Tree Improvement Strategy

Kenya Commercial Tree Improvement Strategy

Commercial forestry in Kenya has the potential to grow exponentially under a visionary strategy. KEFRI has been in the process of developing a commercial tree improvement framework as a guide to a National Strategy.

It is envisaged that the Kenya Commercial Tree Improvement Srategy will be a key driver for commercial forestry in Kenya. Our webinars allows stakeholders in Commercial Forestry to give their inputs on the proposed draft strategy.

Our Vision

The vision of this strategy is to foster availability of diverse and high quality reproductive materials of major commercial tree species that are adapted to the different agro-ecological zones in Kenya for enhanced commercial forestry productivity and superior wood properties.

Our Short-Term Vision: - 0 Years to 5 Years

To enhance a participatory tree improvement program that develops, acquires and deploys quality improved germplasm that responds to the ever-growing demand of various wood products. In the same period, the strategy will promote access to improved germplasm from both local and external sources.

Our Medium-Term Vision: - 5 Years to 15 Years

To make commercial forestry an attractive investment in Kenya through breeding for resistance to biotic and abiotic factors with desired wood properties linked to markets.

Our Long-Term Vision: - Greater Than 15 Years

To make Kenya a sustainable, resilient, dynamic, attractive, competitive and inclusive economic hub for commercial forestry through provision of quality germplasm, and availability of supportive information.

Value of Tree Improvement

Tree improvement is a process for production of genetically improved germplasm to meet the demand of forest products, and plays a pivotal role in forestry development globally. It combines tree breeding, silvicultural practices and integrated pest and disease management that are simultaneously applied to take advantage of the existing genetic variation in forest tree populations to increase productivity per unit area.

Tree breeding is a key component of tree improvement that involves tree selection, breeding and testing to validate traits such as fast growth rate, good stem form, resistance to pests and diseases and other desirable characteristics that determine quality of a given product or service. Selected or improved germplasm undergo silvicultural management practices such as species-site matching; and proper site preparation, handling of planting material, planting procedures and management of plantations.

Tree improvement in Kenya is therefore an important strategy that can address the projected deficit of timber, poles, firewood and charcoal supply currently estimated at 10.3 million cubic meters and is expected to increase to 15 million cubic meters by 2030. The current wood deficit is being met by importation from neighbouring countries, and illegal exploitation of indigenous forests, which is unsustainable. The demand for wood can be met sustainably by increasing the size of forests and/or productivity per unit area. However, increasing forest area is constrained by population pressure, competing land use and environmental factors.

It is therefore more feasible to invest in increasing the yield per unit area of forest land through development of tree improvement programmes. Through strategic partnership this strategy will focus on;

Research in commercial tree improvement


Legal and policy framework



Networks and partnerships

Below please find below the draft Kenya Commercial Tree Improvement Strategy to be validated.

Below please find documentation that was used during the process.