Alleviating Food Insecurity and Landlessness through Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) in Kenya
AbstractPlantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) is a modified form of non-residential cultivation that was practiced in earlier years in Kenya as a method of plantation establishment. PELIS was initiated with the objectives of fully rehabilitating and protecting the forest and improving the livelihood of the forest adjacent communities. PELIS is a Kenyan government scheme recognized under the Forest Act (2005) and managed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). The introduction of PELIS started in 2008 in some forest zones and is to be continued in other forest stations. The expected benefits from PELIS were numerous. First, there would be increased forest cover; increased volume of water from the catchment areas; increased food production, and there would be improvement in living standards of the communities living adjacent to forests due to increase in household incomes. More arable land would also be available on short term rotational basis. However, few studies have been conducted to show the status of PELIS in Kenya. Therefore, there is need to take stock of the contributions of PELIS on its expected benefits. This study investigated the contribution of PELIS towards alleviating food insecurity and landlessness. Purposive sampling was used to select the forest zones where PELIS is practiced and Community Forest Associations (CFAs) that participate in PELIS. Questionnaires were administered on the CFAs members to document arable lands given and food crops produced. IMB SPSS Statistics was used in the analytical process. Results showed that the arable land provided by PELIS to the Landless CFAs members over the years increased from 852.6 Ha in 2008 to 2,049.6 Ha in 2016. This represents an increase of about 0.04% of the national Arable land available in Kenya. The CFAs members grew 7 types of crops namely Potatoes, Maize, Cabbage, Peas, Beans, Carrots and Sukuma Wiki. Results also showed that PELIS in some forest stations produced up to 3 million bags of potatoes per year which contributed an annual total average of up to 3 million bags of potatoes from the forest zones investigated. This study has shown that PELIS is improving the livelihood of the forest adjacent communities by providing more arable land and food and consequently recommends that KFS should establish PELIS in the other remaining forest zones in order to provide more arable land especially to the Landless CFAs members and increase food production.
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