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Fruit trees in demand in Murang’a following better avocado prices

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria (left) when he toured Ikundu coffee demonstration farm in Maragua on July 15, 2021. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

In the past five years, thousands of fruit trees have been planted in private farms with exotic trees planted in government forests through the guidance of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

Murang’a County, in collaboration with Ahadi Trust and KFS has seen more than 6.5 million fruit and coffee trees planted, improving the forest cover from 14.5 percent to 16.5 percent.

Governor Mwangi wa Iria on Thursday last week said the county has distributed two million avocados and four million coffee trees in all parts of Murang’a.

Iria said the county considered helping the farmers with tree seedlings that will add value alongside selling firewood upon maturity.

“There are four million coffee seedlings that were distributed through the Agriculture department, which have matured and helped in the revival strategy of the sector,” said the governor.

 Avocado trees, Iria added, have increased in production. In the 2020/21 financial year, farmers earned Sh9 billion out of Sh14 billion the country paid from the export market.

"Fruit trees have multiple uses which are beneficial in nature and have assisted in the growth of the rural economy," said the governor.

Murang's KFS official George Nduati said there are more fruit trees nursery operators in the county following the increased demand.

The department, he said, appreciates the efforts made by the locals in planting trees to assist environment conservation strategies.

“We are working towards identifying the players in fruit tree nurseries as they are key partners in the mitigation of climatic change,” said Nduati.

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