Church faults call to revive shamba system as DP says he was misquoted

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022 06:00 | By
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Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at a past function. PHOTO/Rigathi Gachagua (@rigathi)/Twitter

The Anglican Church of Kenya has criticised Deputy President Rigathi Gachangua’s calls for the revival of the Shamba System of farming  in the country.

Speaking in Embu County on Sunday, October 9, Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit said the church disagrees with the proposal to have members of the public allowed to cultivate in  forests.

Sapit warned that such actions would threaten the forest cover.

Deforestation, he said, is to blame for the current drought situation that has left millions on the verge of starvation in the country.

“We get worried when we hear proposals to reintroduce the shamba system because it has the potential of depleting our forests, especially in indigenous forests,” Sapit said at a function to dedicate an Anglican Church commercial building in Embu town.

The archbishop disclosed that the Anglican church is at the forefront in regard to planting trees under the church’s Green African Movement, saying plans are ongoing to plant trees on over 30 acres of land in Salama.

He urged the government to be cautious about the shamba system proposals saying it can only work on commercial forests.

On the other hand, Gachagua stated that the media misquoted him on the controversial shamba system remarks.

The DP clarified that he meant farmers would practice afforestation in the gazetted forest reserves rather than farming there.

“I meant the government will engage farmers to plant trees a they grow crops and then vacate once the trees have matured. We will work with farmers to do afforestation on gazetted reserves,” he said.

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