News and knowhow for farmers

Farmers move closer to Nairobi to earn max profit

A farmer has relocated his supply station from Nyeri to Nairobi, a move that has seen him triple his customers and income to Sh100,000 a month against Sh30,000 he used to make three months ago.

Githaiga Ngarry Kihara started growing Brachiaria Mulatto II hybrid grass in August 2017 with the aim of supplying grass splits to livestock farmers in Nyeri. However, he decided to move to Nairobi to expand his customer base since there are no direct routes from the county to regions like Western, Central and Rift Valley.

 “I can now serve my customers from other regions with much ease due to availability of transport services available in Nairobi which has enabled me deliver the grass while still fresh” said Githaiga.

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He uses his personal car to deliver the splits within 150km radius from his Nairobi base and Nyeri farm, and sources public transportation and currier services to reach his buyers from far places such as Kisii, Bomet, Kericho, Nakuru and Narok among others.

There are over 176 matatu saccos and 41 courier service companies in kenya according to Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) saccos registration list for financial year which ended December 2016. This gives Githaiga a range of options in transporting his splits to farmers from far.

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He can currently serve up to 30 customers in a week who places different orders ranging between Sh1,000 and Sh5,000 with the number increasing during rainy seasons as most farmers in the county depend on rain-fed agriculture practices.

“I deliver over 2,500 brachiaria splits to my customers selling split at Sh10 every week but during rainy seasons I deliver about 3000 splits because more farmers plant during this time,” he said.

Though farmers pay for the delivery, Githaiga does free delivery to customers who place orders above Sh12,000 to promote impulse buying by his customers.

Githaiga who has been in this business for just six months is also posting pictures of brachiaria grass and its importance on his Facebook page (Githaiga N. Kihara) improving his reach for farmers.

“Through Facebook posts I receive enquiries and orders by Kenyans in diaspora living in the US, South Korea, South Sudan, UK, Switzerland and Botswana who want the splits to be delivered to their families in Kenya,”

“I not only post to attract sales but I also find it as an opportunity to educate farmers and friends on Facebook more about brachiaria grass,”

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“An acre requires 2500 splits planting at spacing of 1 m × 1metre. The grass has high crude proteins content of around 18per cent, drought tolerance of up to 6months, makes excellent silage and increases in milk production.”

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