Kefri gets seed extracting machines

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya Forest Research Institute. Photo/Courtesy

The Kenya Forest Research Institute (Kefri) has received a 2.5 million seed extracting machine to boost its supply of cleaner seeds.

Donated by Gatsby Africa, a UK charitable company, the machines will help Kefri with grading and storage of seeds to ensure they remain viable and healthy much longer.

It will also boost the capacity to keep seeds in dry conditions and less susceptible to diseases and pests.

The machine will also help in producing uniform sized seeds, which can be grown in modern nurseries because they have less than two per cent chaff.

“The seed equipment will ensure production of cleaned, well-sized and high purity seeds quality by usage of modern seed extraction machines donated to us,’’ observed Dr Joshua Cheboiwo, Kefri director during the handover ceremony at Kefri, Muguga station.

Provision of high-quality seeds will increase access to seed markets and growers of all sizes, supply only viable seeds and increase germination percentage, which will in turn introduce and encourage seed grading into various categories of purification and sizes.

All these packaged together will enable Kefri to compete with international suppliers of high purity seeds.

Officials at Kefri note that eucalyptus seed quality is particularly concerning as demand rises. 

Kefri’s seed production capacity is central to the government’s aim of increasing national forest cover to 10 per cent.

Already, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has rolled out an initiative to be implemented across 47 counties targeting to plant two billion seedlings by the year 2022.

In early February, the government through Kefri planted more than 40,000 mangrove seedlings in Mida Creek and 60,000 tree cuttings for propagation at Ngomeni, Magarini sub-county of Kilifi county as part of the initiative to increase forest cover to 10 per cent by next year.

“We have already attained 7.2 per cent forest cover and we will be planting 45 million seedlings in every county so as to attain the recommended 10 per cent cover after identifying suitable areas for planting such as schools, government land and private farms,” noted Dr Cheboiwo during the exercise.

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