- Kenya has embarked on an ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees by 2030
- Indigenous trees bring more biodiversity which ultimately makes the soil more productive
November 13 was the first public holiday for tree growing in Kenya.
Government has set an ambitious target of growing 15 billion trees by 2030 but planting is only the beginning, it is not the end of the road.
Trees need to be protected and nurtured for at least five years to ensure that they survive. So, tree planters should keep watering their trees during the dry season and protect them from browsing cattle and goats.
So that people do not forget this, government should make November 13 an annual public holiday for tree growing.
More importantly, government should ensure that at least half of the trees that are planted are indigenous. Farmers want trees like grevillea and eucalyptus, which are both Australian, and foreign fruit trees because they perceive them as more profitable.
However, these species do not enhance biodiversity. They do not host birds, bats and insects which pollinate and increase farmer yields, and they do not enrich the soil.
We cannot force farmers to grow only indigenous trees but they should plant at least half local species because indigenous trees are more economically productive in the long run.
Quote of the day: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Augustine of Hippo
The Roman bishop was born on November 13, 354