The Drylands Eco-Region Research Programme (DERP)


DERP, is mandated to undertake forestry research mainly in the drylands of Kenya. The programme develops forestry technologies for; forest productivity and improvement, biodiversity and environment management and forest products and undertakes socio-economics, policy and governance studies in; forestry. The programme also provides technical support services on forestry. 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.


DERP headquarters 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 research programme also partially covers; Kajiado, Taita Taveta, Lower Embu, Lower Tharaka Nithi, and Upper Tana.

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 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 effectiveness of Maerua decumbens extracts on water purification

Socio-economics, Policy and Governance

Development of extension methods for cost effective transfer of forest technologies

Development of cost-benefit sharing mechanism for Participatory Forest Management (PFM) among stakeholders

Determination of socio-economic contribution of charcoal value chain

Our 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, nursery and field management of bamboo and Melia volkensii

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