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HomeWealthPeterson Njiru: Naivasha Agriprenuers Who Partnered To Practice Mixed Farming On 172...

Peterson Njiru: Naivasha Agriprenuers Who Partnered To Practice Mixed Farming On 172 Acres Leased Land

Peterson Njiru is the co-founder of West Rift Foods and Feeds an agri-business venture located some three kilometers from Naivasha town, Nakuru County.

Njiru founded the enterprise alongside two other directors in 2016.

By July 2022, the farmers were doing over 400 acres but they scaled down to 172 acres due to high costs of inputs.

Here is Njiru’s story as told by WoK.

Background

In 2016, Njiru and two other directors joined hands and founded West Rift Foods and Feeds, an agri-business enterprise.

After establishing the company, the three tried to cultivate different types of crops including wheat and barley.

A while later they also started planting other seasonal crops such as french beans, broccoli and garden peas for export.

In an interview with Nation, Njiru stated that when they made their way to Naivasha, they were visiting the area for adventure.

In the long run, they interacted with friends who introduced them to contract farming, an idea that worked for them.

The three made a business proposal that sounded convincing and fundable, and approached different financial institutions for a loan.

They secured the loan and used it for land preparation, buying certified seeds and services of experts.

“The financiers read our proposal and visited the farm. That is how our enterprise began… Until July 2022, we were doing 420 acres but scaled down 172 due to the high cost of inputs and diesel,” Njiru said.

Njiru noted that close plant monitoring starts immediately after planting, with employees monitoring germination, water capacity and gapping.

“The leaves of the plants are usually turned as that is where most pests hide. V, U and zigzag movements are used to locate stations that need attention,” he informed.

From the variety of crops that they plants on the farm, Njiru notes that each crop is affected by a different kind of pests and diseases.

In terms of fertilizer application, it is added on broccoli at least two times and three times on the French beans and garden peas.

The first split for the crops is on day 30 after planting while the second split is on day 65-70 for broccoli and day 42-45 for garden peas.

They also practice crop rotation in order to ensure that the soil nutrients are properly utilised.

Harvesting is done at intervals of three days, and the spear must be 10-12 centimetres long to be plucked.

While a hectare produces about 10 tonnes of broccoli, Njiru and his partners work with processors as their produce is mainly for export.

They work with among others East African Growers Ltd and Flamingo who mainly exported the produce to European countries.

Njiru also asked budding farmers to embrace contract farming as owning a land has become expensive.

“Farmers can invest and maintain their land. It means the production of food would triple,” he explained.