Mr. Nzaro plants cassava in 6 acres of his farm. He is also a certified cassava seed enterprenuer in Mtepeni ward Kilifi county. He plants the Tajirika variety which does very well in the coastal region. Nzaro is well conversent with cassava agronomic practices and earns about ksh 1,000,000 /USD 9,282 annually just from cassava. Now lets break this down and see how he gets such returns.
An acre plot carries about four thousand cuttings in a spacing of 1m by 1m. Nzaro plants 6 acres which is 24,000 cassava plants and if each plant tubers weigh 10 kg equals 240,000 kg of cassava tubers. 1kg of cassava is sold approximetly ksh 5 /USD 0.05 which means that Nzaro gets upto ksh 1.2M/ USD 11,138.
He also sales cassava cuttings at ksh 3 per cutting. Nzaro uses the PlantVillage Nuru App to select clean cuttings from his farm for sale to smallholder farmers around the region. PlantVillage Nuru also helps him detect diseases such as cassava mosaic disease,cassava brown streak disease and cassava greenmite damage which helps him take action before the diseases spread to other plants.
Allan also uses mulch in his cassava and pawpaw farms and the difference can easily be noticed when compared to his neighbours farms. Allan has covered the soil surface around the plant with organic materials. This has helped him conserve soil moisture. Allans cassava leaves are still green and leafy while the neighbours' are dry and have no leaves because of the high temperatures in the region.
To curb climate change in the region, Allan has established a tree nursery. Allan has mastered grafting technique which he does to mango and orange trees as requested by buyers. ''Tree nursery is a lucrative venture with huge profits but it requires patience,'' he advises.
Allan is passionate about agriculture and is determined to see more youths get involved in agriculture. He is a patron of a youth group in Mtepeni Mtomondoni scheme group that look upto him for advice and guidance in the agricultural field.He urges the youth to embrace agriculture because he has personnaly seen the benefits of agriculture and believes other people can benefit from it too. Allan Nzaro also works with field officer Valentina Ngoji and Robert Ngala from PlantVillage in exchanging knowledge and empowering other cassava farmers to practice good agricultural practices and reap huge returns.
Written By;Marion Makunyo