A few words from LPC Founder, Joseph Lentunyoi
All began when I decided to return to my homeland after studying Permaculture in Australia. I was at a key point of my life. After years of agriculture/farming studyies I became a Permaculture teacher and I started to teach everywhere in the world. I visited beautiful countries, met amazing people and helped lots of communities.
But a thought was always passing through my mind. “Hey Joseph, great job. Good studies, good work, good guy. Good. But what about your own?” And this tiny, little but insidious thought was chasing me.
One day I just decided that it was time for me to come back to my roots, to my home-land and to my Maasai way of life. I started thinking on the best way to do it. In July 2012, the 1st seed of Laikipia Permaculture Center was planted. A research, training and demonstration site to educate people to Permaculture and to train my own so that they can live a decent and healthy life. That’s how it all begun.
JOSEPH STORY written by Lori Robinson for Africa Geographic
Joseph Lentunyoi – Founder of the Laikipia Permaculture Centre, Kenya
“ The Maasai are nomadic pastoralists who rely on meat and milk to survive, and who traditionally have no complex understanding of agriculture. However, a Maasai tribesman called Joseph Lentunyoi is changing that.
Joseph has loved plants since he was a little boy, so he chose to train in organic farming and complete a Permaculture Design Course in Australia as an adult. After co-founding the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya and spending a year teaching permaculture around the world, he founded the Laikipia Permaculture Center in 2012 on a piece of land donated by his father. In 2013 he then started working with women’s groups in the area and this formed the basis for the start of the joint venture – The Laikipia Permaculture Project.
Permaculture practitioners follow nature’s patterns, using conscious design to mimic the diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems. The Laikipia Permaculture Project works with a total of 227 Maasai women – divided in four main groups – in Kenya’s arid northern region. While the area receives very little rain, overgrazing and charcoal burning has led to the land being severly degraded. As a result, most of the women in the area previously needed to walk between 10 and 20 kilometres to the nearest market to buy food, so they were only able to eat a few substantial meals per week.
However, through Joseph’s training in permaculture techniques, the women have learnt to grow organic vegetables for their families and the local community in Laikipia. They are also learning how to diversify their production to appeal to a broader market.
The ultimate goal is for each group of women to become established as their own small enterprise, producing honey for the East African markets, and working in partnership with a well known natural skincare company in the UK to produce Aloe Secundiflora, as well as Moringa Oleifeira and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), which contain excellent oils for use in organic handmade soaps.
Thanks to Joseph, permaculture is no longer a new concept in his home country and there is now a huge demand from people all over East Africa wanting to learn permaculture techniques. ”
Laikipia Maasai dilemma – Tradition VS Modernity
The pastoralist Maasai way of life is currently jeopardized by two main dangers. One is land property. The second one is the increasing drought due to climate change. From this 2 main dangers one simple result with dramatic consequences: food and water scarcity. The 2 essential pillars to start developing.
Learn more about Laikipia social and environmental backround
What is on our mind?
Bring solutions to provide Laikipia communities with long-term environmental sustainability and food security. Permaculture focuses on techniques for resource effective food production and landscape regeneration. It is thus the perfect tool for addressing the issues faced by the Laikipia communities and enable them to live a healthy, food secure, self-sustaining life.