What does DLIOF do?
Hass Avocado and Bamboo Model Farms
DLIOF's organic model farms grow Hass avocados and bamboo in a space-efficient manner that can be replicated by local farmers. Our model farms share plants with partner farmers through grafting, which allows the proliferation of Hass avocado plants. DLIOF's goal is to help grow 1 million avocados in Makueni County and turn the region into a major avocado producer. Quantity, however, is not the only goal of our farms - we favor organic farming techniques that protect land from erosion and degradation so that future generations can enjoy the land, especially in the face of climate change.
Beekeeping is another space-efficient and ethical organic economic opportunity for local farmers. Part of a growing trend in Kenya, apiculture allows farmers to produce high-quality honey for global consumption.
Aquaculture offers yet another space-efficient opportunity for organic farming. Our aquaponics system combines hydroponic agriculture and fish farming, making our farming practices even more productive. DLIOF uses its aquaponics system to raise tilapia and catfish, which is one of the best natural sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that are vital to living a healthy lifestyle, and grow Hass avocados and bananas.
Technical and Vocational Education Training
DLIOF aims to create a spirit of entrepreneurship, cooperation, and community in Makueni County through its training programs. We specifically gear our programs toward inclusiveness, working with women and youth to ensure fair opportunities exist for all. In partnership with with the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development, DLIOF has developed a two-year curriculum that teaches topics such as botany, agroforestry, business management, communication skills, organic farming practices, marketing, soil microbiology, organic standards and certification, and climate change. Throughout the curriculum, there is a focus on maintaining the culture and environment unique to Makueni County.
The Great Achievers Youth Group
At the core of DLIOF is a mission to secure a better future for the children of Makueni County. The Great Achievers Youth Group works with young people around Makueni County to build practical skills while teaching about environmentalism and regional culture. The youth group also holds regular discussions about putting what they have learned into practice.
Under Construction: Business Centre
The DLIOF Business Centre will be a hub for skills-building, outfitted with internet service and access to educational materials, library services, advertising, printing, photocopying, and essential government applications and registration forms. Additional plans for the business centre include a youth bakery, an organic cafeteria, a youth-run vehicle washing station, opportunities for industrial training (e.g., bricklaying, traditional sisal basketmaking, soapmaking), and an organic market.