- Originally introduced to dryland areas in Kenya as a solution to deforestation and fuelwood shortages, the shrub Prosopis juliflora has become highly invasive, displacing native plants, and negatively impacting both biodiversity and livelihoods.
- Efforts to control Prosopis include, among others, using it to produce sustainable charcoal, which can both fill a major bioenergy gap and clear land for agriculture.
- However, limited knowledge and a lack of proper equipment for pruning have prevented communities from realizing the full economic potential of Prosopis.
- In Baringo County, CIFOR-ICRAF and partners took an integrated approach to sustainable charcoal production using Prosopis, through participatory mapping and ‘training of trainers’ on sustainable harvesting and the use of improved kilns.
- Results show that using Prosopis for charcoal production is sustainable in three ways: it is abundant, it can be regenerated through selective pruning, and it produces high-quality charcoal more efficiently than other woody species.
- This brief describes these results and offers recommendations for the use of invasive species for charcoal production.
Koech, G.; Sola, P.; Wanjira, E.O.; Kirimi, M.; Rotich, H.; Njenga, M.
charcoal, fuelwood, shrubs, bioenergy, economic impact, invasive species, value chain