A potted pepino melon plant with fruits. A Nairobi agripreneur is selling potted strawberries and pepino melons to prospective urbanite farmers. PHOTO BY Gardens4You.
Urbanites, who want to turn towns into vegetable production areas, can do so by buying potted seedlings, which can be placed on any available spaces with sufficient light and waster.
Daniel Muguko, a Nairobi-based accountant, is planting and selling the strawberry and pepino melon seedlings to both property owners and tenants in the outskirts of the city and other surrounding towns such as Kiambu and Thika.
“The idea was to turn urban areas into agricultural production points that can cater for family vegetable and financial needs in cases of surplus production. It is a reality. Concrete roof tops and free spaces in front and the back of houses can be gardens that do not require tilling because the floor maybe paved,” he said.
He is selling the two types of seedlings in the plastic pots, but if an individual wants a different crop, Muguko can source and fix it for them.
One pot with a strawberry or pepino melon seedlings is sold at Sh1,500. But for those who may require transportation services, the cost may go up to Sh2,500 per potted seedling depending on the distance.
The project is at Githurai, along Thika Road.
Besides strawberries being on demand for consumption as fresh fruits, they are also used in food processing industries as flavour ingredients.
Pepino melon is a wonder plant said to have medicinal value for a range of chronic diseases, a fact that is making it one of the most sought fruits.
A 10-litre plastic pot is filled with loam soil that is mixed with organic manure before the seedling is planted. The soil is tested first to confirm it is free from diseases before packaging.
Plastic pots are not only easy to handle, but also allow for the farmer to move with their crops in case they are in rented houses.
The Egerton University graduate said the long term plan of the project is to set up greenhouses on top of houses, where ‘serious’ farming can be taking place besides living.
Muguko can be reached on +254780281679