support from the project.

A demonstration and training centre has been established in Kitale where both methods and results are demonstrated. There is also an exhibition at the centre providing information on agroforestry and important species for the area, and a small arboretum where rare tree species have been established. The demonstration centre is a collaborative effort with Kitale Museum.


CARE has been working intensively in Western Kenya, mainly using the group approach.

Figure 12.12 Demonstration plots and nurseries