Agroforestry Brings Economic Opportunity to Kenyan Farmer
Since joining Trees for the Future’s Forest Garden program two and a half years ago, Antony Gaya’s Kenyan farm is bursting with life and so are his economic opportunities. Gaya has planted thousands of trees to protect his land and diversify his crops. Each tree plays an important role, whether that is fixing nitrogen in the soil or offering nutritious food to the family, but Gaya is particularly excited about the business side of agroforestry.
“I don’t do farming for fun or just to find food for my family. I am a businessperson and farming has been one of the reasons I am able to send my children to school and get them necessary school items too,” Gaya says.
His Forest Garden is now home to a variety of fruit trees along with agroforestry go-tos like moringa, calliandra, and leucaena. The fruit trees help support a nutrient-rich diet for the entire family while the calliandra and leucaena provide feed for the family’s chickens. Moringa is packed full of nutrients that Gaya’s family can incorporate into their own diet, but the moringa is also a stand out for its high potential to earn the family income. Moringa is well-known for its medical properties, treating aches and pains as well as other ailments, and Gaya is working with TREES staff to find ways to make the most of this new resource.
“Currently we are working on producing powder from the dry crushed leaves of this unique and highly demanded plant. We shall then package and possibly brand it. We believe this step will take such farmers like Gaya a notch higher in bargaining for market and ultimately fetch more income as compared to selling raw leaves of Moringa”, says John Ogweno, a TREES Assistant Technician.