NRT Trading is a for-profit social enterprise owned by NRT, whose mission is to identify, incubate, pilot and grow sustainable businesses within the NRT Conservancies.
In Northern Kenya, low literacy levels and sparse government services hamper economic growth. Poverty rates are high, and semi arid, often degraded landscapes constantly challenge the livelihoods of a largely pastoralist population. However, through community conservancies, people are now finding ways to link wildlife conservation to better pasture, higher income, and the growth of sustainable businesses. This is putting more children in school, empowering women through jobs and financial literacy, and building the capacity of rural communities to lift themselves out of poverty.
NRT Trading was established as a limited company in 2014, and now supports the development of direct commercial revenue to communities in two main areas – livestock and beads. The success of these programmes is now paving the way for communities to explore other emerging markets, such as fish, mangos and silk.
Each conservancy’s commercial revenue, which is also made up of tourism income, is split 60:40, with 40% going towards conservancy operating costs and 60% constituting the conservancy’s Community Fund – spent according to community priorities agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The total generated for Conservancy Community Funds in 2017 was approximately Ksh. 44 million. Ksh. 9.5 million of this supported bursaries for 1,942 school children.