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HomebusinessPeter Kimani: JKUAT Graduate Making Up To Ksh 760,000 From Short-term Crops

Peter Kimani: JKUAT Graduate Making Up To Ksh 760,000 From Short-term Crops

Peter Kimani is a farmer from Kiambu County.

He was among students selected to participate in a trip to the Arava International Centre for Agriculture Training (AICAT) in Sapir, Israel, in 2016.

Following the trip, Kimani utilized skills he learnt and invested money they had been granted as loans to an agricultural venture which now earns him over half a million.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Kimani was selected to travel to the Arava International Centre for Agriculture Training (AICAT) following an agreement between former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 2016, the two leaders signed an agreement dubbed the Jerusalem Declaration or the Declaration on Collaboration in Water and Irrigation.

This agreement included a programme where students from different Kenyan universities would participate in an 11-month practical training course in Israel.

“I was delighted to receive an invitation for an interview from AICAT Kenya after applying for the programme. I performed well during the interview and was successfully selected,” Kimani said.

Kimani and the other selected students were granted air tickets on a loan basis, which they were expected to return during or after their internship.

The internship featured hands-on training, and students were expected to participate in agricultural production operations.

“We would only attend classes on Mondays, and the rest of the days were spent in the fields with experts who taught us about crop production, from planting to harvesting. We were paid 30 shekels (about Sh900) per hour for working 10 hours a day in the field,” he told KNA.

Following the successful trip, Kimani returned to Kenya with Ksh 500,000 which he put in his new enterprise.

He partnered with a friend and built up two 8×30-meter greenhouses and a net house to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.

On their Thika farm, they planted the high-yielding Tylka F1 tomato variety and the super marketer cucumber variety.

Kimani claims that with 1400 tomato plants, he makes around Ksh 1500 per plant.

The 1,000 cucumber plants produce 14-17 kilogrammes per plant, which he sells for between Ksh 45 and Ksh 60 per kilo at Nairobi’s City Park Market.

During his first season, he made almost Ksh 1.7 million from tomatoes and Ksh 750,000 from cucumbers, which took three months to mature.

The two have now increased their production by growing vegetables such as kale, broccoli, capsicum and carrots in addition to their traditional crops.

They also work as horticulture consultants, providing tours and classes on their Thika farm, which attracts many visitors and students on benchmarking trips for Ksh 500 per person and Ksh 5,000 for a group of eight.

Kimani’s long-term goal is to study tomato value addition in order to alleviate the issue of waste that many farmers in the country face during times of market surplus.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Land Resources Planning and Management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT).