Agribusiness is the way to go these days, and Kenyan youngsters should stop waiting for the government to offer employment options and start their own.
Is Strawberry Farming Lucrative?
When yields are low, one can make at least KES100,000 per month; when yields are high, one can earn at least KES200,000 per month.
Nimrod Mwenda, wearing grey blue overalls and black gumboots, carries four strawberry sachets into a container for delivery to a client.
Strawberry cultivation is successful as long as there is a demand for the product. It is a highly sought-after fruit due to its usage in mixing other dishes.
The crop is grown on a block of land by the farmer in Kimaogo village, Maara constituency, Tharaka-Nithi County.
Peterson Mwirigi, the current MCA for Ganga ward and the county assembly’s Majority Leader, is one among the farmers Mwenda introduced to strawberry growing.
Can You Leave KES 40,000 Salary for Risky Venture?
He began the business after leaving his job as a greenhouse operator at an international facility.
“I learned a lot about agriculture, especially strawberry cultivation,” says the 35-year-old, who possesses a cooperative management diploma. I decided to work for myself after realizing I could earn more on my own than waiting for the KES40,000 a month I was getting,” he revealed.
Mwenda acquired 500 strawberry seedlings of the Chandler variety from a farm in Kiambu County, equipped with the secret of strawberry cultivation.
Make a Deal, Sign Contracts
His earnings were low when he first began out, but he persisted since cultivating the crop was his only chance. He afterwards signed a deal with Jaickis Exporters, who purchased his produce.
“At the same time, I was selling the fruits at supermarkets in Chogoria and Chuka. I realized there was a lot of demand in supermarkets and restaurants, and the pricing was much better at KES100 than the exporter’s KES80 per sachet.” He recalled not renewing the contract after it had expired.
Mwenda was one of the only strawberry producers in Tharaka Nithi for more than four years. However, as he hawked his goods, many individuals became interested in the business.
You Can be a Pathfinder for Others
“He joined forces with me, and together we have trained over 1,100 kids in the Maara constituency. We’ve set up shop at Katharaka market on the Meru-Nairobi highway, where we’ve employed boda boda riders to carry goods from at least 300 farms, which we then sell in Nairobi and other cities “Mwenda, who earns up to KES 100,000 per month, agrees.
Other farmers in their Global Welfare Families Farming Group make between KES10,000 and KES30,000, according to Mwenda, who also mentions that they have requested assistance from the county government to pursue processing.
“This crop has so far employed many youths, and we may recruit many more if we start adding value,” Mwirigi added.
Strawberry-growing areas include Isinya, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, Naivasha, and Kilifi. Jobless youths residing in these areas should embrace this venture to earn a living.
Read more: https://allafrica.com/stories/202011270859.html; https://nation.africa/kenya/business/seeds-of-gold/from-farm-to-supermarket-strawberries-bear-big-fruit-for-couple-388216; https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/rift-valley/article/2000149946/lets-talk-about-strawberries-and-its-sweet-returns