Kenya has about 6% tree cover and only 20% of all the land is arable. Even so, a third of the population directly depends on rain-fed agriculture with the bulk of them being small scale farmers. Erratic rainfall patterns brought about by climate change cripples the food production system by either drying out the farms or flooding them. Tree planting is therefore of great importance. In one county, Murang’a, driven by efforts of local farmers, tree planting has evolved to Fruit Tree Farming.
Murang’a County in central Kenya was a constant climate change impact point. Erratic rains caused landslides on the baring slopes due to deforestation. Lives, arable land and livestock were lost. Samuel Ndung’u, a young boy at the time watched as his father filled his land with fruit tree nurseries and the trees were later planted in their farm and the neighbouring farms. The trees flourished producing fruits in surplus even becoming a source of livelihood for their family.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Samuel is now a fruit tree farmer with a nursery that has over 200,000 fruit trees. He directly employs 7 people and has sold over 600,000 fruit trees since 2010. The community around him in Murang’a has joined in the practice a multiplier effect can be noted with livelihoods, tree cover, food supply and soil and water conservation flourishing. Murang’a County is now a climate success story that demonstrates a replicable solution in fruit tree farming to communities facing similar climate change challenges.