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Counties

Forest agency signs deal for bamboo factories in 3 counties

KFS director Emilio Mugo. FILE PHOTO | NMG
KFS director Emilio Mugo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Forest Service has entered a partnership to produce and process bamboo reeds in Tharaka-Nithi, Nyandarua and Narok counties.

Speaking at Chuka Forest Station on Wednesday KFS director Emilio Mugo said the joint project with GreenPot Industries will economically boost these regions and the entire country.

A processed bamboo has diverse uses, including production of construction materials, beverages, fuel, charcoal and textiles materials for both local international and markets, Mr Mugo said.

“It is a big achievement for KFS because Kenya has been trying to industrialise bamboo for many years without success,” he said.

He said they are set to put Kenya on the world map as far as the bamboo industry is concerned in the next few years.

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Mr Mugo said the government recognises the immense potential of bamboo as a catalyst for economic growth and the realisation of Vision 2030.

The KFS, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the Kenya Water Towers Agency are actively promoting bamboo, the official said.

Tharaka-Nithi conservator Benjamin Kinyili said the factory will be established at Kaanwa area in Chuka/Igambang’ombe.

For a pilot, farmers from Chuka/Igambang’ombe and Maara sub-counties will be engaged and also sell 5,000 hectares of bamboo plantations in Mount Kenya Forest to the processors.

He said Chuka forest station had propagated enough bamboo cuttings that will “soon be distributed” for planting.

He said industrialisation of bamboo will curb deforestation because they are targeting to sell its charcoal to tea processors, hotels, hospitals and even schools.

Bamboo is harvested three to four years after planting.

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