The Kinango Project will sit on approximately 7,000 acres of donated community land. The main Forestry product will be one million (1,000,000) Melia Volkensii tree species grown for high value red / hard wood lumber to be harvested in 13 years. One thousand small-scale farmers will grow short term crops underneath the nitrogen-fixing Melia trees. The crops will include maize, cow peas and green grams.
The Kinango project will be carried out in Kwale county Kinango ward / sub-district in the south-east of Kenya. This is a semi-arid region with minimal rainfall and requires very hardy trees and crops to survive. Poverty is very high and development projects have been in other sectors like health and education with very little focus on agriculture despite the immense land resources in the area.
The Melia Tree is indigenous to semi-arid areas of Kenya. Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has developed a modified fast and straight growing Melia Volkensii tree that can have success in these semi-arid regions of Kenya. The research project has been successful with trial plots in Kinango dating back to April 2012.
The legumes to be intercropped are short term crops that are nitrogen fixing and very appropriate to provide dietary supplements of plant proteins to communities where nutrition is a big challenge as families cannot afford animal and plant proteins in their everyday diets.
The tree coppices, meaning it will regrow after initial harvesting. The project will leave a legacy of a million trees which will change the ecology, bringing more rainfall and animals to the region while providing millions of dollars in profits to the community. The project will provide jobs for rural families and increase food security in this poor region.