My name is Peter Denis Muiruri Mburu, a Kenyan, 29 years old. I am an agricultural economist with a Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi, with agribusiness management as my major. Also, I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and Extension from the same university.
I was a research scholar for the last three years at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology until last year December. I observed and wondered, why not utilize my agricultural knowledge in creating employment, and contribute to the national breadbasket?
As an agriculturalist, I intend to venture into vegetable greenhouse farming (tomatoes and capsicums). Currently, I am offering services as a private consultant in data management and analysis to raise the capital needed for the venture.
I have already acquired a piece of land that I intend to set up six greenhouses of eight by 30 metres. However, I would like to start with one greenhouse and the others will be built from the proceeds of the first and through credit.
The estimated output from one greenhouse (1,000 tomato plants x 20 kg per plant on average x KSH 50 ksh per kilogram of tomatoes) = KSH 1,000,000 (USD 9803.92).
The project will generate revenue contributing to income and food security. Tomatoes, herbs and capsicums are viable crops because they are a delicacy for most of the households within and outside the region. The vegetables can be sold locally, internationally, and to nearby markets such as Nairobi (34 km) and Githurai (15 km). Further, traders come from these markets seeking for agricultural produce for sale in the city.
This project is highly informed by the unfriendly environmental conditions of the locality that does not favor open field tomato production. Most of the year, it is cold and humid, facilitating development of blight and other bacterial diseases that undermine production of the vegetable leading to its acquisition from warmer areas.
Success of the project will create employment for me and some other people, and serve as a model farm that will introduce modern farming practices amongst farmers using traditional methods in the tea-growing zone.
The farm will be an avenue for me to share my agricultural knowledge with other farmers, both young and old.
Currently, I have acquired a piece of land for the venture. It has been cleared in preparation for the venture and plans are under way to get piped water connection and electricity.
It also needs fencing and construction of a store. I have sought various quotations from greenhouse suppliers and I have settled for one company to do the installation by the name of agro-tunnel international. They have an attractive package that offers agronomic advice, seedlings and purchase your produce after harvest. Therefore, that solves the market issue that is often a farmer’s nightmare since markets are not structured.
The grant will help in speeding up the project and bringing it to reality. The budget items no met so far are as follows:
|Budget Items||Cost (KSH)||Cost (USD) 1 USD = 102KSH|
|1. Construction of the first green house, 8 x 30 m, consist of seedling, drip irrigation system, water tank, nursery pallets, and labour||300,000||2,941.18|
|2. Fencing Poles, 40 @600; barbed wire 2 rolls @ 5,000; razor wire; 2 rolls @8,000; labour cost; 5 days, USD 2 persons @600||56,000||549.02|
|3. Water connection water pipes 6 pieces @300, connection fee 3,000; labour cost 1,000||6,400||62.74|
|4. Rural electricity connection||35,000||343.14|
|5. Casual Labor needed for the first 3 months till production||54,000||529.41|
|6. Office and store construction (irons sheets, sand, ballast, and cement)||52,000||509.80|
Money acquired from other sources of income has been used to meet and is progressively tackling item by item in realization of this dream.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Peter Denis Muiruri Mburu (Kenya): peterdenoh[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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