• Growing need

    Growing need

    Africa faces a deforestation crisis due to the widespread felling of trees for firewood, in addition to a pollution crisis as a result of discarded plastic, which is often littered throughout natural environments.

    However, an innovative Kenyan has come up with a way to combat both these issues by developing a method of cultivating tree seedlings in a natural manner that doesn’t necessitate them being planted in plastic bags.

    According to a SciDev.net report, Teddy Kinyanjui has invented ‘seed balls’ – a mixture of charcoal dust and cassava or corn starch. This provides a shell that protects the seeds from pests and diseases. Kinyanjui is working in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, which certifies seeds.

    Kinyanjui says the plastic bag method of seed cultivation often hinders root growth, whereas the seed balls are less constrictive to the seedlings and improve their germination rate to around 60%. He says he can make around one ton of the ‘ball’ mixture a day.

    16 January 2018
    Image: Seedballs Kenya