Are vertical gardens the future of farming in Africa?
Fred Kimani and Fred Muthiga inspecting herb instalments of the vertical gardens
By Stella Nasambu
“Land capital is so high, and yet what farmers can plant on the ground is so little”. Farmers may yet find a solution above ground, with tower gardens. That is if cousins and proprietors of Vertical Gardens, an alternative farming solutions company have any say in the matter.
Fred Muithiga and Fred Kimani came together in 2012 after they perceived a gap in the market for farmers who could not afford vast tracts of land, the duo put in $120 of starting capital and soon the business grew. However, the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise as more customers from urban areas began to trickle in. according to Fred Muthaiga “Fast forward to 2020, when Corona happened. We saw an influx of people grow their own food “
Vertical Gardens offers a variety of services such as vertical garden system, A crate system going for anywhere between $180 to $50. Tower gardens and the Pouch systems are also available for anywhere from $130 to $ 4 , the average rate in Kenya.
According to UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs , by 2050, more than 680 % of the the global population will live in cities. These urban customers will need high quality pesticide -free food but despite this projection, the growth in the industry remains low. This may well be the case with many of the vertical garden customers asking for installation on their balconies “We provided solutions that enabled our customers to grow their own food…in a safe and hygienic way”