Programme profile

KCFP: Kenya Commercial Forestry Programme

Programme Index Listing

Main implementer
Gatsby Africa
Gatsby Africa
2016 - present
Total budget
USD $16 million
Annual budget
USD $3.2 million
Sam Kareithi, Country Director Gatsby Africa Kenya Branch
External links
Gatsby website: Kenya forestry

Project description / objective

KCFP’s vision is to realise the competitive and inclusive potential of Kenya’s forestry sector by prioritising commercial forestry production systems and processing technologies that will drive investment through the value chain. In doing so, KCFP seeks to draw and apply transferable lessons between regions of Kenya and the wider East African region.

Background to Kenya’s forestry sector
As Kenya’s population and economy grows, the demand for fuel-wood and construction materials, such as sawn timber, is accelerating.  However, Kenya is currently only able to meet about 70 per cent of this demand through sustainable domestic supply. This supply deficit is projected to worsen: population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation are predicted to increase demand to 66 million m3 by 2030, while sustainable supply is projected to stay almost static.

Market systems focus

Commercial forestry

Private commercial forestry can play a key role in closing the wood supply gap by offering fast-growing and renewable alternatives to felling natural forests. It can create opportunities for growers of all sizes to generate wealth and also secure supply of inputs to secondary industries (such as manufacturing and construction) with high employment, foreign exchange and inclusive economic growth impacts.

Programme interventions

Production services

Production services to support effective growing of trees by different actors. While each service arrangement will be different depending on recipient type, each will include the following:

  • Aspects of forest planning
  • Use of high-quality germplasm suited to site conditions and end-market opportunities
  • Standards and Best Operating Practice to ensure quality and adherence with environmental and social safeguards

Investment in Processing

Investment in new or upgraded processing operations and novel raw material sourcing arrangements. While technologies and actors will differ, each includes:

  • Adoption of efficient processing technologies
  • Adoption of operational standards underpinned by skills transfer
  • Novel pricing arrangements between growers and processors
  • Technological and strategic innovation in raw material sourcing (e.g. utilisation of new species, sourcing from new smallholder production base, innovation harvest and haulage arrangements)

Technical support services

This includes:

  • Tree improvement to ensure availability of quality germplasm
  • Technical skills development across the value chain: nursery operators, contractors and processors

Policy reform

Reform of policy, legislation and regulation to create enabling conditions across the following areas:

  • Overarching sector policies, legislation and implementation plans (both at national and county government level)
  • Access to land (e.g. lease arrangements)
  • Access to technologies (e.g. germplasm, processing equipment)
  • Access to market (e.g. timber product regulations)
  • Changes to taxes and levies (e.g zero rating of import duty)

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

  • KCFP has been appointed by the Ministry of Environment & Forestry onto both national forestry policy and commercial forestry policy task-forces.
  • KCFP is partnering with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute to develop an evidenced-based and prioritised National Commercial Tree Improvement Strategy

[uploaded July 2020]