Tree seedlings raise income for Wangige farmer

Florence Ndung’u tried growing many crop varieties for the market but her major break came when she established a tree nursery which has changed her fortune. Florence Ndungu is a farmer from Lower Kabete location in Wangige, Kiambu County. She  had tried many different types of activities in her 2.5 acre land but she did not earn much from the crops she planted.

 

But this changed when she established a treenursery where she started planting both exotic and indigenous trees for sale to other farmers. As income from tree seedling sales increased, she planted more tree seedlings.

Tree nursery has 4,000 seedlings

Today, Ndungu is one of the most successful tree nursery owners in her neighbourhood. Recently, she had more than 4,000 tree seedlings - she sells these according to quality and size.

Uses organic production practices

Although she faces challenges such as the high cost of seeds and water shortage, especially during the dry season, her tree nursery is now her main source of income. Tree nursery management is, however, labour intensive and she has to tend the seedlings for many hours to ensure they are healthy.

Florence is a beneficiary of the Biovision Farmer Communication Programme (FCP). Through the training received, she started growing vegetables and portable gardens. Now she has 80 portable gardens with all varieties of vegetable varieties in her compound grown using organic methods. Every year she makes Ksh 30,000 from vegetables sales.

Promotes organic farming

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has trained Ms Ndungu on bee and rabbit keeping which have enabled her to diversify her sources of income. After training, she bought herself 20 bee hives. From these earnings, she pays house rent and also school fees for her 2 children who are in primary school. She is now looking forward to buying another water tank in order to increase the number of tree seedlings to meet the rising demand for tree seedlings from her customers.

Florence is a champion for organic farming. She trains farmers on the need to produce healthy food and encourages them to diversify their sources of income in order to improve their livelihoods.

 

Farmers can contact Florence Ndungu on 0723682750 / 0721125128. Edna Muinde is a Biovision field extension agent based in Wangige, Kiambu County.

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I was recently invited to a workshop where results of a study on factors influencing household adoption of renewable energy technologies in rural Kenya by the National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND). The study was commissioned with support from KIRDI and the Swedish Embassy in Kenya.