When veteran educationist and publisher, David Muruli, ventured into arrow root farming, his aim was to fit in the growing agribusiness sector and create an extra source of income.
Mr Muruli, who resides in Bunyore, Vihiga County in Western Kenya, has set aside a 26-acre piece of land for purely agricultural development. “In fact my main concern of venturing into arrow root farming was as a result of hunger,” Mr Muruli says. “People in my society love local food and that made me to start growing arrow roots on a large scale.”
He said arrow root farming has not been taken seriously in Vihiga and the neighbouring counties of Kakamega and Kisumu. Yet arrow roots are among the best foods in Kenya. It is also very expensive given its short supply in the market.
Mr Muruli has divided the 26-acre land into different sections; the land have six big fish ponds, banana and maize plantation sections. “We are food insecure in Vihiga county because we depend so much on maize, which does not yield as expected,” he said. Muruli says field has loamy soil ideal for arrow roots growth.
His love for arrow root farming led him to the neighbouring country Tanzania to borrow modern technology in arrow root farming.
On his 26-acre farm, Muruli expects a continuous initial harvest of 10 tonnes and he is eying markets in different towns including Nakuru, Nairobi, Busia, Kitale, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisii, Webuye.
With arrow roots selling at an average of Ksh100 per kilogramme, Mr Muruli makes handsome income from his farm, which is supplemented also by bananas and maize.