Bam­boo farm­ing in Kenya has great po­ten­tial for im­prov­ing liveli­hoods and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment

ChinAfrica - - Africa Report - By Ag­grey Mu­tambo

THE land­scape in Kenya’s west­ern county of Vi­higa is one that offers lit­tle hope. Folks here go through the mo­tions of life and till their small plots of land for tea, ba­nanas and some­times maize. It is a rou­tine prac­tice they have lived through for years with no change in for­tunes.

But one man in the re­gion is chang­ing the sta­tus quo by ven­tur­ing into bam­boo farm­ing. Vic­tor Shiribwa’s com­pound on a hilly vil­lage in Vi­higa is a hive of ac­tiv­ity. A work­shop man­u­fac­tures var­nished fur­ni­ture and treats bam­boo fenc­ing poles against pests, while a neat row of green­houses grow all the bam­boo seedlings on his plot, which he plants him­self as well as sup­plies other in­ter­ested farm­ers in the area. and seven years. A bam­boo tree can grow up to 30 me­ters tall and 30 cm in di­am­e­ter. Each clump is har­vested once or twice a year.

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