Aloes – the freshly leaved perennial dry land shrub are a very important ASAL natural resource. There are over 500 species of Aloe and Kenya is said to have the highest Aloe diversity in East Africa with approximately 60 species of which 26 are indigenous but only 5 are exploited commercially for either bitter gum or aloe gel which can also be dried into powder.
The succulent plants known for their moisturizing and healing properties and has been used for ages in its raw form to improve skin and heal both skin and hair imperfections.
The uses of this arid lands high potential resource are mostly within the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, cultural and aesthetics.
As part of our mission towards empowerment in the arid lands and the availability of the resource in the wild, we collaborate with local women groups in Laikipia and Isiolo to exploit sustainably the wildly available species of Aloe in these areas – Aloe secundiflora
Initially, the women groups had been trained how to formulate aloe- based body care products namely Hair shampoo, Hair conditioner, Shower gel, Body lotion and Bath soap. We attempted to empower by linking them with markets, but the products were not natural and as good as our other products which are known to be pure and of premium quality.
To add value and impact, the aloe line has been reformulated and is now entirely organic – for retailers –; and natural – for bulk buyers. The organic line is sold per bottle or liter, to retailers and resellers.
To sustain production and broaden our impact, we have now also set up a 100-acre commercial aloe plantation -all on community owned land and the project will be carried out by local organized, well trained and equipped groups.