KEFRI conducts field day for Matuu District farmers

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MACHAKOS COUNTY

By BONIFACE MULU

The Melia volkensii is an indigenous tree and does not survive everywhere, a Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) official Bernard K.Kigwa has said. Kiowa works with the KEFRI Kitui Regional Research Centre.

He said that the melia matures within 10 to 15 years for it to be used for timber. Kiowa was educating hundreds of people during a field day organized by the KEFRI in Kwa Nyaa Village, Kaluluini Sub-Location of Matuu Location in Matuu District, Machakos County on Friday, December 6, 2019.

The venue was a site of a local media farmer Stephen Mondo. Locally, the media is known as Mukau. Kiowa said the tree is said to be having some medicinal value. “And as a result, we at the KEFRI are carrying out research on the very medicinal value,” he added.

Kiowa announced that they (the KEFRI) in partnership with the Japanese government have a project to promote the media in the country. “We are talking of the improved media for improved livelihood and adaptation to climate change,” the KEFRI official said.

The scientist said the media has a lot of benefits that he said include the timber, fodder, firewood, medicine, and seeds. And according to him, the melia requires the loam and sand soils. “It does not require black cotton soil because this tree does not require water.

It requires very little water,” the expert said. Kiowa added that the media is not destroyed by termites “since it is termite-attacks resistant.” Its resistance to the termite’s destruction means it contains some self-defense chemical,” the KEFRI official said.

He also announced that the KEFRI is doing some media grafting by using the media scions. Kiowa disclosed that the KEFRI Kitui Regional Research Centre covers a total of 13 of Kenya’s 47 counties including Kitui, Kajiado, Embu, Machakos, Garissa, Wajir, Makueni, Mandera, Tana River, and Taita Taveta. “And that is why we are opening more sub-centers within the region.

We have recently opened a sub-center in Lamu County and another one in Taita Taveta County,” he added. Samuel Auka, also a KEFRI Kitui Regional Research Centre official, also educated the farmers on the media.

“And Stephen Mbondo also addressed the occasion. And in his speech, the area Assistant Chief, Nzomo Munyasya, highly lauded the KEFRI for its commitment towards environmental conservation. He thanked the residents for attending the function well.

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