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Coastal Farmers Find Empowerment Growing Neem Trees

Kwetu Training Centre is at the forefront of mobilizing other environmental organizations and community volunteers, including young men and women, to be part of the change in climate change mitigation activities.

At Kwetu we have terrestrial trees such as the neem tree, moringa, and the mangrove forest next to Mtwapa creek. The Neem tree alias ‘Mwarubaini’ or ‘Mkilifi’ is very abundant in the coastal region and especially in Kilifi County. A neem tree has many benefits for our health.

For instance, neem leaves, bark, and roots have been used traditionally for curing many ailments, hence the name Mwarubaini. However, cutting the bark and digging out roots regularly will eventually damage the neem tree. Research has shown that the same benefit and more may be achieved by using neem oil extracted from the seed. At Kwetu we use neem oil for the production of soaps, shampoos, jelly, and mosquito repellents, thus providing a sustainable source of income.

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Through Kwetu training programs on the processing of neem products, we encourage sustainable utilization of the natural resources in our environs. In the past years, Kwetu has had a lot of beneficiaries from this training program. Alex Mwangemi, a farmer with more than ten years of experience in agro-forestry, is from the village of Marekebuni in the Magarini ward. Alex is one of KWETU’s beneficiaries who was trained on the benefits of neem products.

By purchasing neem seeds from the locals, he has been able to support the community and establish a reliable source of income. Alex says, “In the future, I desire to continue economically empowering the community by purchasing neem seeds. One kilogram of neem seeds costs between Sh 30 to Sh 60.

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He adds, “I am very grateful to Kwetu Training Centre for equipping me with the knowledge on how to manage the neem tree, extract oil and make beneficial products from it. This has increased my income by up to 30% as compared to my previous harvest. I can support my family and sustain my farming business,” he concludes. KWETU is still working with a manual oil press, which is not appropriate for the increasing demand for neem products. We, therefore, intend to purchase an electric oil press, which will enable us to process a larger quantity of seeds thus resulting in more income for the communities.

In addition, income from our sales will enable us to subsidize students’ fees. We appreciate any donation to this cause. Your donation towards our purchase of the oil press will help communities. Kindly donate through Mpesa Paybill No. 247251, Account Name: Oil press.

Courtesy: https://kwetukenya.org/

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