Bamboo Commercialization Project

ENSDA is in the process of raising bamboo seedlings for the establishment of bamboo plantations in its area of jurisdiction, with the ultimate goal of establishing a bamboo processing plant for value addition. This will lead to the protection of the soil as well as increasing the vegetation cover in the catchments area. The plantations will increase the carbon sinks, mitigating the effect of climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Processing and value addition will create avenue for more employment opportunities throughout the value chain, thus improving the livelihood of the populace.

The ultimate goal of the bamboo commercialization project is to raise many bamboo seedlings for setting up bamboo plantations. ENSDA targets to collaborate with over 1,000 farmers to set up large tracts of bamboo plantations. To start with, a target of 500 acres (200Ha) of land will be put under bamboo plantation by ENSDA to act as a demonstration site and nuclear plantation. Progressively, farmers will be encouraged to invest in bamboo farming.

Bamboo propagation materials were sourced from various sites in the forest as well as from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI). These included the cuttings, culms and rhizomes. The materials were planted in the soil media for rooting and shooting to take place. At the start, a total of 25,000 bamboo cuttings were put on the ground.

Currently, ENSDA has raised bamboo seedlings that are ready for planting to the field. The sites for planting these bamboo seedlings have been identified and the target areas are in other ENSDA projects sites of water resource development (water dams and pan – being implemented), as well as along the river banks within the ENSDA region.

As the bamboo plant takes about three (3) years to mature, it is hoped that setting of bamboo plantations will come in handy in alleviating the problem of timber and other forest product like construction materials, fencing materials, and fuel among others. Ultimately, a bamboo processing factory would be required and ENSDA will take the lead in designing, mobilizing for resources, construction and processing of bamboo products in partnership with the private sector under the Public Private Partnership arrangements.

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