In the midst of the dry and arid environment of Namibia’s central north lies an oasis of greenery. The green vegetation, which has given a completely different look to the area, is that of Vaino Nursery.
Neatly tucked away between Ondangwa and Omuthiya at Onankali, the nursery has been servicing the northern area and beyond for years with its wide selection of plants.
Its owner, Vaino Vilho, is an ardent plant lover, who has managed to turn his passion into a fully-fledged business.
The fairy tale, as Vaino calls it, started in 2013. From producing a few shade trees and a handful of fruit trees, Vaino’s business has grown in leaps and bound – and his name has now become synonymous with the supply of plants in that area.
Vaino nursery now stocks both vegetable and fruit seedling in addition to the shade trees that have made it a home brand in the area.
“When I started, it was all about testing the market at first. I soon found that people were into this type of plants, which gave me motivation to continue beyond my wildest dreams. I have never looked back ever since,” he said.
The business now also sells medicinal plants such as Moringa, and others, which have proven popular among his patrons.
“People buy these plants very much to keep healthy. They are into these type of plants. It is good business because people always prefer natural plants as opposed to medicines,” he said. Standing proudly in the middle of his evergreen ‘forest’ of shade trees and the like, Vaino noted he is proud of having contributed to lifting the spirits of the area and its people by going green.
He said his customers come from the length and breadth of the country, as he usually couriers the plants to those who need them.
“My customers are countrywide, and I deliver everywhere. I even sell to customers passing by. For me, it’s all about going where the demand for the plants is,” he noted.
Vaino said despite the satisfactory growth of his business, he often struggles with a limited supply of water in areas. Such shortage has inhibited his growth. Also, the land on which he does business has become limited and would warrant an expansion.
“Those are all problems I am faced with, but we keep going on until we reach our goals,” he said.
The self-made entrepreneur encouraged Namibians, especially the youth, to venture into agribusinesses as a means to an end, noting that the opportunities in this field have become endless.
“You do not need much for this business; all you basically need is a positive spirit and a die-hard attitude,” said Vaino.