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Meru residents urged to plant trees

Demand for tree seedlings in Meru County has increased courtesy of the heavy rains being witnessed in the region.

Stephen Ntara, a trader and the chairman at a tree seedlings premise in Meru town said that lately, they have been receiving more customers at their premises as rains persist.

He added that people are coming from as far as neighbouring counties such as Tharaka Nithi and Isiolo which according to him is a realization of the advantage of trees to our environment by the residents and fulfilment of the president’s directive of ensuring the country plants 15 billion trees by 2032.

However, Mr Ntara said there has been a decrease in sales quantities this time compared to other rainy seasons.

He said this is due to the current high cost of living, making people prioritize their basic needs and wants rather than buying trees.

“People are showing great willingness to buy and plant trees but it seems there is no more money in the current tough economic times,” he said.

He said that before, one would pocket as much as Sh30,000 in a day unlike now when one goes home with as little as Sh1,000 on a bad day.

Ntara added that orders from customers, organizations, and even schools would greatly boost their business but currently, they hardly receive orders.

Moses Kinoti is another trader who has been in this business since he was 14 years old until now when he is 47.

“This business has helped me start up a family, educate my children, and buy a vehicle that helps me transport my seedlings from home to my selling point and do other farm activities,” he added.

Mr Kinoti said that grafted fruit trees such as Hass avocado, mango, and pawpaw seedlings are the fast-selling ones, followed by trees that provide wood, timber, and flower seedlings.

“There seedlings going at as low as Sh10 ranging up to Sh1500 depending on the type of tree and size of the seedling,” he added.

He requested the government entities to promote their business by buying tree seedlings from them and distributing them to citizens to plant during this rainy season to realize the 2032 target.

Paul Mwenda is a customer who suggested that the government should provide tree seedlings to citizens since not everyone will afford to buy them during these tough economic times.

He added that the price of the seedlings has increased and an ordinary citizen finds it hard to forego food to buy a tree.

By Dorcas Kawira and Dickson Mwiti

 

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