Khalwale differs with DP Gachagua on the return of shamba system

Sunday, September 25th, 2022 10:26 | By
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.
Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has opposed the re-introduction of the shamba system, which was announced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

The shamba system was practised during retired President Daniel Arap Moi's era, where Kenyans would be allowed to farm reserve forest land, while tendering trees at the same time.

In a tweet on Sunday, September 25, 2022, Khalwale said that it would be difficult to differ with peace laureate Prof Wangari Mathai, who fought the shamba system during Moi era.

"Am the Senator of Kakamega, home to Kakamega Forest, the only remaining, indigenous tropical rain forest outside the Congo of DRC & the Amazon of Brazil (sic). I would find it extremely difficult to disagree with Prof Wangari Mathai," Khalwale said.

Shamba system according to UNEP

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), shamba system is a way to afforest land where exotic trees have been cut for timber.

"The shamba system is a way to afforest land where exotic trees have been cut for timber. The community benefits from being able to plant crops in exchange for planting tree seedlings & taking care of the growing trees for three years," UNEP said in 2019.

On Saturday, Gachagua said that the system order would be implemented as soon as a new Environment CS is appointed.

"There was the shamba system where citizens were allowed to cultivate crops as they care for the trees, once the trees mature they move out," Gachagua said.

"You have taken care of these forests all these years (but) there is a minister who came here and closed them. This is your government, we have issued an order for citizens to be allowed to cultivate crops in forests so that we increase food production in this country," he added.

Gachagua said that a return of the system will boost food production in the country.

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