A Murang’a youth group seeks engagement in the provision of seedlings towards the government’s plan to plant more than 15 billion trees in the next 10 years.
Jitambulishe Group with 25 members, for the last six years has been selling seedlings to residents of Murang’a and neighbouring counties.
The Group which has been assisted by a local woman leader, Ms Gladys Wambui, has tree nurseries in the outskirts of Murang’a town and has minted money through selling of seedlings, especially during rainy seasons.
Leaders of the team observed that they are working with various organizations as they hope to provide seedlings to support the government’s directive on planting of trees to mitigate climate change.
The Group leaders; Eric Irungu and Eusebio Njoroge, observe that they came together for the purpose of keeping themselves busy, after they failed to get employment opportunities.
They say that they commenced business of seedlings back in 2017 and the venture has proved to be profitable as it enables them to earn a living.
As a condition, each member must have several tree nurseries, as they jointly seek for markets where a seedling sells at Sh. 100.
They reveal that during the rainy season, they get customers as far as Samburu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties.
Njoroge noted that each member currently has more than 20, 000 seedlings, as they are anticipate buyers during the expected long rains.
He narrates that since 2021, they have majored in propagating seedlings for fruit trees like mangoes and avocado, which are mostly being preferred by residents.
Njoroge lauded efforts of Wambui who currently is a nominated MCA in sourcing of seeds and markets for the seedlings especially outside Murang’a County.
The members meet on a weekly basis where they deliberate on the success and challenges they face including high cost of water and labour.
Irungu on his part states current drought has negatively impacted their business as they are forced to buy water at high rates.
“The business currently is faced by the challenge of lack of water. We are forced to buy water from vendors at increased prices,” he stated.
Transportation, Irungu added, has also been a big challenge considering taking the seedlings outside Murang’a county.
“As a group we are working to get big capital which will enable us to expand this business and get a cheap mode of transporting our seedlings to other counties,” he remarked.
Wambui, observes that she has been working with the Group at Kongoini area for several years supporting their venture and helping them on how to face challenges in life.
“The Group is doing great as it has hinted at the government’s directive on planting trees to mitigate global warming. Provision of seedlings is key in actualizing the government’s plan,” she stated.
The outgoing Murang’a County Commissioner, Karuku Ngumo, said the youth have been doing the best in conservation of the environment.
“Forest officers have been working closely with the youth group in matters pertaining to the conservation of the environment by planting friendly trees,” said Karuku.
By Bernard Munyao