Small Trees – Can They Make Big Profits?

Have you noticed an advertisement like this?

“Bonsai Tree, Desert Roses now available in Kenya, from as low as Ksh 4,500-50,000”.

Perhaps you thought: “Bei ghali!” But that can be good news for us if we grow and sell bonsai trees.bonsai-3125721_640

In this article from the Standard ‘Mombasa mum turns hobby into lucrative Bonsai venture‘, it describes how at the main entrance to Prachi Shah’s residence in Mombasa, pots full of Bonsai plants ranging from Baobab, Ficus, Desert rose, Powder Puff, Bougainvillea, Juniper, Maple tree and Jade dot the premises. The article continues:

“Depending on the species, Prachi makes at least Sh2,000 per tree. But there are others that cost between Sh20,000 and Sh25,000 per plant.”

How do you find out more and get started? Try the introductory video below from Iqbal Khan’s excellent (and of course, free) series of over 200 videos on the Mikbonsai YouTube channel.

If you enjoy the videos, remember to give them a ‘Like’ and subscribe to the channel, so you don’t miss any new videos.

Happy bonsai growing!


About Pumpmakers and solar pumps

PM Pumpmakers GmbH is an Austrian solar company, specializing in the research and development of power and water solutions, using renewable energy sources.

To meet the needs of a fast-growing market, Pumpmakers focuses on innovative solar pump systems for the supply of rural and urban drinking water, water well construction, water well drilling, and agricultural purposes.hand pump

Pumpmakers Solar Pumps can easily be set up in new water wells or to replace pre-installed water pumps, such as hand water pumps, generator-powered water pumps or windmill water pumps that are typically found in rural and remote areas.

Of particular interest to farmers is their Irrigation System, which is a drip irrigation system to irrigate fields with a size from 500m².

You can contact them here:


One Acre Fund’s Kenya Factsheet

“It fnally hit me—trees are equal to money!” Florence says, her voice blending into the sound of chirping birds around her.
There is not a single day I will lack anything as long as I still own trees.”

Read more in One Acre Fund’s Kenya Factsheet, which is available at:

New information resource for the semi-arid tropics

ICRISAT (less of a mouthful than ‘The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics’) has announced a new information product they have named ‘EXPLOREit@ICRISAT‘. EXPLOREit (for short) is a web-based system that automatically assembles and updates packages of information about their main subject areas. ICRISAT has initially defined 35 subjects across the spectrum of crops, topics, geographic locations, systems and the knowledge/data stores on which they work.

As they put it:

EXPLOREit weaves together our current knowledge on each of these subjects from across our websites, databases and the internet, making it easily accessible from a single-page starting point. There, the knowledge is sub-organized by tabs so that learners can focus on their areas of interest. For example, for each of our five focus crops the tabs offer the learner an overview, knowledge of the crop’s botany, facts and figures about the crop, releases of improved varieties, past and current major projects on that crop, publications, databases, and public awareness stories.

This is an extraordinarily extensive resource, so much so that it it is easy to get diverted into another topic of interest. My exploratory trip resulted in a visit to uniBRAIN, and I’m sure you will get diverted as well: after all, that’s what it’s there for.

(ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.)

Grants, funding and fellowships relating to African agriculture

I hope you’ve noticed that FARA has a page on grants, funding and fellowships relating to Africa, centred on agriculture, but extending to horticulture, climate change and related field.

The Forum for Agricultural research in Africa (FARA) is an apex organization, bringing together and forming coalitions of major stakeholders in agricultural research and development in Africa.


Youth Agro-Environment Initiative will hold training on OYSTER MUSHROOM FARMING on Saturday August 10th 2013.

The training will take place between 10:00 am – 3:pm at the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming, located in Juja, a few kilometres from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

Charges are Ksh 3500 per person.

Call 0714211644 or email to book a place


Organic Sack Gardening, Waste and Urban Livestock

The latest edition of New Agriculturist (2013-3) is now online at Urban agriculture, for years outlawed by municipal authorities, offers solutions to numerous urban problems, including poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, unemployment and waste management.

Here are some suggestions to dip into first.

Organic sack gardening in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, 500 people with limited access to land are supplementing their food and income by growing vegetables in sacks. In addition to enabling families to consume vegetables more regularly, sack gardening has also empowered women, who most often organise and take care of the gardens.  read article

Transforming waste and wasteland in Dakar
In Dakar, Senegal, micro-gardening projects are re-greening urban spaces previously lost to rubbish dumping and car parks. New waste collection and sorting practices have reduced pollution and provided raw material for compost making. read article

And closer to home, Livestock in the city: separating fact from fiction
In the absence of evidence, policies are often based on the prejudice that urban livestock keeping is unsafe (credit: © Kate Holt/Internews Network)In 2005, a study was initiated by the University of Nairobi and ILRI to understand the risks and benefits of urban dairying, to contribute to pro-poor policy and create good practice guidelines for risk reduction. The study revealed some surprising results. read article