Retired school teacher Regina Nderitu owns a mint plantation. She is hoping for a bumper harvest of this herb which she has been growing for the last year. Two years ago she started growing various indigenous and exotic vegetables, including black night shade, purple cabbage and lettuce, among others. However, she found growing vegetables to be work-intensive, especially because she had to be in the farm almost daily.
In order to learn about herb farming, Regina toured several herb farms where she learnt not only by listening but also by observing what was being done. At this time, Regina grows mint on a one-acre piece of land but hopes to eventually have her whole farm utilised by diversifying to other herbs like dill, thyme, chives and coriander.
Nderitu hopes to be among the farmers who will benefit from a European Union-funded project which will be promoting competitiveness and market access for herbs and spices in Nakuru County. Dubbed Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) Kenya, the project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Organisation (Unido) in partnership with the government and the private sector.
Dubbed The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) Kenya, the project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Organisation (Unido) in partnership with the government and the private sector.
MARKUP Kenya National Coordinator Maina Karuiru says the project is keen on supporting women as they are key in the agriculture value chain. Women, Mr Karuiru adds, form the bulk of labour providers in the agriculture and horticulture sectors and will, therefore, need empowerment so that they can improve their income.