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A Declaration By Tree Nursery Operators

By Royan Ndegwa 

 

Tree nursery operators contribute greatly to the tree seedlings planted all across the country be it private or public land and they have always been key investors in the countries forestry sector and they contribute significantly to rural economic development, food security, environmental protection and other benefits for individuals, communities and the nation as a whole.

Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) through Forest and Farm Facility(FFF) gathered tree nursery operators all round the country at Jumuia Resort in Nakuru for the First Tree Nursery Workshop. FFF vision is for small holders, communities and indigenous peoples organizations to improve their livelihoods and be involved in decision making over forest and farm landscapes and it is with this great vision that they saw need for having such a workshop to help promote them and their business.

During the workshop various challenges and merits were discussed upon. Environment minister for Nakuru County CeC in charge of Water, Energy and Environment, Richard Rop welcomed the delegates on behalf of the Governor and he recognized that a good environment starts from the tree nursery and hence urged them to invest wisely in their nurseries for the better of the environment.

Kenya Forest Service Deputy Director for Farm and Dryland Forestry, Patrick Kariuki was also present representing the Service Director and in his speech he applauded organizers of the workshop for being able to gather all those nursery operators and he assured the m that KFS would fully support the initiative. 

Various presentations were made by various organizations during the the two day workshop.Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) Deputy Director, Joram Kagombe had a presentation on the role of KEFRI in raising quality seedlings where he highlighted the do's and the dont's and explained the advantage of using quality seedlings in tree nurseries. The workshop was well attended and by the end of it the nursery operators were all united and came up with a declaration for tree nursery operators all round the country. 

In their declaration, the nursery growers appealed to government agencies to recognize their contributions in food security, socio-economic development and provision of environmental services. They went ahead and petitioned the agencies at national and county level to facilitate enabling environment for tree nursery operators to achieve their goals.

High quality seeds matter a lot for better productivity and they declared to promote the use of them for establishment of quality tree nurseries in order to improve tree productivity. They also vowed to create county associations to bring together interested tree nursery operators in respective counties to champion their interests.

The nursery operators also highlighted that in order for them to achieve their objectives they committed themselves to create an inventory of tree nursery operators at county and national level, mobilize tree nursery operators to form county associations and organize a national meeting with elected officials from different counties. 

FAO representative from Rome, Jhony Zapata who was also present at the workshop thanked the nursery operators for accepting their call and noted that he was really pleased for the workshop had achieved its mission and assured that FAO would continue supporting the initiative and applauded all other stakeholders that helped organize the workshop.

A group photo of the participants during the event

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