05/08/2022 - Anne-Lise de Reforest'Action
To ensure the sustainability of the project through a rigorous monitoring of the trees planted in 2020-2021
A monitoring mission was conducted in early 2022 to ensure the proper growth of the trees planted in agroforestry on the farms during the first phase of the project. Conducted by our partner Trees for Kenya's field technicians, the mission recorded the geolocation of each agroforestry plot created and observed an excellent survival rate of the trees planted, above 85%.
The 360 farmers who benefited from these plantations on their farms were involved in this monitoring and invited to share their observations on the growth of the trees. In return, Trees for Kenya technicians continued to train them in tree management and best practices to ensure their sustainability, such as watering during drought and mulching the soil to avoid massive water loss during the dry season.
With the planting of nearly 400 trees per hectare of agriculture, agroforestry is a practice that limits soil erosion, retains water runoff and protects crops from the force of the wind and the sun. The trees planted in the fields will also allow farmers to produce their own fodder for livestock as well as fruit for consumption or sale in local markets.
Identify new beneficiaries and new degraded forest parcels
In order to select new beneficiaries for the continuation of the project, Trees for Kenya has established criteria to identify landowners whose investment and motivation will ensure the success of the plantations. New villages joined the project in 2022, including Gaciari, Gichiche, Kiriari and Kairuri in Embu County, and Karamani, Gichege and Kathagara in Tharaka Nithi County. A total of 350 beneficiary farmers have been identified, who will each plant 200 to 300 trees, including fruit trees, on their farms during 2022. They will also be trained in tree maintenance and the benefits of agroforestry by Trees for Kenya throughout the season.
A central dimension of the project, raising children's awareness of forest issues continues in 2022, with 20 new schools selected to receive trees to be planted on their grounds. Each school will receive a maximum of 500 trees, depending on the size of its grounds, which will be managed by schoolchildren and students. The objective is to train new generations in the challenges of large-scale reforestation.
Finally, new plots of land have been identified in Kirinyaga County, within the Mount Kenya National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Formerly deforested, these conservation areas were restored in April 2022 by planting 30,000 trees on 10 hectares.
Preparing for future plantings: the importance of nursery work
Trees for Kenya's expertise in nursery production ensures that the trees supplied to farmers and planted in Mount Kenya National Park have all the qualities needed to thrive. The nine community nurseries associated with the project are regularly monitored to ensure proper management, both in terms of health and timing. In order to support this new planting season, multiple activities are carried out on a daily basis in the nurseries, such as daily watering of the plants, spraying of biological products against pests and diseases, sorting of mature plants ready for transplanting and pruning of their roots in order to increase their resilience and adaptability to the soil conditions in the field.