The National government will establish a model tree nursery and training centre in Kilifi town, Kilifi County to train farmers on how to produce quality seedlings free from diseases and pests.
The farmers will after the training be able to produce high quality seedlings for sell and planting in their own farms in a bid to conserve the environment.
The model facility is meant to empower farmers with environmental management skills within the coast region in a bid to increase forest cover of up to 10- percent, and be in line with Kenya’s vision 2030.
County ecosystem conservator of forests Ms. Nafasi Mfahaya told KNA in her office today that the government has already handed over the project to a contractor, but estimated it at millions of shillings.
She said all procurement procedures have been fulfiled and that bush clearing has already started on the site.
This project is being undertaken in line with vision 2030 which demands all counties to work towards achieving and maintaining a tree cover of at least ten percent of the land area to be under forest cover, she said.
Nafasi said the forest department has to support sustainable forest management through the promotion of commercial forestry and other nature based enterprises both on farmlands and dry lands.
She revealed that the project intended to produce 1 million seedlings of indigenous and exotic commercial, fruit tree and beautification species to be implemented on a 3 acre plot, with the nursery area covering a length of 100 by 100m.
Our target is to have a facility that can train farmers to produce quality seedlings within their own nurseries. They will be trained and shown how to establish, manage and control tree pests and diseases, she said.
Kilifi County, with an area of 4,878 square kilometers, has a forest cover of 4.1- percent with the forest zone estimated at 22,262 hectares, meaning it has to strive to achieve the remaining 5.9 percent to be in line with the vision 2030.
The forests include Arabuko-Sokoke, which covers 19,000 hectares while mangrove and Kaya forests cover the remaining hectares of 3,262 hectares. There are also many forest covers on private farms.
Source: Kenya News Agency