Regenerative Agricultural Practices for Improved Livelihoods and Markets (REALMS)

Introducing sustainable practices to increase the production of global crops for food security in Kenya and Rwanda.



The Regenerative Agricultural practices for improved Livelihoods and Markets (REALMS) is a four-year € 6M project funded by the IKEA Foundation. Implemented by SNV, the project aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kenya and Rwanda. The project started in November 2020 and concludes in October 2024.

As the world's population grows and dietary patterns change, food demand is increasing. By 2050, the production of key global crops may need to increase by 60-110% to meet the food security needs of 820 million undernourished people. Agriculture has primarily focused on increasing production through intensification and land expansion, but this has led to soil degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and poverty among smallholder farmers.

The approach

SNV and the IKEA Foundation share the same vision to create a better everyday life for as many people possible. Through innovative projects in the agricultural sector, both organisations aim to create opportunities for a better life for people, while protecting the planet.

Through the REALMS project in Kenya and Rwanda, the team promotes the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices such as reducing the use of chemical fertilisers, Integrated Pest Management, and setting soil and water conservation to stop erosion.

In Kenya and Rwanda, several smallholder farmers apply circular and regenerative farming practices such as the application of low quantities of home-made compost/animal manure, and biological pest control. However, the majority of smallholder farmers have yet to be introduced to biological pest control. To help realise this, the REALMS project will work with smallholders and their communities, support local service providers (SMEs) and with relevant stakeholders, co-create the necessary enabling environment for the application of regenerative agriculture.

During the project, the following approaches will be taken:

  • Farming communities including women and youth will be actively engaged in decision-making, field trails, training and evaluation.

  • An innovation fund to support SMEs will be rolled out to enhance market development and the commercialisation of regenerative products and services.

  • Supportive national and sub-national agricultural policies will be co-developed to better govern and regulate the agricultural sector.

  • A focus on livestock as an important input in the commercial value chain because they provide a source of manure for crop production.

  • Make use of Stover from crops as feed for the animals. Overall resource use efficiency of small farms is expected to increase as crops and livestock enterprises are combined in small farms.

The project seeks to reach 10,000 smallholder farmers: 5,000 in Kenya and 5,000 in Rwanda; 30,000 farmers beyond direct participants in the project; 11 national and sub-national governments; 10-12 civil society organisations; 20 agri-businesses; 10 farmer organisations; three knowledge and research organisations; and four multi-stakeholder platforms.

News and stories


Farmers in East Africa are prioritising climate action in food systems


Regenerative farming in East Africa: from soil health to economic growth

Our donors and partners

IKEA Foundation