Base Titanium is committed to working with communities to improve living standards and create permanent positive change.

These programs are intended to be the engine room for future community development, outlasting the life of the mine. Agricultural and animal husbandry programs play the leading role in realising this objective.

 

Business for Development


To support efforts to implement a wide variety of community projects to build Kenya’s economic prosperity, Base Titanium engages Business for Development (B4D), a specialist consultant to explore ways of improving agricultural productivity and diversity in Kwale, as well as linking farmers to commercial, sustainable markets. B4D has an extensive track record of implementing similar programs in a number of countries.

Working with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, and the Fibre Crops Directorate, Base Titanium is supporting the revival of the cotton industry, a stated objective of the Government of Kenya under the Big Four Agenda to steer the nation towards industrialisation building the cotton value chain from farming to garment manufacturing.

Cotton is one of the major cash crops that the Government of Kenya has been encouraging farmers to plant.

Trials in 2014 were undertaken to test the economics of cotton farming in Kwale and to determine cotton lint quality, including fibre strength and colour and to select suitable varieties. Successful yields and excellent quality provided strong indication that this crop has the potential to become an important contributor to agricultural livelihoods in the region and the national economy.

Cotton farming has now been taken up by over 3,000 smallholder farmers. Looking to maximise the cash generation of their cotton crops, the PAVI Cooperative has been established by farmers to improve their outcomes and have commenced the construction of a Business Park which will include a ginnery together with oil press and livestock feed preparation plant for the leftover seedcake to improve incomes.

In 2014 Base Titanium introduced a new concept to Kwale farmers and set out to establish if potatoes could be successfully grown in the region.

Through enormous efforts by local farmers under the guidance of agricultural specialists from Syngenta, B4D, Kwale County Government and DEG, the potato trials proved that good yields could be realised. Commercialisation of potato farming commenced in 2018 following trials of five new varieties between 2015 and 2017.

Part of a larger agriculture program, beekeeping and poultry-raising are ideal for smaller landholders.

The poultry program was conceived as a means of addressing protein deficiency in community diets and to provide sustainable economic opportunities for participants. Apiculture (beekeeping) is a growing livestock subsector in Kenya and was recently added to our livelihood projects.

 

Poultry

Trials were undertaken in 2016 with the aim of selecting the most suitable breeds for both broilers and layers.

Since then around 1,000 birds per year are distributed in groups of one cock and five hens per household. The beneficiaries, predominantly women, are identified through community liaison committees. The program includes feed formulation from locally grown inputs, sourced from the Pavi Cooperative, to reduce cost.

Beekeeping

After a successful apiary trial period in 2017, the program was expanded to include over 35 community groups in Matuga, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga Sub-counties.

In addition to providing hives, Base Titanium has also donated bee suits, sieves and centrifuges to enable the groups to manage their hives safely and process their harvests into good quality honey. The modern hives used in the program can yield up to 15 litres of honey every 3 months.

After trials in 2016, sorghum farming was rolled out to the community across Kwale County the following year.

Initially 150 farmers produced a first harvest of over 60 tonnes, most of which was sold to East Africa Breweries as a trial batch. The program was then expanded to include over 700 farmers producing over 350 tonnes.

In further support of this highly successful venture, Base Titanium has donated a threshing machine to mechanise separation of the grain from the plant material after harvesting and provided training to assist farmers with moisture content control.

Following the livelihood program initiated in 2014, came the birth of the Pavi Cooperative.

In the early stages of the livelihood program, local farmers were focused on growing cotton and potatoes. Soon after inception, it became clear that the farmers would be better served by forming a cooperative society to create direct links to markets and increase their collective buy and selling power.

Training was arranged and conducted in 2015 by Kwale County Government and the State Departments of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

The cooperative was duly constituted and adopted the name Pavi, an acronym representing ‘Pamba na Viazi’, Swahili for cotton and potatoes.

Capacity building programs to maximise sustainable economic benefits without creating dependency.

Base Titanium aims to build relationships with the communities in which it operates by enriching their lives through active participation and training opportunities.

 

Community Economic Empowerment Training

Base Titanium entered into a service agreement with Dzarino, a community based training organisation, in 2014 to run an economic empowerment training program for affected community groups.

The purpose is to equip communities with basic skills to help them to initiate business start-ups and undertake entrepreneurial activities to improve their livelihoods. Training subjects include:

  • Group management and leadership skills
  • Savings management
  • Credit management
  • Business and financial management
  • Income generating activities skills

Village Savings and Loan Association Training

Capacity building programs to improve livelihoods and financial literacy have been rolled out to community groups since 2014 with positive outcomes enabling socio-economic development in villages neighbouring Base’s operations.

The VSLA concept entails members voluntarily coming together to form saving groups. The savings are then invested in a loan fund from which members can borrow and repay at a small interest. Savings are held over 9 to 12-month cycles after which each member receives their savings plus interest.

Promoting safety on the water with maritime training.

As a community initiative geared towards improving livelihoods of Likoni residents, where our port facility is located, Base Titanium donated a fishing boat, named MV Base One, and equipment to the Likoni Beach Management Unit (BMU).

The Company also supported the BMU by facilitating access to maritime studies training at the Dar es Salaam Maritime Institute in Tanzania (the closest International Maritime Organisation certified training facility at the time) to enhance the group’s capacity to carry out its fishing activities in a safe and effective manner.

Base Titanium supports education and life skills development through sports.

Base Titanium, through its partnership with Sports For All, runs a Life Skills Program in around 30 primary schools in Kwale County and Likoni Sub-County.

The program focuses on improving children’s performance through building life skills using the medium of sports and enjoyment, as well as seeking to instill values through attitude shaping.

Lessons may include gender equality, teamwork, anti-bullying, respect, co-existence and environmental awareness, alongside games such as athletics, football, netball, volleyball and touch-rugby.