Challenges facing forest plantation establishment through shamba system: the case of Mucheene Forest
Ikiara, Isaac G
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This research project report was to a large extent concerned with the challenges facing forest plantation establishment through the shamba system i.e. non-residential cultivation in the forest. The name shamba system was lately changed to plantation establishment for livelihood improvement scheme (PELIS). Our country's forest cover was at less than 2% of the total land area as opposed to the internationally required standards of at least 10% of the total land area The researcher briefly outlined the general challeges facing forest plantation establishment in the country and narrowed down the field research to 'Mucheene forest in Meru Central district. The objectives of the study included; to assess how the implementation of the shamba system policy guidelines affected forest plantation establishment, the way community participation contributed to forest plantation establishment, to examine the role of the sub-District Development Committee's in forest plantation establishment, to establish how capacity building affect forest plantation establishment and to establish the extent to which monitoring affects forest plantation establishment. The research questions addressed by the study included; To what extent does the shamba system policy guidelines affect forest plantation establishment? How does community participation contribute to forest plantation establishment?, How does the role of the sub- D DC's affect forest plantation establishment?, To what extent does capacity building affect the forest plantation establishment?, and To what extent does monitoring affect forest plantation establishment? The above approach was of great importance to the forest plantation establishment particularly in poverty eradication, employment creation, reducing government expenditure by reducing its staff and its contribution to environmental conservation. The research found out that adherence to the shamba system policy guidelines was impressive, as was community participation. The role of the Provincial Administration had changed and was now more facilitative. The levels of capacity building and monitoring were low due to lack of facilitation. The researcher proposes further research on the aspect of benefit sharing, nature based enterprises and how to control cattle vis a vis the carrying capacity of the forest. The research began by focusing on the broad challenges facing forest plantation establishment through the shamba system and later examined a case of Mucheene forest block within Mt. Kenya forest. To realize this, the study used both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Questionnaires and interviews were used and data collected from the accessible population. The population comprised of one thousand cultivators who were members of the six community based organizations (CBO's) namely; Kimbo, Nchooro, Mujujune, Muruguma, Kirukuru and Katheri which were operating in the Mucheene forest block. The researcher collected data from one hundred cultivators and used statistical packages for social science to analyze the data. The data was analysed using frequency distribution tables, percentages and distribution tables.