UoEm Researcher Leads French Government-Backed Biochar and ICOF Commercialization Initiative in Western Kenya

Dr Mogaka Hezron, a lecturer and environmental economist/policy analyst at the University of Embu is one of the recipients of the French Government grant to Kenya of Euro 1 million in support of the Bio Kenya Project. Dr Mogaka will coordinate commercialization of biochar and insect-composted organic fertiliser (ICOF) in Busia, Kisumu and Siaya at the cost of Ksh. 31 million for a period of 2 years (2024-2026).
The initiative intends to enhance agricultural productivity in the project scientific areas and stimulate enterprise opportunities along biochar and icof value chain

Activities supported under the component
(a) Promotion of sustainable supply of ICOF and biochar to farming communities in target project implementation counties,
(b) Enhancement of job opportunities targeting the youth and women along the value chains of ICOF and biochar in Busia, Kisumu, and Siaya counties
(c) Promotion of evidence-based policy formulation, planning and legislation on ICOF and biochar processing and commercialization

Anticipated outcomes
(a) Enhanced agricultural productivity and food Security
• Improved soil fertility
• Increased crop yields
• Sustainable farming practices
(b) Stimulated economic growth and improved livelihoods
• Job creation
• Increased farmer incomes
• Market expansion
(c) Environmental sustainability and climate Resilience
• Carbon sequestration
• Improved soil and water management
• Waste reduction and resource efficiency

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and International Centre for Insect Ecology and Physiology (ICIPE) will lead the implementation of
components 1 and 2 respectively at the cost of Ksh. 110 million. Other partners are, CIRAD, IRD, and Koitalel Samoei University College.