Even though James’ farm is small, he has offered up a corner of his farm to the other members of his Cluster. Here they have come together to build a nursery that holds about 4,000 seedlings.
James Mbaya joined TIST in 2016 after attending a “Come and See” seminar in Meru, Kenya.
At these Seminars, potential TIST Farmers are invited to come and meet with current TIST participants. These Seminars facilitate farmer-to-farmer training and recruitment. These physical demonstrations of TIST Best Practices have a powerful impact on prospective farmers.
After attending a Seminar led by Mary Gitonga, James made up his mind to join TIST. The Taylors Tea-sponsored expansion had recently created a new Cluster in his area called Tugua. He partnered with some neighbors to form the Small Group Tugua Mwangaza (2016KE152). James chose to plant macadamia, avocado, and grevillea trees on his own farm where he already grew tea, coffee, maize, cabbage, beans, and bananas.
Even though James’ farm is small, he has offered up a corner of his farm to the other members of his Cluster. Here they have come together to build a nursery that holds about 4,000 seedlings. When he started to receive carbon prepayments, James reinvested this income into sleeves to grow more seedlings.
While he waits for his fruit trees to mature, James has already collected fodder for his cattle from the grevillea trees. In times of drought this food source could become critical. He also bought a ½ acre plot of land outside the tea growing catchment to plant more trees. He intends to use the carbon income from these additional trees to fund improvements to his farm.