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Gatsby Africa handed over to KEFRI a 2.5M seed extracting machines, at the same time signed an addendum with KEFRI to boost commercial forestry project in Kenya on 15th February 2021 at KEFRI, Muguga.
Gatsby Africa is an English charitable company limited by guarantee that has funded and implemented programmes in Africa since 1985.It’s mission is to accelerate inclusive and resilient economic growth in East Africa by demonstrating how key sectors can be transformed
Gatsby Africa donated two equipment namely; Seed Cleaner & Sizer equipment and Seed Gravity Separator (Full seed, half empty and empty seed) to assist KEFRI to supply ‘cleaner version’ of Eucalyptus seeds and drive demand for pure seeds.
KEFRI Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Sammy Letema (second right) receives seed extracting
equipment from Gasby Africa Country Director Mr. Sam Kareithi (centre) during handing over ceremony at the headquarters
Following this gesture, its envisaged that the Kenyan forestry sector will gain in; easement of grading and storage of seed, ensure pure seed remain viable and healthy much longer and are less susceptible to diseases and pests as they are easier to dry, pure seeds which are packed in smaller packages that are easier to transport attracting lower costs of storage and transportation, sized seeds produce seedlings of uniform growth rates and pure seeds unilaterally grown in modern nurseries because they have less than 2% chaff.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony at KEFRI headquarters, Gatsby Country Director Mr. Sam Kareithi reiterated KEFRI total commitment to the memorandum. ‘’ whenever I want to consult on any topical issue enshrined in the agreement, the scientists are always on the forefront and willing to help, the agreement with the management has always remained vibrant as compared to others that stagnate, corrupted or collapse after inception.’’ He said.
In his remarks during the same occasion, KEFRI Board of Directors Chaiman, Dr. Sammy Letema lauded KEFRI and Gatsby’s partship for the collaboration in commercial forestry in the country noting that this will go a long way in achieving 10 percent tree cover by the year 2022, as being one of the component in the government’s 4 agenda. He also observed that community forestry will be a thing of the past once the government fully commercializes forestry in partnership with private and non-governmental sectors.
KEFRI Director Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo reported that Eucalyptus was the first point of concern when entering into partnership with Gasby Africa, adding that tree seed regulation was at the policy level. He also reported KEFRI being unable to compete effectively with other players in the market when it is producing poor quality of seed laced with high percentage of chaff. ‘’Partnering with Gatsby Africa and the donation of these seed equipment will ensure production of cleaned, well sized and high purity seeds quality by usage of modern seed extraction machines donated to us.’’ He said.