He got placement as an intern at the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital , as he sought his footing in his dream career. Kanyugo interned here for a year, earning Sh.30,000 a month.
Today however, his interest in public health is not as much as it is in farming. At 25 years, Kanyugo has a newfound interest: he grows Red Oratia, the best variety of the tree tomato in Kenya so far.
So how did his interest in tree tomato farming grow?
During a visit to Embu with a friend, he met a farmer who grew the fruits. He was impressed.
He had 300 trees of grafted red oratia on his small farm, from which he was making almost super-normal profits while also training other farmers on the various techniques of grafting. I was fascinated and inspired.
After days of evaluation, he concluded that farming tree tomatoes would be a worthy go, one worth walking away from his career eventually.
Though his parents were taken aback by his drastic move, they allowed him to use two acres of their three-acre parcel of land in Nyeri County.
“With the Sh.100,000 I had saved, I was ready to kick-start this project - most people disregard the little money they earn from their first jobs, yet little as it is, spent prudently, it is enough.”
At first, he juggled the internship with his farming endeavours with some ease. Soon, however, it became difficult to offer the attention each deserved, and so he quit to concentrate on farming.
Like with all startups, the ride sometimes gets bumpy. For instance, when he was starting off, he lost Sh.75,000 after he was tricked into buying the wrong seedlings.
After that costly mistake, Kanyugo was wiser. “I visited the farmer that inspired me to plant this fruit and he taught me the basics of tree tomato farming.
I learned many things that I had overlooked right from raising my own strong seedlings, proper preparation of the planting holes, farm maintenance and most importantly crop protection.”
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