Over 1.5 million seedlings to be planted in Lugari forest this year
Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno 2012-04-04 18:46:00 Read 925 Times
The forest department has set aside 1.5 million tree seedlings for planting on government land and private farms during this season of long rains in Lugari district.
Speaking to West Fm in his office the Lugari forest zonal manager Mr. Stanley Mwangi, disclosed that out of this figure, 800,000 of exotic species such as cypress, pine and eucalyptus species will be planted on approximately 400 hectares of government land, while about 7,000 seedlings will be planted by individual farmers.
As a means of conserving and sustaining existing water catchments, the manager urged area residents to plant indigenous trees, revealing that his department had already set aside 150,000 seedlings of indigenous species for planting on water catchments and swampy areas on gazette government forest land.
Noting that the Lugari had been identified as one of the pulp production zones by the forest department, the official encouraged farmers from the area to venture into forest farming since the market for such was now guaranteed, adding that there is a high demand for transmission poles by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
The forest officer also thanked the government for allowing Plantation Establishment and Livelihoods (PELIS) to thrive on government forest land, noting that the programme had enabled farmers improve on crop production in the district.
He at the same time disclosed that tree farmers earned about 30 million shillings from the sale of trees last year in the district.
Mr. Mwangi assured area residents that his department was committed towards sensitizing them on sound environmental policies and practices in order to improve on safe living surroundings.