Genetic improvement of mukau, Acacia senegal and Jatropha
Better Globe Forestry is working with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) on a strategy for enhancing the genetic quality of mukau by amplifying the selection of plus-trees nationwide and applying a mass-selection of the best material. This is still in the planning stage, but is definitely the way forward for a sound breeding programme. Already, KEFRI has a collection of superior trees and the idea is to enlarge this collection to cover a wider variety of genetic material. The next step will be to clone superior trees and cross them.
KEFRI also has a unique expertise of genetic variability of Acacia senegal, both nationally and internationally, and provenance trials have been planned to compare yield in gum arabic, based on KEFRI’s Kenyan collection. Harvesting of seeds has already started, and is scheduled to continue in 2010.
In collaboration with Endelevu Energy (an NGO) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), BGF has established an international provenances trial of Jatropha curcas in Kiambere (September 2009 and January 2010).