Our new Research Programme links in closely with our Permaculture and Regenerative Enterprise Programme and aims to map the social, environmental as well as economic impact of our model. We want to understand not only how the permaculture approach is beneficial for the environment and its ability to create climate change resilience, but also its benefits for farmers in terms of wellbeing, gender dynamics and social as well as economic empowerment.
Our research model is focusing on involving the farmers we work with as ‘citizen scientists’, building their capacity to gather data, make simple soil tests and analyze changes over time. This will not only build farmers capacity and improve their farm record keeping which is essential for linking farming with enterprise, but will also enable them to better participate in the evaluation process. Layering our research just like an agroforestry system, we will also conduct more complex scientific soil tests as well as measuring carbon capture of trees etc.
Our Research Programme is consulted by Nicholas Syano who runs the Drylands Natural Resource Centre in Makueni County.
Nicholas Syano – Research & PDC Consultant
Nicholas is a PhD candidate at University of Nairobi undertaking Dryland Resource Management. He has a Masters in Science (MSc) degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point (UWSP); U.S.A.
He is a certified Permaculture teacher and a consultant and has been practicing and teaching permaculture since 2011 across Kenya and Tanzania where he taught the first ever Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in Kiswahili. After graduating in USA, Nicholas went back to his community in Makueni County where he set up a local NGO (Drylands Natural Resources Centre) to work with his people and currently is working with 450 families (approx. 2,700 people). He has also taken our Training of Trainers and Advanced Consultancy Courses facilitated by Warren Brush and PRI Kenya in 2014 and 2015.
Nicholas is also one of the co-founders of Permaculture Research Institute-Kenya and he adds value to the as a research consultant to the institute to develop their Research Programme. Nicholas has extensive experience of project management from his time at Kenya Institute of Organic Farming as well as Nyumbani Village, where he acted as Programme Manager for seven years and is currently completing his PhD with University of Nairobi.