The benefits and opportunities of grass seed banks in Kuku Group Ranch

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Charity Lanoi

MWCT is restoring the drylands of Kuku Group Ranch using various sustainable interventions, such as the establishment of grass seed banks and water bunds. With support from local communities and partners, MWCT has already managed to establish five grass seed banks within the Ranch. In this blog, I would like to explain a little bit more about the process of establishing seed banks. 

The grass seed bank is a sustainable initiative with holistic benefits to both the women themselves, and the community at large.

First of all, the grass seed bank project benefits women as it is a source of income, thanks to the sale of hay and grass seeds. This leads not only to economic benefits, but also to social benefits, since it allows the women of the community to be more independent from their husbands. The income helps the women to provide basic needs for their families, such as paying school fees for their children.

The grass seed bank project has helped the community procure pasture for their livestock – especially during the drought seasons, when calves and old or sick livestock cannot walk for many kilometers in search of food. It should be noted that owning livestock is the main economic activity in the area. 

In addition to social and economic benefits, the grass seed bank project also benefits the environment, as it leads to the proliferation of grass species that are endemic to Kuku Group Ranch. Beyond the seedbank, some of the grass seeds are blown elsewhere by the wind and take root in other parts of the group ranch. One of the main objectives of the grass seed banks is to improve the vegetation cover of the rangeland with high-value indigenous grass species. 

The women who run the grass seed banks are also looking for other complementary activities that they can establish there. Beekeeping projects are an attractive option because they enhance pollination, thus improving the production of other herbaceous species. They also benefit the women economically and help to deter elephants from the grass seed banks.

The Moilo Grass Seed Bank offers a clear example of rangeland restoration to the community and other organizations. Inspired by this project, other community members have taken the initiative to establish other restoration sites in the group ranch. With support from GLF, Moilo Seed Bank aims to improve its grass production and engage in complementary on-site activities such as beekeeping and tree planting. 

Charity Lanoi

Moilo Grass Seed Bank and Apiary

I would want to restore the degraded areas of Kuku Group Ranch through grass seed banks, tree planting, and beekeeping projects. The use of grass seed banks is our primary method of restoration for the project. Grass seed banks will not only benefit the women group economically, but also provide available pasture for livestock

 Instagram: @mwct_kenya

 Twitter: @charity_lanoi@maasaiwild

Want to connect with Charity? Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

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Supporting partners

Under the banner of Generation Restoration, the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) launched the Restoration Stewards program in 2020 to support and highlight the work of six young restoration practitioners and their teams, dubbed ‘Restoration Stewards’. The year-long program provides funding, mentorship, and training to deepen the impact of these projects.
In 2021, the Restoration Stewards and their teams will be supported to further develop their project and will become ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards will share their journey in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges. Locally, they will spark a restoration movement, creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for more sustainable landscapes.