Moses Karimi: Primary School Dropout Making Ksh4.8 Million From Garlic Farming

By Issac Blessings

Farming is a lucrative venture, however, a majority of Kenyans do not consider it their number one go-to source of livelihood. The majority who do, practice subsistence farming. It is evident that the daring few who defy the odds and join the sector reap a fortune in return.

In this article, we bring you the story of Moses Karimi Githaiga – a primary school dropout who rose to make Ksh4.8 million in garlic farming. Here is the full story as told by WoK.

Background & Education

Karimi was born and raised in the interior village of Kiawara, Kieni Sub County, Nyeri County. He never completed his primary school education due to lack of school fees and instead began working at an early age.

Moses Karimi: Primary School Dropout Making Ksh4.8 Million From Garlic Farming
File image of Moses Karimi at his garlic farm. |Courtesy| Agribusiness TV|

Hustle Struggle

He would later move to Kisumu city where he worked as a hawker and sharpened knives for residents of Manyatta and Nyalenda slums.

While still hustling, Karimi who had a strong passion for farming would once in a while enter a cybercafé to research on how to plant garlic and the crop’s overall market demand. After learning the basics, he decided one day that it was time to try to put into practice what he was reading on the internet.

He packed all his belongings and travelled back to his village to start his farming journey.

Farming Skills and Journey

Karimi had learnt online how to propagate his own seeds which could take a shorter harvest time – four months instead of the normal eight. The process involved sun drying the garlic bulbs for one month and then putting them into cloves before disinfecting in chlorine. The garlic bulbs are then cleaned with organic soap to wash away dirt and the disinfectant.

He would then sprinkle salt on the bulb to stop any formation of moisture on the bruised surfaces of the garlic. Later, he would mix the bio-stimulant with water and the onions immersed in the solution for 12 hours.

After arriving in the village, he propagated his seeds and started garlic farming officially in 2012. He started off with a quarter an acre where he planted 25 Kilograms of garlic and harvested 800 kilos within four months. He then sold the harvest at Ksh100 per kilo making Ksh80,000 in his first season of garlic farming.


After the successful 2012 season, Karimi decided to take it a notch higher by cultivating the garlic on a 1-acre piece of land. He would then harvest 4,800 kilos of garlic in 2013 making around Ksh480,000 in that season. After harvesting, he keeps 20 per cent of the produce for seed propagation for the next season. He currently owns 13 acres of land under his farming company – Saumu Centre Limited.

During an exclusive interview with Business Daily, Moses revealed that he at one point made Ksh 4.8 million in four months.

“Last season I earned Ksh 4.8 million from 13 acres of garlic farm. But now I vary my planting to supply my clients all year round,” he revealed.

He has 10 employees who help him in his farm work and sometimes hires 13 more casual labourers depending on the workload.

Karimi also trains over 100 farmers on garlic farming drawn from neighbouring counties such as Meru, Kirinyaga and Embu. He charges Ksh3,000 for the training and provides the farmers with reading materials and reference manuals.