Journalist Samuel Maina in his Shitam Trees Nursery, Makuyu, Murang’a county. . [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

Five years ago, Samuel Maina established a tree nursery in Makuyu area with the determination to produce enough fruit tree seedlings to support the mission to mitigate climate change.

As the world prepares for COP27 meeting, Maina is faced with a challenge to secure a market for the 150,000 avocado seedlings in his Shitam Trees Nursery, Makuyu, Murang’a county. 

A seedling costs between Sh180 and Sh200.

Maina’s main customers have been the County Governments of Murang’a and Kirinyaga, Ahadi Kenya, and individuals establishing avocado plantations across the country.

Murang’a avocado farmers in the past three years have been earning Sh9 billion, from thousands of seedlings planted during the rainy seasons.

“I’m pleading with Kenyans to buy the seedlings from my nurseries, to help the country achieve the internationally accepted forest cover,” he said.

 An avocado seedling costs between Sh180 and Sh200. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

The county governments should lead the way and buy the seedlings for distribution to the farmers as avocados have increased demand in the local and foreign markets” said Maina.

The farm is forced to transport thousands of litres daily to water the seedlings after some of the boreholes sank produced salty water and pipelines have failed to deliver water to the residents of Makuyu area despite millions of shillings injected in the programmes.

Am delighted to state that we have a contract with Murang’a County Government on avocado seedlings which have led to planting of thousands of seedlings annually, he added.

Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata during his swearing-in ceremony acknowledged the improved status of avocado farmers due to the opening of the market.

“My administration will work hand in hand with all the players to ensure the farmers’ interests are taken care of,” said Kang’ata.

In Murang’a there are more than five avocado processing plants selling the produce in the international market.