By Christian Benard
To fully exploit the potential of the four forestry value chains (timber, wood, poles and non-timber forest products) sustainably, public-private-partnership is crucial.
Speaking during the Commercial Forestry Investment Conference and Expo, Charles Wambua, Chief Executive Officer Magnifique Consult- a project firm that deals in financial evaluation, said: “The government through the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Ministry of Environment and Forestry, should implement a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement in government forests to improve management, increase productivity and hence the volume of wood from government plantations.”
“By developing a Public-private platform, it will be useful in creating awareness creation on the potential of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in order to attract investors.”
He said there is need for the national government to draw a partnership plan with county governments as well to build capacity thereby improving forestry skills and information access through a robust forest extension service to small holder farmers and private sector.
In order to adopt best practices by Charcoal Producers Associations (CPAs), Wambua called for a review of charcoal rules.
“By facilitating this initiative, this will improve earth charcoal kilns as recommended by the 2017 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) study on improving efficiency in forestry operations and forests products processing in Kenya,” he said.
Subsequently, in a bid to catalyze financing and investments into the forestry sector, he advised that the government should create a financing sub-unit within the coordination unit to focus on creating financial access and attracting investments for value chains.
“There should be promotion of events that bring together financiers and prospective forestry value chain actors so as to create awareness and open up business opportunities for either of the parties respectfully,” said Wambua.
This action-oriented strategy call to the government, seeks to scale-up sustainable value chains in Kenya and its environs.