In Summary
  • He has planted Mexican marigold weed on the fringes of his farm; the crop acts as a pest repellent, warding off insect pests such as aphids.
  • On the pawpaw farm, the trees are sagging with heavy fruits awaiting harvesting. In between the pawpaw plants, grown some three metres apart, are his vegetables.
  • He runs the shop dubbed Fazenda Organico in Nyeri Town through which he sells all his produce to residents and supplies to markets in the town and in Nairobi.
  • Robert Thuo, an agriculture specialist in Nyeri, says in best farming practice, farmers need to incorporate integrated pest and disease management and safely use chemicals.

Daniel Wachira’s 10 acres in Chaka, Nyeri County, hosts a variety of vegetables, fruits and livestock.

Wachira has neatly divided the farm into different portions to enable him grow the various plants and keep the livestock that include chickens.

On the pawpaw farm, the trees are sagging with heavy fruits awaiting harvesting. In between the pawpaw plants, grown some three metres apart, are his vegetables.

“I have been a horticulture farmer for the past 10 years, farming mainly capsicum, carrots, coriander (dhania), Chinese cabbages, sukuma wiki, spinach, passion fruit, pawpaw, lettuce, spring onions, tree tomatoes, sweet potatoes and traditional vegetables,” says Wachira, who grows the crops organically and also keeps bees. He uses rabbit urine and manure, crop waste as well as dung from cow, goats and chickens.

“I ensure the manure is well composted before applying it on the crops. I keep 120 rabbits, 300 chickens, 50 goats and 30 dairy cows,” he says.

He has planted Mexican marigold weed on the fringes of his farm; the crop acts as a pest repellent, warding off insect pests such as aphids.

He makes organic pesticides from a mixture of pepper, garlic, pyrethrum and aloe vera, which he uses to fight common pests such as cutworms and aphids.

“I mash the crops and boil, ending up with a concoction that I mix with water before spraying. It is an effective pesticide,” says Wachira, who also uses tithonia and lantana camara to make foliar fertiliser and pesticide.

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“Just like with the other crops, these must also be cut into pieces and then mixed with water and left to mature. They are good for use after 21 days,” he says.

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