By Prudence Minayo
Christopher Angote was a teacher of Agriculture pocketing Sh25,000 as his monthly salary. This was not enough to sustain his big plans for the future. Hence, his decision to quit teaching and venture into vegetable farming. The fact that he taught Agriculture meant that he could put that useful knowledge into practice and he did just that.
“I felt teaching was wasting me. The Sh25,000 salary was not enough and I could not do anything meaningful,” he told businessdaily.
Here is the story of the teacher turned farmer as told by WoK.
Having inherited 0.4 acres of land from his father, he decided to put it into good use. Thankfully, he had managed to save a good amount of money which he used to buy 7.1 acres in Emuhaya, Vihiga county. His sole focus at the beginning was growing vegetables.
Soon Mr. Angote realized farming was a very lucrative venture. This motivated his decision to rent out 17.5 acres at Sh80,000- expanding his vegetable farm.
On the farm, Christopher grows a number of indigenous and exotic vegetables including: black nightshade, Cowpeas, slender leaf (mito), amaranth, Jute mallow (murere), spider leaf (saga), Ethiopian kales, kales and onions.
Compared to teaching, the former teacher finds farming to be a much more rewarding venture. What he earns in a day is much more than what he used to earn monthly as a teacher. The farmer, who makes about Sh30,000 on a good day, says this would have been a different story had he remained a teacher.
“I decided to put the knowledge I have in agriculture into practice. Now I have a total of 25 acres, owned and leased. If I was still teaching, I could still be stuck in some job group with an increment of Sh2,000,” he told BD.
Today, the farm employs six permanent workers, and hires 15 to 20 casual laborers on a daily basis. Despite his preference for using his motorbike, he owns a pick up.
He rears 26 Frisian and Jersey cows that are also being nurtured on the farm. While some of the cows are in-calf, 12 are used to provide milk. They bring in about 250 liters daily, milk he sells locally.
Apart from the cows, he also rears approximately 600 chickens which bring in 14 trays of eggs daily.
The teacher cum farmer is married to Maureen Achieng, who is coincidentally a technician in animal health. Since they keep no bulls at the farm, Maureen performs artificial insemination.
Mr. Christopher Angote says everything in the farm is achieved through teamwork.