Zachary Murori: Meru Farmer Finds Success In Growing, Exporting Herbs

Zachary Murori is the proprietor of Murori Apex Herbs, a 5-acre farm in Majogi, Meru County.

The farmer was previously a maize and beans farmer but he switched to growing herbs after the crips fetched low profits.

Murori grows among other medicinal plants lemon grass, citronella, hibiscus, sweet purple hibiscus, aloe vera and ginger.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Murori has made a mark in the international market through the sale of herbs.

In an interview with Nation, the farmer noted that he previously grew maize and beans before switching to herbs.

“I grew maize and beans for a while but was always on the lookout for crops that would fetch better prices. I realised that herbs were on high demand,” Murori said.

He grows lemon grass, citronella, hibiscus, sweet purple hibiscus, aloe vera, turmeric and ginger among other medicinal plants.

Lemon grass for example are planted one stalk per hole; half a metre apart and harvesting is is every two to three months.

Citronella is also planted one stalk per hole, a metre apart while harvesting is done every two to three months.

The hibiscus are harvested three months after sowing while spacing is half a metre from one plant to the other.

After harvesting, he explained, the lemon grass and citronella are chopped and put in a drier for three to five days.

The herbs are then packed according to a customer’s preference.

For the turmeric and ginger, Murori digs the bulbs out, wash them and packages them according to the client’s preference.

He sells the herbs locally and internationally depending on the specific herb, whether it’s fresh or dry and the season.

Fresh citronella leaves sell for Ksh 50 and Ksh 100 a kilo while dried leaves sell for up to Ksh 600.

On the other hand fresh hibiscus sell for Ksh 50 to Ksh 80 while dried petals can go for up to Ksh 1,250.

While Murori hopes to be a leading producer of herbs in Kenya, he works closely with his son and casual labourers who help him during harvesting.

“I also want to empower communities economically and give them knowledge on herb farming,” Murori said.