Sunday, May 26, 2024

Jane Kimari: Why I chose to do farming despite having first class Honors

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Jane Kimari is a woman who wears several hats with the main including mother, top counsellor and strawberry farmer. Ms Kimari is a university graduate with a first-class honours degree in Psychology and Counseling.

Furthermore, at 30, she is an avid strawberry farmer. Despite holding her passion for farming close to her heart, the young woman hasn’t forsaken all the years she toiled for knowledge at school. She balances both her work and farming duties.

The young mother started strawberry farming around 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began. During that time, people were more cautious about their diets and healthy eating.

At the same time, she was also expectant. Ms Kimari discovered multistory gardening as a farming method and became immediately interested.

“With this economy and with children, you need a side hustle. It is a side hustle that I enjoy..a kilogram of strawberries is around Sh. 600. It made sense and was very easy to manage. That was the selling point for me,” she narrated in a past interview.

Ms Kimari states that she chose strawberry farming not only for its financial benefits but also due to the therapeutic nature of gardening. She chose organic farming on her strawberry farm, guided by the fact that her children would also be the beneficiaries of her farm.

Ms Kimari noted that her farm uses goat manure, which has several advantages, such as balancing the soil pH and slowing down the release of nutrients. The mixing ratio of soil to manure she uses is 1:1.

“In most things, when growing something or want to sell, you should be the first consumer. Do not grow something that you should not consume yourself. We don’t use fertilizers,” she clarified.

Explaining her choice of multistory gardens, she stated that they are key in helping the fruits grow while suspended, preventing them from rotting over time. The second reason was that it is less tiresome than traditional farming, which requires extra labour input.

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On marketing, Jane Kimari said that the internet has made it easier for her to get clients. All she does is advertise on her socials and receive client requests. Sometimes, she also gets return customers and offers training to aspiring strawberry farmers.

Some of her main customers include local businesses such as bakeries, yoghurt manufacturers, and residents of gated communities within her neighbourhood.

Asked whether there is a market, Ms Kimari asserted there’s still plenty of opportunity to capitalize on market gaps.

She advised the youth to avoid the mentality that farming is difficult and can only be a last option. Jane Kimari elaborated that it is through farming that she has been able to foot some of her bills.

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