News and knowhow for farmers

Model bamboo center breeding millionaires

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Daniel Kimaru, a 60-year-old pensioner thought of selling his two-hectare farm in Nyahururu in 2011 after registering poor maize yields for four seasons in a row despite dedicating all the available resources.
In July the same year, his long time friend introduced him to Kitil Farm, a model bamboo breeding center in Isinya, which produces and sells millions of bamboo seedlings across the world.
The farm trains prospective investors on how to commercially grow the crop and connects them to available markets.  
The turnaround
After undertaking training at the centre for two months, Mr. Kimaru bought 200 seedlings of bamboo varieties suitable for highlands at KSh180 each after a 10 per cent discount offered to farmers trained at the centre.
In December 2011, he planted the seedlings in his farm at the recommended interval of 5m. A hectare can accommodate 100-150 seedlings.
Today, Kimaru has expanded his bamboo plantation to eight hectares. He is harvesting 20,000 stems per hectare, twice a year. This translates to Sh4m per hectare since he sells a pole between KSh200- KSh400, depending on thickness. He retails bamboo sticks at Sh30 each.
Kimaru’s success journey in bamboo farming is shared by hundreds of individual investors, groups and even local and international agencies,  trained at Kitil farm since the centre was set up by Juvenales Njuguna in 2004.

According to Njuguna, the Chief Executive Officer , participants are trained on how to handle different species of bamboo, farm preparation, planting, pest and disease control, clump management and harvesting. Njuguna explains that each participant is given hands-on experience on the various areas to enable train others. A part from that, farmers are taken through raw use of bamboo and value addition procedures to help them maximize earnings.
Participants choose their training duration, which range from hours to months, depending on needs. Interested people can reach the farm on +254 722729630 or +254 787456156. They can also send an email to or visit for more information.

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