NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 2 – The 69 KTDA-managed tea factories have acquired 824 acres for tree plantations in the last two years as they ramp up a programme that will see them become self-sufficient in firewood supply and reduce energy costs.
Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Services says the acquisitions have pushed the total land holdings for the wood fuel programme to 21,550 acres spread out across the country.
Out of these, 16,135 acres have already been planted with trees in various stages of growth while the remaining 5,400 acres are in the process of preparation for planting.
The Agency’s MD Alfred Njagi says wood fuel programme is a project meant to ensure all tea factories have commercially and environmentally sustainable sources of firewood.
According to the MD, Energy costs comprise up to 25 percent of the cost of tea production and wood is the cheapest source of energy- up to four times cheaper than oil.
“Planting of trees is meant to provide a sustainable and inexpensive source of wood fuel as well as manage climate change by ensuring constant re-planting/ regeneration of cleared areas,” Njagi said.
KTDA started the wood fuel project in 2001 and has been accelerating the programme especially since 2018 when the government issued restrictions on logging.