8 May 2013
Sheep for Longclaw II
Empowering Sheep Farmers to Contribute to Conservation of Sharpe’s Longclaw
The aim is to avail proper breeds of sheep as an incentive to retaining grassland through a ‘sheep for longclaw’ loan scheme for farmers, combined with an awareness campaign.
I will identify and collect data in 15 farms in South Kinangop which will be selected according to acreage (>30acres), presence of Sharpe’s Longclaw, quality and structure of grassland in line with stocking capacity.
A loan scheme of sheep will be established. 15 ewes of high breed will be purchased and distributed to the identified farmers who will be required to assist in monitoring of the Sharpe’s Longclaw and a commitment fee will be agreed to contribute towards the maintenance of the sheep. Each farmer will be required to surrender two male lambs that will be interchanged among the farmers and the reminder goes to additional farmers for sustainability.
Regarding the sheep loan scheme, at the end of the project I aim to have:
a) Consultations completed and documentation in place regarding rules and regulations of the scheme.
b) A total of 15 farmers who control ownership of 750 acres of grasslands provided with improved breed ewes.
c) Sustainability plans for continuing the scheme beyond the funded project time put in place and documented.
Involvement of farmers and the youths in monitoring will help start and develop a citizen science data bank that can be used to monitor the long term dynamics of the birds. Also as a way of getting youths involved in the conservation work a social network will be set up where youths will be required to update on the status of Sharpe’s Longclaw and of any other biodiversity. Talks and discussions will be conducted in three organized seminars to educate the farmers and line-ministries (Livestock and agriculture). Awareness will also be created to farmers and the youth/students on the importance of the grasslands for biodiversity, provision of ecosystem services and livelihoods.
I will document lessons learnt regarding the impacts for grassland biodiversity conservation and disseminate them widely in Kinangop, especially through existing farmer savings and credit societies. Sustainability plans for continuing the scheme beyond the funded project time will be put in place and documented. For the success of the project I will use the available revevant institutions including and not limited to; National Museums of Kenya, Friends of Kinangop Plateau, Nature Kenya, Ministry of Livestock and Njabini wool crafters cooperative society.