Nyeri government, KFS to boost tree cover using shamba system

In Summary

•Kahiga also said his government has plans to start a pilot project where it will install biogas digesters in 100 households in Aguthi - Gaaki ward, Tetu sub-county.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga
FOREST COVER: Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga

The Kenya Forest Service and the Nyeri government are planning to allocate some forestland to farmers to grow crops and plant trees.

Governor Mutahi Kahiga said the Shamba system, if well run, will enable farmers to improve food security as well as conserve the environment.

Kahiga spoke in his office in Nyeri town on Wednesday after meeting with a committee from KFS.

The programme will involve allocating forestland to residents where they will be required to grow food crops alongside trees. The farmers are allocated land in a different area once the trees grow.

They also agreed to target schools in tree-planting drives in a bid to increase forest cover in the county. The government targets to raise the forest cover to 10 per cent by 2022.

The governor said the county government has been providing farmers with fruit tree seedlings in an effort to improve the forest cover in the county.

“We have given farmers fruit tree seedlings worth Sh50 million,” he said.

Kahiga also said his government plans to start a pilot project where it will instal biogas digesters in 100 households in Aguthi-Gaaki ward, Tetu subcounty.

This, he said, will reduce the use of wood fuel and drastically reduce cutting down of trees for firewood and charcoal.

If the biogas project is successful, Kahiga said, it will also be rolled out in other subcounties, especially the two subcounties of Kieni which is an arid and semi-arid area.