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close this bookObstacles to Tree Planting in Arid and Semi-Arid lands: Comparative Case Studies from India and Kenya (UNU, 1982, 63 p.)
close this folder4. India and Kenya: Comparisons and contrasts
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View the documentEnvironmental and technical factors
View the documentInstitutional factors
View the documentSocial and economic factors

Institutional factors

Both India and Kenya have large areas of arid and semi-arid land with different population totals and densities but appreciable demands for multiple wood products including food, fodder, fuel, and fencing. Within the ASAL of both countries there are considerable variations in social structures and customs, land tenure and land use, and the two countries differ in land-use policy, in percentage of total area covered by Forest Acts and in Forest Department field staff organization.

Both India and Kenya are favoured countries for inter" national and bilateral assistance programmes, but this in itself acts as a constraint on some developments because each of the assistance agencies requires the time of the limited numbers of appropriate local staff for the preparation and operation of projects. In Kenya ten agencies are operating or planning projects for the ASAL. Partly to mitigate the problem of limited staff resources and to avoid excessive duplication, Kenya did prepare a policy document on ASAL development. Kenya hosts the headquarters of relevant international agencies including ICRAF and UNEP, but it has no appropriate research institute. India, on the other hand, has both national and international institutes conducting research that is relevant to arid zone development, including CAZRI, FRI, ICRISAT, and CSWCRTI (Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehra Dun). Some duplication occurs in their work, and there does not appear to be full discussion and co-ordination of their activities but, more important, there is delay in transferring research results to field practice. For both countries the knowledge already available is not widely distributed, and for Kenya in particular there is a lack of awareness of relevant information from other countries with similar problems.

This lack of awareness should be mitigated by the recent introduction of Arid Lands Abstracts by the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (Farnham Royal, England); but these are not issued free, and commonly a Forest Department or Agricultural Department orders only one copy which then remains in headquarters and does not circulate to the field staff.

The UN University may be able to improve the situation by making copies of its own publications available free to field workers. Further there is a need for annotated bibliographies and reviews of arid zone development. These could include, for the forestry and tree components, general bibliographies (e.g., Taylor and Taylor 1978/1980) or specific information on: (a) species and provenances; these could be covered either by monographs (see Kazmi 1979 for a brief review of Cordeauxia edulis which is drought resistant and provides fodder, food, and fuel, yet is threatened with genetic erosion in its native Somalia) or manuals (see Webb et al. 1980 for a guide to selecting species for plantation in a wide range of site conditions; this includes a computerized multiple-entry information sys. tem) or compilations of available information about a range of potential species such as the EMASAR volumes on forage plants (Kernick 1978); (b) seed handling, nursery, and plantation techniques (e.g., Ghosh 19771; (c) yields of products (e.g., methods of predicting fuelwood yield -see Kalla 1977); or (d) specialized uses (e.g., shelterbelts -see Costin 1976). it would be of great benefit in both countries to appoint an officer to collect, collate, and distribute all relevant information.

While India has more trained forestry staff and a more complex hierarchy of national, state, and departmental administrations, it has a higher proportion of its professionals working in the field (as opposed to Forest Department headquarters). However, like Kenya its staff lack appropriate training in rural afforestation and extension methods. Although currently Kenya lacks proper facilities for professional training, it is hoped that the Department of Forestry in the University of Nairobi will be built up over the next few years to supply national manpower requirements. Attention to curriculum structure is required in order to broaden the education to include arid zone forestry and rural development in general. Both India and Kenya would benefit from short courses in extension, research, and planning methods in forestry, and the UNU could materially support the more widespread availability of such sources.