Kenya Forestry Research Institute
            A Centre of Excellence in Forestry Research

Drylands Eco- Region Forestry Research Programme – Kitui

pic1

The Drylands Eco-region Forestry Research programme (DERP) has a mandate to conduct research on forestry in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya and disseminate the research finding to various stakeholders. The Eco-region aims to harness and develop dryland forestry resources by generating technologies to rehabilitate, manage and promote sustainable utilization of woodlands for improved livelihoods and environmental conservation.

The Programme implements its research and development activities in the following thematic areas: Forest Productivity and Improvement; Biodiversity and Environment Management; Forest Products Development; Socio-economics, Policy and Governance, and Technical Support Services.

Location

DERP– Kitui Centre is located in Kitui town, 194 km east of Nairobi. The Centre has an on-station experiment site at Tiva, 21 km from Kitui town along Kitui-Machakos road. DERP has two sub-centres at Kibwezi and Garissa, and one field station in Bura.

Geographical Coverage

DERP covers 9 counties namely: Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Samburu and Marsabit. The eco-region also partially covers; Kajiado, Taita Taveta, Lower Embu, Lower Tharaka Nithi, Upper Tana and Southern Kajiado.

Research Focus

Forest Biodiversity and Environment Management
* Development of technologies for rehabilitation of woodlands
* Development of Drought Tolerant Trees for Adaptation to Climate Change
* Management and utilization of invasive species including Prosopis
* Determination of the impact of charcoal production on species composition and diversity

Forest Productivity and Improvement
* Propagation of high value and difficult to propagate species such as Terminalia brownii, Terminalia prunoides, bamboo and Osyris lanceolata
* Silvicultural management of various indigenous species including Osyris lanceolata, Vitex payos, Terminalia brownii and Melia volkensii
* Development of technologies for domesticating Maerua decumbens

Forest Product Development
* Estimation of production potential of gums and resins
* Assessment of the effectiveness of Maerua decumbens extracts on water purification

Socio-economics, Policy and Governance
* Development of extension methods for cost effective transfer of forest technologies
* Analysis of Myrrh and Opponax markets and its implications on livelihoods of local communities
* Development of cost-benefit sharing mechanism for Participatory Forest Management (PFM) among stakeholders
* Determination of social economic contribution of charcoal value chain

Our achievements

Forest Productivity and Improvement
* Bamboo propagation, development and utilization
* Diversification of tree species in drylands such as Senna siamea, Azadirachta indica, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and Gmelina aborea
* Domestication of indigenous tree species e.g. Melia volkensii, Osyris lanceolata and Terminalia brownii
* Development of propagation technologies for raising Osyris lanceolata for domestication
* Established superior seed sources of prioritized tree species

a) Osyris seed

a) Osyris seed

b) Screening of host plant of Osyris in     a greenhouse in Kitui

b) Screening of host plant of Osyris in
a greenhouse in Kitui

a)Prosopis in Garissa

a) Prosopis in Garissa

b) Charcoal making using Prosopis

b) Charcoal making using Prosopis

c) Packaging of Prosopis charcoal

c) Packaging of Prosopis charcoal

Biodiversity and Environment Management
* Improvement of water harvesting using Vallerani Mechanized Water Harvesting System
* Sustainable management and utilization of invasive species particularly Prosopis juliflora
* Validation and integration of indigenous technologies on woodlands management
* Developed technologies on propagation and management of Melia volkensii (Mukau) for timber production
* Development of drought tolerant trees for adaptation to climate change

a)Selected Melia plus tree

a) Selected Melia plus tree

b) Melia seed orchard in Tiva and Kibwezi

b) Melia seed orchard in Tiva and Kibwezi

a)	Melia plantation on farm in Kibwezi

a) Melia plantation on farm in Kibwezi

b) Melia timber sowing on farm

b) Melia timber sowing on farm

Forest Product Development
* Development of bio-energy technologies on charcoaling, biofuels
* Utilization and conservation of medicinal plants
* Aloe domestication, processing and value addition
* Production, quality control and marketing of gums and resins
* Promotion of natural dyes and tannins
* Value addition of indigenous fruits such as Balanites aegyptica, Boscia coriacea, Tamarindus indica, Adansonia digitata and Vitex doniana

a)Aloe planting material

a) Aloe planting material

b) Aloe products

b) Aloe products

a) Vitex payos tree with green fruits

a) Vitex payos tree with green fruits

b) Mature Vitex fruits

b) Mature Vitex fruits

c) and locally made Vitex jam

c) and locally made Vitex jam

a) Acacia senegal tree  in Wajir County

a) Acacia senegal tree in Wajir County

b) Grading of Acacia senegal gum

b) Grading of Acacia senegal gum

Socio-economics, Policy and Governance
* Development of extension methods for cost effective transfer of forest technologies
* Analysis of Myrrh and Opponax and its implications on the livelihoods of local communities

Technical Support Services
* Dissemination of various technologies and information on forestry through open and field days, agricultural shows, conferences and workshops, print and electronic media
* Trained stakeholders on propagation techniques, tree nursery management and management of bamboo and Melia volkensii among others
* Consultancy and advisory services on forestry and allied natural resources

Our Products

* High quality tree seeds and seedlings

Our Services

* Student attachment
* Seminar and conference facilities
* Accommodation and catering services