Kate Wambugu of the Wambugu Apples’ Farm in Laikipia County is making a fortune from an apple variety she christened Wambugu Apple.
Speaking in a media interview on Thursday, September 22, Wambugu disclosed that she ventured into apple farming after seeing his father succeed in agriculture.
Her father ventured into apple farming in 1985 and 45 years later, her daughter is following in her footsteps. Other than naming the apple after her father, Mr Wambugu, she also named her farm after him.
“This is the 45th year we are farming, My father was the founder of the Wambugu Apple, he started in 1985, and it was named after him,” Kate Wambugu
“We’ve seen our dad making money. Whatever you do is more about the end product. Whether the job leaves you clean or dirty, what matters is what you are getting out of the hustle,” Kate stated.
Currently, Kenya imports a huge percentage of apples from South Africa, Egypt and the Middle East.
Wambugu, however, is optimistic that the country will soon have its own local apples as farmers in Kenya are exploiting alternative ways to grow the products.
According to Wambugu, apple farming is one of the most lucrative ventures that need less orientation. One needs land, water and manure only to feed the tree.
Seedlings are also easily accessible in the market. Apple farming, she added, is not labour intensive as many farmers perceive.
“Once you plant the seedlings, it takes nine months only for the trees to start producing fruits,” Wambugu explained.
“One acre can accommodate 600 seedlings. However, you can start with a few seedlings. One tree can also produce close to 200 fruits at the bare minimum per harvest,” she added.
Wambugu further underlined that the good thing with apple trees is that you can harvest them for 100 years.
An acre of apple farm can fetch her Ksh10 million after harvest. A farmer can also make three harvests in a year, depending on the plantation season.
Success in apple farming is, nonetheless, attributed to feeding the plants with enough manure.
Currently, local farmers sell their products in Karen with some exporting them to the United Kingdom (UK). Apples are, however, analysed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other relevant agencies to ascertain whether they meet the quality standards prior to being sold or exported.