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Partnering with the Timber Manufacturers Association

By Lydia Ogada

 

The Timber Manufacturers Association was formed in 1981 by the then saw millers. Currently 26 counties are active members. Benson Gitau was elected 5 years ago as the Chairman and has been serving diligently .Benson through the TMA has initiated a project by partnering with Kenya Forest Service. The project entails establishing of tree seedlings. The Chairman and TMA is committed to assisting KFS achieve and surpass her set goal of 10% tree cover

The TMA has established in Londiani one of the biggest tree nursery established by Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with local stakeholders and community in Kenya.  The tree nursery currently produces 2.5 million indigenous seedlings. The species are mostly pine and Cyprus. The seedlings are mostly established for commercial purposes.

The seeds for the nursery are sourced from KEFRI and then they are nurtured by the while KFS gives the technical advice. Once the seedlings have matured and become plantable they are then given back to KFS .In the onset of the rainy seasons the Kenya Forest Service is able to distribute the seedlings for planting to different counties but mainly concentrating in Kericho, Baringo and Nakuru counties The Association also employs casuals to help them in ensuring the nurseries are well maintained and taken care of.

The TMA is looking to increase the production of the seedlings from 2.5m to 4.5 million. This will immensely boost the rehabilitation programme. Already they have established a separate space and work has begun and by the end of the year the nursery is expected to produce plantable seedlings. “It is my wish that the seedlings that will be produced in the nursery are planted all over the country as far as Garissa county”, the TMA Chairman said.

Other than commercial benefits that the seedlings are established for, the TMA Chairman insisted that TMA is very much interested in the conservation of forests around the country and believes their partnering with KFS will go a long way in driving the conservation agenda.

 

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