SeedBalls Kenya is taking steps to reforest Kenya by throwing seedballs where indigenous tree species will take root and grow.
Throwing seedballs or “seed bombing”, as the process is otherwise known as, has involved tossing seeds from aircrafts, launching them from a catapult or manually distributing them.
Seedballs are a low-cost, low-impact technique for increasing native species populations while providing several advantages over traditional methods.
SeedBalls Kenya co-founder, Teddy Kinyanjui, had spent many years researching on the most effective ways for dryland reforestation before coming up with the idea to use seedballs as a solution.
According to Green Africa Foundation, Kenya is estimated to be cutting down 5.6 million trees and shrubs a year.
By using seedballs as a planting technique, SeedBalls Kenya is able to offer low-cost and highly efficient forest regeneration in Kenya.
Each of the seedballs used by SeedBalls Kenya features a seed inside of a ball of charcoal dust mixed with some nutritious binders. The biochar coating of the ball helps protect the seed within from predators such as birds, rodents and insects and extremes of temperature until the rains arrive. Once soaked, the seedball will help retain and prolong a moist environment around the seed to encourage germination.
The tree seeds used are all sourced from the Kenya Forestry Seed Center who has a stock of seed of about 220 tree species collected from more than 600 localities (provenances) around Kenya. Seedballs Kenya use this provenance data to guide them in their seed distribution efforts. All of the charcoal dust is salvaged from an urban vending site in Nairobi and they use only paper bags and packaging materials that are locally sourced.
In addition to their own efforts to help reforest Kenya, SeedBalls Kenya also sell their seedballs so anyone can help to help indigenous trees and grass grow in Kenya again. The company provides guidelines on where best to “seed bomb” in the country, and to date have sold over 2,880,000 seedballs since the company was formed in September 2016.
SeedBalls Kenya is now exporting seedballs to Congo and the company hopes they will help reforest arid areas around the world.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea