A group of youth from the dry parts of Thika East Sub County have adopted macadamia farming, in the hope of making a fortune from their investment.
From their one acre- piece of land that the Mutuuri Muno self-help group has leased for Sh.6, 000 a year in Kilimambogo area, they have planted 500 seedlings and hope to increase the number to 1,000 in the next one month.
The seedlings have already sprouted and the coming October rains would push them up to maturity.
They have planted the grafted early maturing variety, and are optimistic that they will generate high proceeds in the coming years, their Chairman Peter Maina said, adding they considered planting macadamia after realizing that it was the main crop in Central region that was profitable.
“We were taken through a training programme organised by the area MP, Patrick Wainaina, thereafter we attended another teaching session at Bob Harris Farm in Murang’a County where learnt how best to grow and graft macadamia seedlings thereby changing from the tree seedling which we used to grow and sell, a venture that wasn’t lucrative,” Maina said.
The group expects to make Sh.500, 000 from the sale of the seedlings as they sell a single seedling at Sh.500.
They plan to use the proceeds to purchase the leased land and finally venture full time into macadamia planting.
“We shall then not be depending mostly on proceeds from selling seedlings only but also from selling nuts where, a kilogram of raw nuts range from Sh70-120. This in future will make our venture profitable,” a beaming Maina pointed out.
The group is expected to receive a major boost in their farming as they hope to benefit from Sh.100, 000 from the Uwezo fund to improve their project.
Wainaina told youths to consider farming, saying it was profitable. He said demand for macadamia products was high locally and internationally and called on farmers to explore the opportunity.
By Muoki Charles