Felix Kili, Kenya

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Nominated by Kiruaye Humphrey, Pioneer

Felix_Kili“We believe for any farmer to continue producing good quality and high yielding crops, one has to embrace climate smart farming, technology and environmentally friendly practices. Over the years, we have seen the impact of climate change firsthand through improved yields with the extra moisture we conserved.”

Climate Positive Practices

Felix Kili is a farmer in Eldoret, Rift Valley, Kenya, using minimal tillage and crop residue preservation techniques that retain moisture for primary crops including maize, barley, wheat, and oilseed rape, as well as cover crops such as sun hemp, sunflower, and canola. In 2005, Felix, his father and brother stopped burning crop residue to increase organic matter in the soil. Transitioning to vertical tillage has reduced erosion and helped retain moisture. Constructing terraces throughout the fields allows the Kilis to reduce water runoff and enable water collection, improving yields each year and guarding against extended drought.

The additional crop residue has significantly improved the soil health, supporting biological life in the soil such as earthworms, and reducing fertilizer dependency. Cover crops have also increased the population of bees and other beneficial insects. Overall, Felix has seen a 17 percent increase in yields while production cost has decreased significantly.