- In April, the government announced plans to plant 60 million trees during this March-May rainy season
- Environment CS Soipan Tuya said the move was aimed at combating the impacts of climate change
Brookside has launched an initiative to encourage farmers to plant trees on their dairy farms to combat climate change.
Brookside’s milk procurement general manager said the agroforestry initiative see contracted dairy farmers plant trees on their farms.
"We seek to have farmers to accrue the environmental benefits of increased tree cover in homesteads and farms," he said.
In April, the government announced plans to plant 60 million trees during this March-May rainy season.
Environment CS Soipan Tuya said the move was aimed at combating the impacts of climate change.
“I urge all Kenyans to take the opportunity and engage in tree growing during this rainy season to contribute to climate change amelioration," she said.
"I call upon all corporate organisations to take up the challenge of planting trees as corporate social responsibility initiatives."
The government is seeking to plant 15 billion trees in the next 10 years to raise Kenya’s tree cover to 30 per cent by 2032.
The total budget for the 10-year bid is Sh600 billion.
Kabaki said they will engage farmers and other stakeholders in initiatives that mitigate effects of climate change and promote environmental conservation.
“The country’s dairy sub-sector is largely dependent on rainfall. New challenges brought about by climate change mean we have to continuously invest in smart initiatives, such as agroforestry," he said.
"This encourages formation of rainfall, besides according the farmer a host of other commercial benefits."
He spoke in Olenguruone, Nakuru county, where he led dairy farmers in a tree planting exercise.
Trees absorb and release water into the atmosphere through their leaves, which could lead to cloud formation and eventually rainfall.
“The involvement of our farmers in agroforestry is to ensure that all areas receive sufficient rainfall in the future, for sustained dairy production," Kabaki said.
Besides providing benefits to entire ecosystems by stabilising soils, trees are useful in the absorption and filtering of storm water, cooling temperatures and carbon sequestration.
Under the agroforestry programme, dairy farmers contracted by the processor will be issued with free tree seedlings for establishment on farms.
“We have carefully selected tree seedlings that adapt well to the various ecological zones across our milk production areas," he said.
"The initiative illustrates our commitment to the conservation of the environment and ensuring that tree cover is boosted for better precipitation patterns in all our raw milk sheds."
Kabaki said trees have an economic value, with their provision of wood, fruits, and raw materials.
“We call on all farmers to practice agroforestry as trees are renewable, biodegradable sources of energy,” he said.
Kabaki said Brookside will continue to build the capacity of farmers in best practice in dairy.
So far, over 20,000 farmers have benefitted from dairy training courses organised by Brookside across the country.