Socio-Economic Importance of Tree Nurseries in Eldoret Municipality, Uasin Gishu County (Kenya)

Gladys Rutto, Kenneth Odhiambo


Tree nurseries in urban areas are a major source of planting materials for afforestation and associated ecosystem services including carbon stock accumulation in both urban and rural landscapes. The practitioners, however, operate under informal (and sometimes illegal) land tenure with those establishing tree nurseries by the roadside and on road reserves being common. The socio-economic benefits of such urban tree nurseries have not been well documented and appreciated and the growers are generally perceived to be engaged in a last resort economic activity. This study was done to determine Socio-economic importance of tree nurseries in Eldoret Municipality (Kenya). Specific objectives were to: (i) identify tree species being raised in tree nurseries within Eldoret Municipality, (ii) determine the monetary value and market sources for the tree seedlings raised in the Municipality, (iii) quantify contribution of tree nursery enterprise to the provision of employment opportunities in Eldoret Municipality, and (iv) identify the challenges facing the tree nursery business. Stratified random sampling of urban tree nurseries was done and semi-structured questionnaires administered to the nursery head persons at 30% sampling intensity. A large proportion (86.1%) of tree nursery owners in Eldoret Municipality are young (between 18 and 43 years) and have attained post primary level of education (64%). There is gender parity with regards to proprietorship of tree nursery enterprise in Eldoret Municipality. The tree nurseries are of great socio-economic importance. Twenty nine (29) tree species are grown in the nurseries and the main ones are Cupressus lusitanica (10.4%), Callistemon spp (9.75), and Grevillea robusta (9.3%). Ninety seven percent (97.2%) of the tree nursery owners had employees, and the tree nurseries in the Central Business District put together generated Ksh 7.5416 million per production cycle. The tree nursery owners however experienced the following challenges (by % respondents): water shortage (24%), theft (17%), market related problems (13%) and Evictions by municipal authorities (9%). Recommendations on the enterprise land tenure and the proprietors’ capacity building have been made.


Urban Forestry; Tree Nursery; Eldoret Municipality; Ecosystem; Species; Afforestation

Full Text:



Basweti, C., Lengkeek, A., Prytz, L., & Jaenicke, H. (2001). Tree Nursery Trade in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas: A survey in Nairobi and Kiambu Districts, Kenya. Working Paper No. 13. Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA), ICRAF, Nairobi. 24p.

County Government of Uasin Gishu (CGUG). (2013). Uasin Gishu County Integrated Development Plan 2013-2018 (p. 252).

Ferry, N. M. (2006). Factors Influencing Career Choices of Adolescents and Young Adults in Rural Pennsylvania. Journal of Extension 44(3).

Government of Kenya (GOK). (1997). Uasin Gishu District Development Plan 1997-2001. Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of planning and National Development. Nairobi (P. 127).

Krantz, L. (2001). The Sustainable Livelihood Approach to Poverty Reduction: An Introduction. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Division for Policy and Socio-Economic Analysis Stockholm.

Nieuwenhuis, M., & O'Connor, N. (2000). Challenges and Opportunities for Small-scale Tree Nurseries in the East African Highlands: Recommendations for Improving the Practices and Economic Viability of Small-scale Nurseries Supplying Seedlings to Local Agroforestry Systems, Based on a Survey in Murang'a District, Kenya. Unasylva, 203(51), 56-60.

Oduol, J. B. A., & Franzel, S. (2014). Assessing Market Potential of Agroforestry Tree Seedlings in Western Kenya. Small-Scale Forestry, 13(3), 281-98.

Republic of Kenya (2005). Forest Act No.7. Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 88 (Acts No.7) (pp. 229-305). Nairobi, Kenya.

Santamour, F. S. J. (1990). Trees for Urban Planting: Diversity, Uniformity, and Common Sense. U.S. National Arboretum Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20002.

Zepeda, E., Leigh, F., Ndirangu, L., & Omolo, J. (2013). The Youth Employment Challenge: The Insertion of Kenya’s Youth into Formal and Informal Job. In UNDP (Ed.), Social Protection, Growth and Employment: Evidences from India, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico and Tajikistan (257-286). New York: UNDP.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

© 2015 School of Environmental Studies all rights reserved. Permission should be sought from the publishers before any of this work or part of it is reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, microfilming and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system.