In Kenya, there are over 200 agribusiness options that are both profitable and low-cost to start.
Some people believe it's preferable to quit your job and start a business straight immediately, while others believe it's best to take it slowly and establish your new business on the side before switching.
Most people felt Nicholas Kipchirchir was crazy when he resigned from a profession that paid him over KES 250, 000 a month to get into farming.
However dedication has no bounds, and just about four years later, the 36-year-old is now the owner of a thriving agribusiness and an employer.
"Many individuals, including my wife and parents, did not anticipate me to step down from a well-paying job and embark on such a risky move where everything is decided by the market price of the commodity, but look where I am now," says Mr Kipchirchir, whose profession as a technical and operations director at Enviroserve Kenya, a company that handles electronic waste, was looking promising.
Passion Overrides Career Choice
When he visited South Africa, the Environmental and Biosystems Engineering graduate claims he obtained an ardour for agriculture.
"While on the challenge in South Africa, I noticed there has been a large opportunity in agriculture, specifically blended farming." "I went to three fields and built boreholes for irrigated crop production, and I diagnosed a possibility that might be repeated in Kenya," he adds.
But it wasn't all roses withinside the beginning. Farmers, like several different businesses, require start-up coins in addition to emergency funds. "I had the advantage of getting 3 acres of land."
But afterwards, I had to acquire to increase the land and incorporate additional food crops, poultry, zero-grazing dairy cattle, sheep, and bees, among other segments and sub to establish a strong platform for a living," says Mr Kipchirchir, who is from Nandi.
He worked for the first 2 years of his career. "If you want to earn a profit, you have to be willing to take a risk, and that is how I was able to focus entirely on my agricultural operations," he adds, adding that he had to make many sacrifices at first owing to low returns.
Dairy farming was the catalyst for his breakthrough. He had four heifers that produced 100 litres of milk every day on average.
"While zero-grazing requires a large initial investment, the long-term benefits are appealing. He claims that all that is required is competent animal husbandry since "there is always a ready market for milk and its products."
He has hired two full-time employees and six part-time employees.
Mr Kipchirchir has also ventured into sheep farming, selling approximately 15 sheep per year for about KES8,000 apiece, totalling KES120,000 per year. "The beautiful thing about agriculture is that you are your boss and can diversify in reaction to market forces, unlike white-collar occupations where you must specialize in one area," Mr Kipchirchir explains.
Diversification of Business
He maintains chickens to supplement his income, with 60 enhanced kienyeji layers producing 60 eggs per day and earning roughly KES20,000 per month.
He also has seven top-bar beehives, each of which produces 10 kilograms of honey every three months, earning him KES60,000 on average.
"One cannot rely on a single source of revenue in this type of farming." I've expanded my business to include farm trips, for which I charge KES1,000 each person for a two-hour session. Every month, I receive 10 to 15 individuals. In addition, unlike working, this provides me with additional cash," Mr Kipchirchir explains.
Another possible source of revenue is tree tomatoes. He owns an acre of the property where he grows fruit plants. He has invested in irrigation since irregular meteorological conditions entail uncertain yields.
"I used to harvest 80 kilogrammes of tree tomatoes every week before March this year, bringing me KES6,400 per week," he adds.
He's also started growing avocados, with ten trees of the profitable Hass and Fuerte kinds put under drip irrigation.
What advice does he have for young people considering a career in agriculture? "Just like any other business, you need discipline, attention, and desire to thrive," he argues.
Transforming a country’s agriculture sector can create jobs, raise incomes, reduce malnutrition, and kick-start the economy on a path to middle-income growth.
Farm and animal management, commodity marketing, agricultural and rural policy, global commerce, and economic development are just a few of the rewarding career opportunities available in the subject of agribusiness.
Read more: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/special-reports/mixed-farming-successful-business-3574776
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