What Unmanaged Shamba System is doing to the Forest Cover in Kenya

Shamba system is a form of agro-forestry that encourages farmers to plant trees alongside their crops. Instead of cutting trees while planting, they are to maintain them and even plant more.

Shamba System
Shamba System

This initiative was introduced by the Kenya Forest Service. Its partially funded by the International development – USAID.
The targeted groups included the local communities who live within the forest area, serving and retired forest workers, squatters and any one with a piece of land near a forest area.

Negative effects of the Shamba System?

  • The farmers started to clear the indigenous tree species. They no longer replanted trees.
  • Politicization of the shamba system.
  • Rise of the human-wildlife conflicts. The farmers moved deep into the forests.
  • Farmers started to use heavy machinery.. The tools promoted destruction of soil structure and vegetation cover.
  • Introduction of invasive and exotic species. The introduced trees species caused negative impacts to the native species.
  • Illegal logging. More trees were cut and sold illegally.
  • Reduced biodiversity in the forests.
  • Land encroachment.
  • Reduced water catchment areas and their quality.
Clearing of Land
Clearing of Land

Cutting of trees
Cutting of trees

The most affected forest areas in Kenya

The program was initiated to improve forest cover but instead, it contributed to forest degradation. The affected areas included:

  1. Mount Kenya
  2. Maji Mazuri
  3. Kabaru, Kibiri
  4. South Nandi
  5. Mt Elgon
  6. Cherangany
  7. Sabatia
  8. Mau forest
  9. Koibatek.

Possible ways of curbing negative consequences of Shamba System

  • Ban of shamba system.
  • Strict monitoring of activities with the allocated land.
  • Promotion of conservation education and awareness.
  • The involved parties to enlighten on how the shamba system should run.
  • Curbing of land encroachment.

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Written By Author:


Hey, My name is Cheche Winnie and I love nature especially the wildlife. I strongly believe that the future generation should be allowed an opportunity to enjoy the current natural resources we have. As much as a lot has been lost, there's hope for a safe planet earth. Together we can help fight threats facing nature for a bright future.

10 Responses

    Peter Kinuthia April 14, 2018

    Good work you are doing Winnie, it is awesome. I love your topics on environment. I am an environmentalist and an agriculturalist. Your topics are awesome. Keep it. Thanks for liking my kasmall blog. Regards.

    chechewi April 14, 2018

    Thank you very much Peter. 😃


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    Josh Gross April 17, 2018

    Unfortunately there are many stories of environmental programs that had negative, unintended consequences – like this one. I suppose that’s how we learn though: trial and error.

    chechewi April 18, 2018

    Unfortunately , we fail to stop them once we note the negative effects.

    Christopher L Cudworth April 24, 2018

    Can you add a Follow button to your blog? Would like to follow your work.

    chechewi April 24, 2018

    Thank you very much. Doing it in the next few minutes..

    Colonialist April 29, 2018

    The most effective solution would be liberal applications of humanicide. The species is an absolute pest and needs eradication.
    Banning probably won’t help. The other four solutions, applied all together, might.

    chechewi April 29, 2018

    That’s true. Step by step till we succeed to eradicate it.


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