Transforming Kenya’s invasive ‘mathenge’ bushes into charcoal farms

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Kenya’s population is rapidly growing and urbanizing, which is driving a soaring demand for charcoal in the country’s main cities. Studies show that charcoal production increased between 1.6 to 2.5 tons a year between 2004 to 2012, while revenues grew from $0.3 to $1.6 billion in the same period.

Most wood used for charcoal production is sourced from trees on farms. It is estimated that around 40 percent of wood fuel, which includes both charcoal and firewood, is unsustainably harvested, causing negative impacts on Kenya’s biodiverse forests.

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