In Summary
  • Mr Cheboiwo said the parastatal expects to undertake aerial seeding of almost 3,500 hectares.
  • The aerial seeding of the mapped 4,000 hectares will cost an average Sh15 million.
  • He appealed to individuals, companies and groups to join Kefri and financially support the aerial seeding.

The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Kefri) will plant more than four tonnes of tree seeds in the recently launched rehabilitation of the 22,000 hectares of the Maasai Mau Forest reclaimed last week.

The seeds will be sowed by spraying them from the air.

Kefri Director Joshua Cheboiwo said the parastatal expects to undertake aerial seeding of almost 3,500 hectares.

“If these seeds germinate, we expect to get up to 19,700 seedlings from the area, and that will speed up the regeneration of the forest,” Mr Cheboiwo said.

4,000 HECTARES

Speaking on the side-lines of the tree planting in the forest on Friday, Mr Cheboiwo said aerial seeding of the mapped 4,000 hectares will cost an average Sh15 million to plant 20,000,000 million seedlings, and that the work will take three days or a week at most.

He said aerial seeding is a more efficient way of rehabilitating the forest, with a 75 percent chance of survival and is ideal for reseeding large open spaces and areas that are inaccessible or with rough terrain.

“This technique is cost-effective and, therefore, saves time and money compared with conventional planting. We believe it is the quickest and perhaps the most cost-effective method of achieving and maintaining the recommended 10 percent tree cover by 2022 and also meeting the country’s target of African Landscapes Restoration Initiative 100 of restoring 5.5 million hectares of degraded land in Kenya,” said Mr Cheboiwo.

COST PER TREE

He added that they expect to plant more than 10 million seedlings in the Maasai Mau at an average cost of Sh50 each, with each seedling costing about Sh30 and Sh20 for labour.

“This translates to Sh50 million, excluding mobilisation, transporting the seedlings, supervision and time taken to raise the seedlings.

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