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< prev - next > Energy CA_Toolkit PAC SmartFinal (Printable PDF)
Thuiya Enterprises initiated the community-based afforestation project to enhance the
livelihoods of the local communities through sustainable charcoal production.
There are a range of improved kilns developed for use in developing countries5 that can
produce charcoal with conversion efficiency up to 30% (for every 100kg of wood, 30kg of
charcoal is produced). This gives a yield three times greater than the traditional earth
mound kiln with an efficiency of only 10%. Charcoal is produced from wood by a process
called carbonization. The process is made more efficient by pre-drying the wood and
controlling the temperature and length of time of carbonization. The project uses Half-
orange type kilns funded with an initial grant from the donor and constructed by a private
contractor trained by the Ministry of Energy. The project promotes certain fast growing trees
that can be harvested for charcoal after 6 years of growth.
Delivery model
This model aims to take into account the complete charcoal supply chain, bringing benefits
to poor people at every stage. Rachar Agroforestry Initiative for Development (RAID), a
farmer umbrella community based organisation (CBO), provides support services to farmers
and charcoal producers. Individual farmers plant fast growing tress on their own private
farms and can sell the wood to charcoal producers after 6 years. Only the farmers who
planted trees are allowed to harvest them. This is enforced by RAID who grows all the
seedlings and records those who have planted trees. Kilns are owned and operated by
three CBOs; members of which receive wages for producing charcoal. Any interested buyer
can purchase charcoal from the producers and transport it to any area of their choice. RAID
is expected to identify and negotiate better prices on behalf of the charcoal producers.
The farmers also collect revenue from non-timber forest products (NTFP) such as honey,
livestock and fast-growing crops in the initial 6 years before harvesting the wood for
charcoal. RAID provides technical advice to support NTFP livelihoods and facilitates
farmers groups to reduce transaction costs. Moi University and Kenya Forestry Research
Institutes are providing leadership in agro-forestry research to increase wood yields and
develop NTFP livelihoods.
Finance mechanism
The initiative follows a business model; every actor in the supply chain collects reasonable
revenues. Once established, the supply chain is sustainable provided a sound enabling
environment exists. The initiative does not require high capital investments and can be
integrated with other enterprises. The Embassy of Finland and CARPA provided initial
funding for mobilization of groups in the supply chain. Seedlings producers, farmers and
charcoal producers were organised and trained to manage the new practices by Youth to
Youth Action Group. Operational costs for actors in the supply chain (such as seedlings for
farmers, wood and wages for charcoal producers) are now covered by revenue generated
from the process. RAID receives an income of $160 from the donor for every hectare of tree
Livelihood Benefits
The project delivered total financial benefits of US$ 2 million for all key actors from 200
hectares of forest in the six-year tree planting rotation period. Revenue was collected by all
actors in the supply chain (3 seedling producers, 540 farmers, 3 community based charcoal
producers, transporters and retailers). NTFP strengthen the charcoal value chain by making
Renewable Energy to Reduce Poverty in Africa