Jonah Kiprop, a research scientist at KEFRI, said late Wednesday the new breeds will have features matching the ecological conditions of respective zones in the country.

“We have problems with farmers planting species not fitting their climatic conditions. However, the new clones will ensure that they plant the right variety,” he said.

The researcher had met agroforestry farmers from the Rift Valley region in Nakuru on Wednesday to sensitize them on effective ways of enhancing their productivity.

Using the right seeds and varieties is crucial, since it determines the survival of the trees contributing to the increase in acreage under forest cover, he said.

“There is a huge demand for timber and firewood in Kenya,” Kiprop noted, adding “we have an average annual population growth of two percent which means we need more trees to meet the demand”.

More than 78 percent of the rural population in the country depends on charcoal and firewood for cooking, according to data from the Ministry of Energy.

Small scale farmers are also encouraged to set aside 10 percent of their farms for growing trees contributing not only to an increased forest cover but also creating a carbon sink, Kiprop said.

Kenya is among the countries in Africa seeking to reward agroforestry farmers with carbon credits to promote proactive measures of mitigating effects of climate change. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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