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Ceciliah Wangui: How I Earn Up To Ksh 200,000 On My Three-Quarter Acre Managu Farm

In a world where the youth are often drawn to urban landscapes and modern professions, Ceciliah Wangui stands out.

At the age of 28, she defies the norm, finding her passion and livelihood in the soil of her rented farm in Mutaratara, Kikuyu, Kiambu County.

She ventured into farming three years ago after her attempts with cabbages and tomatoes in her hometown, Laikipia County, did not yield the results she desired.

She reveals that the cabbages she had planted on three-quarters of an acre only managed to cover the initial investment.

The tomatoes, while not a complete failure, demanded a lot of work.

In 2019, she met a fellow church member in Kiambu who changed her perspective.

“He is a skilled mixed farmer, especially in growing managu in large quantities, and his explanations convinced me when I visited his farm,” she explains.

According to Wangui, the challenge was to find land, but eventually, she secured an acre.

It cost her a total of Sh16,500 from her savings, covering the farm rent, fertilizers, seeds, and labor. A month later, she pocketed more than Sh11,000 in profit.

Her second attempt involved cultivating managu and cowpeas. However, the managu was washed away by floods, and the cowpeas suffered due to morning and evening dew, estimating a loss of Sh43,000.

“I didn’t lose hope; I persevered,” she states.

Three years later, the farmer has every reason to smile.

She is currently cultivating managu on three-quarters of an acre, divided into plots of 24 by 6 meters, ensuring a consistent supply to her buyers.

She states that each of her ten  plots in total consistently earns her between Sh15,000 to 20,000.

“The production cost, even when it goes up significantly, is around Sh5,000,” she estimates.

Her buyers are wholesale customers from Dagoretti, Kawangware, and Kangemi markets who come directly to the farm. Wangui sells based on the size of the portion and the costs she incurred.

“Transporting the produce to the market is an additional cost. Each kilogram forces me to incur market transportation expenses,” she adds.

Additionally, she has employed as an administrative clerk in a Nairobi-based company. However, farming hasn’t been smooth sailing. The market saturation often puts pressure on prices.

Wangui, a Diploma in Management holder, plants giant nightshade managu seeds from Busia. For a quarter acre, she needs one and a half kilograms of seeds.

She has embraced a planting system that involves broadcasting seeds without making holes or furrows; they are thrown and covered lightly with soil upon landing.

“This method reduces costs and labor, although it poses challenges dealing with pests and diseases due to the crowded plants,” explains Richard Omondi, an expert.

Omondi, the founder of Agri-Irrigation & Solutions Africa, encourages farmers using this method to incorporate irrigation for watering their crops.”