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Mt. Kenya governors propose growth of bamboos

03 September 2013, 14:01 Joseph Njung’eh

Mt.Kenya - Eight governors from Mount Kenya region on Monday said residents should be allowed to grow bamboo trees to generate income.

They said they have partnered with the Ministry of Environment and several organizations to encourage farmers to grow bamboo trees as a cash crop and for value addition purposes.

The leaders said the tree is drought resistant, can thrive with minimum rainfall of 350 and 800 Millimeters therefore favorable to the climatic conditions of the region.

They made the remarks at Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, during a consultative meeting presided over by Environment principal secretary Richard Lesiyampe.

Nderitu Gachagua (Nyeri), Joshua Irungu (Laikipia), Daniel Waithaka (Nyandarua), Peter Munya (Meru), Joseph Ndathi (Kirinyaga), Martin Wambora (Embu), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a) and Samuel Ragwa (Tharaka Nithi), also pushed for a share of revenues derived from exploitation of natural resources in Aberdare and Mount Kenya eco-systems.

Laikipia governor Joshua Irungu said he will launch a campaign in his county to ensure every farmer grows the plant which he said will be gold mine in his area.

He said the introduction of the plant will create job opportunities since industries will established if it is commercialized.

His Meru counter part, Peter Munya said the programme will be a good idea welcomed by all but it must involve the national government, relevant ministries and communities before it is completely rolled out.

An acre piece of land can accommodate about 100 shrubs of bamboo trees and it can survive in areas with low or high attitudes.

The governors however raised alarm on poaching and pledged to join hands in curbing it together with illegal harvesting of trees in forests. 

They blamed the officials in Ministries concerned with Environment and Wildlife as the perpetrators of the vices for not taking actions.

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