The Ministry of Environment and Forestry wants young people to take up responsibility of establishing tree nurseries as demand for seedlings continues to soar.
The Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mr. Mohammed Elmi said there is big demand for tree seedlings as the country gears towards attaining 10 percent forest cover in every county.
Speaking in Murang’a Friday when he graced occasion of issuing seedlings to farmers within Maragua area, Elmi urged young people to exploit the opportunity and make income by growing seedlings.
He observed that youth groups could seek technical advice from Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) on how to effectively establish tree nurseries.
“Young people can make a lot of money by selling seedlings, let them get seeds from KFS and be trained on how to make better nurseries. The demand for seedlings countrywide is quite high,” added Elmi.
The CAS spoke even as Ahadi Kenya Trust in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched a programme of distributing 20, 000 fruit and indigenous tree seedlings to farmers in Murang’a.
On his part, the Director of Ahadi Kenya Trust Dr. Stanley Kamau said people should focus on growing trees but not just planting them, while failing to take care of them.
During the occasion, Kamau who also donated an assortment of foodstuff to the aged observed that if all trees being planted in the country were nurtured to maturity, the country could easily attain the 10 percent forest cover.
“We have witnessed many tree planting occasions, but most of the seedlings dry up as no one who takes care of them. The option of giving farmers seedlings to plant in their farms is a good move as they will nurture the trees to maturity,” added the anti-jigger campaigner.
He encouraged young people to come up with tree nurseries and make money by selling seedlings to farmers.
“Currently people want seedlings to plant but unfortunately there is shortage of them in some parts of the country. Let our young people take up the initiative,” noted Kamau.
The director also called for training of farmers on the best type of trees to grow in their farms, while underscoring the need for planting of fruit trees which have even more benefits.
“Today among seedlings we are giving out include those of hass avocado. Once the trees mature, farmers will make money by selling the fruits,” he added.
Meanwhile, the forest cover in Murang’a currently stands at 14.5 percent as the county gears to attain 17 percent by the end of 2021.
At the same time, Business Development Director with WWF Ms Joyce Isiaho said her organization is working with all 47 counties in support of conservation of the environment through planting of trees.
In a programme dubbed Keep Kenya Breathing, Isiaho said thousands of seedlings have been donated to various farmer groups to plant in their farms noting that the programme targets to make the country green.
By Bernard Munyao