Jagero Bwana, a Homa Bay County farmer who grows traditional vegetables in his farm has bought a heifer for Sh20,000 from his savings accrued by selling spider plant (saga).
“Since 2018, I have been growing African traditional vegetables in my farm mainly for home use. I use a small section at the corner of the farm for these vegetables, reserving the bigger part to plant maize and potatoes. At that time, I grew those (vegetables) just for their nutritional and medicinal value,” said Jagero.
However, after the initial contacts and training by a team of researchers working on an indigenous vegetables project supported by the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project, Jagero adopted Spider plant as one of his farm enterprises. He quickly made headways with the crop. After the first training on production technology for the Spider plant, he installed three demonstration beds in his farm with the support of the project.
Spider plant. (Photo: FarmBiz Africa)
In three months, Jagero had expanded his planting to a quarter of an acre. He started supplying the nearby Chabera market with the much-liked vegetable. His wife also planted a quarter of an acre in an adjacent field, near a river, for seed production.
Mrs. Jagero harvested 20 kg of seed, which she sold to her neighbours in tea-spoonful packages costing five shillings each. From the earnings, together with her husband, they purchased a dairy cow, which they named Nyar Egerton – Osuga, at a cost of Sh13,000.
Mr Jagero also attests to paying school fees for his daughter, who is a student at the Kisumu Technical College, from proceeds of the vegetable sales.
“Dek (Luo for Spider plant) has changed my life in a short time and I will always plant it if I can access good quality seed,” he says.
In Kenya, traditional vegetables are mainly grown for subsistence use. According to the 2018 Economic Survey Report, the country produced 1,483,000 metric tonnes of vegetables in 2017.