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We do partner with corporate entities and other organizations to implement sustainable CSR projects that deal with environment conservation and food security. This project was initiated on 13/06/2014 and supported by Bacardi Kenya. A total of 21, one year old fruit trees were planted that include; loquat, apple, guava, white sapote, strawberry guava, Papaya, Monitor, Pitango, Tamarind, Mulberry, custard apple and straw berry plants. We planted several trees together with Bacardi staff team and several community members, the area chief and his assistant also planted a tree each.
The trees will be maintained and monitored till fruition. Our intention is to enlighten society on the economic, nutrition and environmental benefits of fruit tree farming/planting. The Chief’s office being a public office that hosts many locals and visitors was ideal for such a project. The fruit trees will serve as a learning resource and a catalyst that will compel community members to embrace and venture in fruit farming. There are many fruit trees that perform well In Kenya and have great potential that remains unexploited and we do believe that lack of knowledge and skills greatly contributes to this situation. Projects like this if well supported, managed and replicated in other areas will greatly reverse this trend by imparting basic agronomic and agribusiness skills to interested community members.
We regard our CSR clients as impact investors who expect us to deliver positive social and environment impact alongside financial return, even though they don’t invest directly in our enterprise. Such an engagement allows companies and corporate entities a variety of options to diversify economically through entering different markets and interacting with new customers, suppliers and products. Other than relying on aid and grants, we do think it’s high time for us to apply business thinking to provide solutions to a range of problems, be it social or environmental.
We believe companies do have a lot to gain if they partner with social enterprises as investors rather than donors. The 21st century has plenty of challenges, resources from the government and philanthropy alone, are insufficient to tackle these challenges. Lucky enough the social enterprise and impact investing movement is gaining momentum in Kenya thanks to Strathmore business school and KCA University. These two institutions are separately doing some good work through research and holding stakeholders meetings with the main aim of coming up with solutions that will reduce the bottlenecks faced by social enterprises and impact investors.