Elephants in Africa and Kenya to be specific are threatened not only by poaching but also Human-wildlife conflict.Encroachment by human beings into land that belonged to wildlife since before has come along with many problems like-depletion of fodder covers,loss of habitat and as a result a sense of insecurity.
While the conventional,normal conservation approaches can save elephants-It is good to use other was that touch more on the economies,social beings of the local communities living with wildlife.Most of the conflicts are caused by scarce resources and high competition.
Recently we came up with a plan to start bee fencing in a few farms here in Kenya.Research has shown that African elephants fear bees.To pump more sense into it,there is a realization that to sustain bee fences there must be constant supply of food /nectar for them.The farmers have to grow crops that can benefitthe bees and ZERO use of chemicals.
Sunflower is a crop with multiple benefits healthwise and its production can bring much positive impact.If farmers grow it in large quantities and start keeping bees along farm fence-lines,they will reap alot and making sure elephants are safe.The crop harvested can be processed into oil and sold.The remains after oil extraction make good chicken feeds.Honey from the bee hives can be sold also the farmers have a complete value,enterprise chain.With that,no elephant gets hurt of any negative exploitation of the environment for one to earn a living.
Bottom line:Sunflower farming in Kenya can help save wildlife and local communities if the requisite possibilities are explored.Read about our bee fence project here http://oloimugimaasai.org/bees-for-elephants/