The Money Trees of Bedia Analalava

Local nurseryman boosts income with improved techniques

Jean Bruno has been a nurseryman most of his working life, but he was never particularly successful. He would grow and sell camphor trees, but the meager income from his seedlings forced him to turn to livestock and farming just to support his wife and two children.

Because of his low income, Jean Bruno and his family could not afford to live on their own. Instead, they shared a home with his aging mother and father.
“Before, I lived with my parents,” he said. “My wife and I had always wanted to build our own house, but we didn’t have the means for it.”

In 2016, ASOTRY Field Agents came to Bedia Analalava, in Sahambavy Commune, to provide advanced nursery training to Jean Bruno and all other nurserypersons in the community. They taught which trees were easiest and most lucrative, how to prepare the seedlings for planting, how to set up the plant bed, and how to space, water, and spray the seedlings. In addition to trainings, they also provided seedling bags, watering cans, and regular consultation.

“I received a comprehensive training about nursery management,” Jean said. “Before I did everything on my own, but now I have the support of the
project. It is why my business is really thriving.”

The difference is obvious. Before ASOTRY, Jean Bruno could produce and sell no more than 1,500 camphor seedlings. Today, the successful nurseryman produces and sells 30,000 acacia, orange, and eucalyptus seedlings, and Arabica coffee plants. His first sale of seedlings in 2016 earned him 800,000 ariary ($218 USD). His most recent sale of coffee plant seeds brought in 5,000,000 ariary ($1,365 USD).

“The first time someone bought the seedlings [in 2016], I realized that it was a very good source of income,” he said. “I discussed with my wife, and we decided to move forward with this.”
Now, Jean Bruno is selling his seedlings directly to local humanitarian agencies—including ADRA—who then distribute the seedlings to the community for their reforestation projects.

The changes don’t stop in the nursery: Jean Bruno has seen improvements in his personal life, too.
“I can buy food throughout the year with the money I earn,” he said. “I could build a new house, and we can provide for our daughter’s education.”
“I thank ASOTRY for providing me with knowledge and training about this nursery activity,” he added. “Life in general is easier than before.”

Jean Bruno could build this house thanks to the sales of seedlings.