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Monday, 21 September 2015

Agritourists light up orchard, bring in more cash

By Francis Mureithi, Daily Nation
A walk into the farm in Laikipia County reminds one of a game park or one of those sandy beaches at the Coast. Inside the farm named Eden Villa, you will find several foreign and local tourists relaxing under a canopy of fruit trees.
A set of well-made wooden chairs are strategically placed below fruit trees planted in straight rows. And to complete a true picnic atmosphere on the farm, there are simple wooden tables that are permanently erected under the fruit trees and on these tables are knives of various shapes and trays neatly arranged.
Few metres from the tables are wooden beds, similar to those found in tourist hotels that border the beaches, for visitors to relax and unwind after eating their choice from the more than 20 varieties of fruits in the farm.
The varieties include loquats, pineapples, avocados, pawpaws, lemons, white sapote, cherimoya, tangerine, pomegranate, watermelons, passion fruits, tree tomatoes, bananas, apples, oranges and grapes.
Visitors tour Dimcom Eden Villa on August 24, 2015. PHOTO | Suleiman Mbatiah
Then there is a children’s corner where pupils sit and draw various shapes of fruits they have eaten under the guidance of an artist.
Apart from traders who flock Eden Villa to buy fruits, the farm is also a learning centre for farmers, researchers and secondary school students eager to learn the basics of fruit farming such as nursery management, watering of the young fruits and grafting.
After touring the farm, visitors need not to be in a hurry to leave as there are three well-furnished traditional huts that host 10-15 people where they could stay overnight as they enjoy the music from the various birds and insects, which call this farm home.
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