Kenya Forest Service official calls for financial incentives for tree growers, urges farmers to begin commercial tree farming, large-scale planting, to increase forest cover by 10%

Kenya , March 25, 2014 () – A Kenya Forest Service (KFS) official has urged farmers in Meru County to venture into commercial tree farming.

Meru County Ecosystem Conservator Evans Maneno also urged farmers to continue with large-scale tree planting to help increase the national forest cover by up to 10 per cent.

Mr Maneno said that well-stocked wood lots fetch farmers good money. Speaking during celebrations to mark the International Day of Forests at Thuura Secondary School in Meru last weekend.

Mr Maneno said tree growers should be given incentives if the sector has to achieve its full economic potential.

"This is a lucrative business that has made farmers earn a lot of cash. This has also been enabled by the stern measures enforced by KFS to contain illegal logging in our forests," Mr Maneno said.

He noted that KFS was encouraging farmers to plant indigenous trees to mitigate climate changes caused by environment degradation. The involvement of locals, he said, had also led to a decline in illegal logging.

"Demand for forestry products in this part of the country has enabled us to ensure that there's no illegal logging and thus the large forest cover," he said.

County chief officer in charge of water, environment and natural resources David Mwendia, who was the chief guest, said that the county government would intensify afforestation efforts to increase the country's forest canopy.

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