A propagator in kiambu, increasing visibility of herbs & spices

A propagator in kiambu, increasing visibility of herbs & spices


Herbs and spices continue to gain momentum in Kenya’s list of export produce, coming after cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. EU is the largest market for spices and herbs in the world, accounting for Euros 1.2 billion and importing 97% from developing countries.

Due to the increased health awareness by consumers’ worldwide, consumption of herbs and spices is bound to increase even more. Several herbs and spices are consumed for their immunity support functions, for example with Covid-19, demand for ginger, curcuma and garlic has been on the rise.

More farmers in the region are venturing into this farming, occasioning the need for propagated herbs and spices seedlings. Herbs and Spices, a company that is specializing in propagating herbs and spices. It is being chaperoned by Carol Chelagat popularly referred to as Carol Herbs in farming circles. “Carol Herbs is a name I acquired from my clients and I am well known by it. I love being called by the name because it’s a brand that associates me with my farming occupation,” she says.

“I began growing and propagating herbs in 2019. My flagship project then had 7 varieties but currently we have increased our portfolio to over 90 varieties and we have almost all assortments of herbs,” she said. Her flagship varieties are; thyme, sage, dill, chives, rosemary, terragon, lemon grass and mint pudina. These are also among varieties that produce the highest returns on investment. A seedling of a potted herb at her farm retails at Ksh 150 while those that are in the polythene papers retail at Ksh 50.

To ensure customers attain optimum quality, the propagator works with agronomist who provides guidance and solutions on the adaptability of the herbs in different ecological zones.
Her interest to venture into herbs and spices was inspired while she had gone to buy the produce, only to discover that they were in shortage. Buoyed by this, she decided to delve into propagation to fill the gap in the market. “Herbs and spices is a fascinating venture, we are propagating almost all kinds of herbs and spices. Unfortunately, the consumption of herbs in Kenya is still low but we are glad that most people are now embracing their consumption”, Carol noted.


“Timely information flow in herbs and spices farming is very vital. Today, I was here by 6am to supervise my daily routine of my 5 employees and I am also projecting for activities that need to be carried out tomorrow,” Say Carol who holds a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Production.

The propagator is working to increase the visibility of herbs and spices in the country. Besides, they offer mentorship and skills to succeed in the farming. She is doing this through providing quality, adaptive seedlings, greenhouse management and training on good agricultural practices.

Sitting on two acres in Ngegu, Kiambu County the company has built a brand and name on quality and consistency which has attracted a pool of dedicated customers spanning from Uganda, Tanzania and Sudan who are religious at placing orders. This, the farm says stems from ensuring that the staff who handle the crop understand their value. On average it takes 6 weeks for a fully propagated herb to be ready for planting.

“We use courier services to deliver to clients who are in far places. We are in the process of establishing an online shop which will enable our customers to be placing orders and paying before delivery is made. Secondly, the shop will have details for clients to establish which crops are in stock and which ones are out of stock, as well as revealing to them when the seedlings will be available,” she said.

In the coming years, they are targeting to be exporting to the European market once they acquire the required certification. They are also new markets in the Middle East which she has set her eyes on to explore. “Our initial plan as Herbs and Spices was to create a brand in the Kenyan market and ensure we are well versed with almost all information regarding herbs and spices, while ensuring we are able to meet the demands of our customers locally. This we have done and it’s now time to start exploring other markets globally,” she said.

Her parting shot to anyone who has an urge of joining farming: “seedling propagation needs all attention just like what is required in any set up; you need to be to be involved. Anyone wishing to venture into farming should be fully prepared to give full attention to avoid losses, “she stated

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