Meet Brian Kinyanjui Kahonya. Despite of studying law at the University of Nairobi, the 28years old has become a farmer growing varieties of vegetables in apiece of land he inherited from his grandmother in Ngecha village- Kiambu county. He shares about his farming venture to our writer Malachi Motano, demonstrating that sometimes passion beats professionalism to in a question and Answer (Q and A) interview.
Q: Thank you so much for your time amid your busy schedule. A professional lawyer but a practicing farmer. Why the paradigm shift?
A:You are most welcome and feel a Kiki farm. Well, farming is my passion, farming is business and a lifetime opportunity (lifetime experience).
Q:Where did you get the inspiration from?
A:I got inspired by my grandmother who add been farming for better part of her life
Q: Many people do not farm because they don’t have access to land where they can farm. How did you get access to land? I mean you look relatively young.
A: I don’t think land should be much of a problem. You don’t need to buy land I know land is very expensive to purchase but you can start by renting and it is available.
Q: Like in your case for instance, how did you get access to piece of land?
A: My grandmother was so kind to share her small peace with me to grow my crops and also she was there to teach me.
Q: What crop do you grow in your farm?
Q: Why do you only grow exotic crops and why varieties?
A: Exotic vegetables fetch more money in the market, and that is a plus to the farmer like me. I like the varieties because if one type does not perform well in the market in terms of market price, another one can survive or do better.
Q: Why not animal production
A: With animal production the main reason why i did not consider it is because you always know what you expect for instance if it is a cow, you will always know that you milk at six or two in the morning, the number of litres of milk the cow is likely to produce. I need something that will always challenge my mind, keep raised up and something that will grow my mind and broaden it up
Q: So like vegetables, how do you go about them, you grow sukuma wiki, spinach, among other. What acreage do you plant?
A: I plant close to one acre or two for that matter, It is fun, I mean it is fun to see something from a tiny seedling and the next day you find it fully grown into a big thing.
Q: And where do you get the information about growing and managing the crops?
A: I visit different websites, Facebook, follow TV feature Programmes which are so educative and also read a number of farming magazines.
Q: And so how have you benefited or benefit you farming activities?
A: I have managed to socialize and interact with farmers who have been in different fields for long for example if I want to buy a fertilizer, I can ask people where to get it at a fair price.
Q: How do you market your products?
A: So far, Kiki is already a brand and marketing it is not a challenge like it was at the beginning where I had to visit different markets like Wangige, Marikiti among others, listen to how people are selling their products so that I can come and estimate how much to sell my products. I could also tell clients to come to the farm and see what I had.
Q: How much do you sell in a week or per month?
A:Oh my, that question is tricky but the reason why a grow spinach and Sukuma wiki mainly is because of maintaining a constant amount of income. Anyway sometimes I do make up to Kshs. 4000 per week, at least enabling me to pay my workers as well as keeping me a flout.
Q: so yo men you have a constant revenue from the crops?
A: Yes but for now I don’t sell on wholesale, I take orders. I have different portions in fact I have designated the different portions to different orders. coriander, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, onions and several others
Q: Before you forget, how much on average do you get per month?
A:(on a lighter note) Like I said earlier, this is a tricky question but my earning range from Kshs 30,000toKsh 45000.
Q: And what do you do with the money from the sell?
A: I re-invest the money, I re- invest 35 per cent and save the rest. I also bring back the money to the farm so that I can make the soil better and enhance my farming
Q: As we head towards a close of this interview, where is the future of Kinyanjui
A: I think it is not really the future of Kinyanjui, it is the future of Kiki farm. Well I am thinking of a future whereby by you talk farming you see Kinyanjui. You think of starting to far, the picture that you see is Kinyanjui.
Q: Finally any message to the aspiring farmer who are majorly youth population
A: For aspiring farmers, there is a lot of information. And so seek that information first. You can visit different farmers who have been farming for decades. It is not very easy at the beginning but very enjoyable when you pick up First,