A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the promotion of gum arabic, gum resins and allied dryland resources in Northern Kenya has been elaborated between Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority and Kenya Forestry Research Institute in the framework of Acacia Operation Project (AOP) and NGARA. Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority is a regional authority with the primary objective of promoting economic development in its area of jurisdiction i.e. the Arid and Semi Arid districts of Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Moyale, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo and Laikipia as well as parts of Meru North, Meru Central, Nyandarua and Nyeri.
The main objective of this project is to train service providers (from government and NGOs) and communities in the production and marketing of gum arabic and gum resins with the ultimate objective of providing an alternative livelihood source (income generation) for the local community. The training of trainers (ToTs) was identified as an initial step in developing the capacity of local communities.
The specific objectives were to:
1. Impart necessary knowledge and skills to extension staff and producers in the sound production of gums and resins in the target districts.
2. Improve technology on better harvesting, value adding of gums and resins and to increase returns to the collectors.
1. Training of Trainers has been implemented and a total of 84 Subject Matter Specialists from 9 districts have been trained
2. Producer Associations have been identified in the gum arabic producing districts and 7 have been formed
3. Community training is currently ongoing and so far 135 community members have been trained.