Big, small, flourishing or stumbling, tree nurseries in Africa come in all shapes and forms, and with varying quality. Some are owned by governments, others by non-profit groups, others still by individual farmers.
Edward Lutawo Phiri, from Zambia, and his father are two of those farmers, and the nursery they started together is one of the best in the business. As a small child, Lutawo Phiri watched his father plant seedlings and was mesmerized. Then when he passed away, Lutawo Phiri took over and expanded the nursery to a point where now he employs 12 people on 3 hectares.
Of course, he was lucky that his father had a good piece of land with a permanent water supply. It is a gently sloping, well-drained site with a good supply of suitable soil materials. He levelled the site and firmed the soil, marking out the shape and sizes of the beds and erecting them using durable poles. Also, he used sand and small stones to give good root penetration and help with drainage. He has clay and top forest soil which improves the moisture intake and nutrient retaining qualities. Read more>>