International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Integrating bamboo nurseries through a Community of Practice in Kenya

1 Sep 2021

INBAR is supporting a Community of Practice on bamboo nurseries in Kenya.

In August 2021, a Community of Practice (CoP) for bamboo nurseries development has been formed in Kenya with major players from government agencies, the private sector, research institutions, Kenyan bamboo association, community members, and INBAR. The main goal of this CoP is to bring together nursery practitioners to work in partnership towards promoting the bamboo sector. The CoP provides a neutral overarching platform that links existing learning networks, working groups, and practitioners in bamboo nurseries to share experience and capitalise on existing efforts.

The intention is for the initiative to be sector-owned where practitioners come together in a neutral space without logos or organisational affiliation to share and learn from each other. This CoP will discuss opportunities, prospects, and potential challenges facing bamboo nurseries and how integrated bamboo strategies can be harnessed to ensure supply while, at the same time, ensuring the protection of operators amidst the growing expectation challenges.

The CoP in action

Bamboo nurseries development brings positive national and community change as it facilitates growth and livelihood of the populace through building skills and income generation. INBAR, through its Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme II, has been working on nurseries development through establishing integrated learning and knowledge-sharing platforms among bamboo nurseries practitioners. In its target countries, INBAR has been supporting nurseries with training, seeds, tools, equipment, and inputs to enable producers to produce more seedlings and reduce the cost of seedlings to attract more bamboo farmers.

Albeit the bamboo sector development in Kenya is at an infant stage, there has been a gradual rise in recent years. This growth has, on several occasions, been hampered by focusing on only promoting commercial rather than restoration initiatives as well. The panel of the CoP focused on understanding the needs while seeking ways to surmount the challenges of information access of government institutions, the private sector, and the actors involved in the bamboo sector.

The CoP is expected to convene a series of thematic learning and engagement platforms for bamboo practitioners and professionals. Working with strategic partners, the CoP will convene face-to-face meetings focused on bamboo nurseries and seedlings issues in Kenya and online forums for broader knowledge sharing. The activities of the CoP will be designed to promote in-depth dialogue and honest debate, sharing problems and solutions, and identifying best practices in a way that will benefit practitioners and the industry.

Working on nursery propagation, production and marketing, is essential to the sustainability and future of the bamboo sector development. Bamboo seedlings production and ensuring the availability of the right planting material plays a vital role in the development of successful sector growth. There are a lot of players in this subsector, and thus, there is a growing need for stakeholders to come together and share lessons and experiences on the problems and opportunities of the subsector.

A bamboo nursery at Nyabera Farm