Each morning, Maurice gets up early to attend to his tree nursery seedlings that at the moment needs dedicated watering due to the dry season being experienced in the region of West Sakwa, Bondo Sub County.
While Maurice looks quite knowledgeable about how to take care of his seedlings and a promising mango orchard, he still has a challenge of how to sell beyond his village and by all standards these are the areas of interventions already identified by Agriculture Sector Development Support Program Phase II (ASDSP II) for immediate action.
Maurice has a total of 108 mango trees that are evidently well spaced and well taken care of. He says that this 2 acre piece of land is his treasure. The 40 year old manages most of the farm work on his own except for a few circumstances when he hires grounds men, at least once a year. Her wife is equally a good marketer as he tags along the seedlings and fresh fruits alongside her vegetables for sale at a nearby market.
Maurice hopes to make at least KShs.200,000 from the sale of fresh fruits alone at the end of the current season if he doesn’t experience serious losses. He’s even more enthusiastic due to the frequent visits he gets from Mr. Mark Omollo, Monitoring & Evaluation officer with ASDSP II who has been very helpful in stressing the need of using pheromone traps so as to minimize infestation of fruit flies.
“Fruit flies has been a major problem in the past because it did destroy mature fruits at a time when I thought I could make fortunes from my hard work”, he says.
He alludes to the fact that the much he has learnt in Orchard management for the last two months from Mr. Omollo cant be compared to what he has learnt in the last 5 years of his involvement in mango production.
In one of Mr. Omollo’s frequent visits, he’s accompanied by Mr. Stephen Oketch, Business Manager at Siaya Agri – Value Chain Incubation Center who proves helpful in emphasizing the need to have a business plan and align records so as to continuously monitor his progress.
With the right interventions, Maurice would have an understanding of how to farm his mangoes more effectively, how to process them into a variety of marketable finished products and ship them anywhere around Kenya for sale.