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NEMA Plants 15,000 Shea Nut Tress in Otuke

The seedlings are being planted at Oliduru Central Oliduru Central Forest Reserve (CFR) in Ogwete Sub-county; Otuke district on more than 200 hectares of land.
NEMA officials planting Shear Nut Trees recently at Oliduru Central Forest Reserve
The decision by National Environmental Management Authority-NEMA to plant more 15,000 Shear Nut tree seedlings in Otuke District has excited residents.

Otuke district is known for Shear Nut trees but it has since been declared an endangered species.

The seedlings are being planted at Oliduru Central Oliduru Central Forest Reserve (CFR) in Ogwete Sub-county; Otuke district on more than 200 hectares of land.

Before, Oliduru CFR had been encroached on, the forest reserve largely comprised of Shea nut trees that have since been declared an endangered species.

Moses Okello, 57 a resident of Ogwete Trading centre welcomed the project saying it will enhance restoration of Shear Nut trees in the area.

Okello said this particular tree species had largely been destroyed due to illicit trade in charcoal burning since traders and consumers prefer buying charcoal burnt from the Shea Nut because it is a hardwood species.

 Harriet Atim, 42, a mother of five says, she is against cutting shea nut trees for charcoal burning. She says that she earns a living through selling shear nut oil.

Atim says selling Shear Nut cooking oil has enabled her to pay her children's education besides supporting her family.

Francis Ogwal, the NEMA Natural Resources Manager in- charge of Biodiversity and Rangelands said the project is being implemented jointly with National Forest Authority-NFA, Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research Institute and the Otuke district local government.

He says the restoration seedlings were acquired from individual tree farmers at a cost of 3,000 shillings per seedling.

Ogwal said the restoration of shear nut trees was first piloted under the Kidepo Critical Landscape Project and it registered a 90 percent success rate.

He notes that this is one off the efforts which NEMA is undertaking to combat Climate Change and the effects of Global Warming.

 Joshua Mabiya, Otuke Chief Administrative Officer urged residents to consider Shea Nut Trees as a cash crop that can address poverty in the area. 

 The Shea Nut tree is a species with several benefits including medicinal values known to treat many ailments, the fruits are very nutritious and can be eaten; oil can be processed for cosmetic attributes and to be added as an ingredient to food.

It is a slow maturing tree that takes about 20 years to bear fruit and can live for 300 years.

Currently, a litre of locally processed Shea oil costs 10,000 shillings while machine processed Shea Nut Oil costs 20,000 per litre; compared to other crops that thrive in the area such as cotton, millet and soya that cost between 1500 and 2000 per kilo.

In 2006, President Yoweri Museveni issued a presidential decree declaring that no Shea Nut tree should be cut.  

             

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