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Why You Should Buy Your Seedling From Certified Nursery Operators

nursery mkulima wa nyeri farm

The fruit tree nursery certification scheme implemented by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture has been promoted to enhance the supply of high quality fruit tree planting materials and reduce the number of dubious seedling market players. Inquire if your seller is a certified nursery operator under KEPHIS.

With the extensive reforestation efforts by the public and private sectors to cope with increasing fruit demands and address shortages of timber supply in Kenya  there is a strong increased in demand for seedlings of fruit and timber tree species.

A major disadvantage of not being a certified nursery operator is the fact that those nursery operators are barred from bidding for county government procurement contracts. Nursery operators in Mt Kenya region have stated that accreditation has resulted in increased sales because they have been able to participate in county government contracts that procure fruit seedlings in mass quantities (especially hass avocados and macadamia). A major advantage in the accreditation process is the prioritization of accredited nurseries in the seedling procurement of the region.

Not Just for Money; Why you Must Plant an Avocado Tree

Mt Kenya Nursery operators states that the only disadvantage of being accredited is the pressure on maintaining quality standards. Buyers expect seedlings from accredited nurseries to be of superior health and the most suitable varieties. On the part of buyers this is advantageous because they are able to put pressure on the nursery operators to only produce and sell high quality planting materials. The advantages experienced by nursery operators and the pressures by private buyers on them as well as the governments’ policy to procure seedlings only from accredited nurseries are all factors that persuade the fruit tree nurseries to adhere to the nursery accreditation system.

Opportunities for Certified Nursery operators

Macadamia from Certified Nursery operator
Macadamia seedlings at Oxfarm

There are numerous opportunities for nursery operators who are accredited. One is the fact that their nurseries are posted and advertised by KEPHIS on their records which increases their reach to customers (government and private) who may want to buy seedlings from their nurseries.

Individuals and corporations who come to the KEPHIS for assistance on planting fruit trees are constantly referred to accredited fruit tree nurseries when seeking seedlings to buy, which also enhances the opportunities for accredited nurseries. Other opportunities such as scions and seedlings given for free or sold at minimal cost to nursery operators by government, were also given exclusively to accredited nursery operators.

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Views of Mt Kenya Nursery Operators

Mt Kenya Accredited nursery operators have the view that the government should enhance  the accreditation scheme through improving the market for their seedlings. One way to achieve this is through educating seedling buyers about the advantages of buying seedlings from accredited nurseries only because of quality assurance.

They also suggest that there be established a model nursery by government alongside KALRO that would promote learning and entice other nursery operators to join the accreditation scheme. Mr Dickson Kahuro, Mt Kenya nursery Operators chairman suggests that since they help in increasing forest cover and fighting non communicable diseases through fruit planting, there be increased support such as handing out planting materials, fertilizers and pesticides for free as ways to persuade nurseries to subject themselves for accreditation.

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The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

The initial cost of buying certified fruit seedlings can discourage many farmers. Farm generated fruit seedlings is usually a lot cheaper than purchasing seedlings from an external source. So if a farmer’s primary concern is about cost per unit of farm-saved seedlings versus cost per unit of certified seedlings, the equation is simple. Farmers may even say “we’ve always used farm-saved fruit seedlings.” Why invest in something new? But farmers who think a little more recognize that it’s not enough to merely consider the price difference. Farm fruit seedlings requires proper quality testing, cleaning and even treating. Taking these factors into account, the cost savings aren’t quite as attractive. In fact, certified fruit seedlings is a very different product from farm fruit seedlings, and it offers unmatched benefits.

Ask farmers who rely on certified fruit seedlings what the most important benefits are, and they’ll say the quality and stability of their yields. For decades, seedlings companies like Oxfarm Organic Ltd have been investing in improving seeds through smart breeding, grafting and trait technology. Traits are the genetic characteristics that help crops grow to their full potential, thrive in different environments, defend themselves against insects, nematodes and diseases, and withstand all that nature may throw at them. Thanks to the research and development that has gone into fruit seedlings development and new genetics, certified seedlings holds improved traits such as better quality and quantity of yields, pest resistance and drought tolerance. The genetic purity and assured quality of certified fruit seedlings reduce the risk of adverse climate conditions, pests or diseases that can reduce the next season’s yields.

Related Post: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

The Benefits of Certified Fruit Seedlings

Certified seedling is clean. It’s grown and processed under the strictest possible production conditions to minimize the risk of infiltration by weeds or other undesirable plants. Certified seedlings also give a farmer pure variety. Strict quality management systems are employed to maximize purity and ensure a farmer receives the specific variety he wants. Another advantage these quality management systems offer is traceability. With food safety and traceability becoming increasingly important criteria in agriculture, farmers growing crops from certified seedlings can be sure of its origins.

The advances in seedlings technology that have gone into certified seedlings also bring decisive benefits in overcoming the challenge of feeding the growing global population. This technology has increased productivity, enabling farmers worldwide to grow more food on available agricultural land. With urbanization eating away at farming acreage, it’s vital to maximize yields per hectare.

For more information, Visit our offices or contact us and get your seedlings.

We have a demo farm and a nursery at ridge ways Kiambu road, contact us for a visit 0706222888.