Monday, December 5, 2022

Kenyan pastor in US making millions from Kajiado onion farm, Los Angeles businesses

Reverend Pastor Joseph Oloimooja who resides in Los Angeles, California in US revealed how he is able to manage an onion farm business in Kenya and still reap bumper harvests at the end of each season.

The pastor migrated to the United States with his family in 2001, for a Master’s of Theology from the International Theological Seminary in Los Angeles. He currently serves as the Priest-in-charge of Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal church in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles.

Oloimooja says he started venturing into agri-business in 2018, particularly onion farming after noticing a market niche in Kajiado.

His farm is located in the Maili Tisa area of Kajiado, and he runs the business with just his phone.

He was also looking to create job opportunities back at home while making good use of his vast land that was in an idle state.

“I once came home and saw that we were importing plenty of onions from Tanzanian farmers, yet we have plenty of land and the same climatic conditions. This challenged me,” says Reverend Oloimooja.

After spotting his opportunity to generate income from Kenya, all he had to do was hire people to plant the crop, initially on a one-acre farm.

“I started with an acre to test the waters, luckily, there was a huge demand for the commodity in the markets at the time enabling me to sell at Sh. 75 a kilogram,” he says.

He is also growing managu and spinach at his farm and selling at the Namanga market.

After a good reaping season, Oloimooja decided to expand the farm and he now planted onions on 5 acres. His harvest increased to the tune of 90,000 kilograms.

“I begin prompting potential buyers on social media informing them that my produce will be ready in about 120 days,” explains the farmer.

How does he manage to run his business from abroad?

“Initially, I had employed my relatives but having fallen victim to rip-offs, I changed tack. I have now employed people who are not related to me after thorough vetting,” Oloimooja who advises Kenyans in the diaspora against engaging relatives in their ventures back home says.

“Most of them will try to take advantage of you, diverting money you send them for your projects to pursue their own developments. Later when you realize, you can’t fight them back because they are family.”

He reveals that the social media messaging app WhatsApp has been key in helping him keep in touch with his employees at the farm.

“I also have the overall farm manager and operations manager to coordinate the workers. I also take good care of my workers so that they feel appreciated,” he adds.

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