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HomebusinessJoe Irungu: Muranga Farmer Cashing in From Pumpkin Farming After Ditching Herbal...

Joe Irungu: Muranga Farmer Cashing in From Pumpkin Farming After Ditching Herbal Medicine Venture

Joe Irungu is a pumpkin farmer from Kigetuini in Murang’a County.

He has planted pumpkins on his farm and claims the endeavor has proven to be a profitable source of revenue.

However, before turning to pumpkin cultivation, Irungu worked in herbal medicine, where he faced numerous obstacles that forced him to seek an alternative source of income.

When he wanted to go into agriculture, he tried conventional crops like maize, tomatoes and vegetables but was dissatisfied with the high production costs and low profits.

Irungu noted that he was inspired to produce pumpkins during one of his journeys to Uganda after meeting a farmer who had planted pumpkins on his property and being interested in pumpkin growing.

He brought seeds of the Israel big pumpkin, which he claims is the greatest variety for commercial farming and planted them on his quarter-acre plot of ground.

A while later, Irungu said the results were astounding, as he harvested a bumper crop.

Pumpkins, according to Irungu, grow quickly and mature in three months, allowing for up to three plantings per year.

The farmer stated that pumpkins require little maintenance except during the cold seasons, when they are sprayed to prevent frost damage, and that insect traps are also required on the farm to catch pests that may harm the harvest, particularly during the blossoming period.

The Israel gigantic, he claims, is a high producing species since it grows large and can weigh up to 50 kilos, resulting in a larger return.

Irungu has gone above and above by establishing a small processing facility that manufactures pumpkin flour, which he sells locally in order to supplement his farming income.

“Pure pumpkin flour is quite expensive as a kilo goes for Sh. 1000 so we have been making blended flour by mixing pumpkin with products such as cassava, arrowroots, and bananas to make it affordable,” he said.

To support flour manufacturing, he has hired farmers from Murang’a and nearby counties to provide him with pumpkins for processing.

Irungu stated that after harvesting, the pumpkins are sliced into little pieces, which are dried and then processed into flour.

He noted that despite the fact that pumpkins are incredibly healthy, many people avoid eating them because they are traditionally associated with people from humble backgrounds.

However, Irungu claims that consumers are warming up to the flour because it can be used to manufacture a variety of items.

“With the flour, people can make various products like cakes, breads, biscuits, chapatti, pancakes and many more

“Our flour is of high quality because it is not only meant for the local market but also the international consumers,” he added.