Caroline Mukuhi: Quitting A Stable Job For Farming, Now Reaping Big

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Caroline Mukuhi Mwangi. [Photo|Carol wa Seedlings| Facebook]
By Prudence Minayo 

Caroline Mukuhi Mwangi is the founder of a Ruiru based company named Kimplanter Seedlings and Nurseries Limited. The company specializes in growing horticultural fruits, herbs, and vegetables seedlings. The company boasts of nine greenhouses in Makuyu and two in Ruiru. Caroline worked as an administrator in a construction company. One year into the job, she started growing passion fruits as a pass-time activity. After four years, she quit the job and decided to fully invest in farming.

Here is her farming journey as told by WoK.

Education and venturing into farming

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Before landing the job, she had graduated with a Human Resource Diploma and the salary was okay, especially since she was a new graduate. In 2012, the same year, she started farming, she became a Certified Public Accountant and hoped to advance her professional career. She had planted passion fruits on a quarter acre piece of land, belonging to a family friend.

In 2013, she started posting the fruits on Facebook and it attracted the attention of many. The following year, two TV stations reached out to feature her crops. This exposed her to so many people and some reached out wanting the seedlings. She directed them to the person who had sold them to her only to realize he had stopped selling them.

Quitting and the birth of Kimplanter

This gave her an idea to start propagating seedlings. During her free time, she started planting vegetables and passion fruits seedlings. She also did training and demonstration for seed trials.

The demand kept on growing with people from far and wide contacting her. She was also contacted by a juice processing company who wanted passion fruits although her farm was too small. In 2016, she realized that the business was becoming very profitable, hence, she quit employment.

Leaving a stable job for farming was not an easy choice but she was motivated by reaps she would gain if her venture would be successful. Her father was shocked since she was yet to use her skills in CPA-K. Her friends thought it ludicrous that she was leaving a stable job. On the other hand, she was also fearful.

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It was the most fearful decision I have made. I was leaving a white-collar job into the unknown world. I was scared but determined. My self-motivation was …… ‘am still young and with little responsibility so let’s explore the options,” she told the Nation during a recent interview.

Her mother came on board quickly and encouraged her. Despite the fears, her family still encouraged and stood behind her. The first few months were the toughest and her social life nosedived for a while. Nonetheless, she has no regrets.

Recognition

Apart from the massive media attention, Caroline’s efforts have been recognized by other factions. The retired president Uhuru Kenyatta, who had feted her in the 2019 Nairobi International Trade fair due to her contribution in farming, appointed her youth ambassador for Agriculture in Kiambu county.

The 32 year old was also the second among ten contestants at the 2021 Youth Adapt prize. She was among the youths present and awarded at the 2022 Climate Change Conference in Egypt.

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