Peter Mwangi is the proprietor of Refresher Pineapple Farm, dealing in large-scale pineapple farming.
The farmer ventured into pineapple farming in 2010 while seeking a way of utilizing his late father’s idle land.
With support from a school where he was a teacher and neighbors, Mwangi progressively expanded his venture to ploughing 20 acres today.
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Here is his story as told by WoK.
Mwangi who holds a degree in Education was a teacher at a local school when he thought of going into farming to utilize a 6-acre of land left behind by his late parents.
“Before I started pineapple farming, I was a teacher teaching Agriculture and Biology in a local school around my home
“After two years I decided to go into farming. By then, my parents had passed away and as I was going to school, I was thinking of what to do to make use of the farm,” Mwangi told Utmost Precision.
Despite challenges such as lack of time, enough manpower and money, Mwangi was able to venture into farming in 2010.
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The farmer started with an acre where he planted seeds worth Ksh 1,200 which he later propagated while expanding.
Mwangi did small scale farming until a year later when he managed to buy a car which he used to transport his produce to Nairobi.
“When I started by doing an acre, I had customers. They included my teacher colleagues, parents of the students and people living around
“After a year, I bought a car which I used to transport pineapples to Nairobi and when you have regular customers you have to expand,” he said.
According to Mwangi, to venture into pineapple farming, one will need at least an acre of land, manure and certified seeds.
He also advised budding farmers to consider spending time in their farms, noting that pineapples need close monitoring.
“When you plant pineapples you can’t stay away from it. You need to visit the farm regularly so that you make the most put of your money,” Mwangi said.
He started with an initial capital of Ksh 500,000 which catered for manure, seeds and workers’ payments among other miscellaneous.
The first harvest is done one year and eight months after planting, after the first harvest, a farmer will harvest after every two weeks for the next eight years.
After the eighth year, pineapple plants will no longer produce fruits.
Mwangi makes at least Ksh 14 million per year from pineapples in his 20-acre piece of land.
He explained that an acre produces about 14,000 pieces which he sells at Ksh 50 per fruit.
The main challenge that Mwangi is facing in his business is pests and diseases.
He mentioned that if they are not properly managed, they can cause lots of damages.
“When we talk of pests we have wild animals, like porcupines which attack pineapples whether ripe or unripe
“In terms of diseases, we have the black’s spot which generates itself in the farm killing the plants. It kill the leaves and the stems. To deal with it you just uproot the whole plant,” he said.
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