James Irungu: How I Lost Ksh5 Million In Green Peas Farming

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Green peas farmer James Karanja PHOTO/Courtesy

James Karanja Irungu is a farmer from Molo, Nakuru County dealing in green peas, potatoes and vegetables.

The farmer took after his father got into farming after dropping out of school in 2018.

Speaking to Imagine Business, Irungu noted that he makes averagely between Ksh 230,000 every three months from peas.

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However, he has also experienced the worse of it all when he invested Ksh 5 Million but he harvested nothing.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Inspiration

Irungu noted that he got into farming due to availability of resources such as seeds and enough land.

He also mentioned that he grew interest in farming having seen his dad practicing it for the better part of his upbringing.

“I got into farming due to availability of resources because I’m following my father’s footsteps. It is also profitable because farming is what has enabled my parents to take care of me since I was young,” Irungu said.

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Profits

Irungu also cited profitability as one of the inspirations behind his decision to venture into agribusiness.

For instance, he explained that he sells a kilo of green peas for Ksh 700, and an acre of land gives him about eight bags of peas.

So, for the 30-acre of land that he currently ploughs, he makes, on average, Ksh 230,000 after every harvesting season.

“I chose farming because it has more money compared to a formal job. If you are employed it is hard for you to get such amount of money,” Irungu noted.

Irungu started green peas farming on a one acre peice of land with a Ksh 30,000 support from his father.

The aforementioned amount facilitated the purchase of fertilizer, seeds, pesticides and pay farm labourers.

Bumper harvest

Irungu explained that green peas take three months on average to mature, although it depends with the climate.

“They take an average of three months to mature bit that’s when there’s good climate. When there’s a lot of rains, it can take more or less than three months

“When there is enough rain, you can plant at least three times per year. The second planting season has the most produce because the climate is usually very good,” he said.

Challenges

Irungu also warned that just like any other crop, green peas has its own pros and cons.

He, however, advised those looking to get into peas farming to prioritize pests and weeds control for better results.

“The most important thing is to be able to control weeds. That way good results is guaranteed. Otherwise you will have less produce,” he said.

Irungu mentioned quality seeds and crop rotation as his secret into becoming a successful farmer.

Lost Ksh 5 million

Irungu also disclosed how he planted green peas on a 100-acre piece of land only for too much sunlight to destroy all the crops.

On that particular season, he mentioned that he had invested Ksh 50,000 per acre.

“Last season I didn’t harvest even a single grain of of peas in 100 acres it was destroyed by sunlight. That was a lot of waste

“Per acre I use Ksh 30,000 without labour, with labourers that’s about Ksh 50,000 per acre,” Irungu said.

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