23 September 2014
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Mavuuno helps farmers own affordable greenhouses

Shayne BementShayne Bement a student from Pensylvian State university demonstrate how drip irrigation kits work at Wambugu farm Nyeri county Thursday where Mavuno greenhouse Ltd was putting up greenhouses for small scale farmers for as little at Shs. 55,000.

 

Mavuuno Greenhouses Limited is putting up greenhouses for small scale farmers for as little as Shs. 55, 000 that measures 6 by 5.5 metres while bigger ones measuring 15 by 8 metres go for Shs. 140, 000.

 

The greenhouses that are also fitted with drip irrigation kits are easy to construct as readily available materials are used such as tree posts instead of metal ones and glazing material and net to cover the top and sides.

 

Mavuuno Greenhouses Limited Chief Executive Officer Wanjiru Kamau said the innovation of the greenhouses was developed by students from America’s Pennsylvania State University in a bid to improve livelihoods and food security in the developing world.

 

Kamau further said she hopes to roll out the greenhouses across the country targeting small scale farmers who cannot afford conventional ones built by multinational companies that cost much more especially those growing horticultural products for export.

 

She further added that her organization was training local youth in greenhouse management as a way of encouraging them to venture into farming at an early age.

 

Pennsylvania university director of engineering and social entrepreneurship Khanjan Mehta said his institution came up with 12 designs of the affordable greenhouses that also have provision for future expansion.

 

Mehta observed that the Mavuuno greenhouses come in handy in Kenya since the country is largely semi-arid and will go a long way in ensuring food security adding that local farmers recover their costs within a shorter time.

 

Ministry of agriculture official Mrs. Rose Mugereki said greenhouse farming was more profitable than open field farming as crops mature faster due to the controlled temperatures adding that pests and diseases are minimal translating to more earning for farmers.

 

The agriculture officer further said that over 3,000 farmers from Nyeri County had put up greenhouses adding that the technology was being embraced by more farmers keen on getting better returns from the venture by the day.

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