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Murang’a youth succeeds in tree nursery business

A young woman in Murang’a has found fortune in her tree nursery business where she grows different types of seedlings for sale.

32-year-old Joyce Kinyua has ventured into selling seedlings including grafted avocados, mangoes, oranges, pawpaw, macadamia and apples in Murang’a town.

According to Kinyua it is important for anyone who wants to start the business to have a plan and be ready with all the required inputs as well as be ready to encounter a few challenges

“You will need capital, farming space, employees and farm inputs,” she said.

Kinyua is a trained accountant but she decided to try her luck in the agricultural field.

She explained that lack of employment opportunities also made her venture in agriculture although she had studied accounts in school.

“After searching for a job for a while I was motivated by my relatives to begin the business; some had been in the same business for years and were doing well,” Kinyua said.

Her tree nursery located in her farm in Murang’a has at least 200,000 pieces of assorted seedlings.

Kinyua added that she employs five youths to work on her farm on a daily basis saying that the young seedlings require a lot of attention.

“Growing the seedlings requires a lot of labour because it entails many activities such as planting, watering, weeding and grafting,” she noted.

She further explained that the farming process entails buying indigenous seedlings which mature after three months for grafting.

“Grafting is delicate work that involves placing a portion of one plant into or on a stem, root, or branch of another stock in such a way that a union will be formed and the two parts will continue to grow as one plant,” she explained.

Kinyua observed that during this rainy season the nursery business is at a peak as customers from different places want to take advantage of the rain. She sometimes delivers the plants to her clients.

“On a good day I manage to sell plants worth Sh. 8,000 from my display in Murang’a town and about Sh. 20,000 from my farm,” she said, adding that the seedlings sell at between Sh.100 to Sh.150 each.”

According to Kinyua some of the challenges she encounters in her business are such as the high cost of fertilizer and high cost of seedlings bags.

She urged the government to intervene on the high cost of farm input as well as buy seedlings from the local farmers during the many reforestation initiatives.

Kinyua advised the youth to give different types of agriculture a chance as a source of gainful employment for themselves and others.

By Purity Mugo and Justine Nafula

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