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Tree nursery attendants ask government to engage them in the tree planting programme 

Tree nursery attendants in Murang’a have called upon the government to fully engage them in the national programme on tree planting.

The attendants who spoke to KNA observed that the government could provide them with incentives to help them propagate more seedlings to support the tree planting programme.

The county government is currently implementing a programme targeting to plant more than 10million seedlings in a period of five years as a way to mitigate climate change.

The programme thus needs steady supply of seedlings to residents with the attendants’ claiming locals were shunning from purchasing seedlings due to increased prices.

They noted most seedlings were going for more than Sh50 per piece, an amount they said make customers shy away from buying the seedlings.

One of the attendants, Peter Maina, explained that the high price is occasioned by lack of some materials needed to propagate the seedlings such as polythene papers.

“We used to purchase polythene papers to plant seedlings at Sh10 per piece but currently, the amount has gone up to more than Sh20. Those coming to buy our seedlings are few and we call upon the government through the ministry of environment to buy seedlings from us and distribute to residents to plant,” stated Maina.

Another attendant, Jane Mwangi said that as the onset of long rains draws near, plans should be made to ensure locals have enough seedlings to plant in their farms.

Currently, the government relies on tree nurseries owned by Kenya Forest Service which the attendants claim could not be enough to be distributed to many parts of the country.

“Here in Murang’a, we have a number of tree nursery attendants and also some groups have ventured in propagating seedlings. We hope the government will consider us and purchase seedlings we have to support the programme of tree planting,” added Mwangi.

She continued “if we are also supported with some incentives which can help us get manure and water for the seedlings, prices can come down and many people will be encouraged to purchase and plant the seedlings.”

Mwangi said seedlings of common varieties of trees being planted in Murang’a, were selling at not less than Sh100.

“The Sh100 price is quite expensive, especially for one who needs many seedlings. The returns we are raising from seedlings have come down, that is why we are appealing for support from the government,” said another tree nursery attendant, Grace Wambui.

The attendants further urged the county government of Murang’a to assist them with piped water to help in nurturing the nurseries.

They noted that they depended on water from local streams which was not enough especially during dry seasons.

“With various water projects being implemented by the county government of Murang’a, they can also consider providing untreated water to help in growing the seedlings. The water can be tapped at upstream and be distributed to areas the nurseries are located,” remarked Wambui.

By Bernard Munyao and Tabitha Irungu


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