Some six kilometres off the Maili Kumi-Solai Road in Nakuru County, Kenya one finds Aro Fresh Herbs Farm. Ruth Wanyoro, one of the owners of the 25-acre establishment, is checking on their basil crop. The 34-year-old and her two partners grow a variety of herbs for export, but basil is their major crop because it is in high demand.
“Basil always takes the lion’s share of our herbs export package, averaging 37 per cent, followed by chives at 19 per cent while rosemary and mint come third and fourth at 10 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. The rest are herbs such as dill and thyme.”
On the farm are 16 greenhouses, with the biggest measuring 45 by 8 metres and the smallest 15 by 8 metres.
The trio grow the herbs mainly for export, alongside horticultural crops such as cabbages, beetroot and carrots for the local market. The crops are farmed outdoor and most of the herbs indoors.
Mint and coriander are among the herbs for export farmed outdoor. Ruth says her interest in herbs started when she was working as a horticulturalist on a flower farm in Naivasha in 2011.