Our seed portfolio
An innovation driven organization, Faina innovations is a registered seed merchant in Kenya delivering high quality tree seeds for the Kenyan market. We are the first and the only private seed company in Kenya trading on certified forest tree seeds.
By unlocking the latent power of tree seeds through our ideas, innovation and initiatives, we are driving unbounded growth for Faina innovations company as well as creating value for our customers and the nation.
We carry one of the largest selections of tree seeds (about 450 species) from Africa and selected exotic seeds including many Asian, South America and Australia species.
To provide quality, certified seeds to our customers, we have partnered with Kenya forest research institute (KEFRI). Through this public - private partnership arrangement, KEFRI is producing, processing and testing tree seed lots while Faina innovations is packaging, market and distributing the seeds to farmers and tree nursery operators country wide. All our seed are certified by KEPHIS, and packed and labeled as per the seed regulations.
We are now adopted farm input supply systems to reach most farmers. These systems includes, agrovets (farm inputs retail shops) farmers’ cooperatives/groups and tree nursery operators.
Status of tree Seed supply system in Kenya
A sustainable supply of high quality tree seeds is fundamental to the success of agroforestry, re-afforestation and commercial forest scaling-up initiatives, and tree planting in general. The lack of high quality tree seeds and planting material has frequently been identified as a major constraint to the successful establishment of agroforest and forest systems in Kenya.
In Kenya, the tree seed sector is largely centralized, limiting access by farmers to high quality seeds and seedlings due to distant supply locations. It is estimated that government and NGOs deliver less than 10 % of the farmers’ certified tree seed demands in Kenya. This has left supply of most of the tree germplasm to the informal sector, characterized by seed dealers who have limited knowledge on tree seed quality requirements, sourcing, collection and production.
To bridge the gaps in supply of quality tree seeds in Kenya, we have partnered with Kenya forest research institute (KEFRI), so as to provide farmers and nursery seedling operators with quality tree seeds. Through this public private - partnership arrangement, KEFRI is producing, processing and testing seeds while Faina innovations is packaging, market and distributing the seeds to farmers and tree nursery operators country wide.
Status of forest covers in Kenya
Kenya’s forest cover is estimated to be about 7.4% of the total land area, which is a far cry from the recommended global minimum of 10%. On the other hand, Kenya’s closed canopy forest cover currently stands at about 2% of the total land area, compared to the African average of 9.3% and a world average of 21.4 per cent. Most of the closed canopy forests in Kenya are montane forests that are also the nation’s water towers. In recent years, Kenya’s forests have been depleted at an alarming rate of about 5,000 hectares per annum. This is estimated to lead to an annual reduction in water availability of approximately 62 million cubic metres, translating to an economic loss to the economy of over USD 19 million. The depletion has the potential to rollback strides towards the attainment of Vision 2030 and the Government’s Big Four Agenda of food and nutritional security, affordable and decent housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing, if it is not urgently addressed.
The demand for forest related goods and services have continued to grow with increasing population. Data from the World Bank indicates that Kenya currently has a forest cover of 7.8 per cent, representing a total of 44,130 square kilometres. A high consumption of wood products however frustrates the efforts aimed at bridging the short fall in the minimum forest cover amid an upsurge in illegal logging.
Projection by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) shows that the demand for wood products is set to increase sharply by 2032 with poles likely to witness the fastest growth at 58.2 per cent, building timber(43.2 per cent), firewood (16.1per cent) and charcoal 17.8 (per cent).
The overall supply of wood products is however projected to grow slower than the demand, increasing the deficit by 26.5 per cent to 13,064,250 square metres by 2032. According to KFS, the country currently has a wood supply potential of 31.4 million square metres against a demand of 41.7 million square metres..
The growing rural population and urban poor is also expected to push up the demand for charcoal and firewood. Because of the rising demand, firewood and charcoal deficit is projected to increase by 18.3 per cent and 19.1 per cent respectively.
Growing protein - rich tree crops for high milk and meat production
Why grow fodder tree crops ( calliadra, leucina or sesbania)
- To boost milk and meat production
- To replace commercial dairy feeds
- Easy and low cost of cultivation
- Requires very small piece of land to cultivate
- Perfect small - sized fodder trees for intercropping (Fixes nitrogen)
- Drought resistance (suitable for arid, semi-arid and highlands zones)
- Very high growth rate (8-12 months to maturity)
- High regeneration rate (can be re-harvested 4-6 times a year for 10-20 years)
- Source of highly palatable and digestible feeds (up to 89%)
- Our high quality seeds are approved by KEFRI and certified by KEPHIS
A sustainable solution to high cost of milk and meat production in Kenya
Farmers in Kenya spend about 65% of income from dairy farming towards purchase of commercial feeds. Commercial feeds are now the major constraint to smallholder competitiveness and the overall profitability of dairy industry in Kenya.
Quality commercial dairy feeds are mainly formulated to provide proteins, a major component of milk and meat. A dairy cow requires at least 16% protein intake per every kilo of feed consumed to produce adequate milk. Unfortunately, Banana, maize and rice stoves which are commonly used as feeds by majority of small scale dairy farmers in Kenya can only provide about 2.5% of protein per kg. Although nippier grass and grazing grass forages are important source of many nutrients for livestock, these feeds contain about 10% proteins per kg which is not enough to meet the protein requirements for optimal milk production
Calliadra, leuceana and sesbania fodder tree crops are an excellent source of high protein (20-35%) feed for dairy cows, goats, sheep and other livestock. Farmers growing these fodder tree crops no longer need to buy dairy commercial feeds. The fodder crops are also known to increase the live weight of most livestock by 70-100%.
All the three fodder trees crops are drought tolerance. Therefore, investment in their production would address the challenge of seasonality by ensuring consistency in milk production across all seasons.
Very small piece of land is required to cultivate these fodder tree crops. They can be intercropped with maize and other crops or cultivated along a perimeter fence, or along the farm contours. They are also good in fixing nitrogen for use by other crops.
How to cultivate the fodder tree crops
Each packet of callianda, leuceana and sesbania will produce between 250-350, 300-400 and 1000-1400 seedlings respectively. Leuceana leucocephala is most suitable for arid and semi-arid areas while Calliadra and sesbanai are suitable for highlands and semi-arid areas
- Alternatively you can sow the seed directly in the farm on wet grounds during rainy seasons
- Make a shade structure of 1m in height over the seedbed
- Water regularly
- Seedlings are ready for field planting after 3 – 4 months
Dig planting holes of about 45 wide, 45cm deep and spacing of 1-2m. If manure is available, apply a 1kg tin of manure to every hole and mix well with the soil. `
Transfer the seedling onto the planting holes. NB. The seedlings can be intercropped or planted in rows or strips around farms, pastures and compounds to delimit boundaries. Take care of the seedling by weeding, pest management and watering when necessary.
- Start harvesting the soft stems and leaves after 8-12 Harvesting is done by leaving at least 15 cm stem stocks to encourage rapid regeneration. You can harvest 4 to 6 time per year for up to 20 years.
The fodder should constitute only 25-30 % of the daily dairy cow, goats and sheeps feed. Animals can be fed on the green forage (soft branches and their leaves) or the dried form. Dried form can also be mixed with other feeds (grass, maize, wheat etc)