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