Farming has been one of my hobbies but I never figured out that I could do farming. I studied at the University of Nairobi where I graduated with a degree in Economics. I later pursued MBA from the same university. Later, Cooperative Bank employed me as a graduate Trainee. At the bank I grew to become a supervisor. By 2015 I was earning a modest salary, Ksh 102,500 per month.
The worst happened in July 2015 when one of my managers accused me of stealing Ksh 1.35 million. I was charged in court and later dismissed while the case was ongoing. By the time I was being dismissed, I had bills to pay, I was building a house at home, my wife was also pregnant. The first day without going to work looked like a dream, I couldn’t believe I had been fired. Reality downed on me when my landlord informed me that it was time to pay my rent, I had nothing because I had already been drained by the court case.
For three good months, I was struggling to pay my rent and feed my family. Friends contributed until they started disappearing one by one, my parents got tired, my siblings couldn’t believe my story. In November 2016 I decided to move to my village after I failed to raise money to pay my rent.But my problem is that my wife refused to go with me and instead went to live with her sister in Kangemi,I went alone home.
I absolutely had nothing to do despite being armed with an MBA,all my thoughts were to make applications for employment and wait for a job.However,my eyes were opened as I interacted with my ‘fellow villagers’.I discovered that those living in our villages have a different view of life.One of my villagers told me something that changed my life.”Jared,you see,all you need in life is to get food,shelter,clothes and good health,the rest are luxuries”.That evening,I went home and thought about that statement.I own 6 acres of land which I was given by my father yet I didn’t utilize them.I had a shelter,clothes,what I didn’t have is money to buy other basic necessities. I thought of how to utilize the land to earn a living.
I had not practiced farming before except long time ago when I planted Sukuma which my parents were eating. This time, I tried to figure out what to plant, I took my time and finally settled on tomatoes. But as I was about to take a step, I heard someone say avocado are a hot cake in the market.
Ever since I was fired,I had applied for more than 50 jobs, only one of them invited me for an interview. I attended but failed. I had applied until I got tired. What helped me most was the fact that I accepted that I was jobless. I put aside my degrees to start a new life.
In March 2016, I decided to do something new. One of my friends whom I shared with the idea of Avocado inspired me a lot. He told me that a relative is also doing the same, he even offered to take me to Kitale to check how avocado farming is done. We boarded a vehicle in Eldoret and arrived at the friend’s farm at 10 am. We found Kibet waiting for us.
What shocked us is how organized his farm was, he looked like a serious farmer. After taking as round the farm, he narrated to us how he almost gave up in life when he couldn’t secure formal employment. He had been in the business for 7 years.
After the journey, my mind was clear what I could do next.I went home and prepared 3 acres for avocado farming. After three weeks, I bought seeds which I planted.
It’s last year 2019 when I made my first harvest.I got an order from Nairobi after being referred by the friend who took me to Eldoret.The first trip yielded Ksh 280,000.After three months,I harvested again, earning Ksh320,000.
Towards the end of last year,I also harvested and earned Ksh500,000 from the harvest.
I thank God for opening my eyes.I can now comfortably say that I won’t seek for employment anymore.
What I like most about this business is that avocado farming is not as involving as tomato or cabbage farming. Once you plant, all you do is to wait for harvesting time and make money. Avocados are also not prone to diseases.