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Drylands Eco- Region Forestry Research Programme Kitui

pic1The Drylands Eco-region Forestry Research programme (DERP) has a mandate to conduct research on forestry in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya and disseminate the research finding to various stakeholders. The Eco-region aims to harness and develop dryland forestry resources by generating technologies to rehabilitate, manage and promote sustainable utilization of woodlands for improved livelihoods and environmental conservation. The Programme implements its research and development activities in the following thematic areas: Forest Productivity and Improvement; Biodiversity and Environment Management; Forest Products Development; Socio-economics, Policy and Governance, and Technical Support Services.


DERP headquarters is located in Kitui town, 194 km east of Nairobi. The Centre has an on-station experiment site at Tiva, 21 km from Kitui town along Kitui-Machakos road. DERP has two sub-centres at Kibwezi and Garissa, and one field station in Bura.

Geographical Coverage

DERP covers 9 counties namely: Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Samburu and Marsabit. The eco-region research programme also partially covers; Kajiado, Taita Taveta, Lower Embu, Lower Tharaka Nithi, and Upper Tana.

Forest Biodiversity and Environment Management

Research Achevements
  • Development of technologies for rehabilitation of woodlands
  • Development of drought tolerant trees for adaptation to climate change
  • Management and utilization of invasive species including Prosopis
  • Determination of impact of charcoal production on species composition and diversity
  • Improved water harvesting using Vallerani Mechanized Water Harvesting System
  • Sustainable management and utilization of invasive species particularly Prosopis juliflora
  • Validation and integration of indigenous technologies on woodlands management
  • Developed technologies on propagation and management of Melia volkensii (Mukau) for timber production
  • Developed drought tolerant trees for adaptation to climate change

a)Selected Melia plus tree

Selected Melia plus tree

b) Melia seed orchard in Tiva and Kibwezi

Melia seed orchard in Tiva

a)Melia plantation on farm in Kibwezi

Melia plantation on farm in Kibwezi

b) Melia timber sowing on farm

On-farm Melia timber sowing

Forest Productivity and Improvement

Research Acheivements
* Propagation of high value and difficult to propagate species such as Terminalia brownii, Terminalia prunoides, bamboo and Osyris lanceolata
* Silvicultural management of various indigenous species including Osyris lanceolata, Vitex payos, Terminalia brownii and Melia volkensii
* Development of technologies for domesticating Maerua decumbens
  • Bamboo propagation, development and utilization
  • Diversification of tree species in drylands including Senna siamea, Azadirachta indica, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and Gmelina aborea
  • Domestication of indigenous tree species e.g. Melia volkensii, Osyris lanceolata and Terminalia brownii
  • Development of propagation technologies for raising Osyris lanceolata for domestication
  • Established superior seed sources for priority tree species

a) Osyris seed

Osyris seed

b) Screening of host plant of Osyris in     a greenhouse in Kitui

Screening of host plant of Osyris in
a greenhouse in Kitui

b) Charcoal making using Prosopis

Charcoal making using Prosopis

c) Packaging of Prosopis charcoal

Packaging of Prosopis charcoal

Forest Product Development

Research Achievements
  • Estimation of production potential of gums and resins
  • Assessment of effectiveness of Maerua decumbens extracts on water purification
  • Developed bio-energy technologies for charcoaling and bio-fuels
  • Utilization and conservation of medicinal plants
  • Aloe domestication, processing and value addition
  • Production, quality control and marketing of gums and resins
  • Promotion of natural dyes and tannins
  • Value addition of indigenous fruits such as Balanites aegyptica, Boscia coriacea, Tamarindus indica, Adansonia digitata and Vitex doniana

a)Aloe planting material

Aloe planting material

b) Aloe products

Aloe products

a) Vitex payos tree with green fruits

Vitex payos tree

b) Mature Vitex fruits

Mature Vitex payos fruits

Socio-economics, Policy and Governance

Research Acheivements
  • Development of extension methods for cost effective transfer of forest technologies
  • Analysis of markets for Myrrh and Opponax
  • Development of cost-benefit sharing mechanism for Participatory Forest Management (PFM) among stakeholders
  • Determination of socio-economic contribution of charcoal value chain
  • Development of extension methods for cost effective transfer of forest technologies
  • Market analysis of Myrrh and Opponax and its implications on the livelihoods of local communities

Techinical Support Services

Products and Services Acheivements
  • High quality tree seeds and seedlings
  • Student attachment
  • Seminar and conference facilities
  • Dissemination of various technologies and information on forestry through open and field days, agricultural shows, conferences and workshops, print and electronic media
  • Trained stakeholders on propagation techniques, nursery and field management of bamboo and Melia volkensii
  • Consultancy and advisory services on forestry and allied natural resources
-- System Admin - 27 Jan 2017


Topic revision: r3 - 27 Jan 2017 - SystemAdmin
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