Palmer Mureithi, who is an accountant by profession, is using a free mobile phone application called ‘My Wallet’ to run the bookkeeping on his dairy and banana farming in South Imenti, Meru County. This helps him acknowledge worth of his farm, in planning budgets and in monitoring their financial progress.
He started using the app right from when he began farming in 2013 to enable him to best judge which direction to take his farming in future based on the performance of every farming activity.
“I stated keeping my farm records five years ago, when I started banana farming. I want to see where my business will be by 2020 and so my records must be straight and up-to-date,” said Mureithi.
“Agribusiness is just like any other type of business, which requires recordkeeping to enable investors in the sector track their operations for proper judgments on the future of their farm production and sales.”
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For My Wallet, one has to log in using personal credentials to access the app. It generates summaries of budgets, bills, expenses and incomes based on the spending and receipts keyed into the app, which records financial statements, and the date and time of every transaction.
“I do not find it hard to use the app because of my background in accountancy. Any transactions I make related to my farming business I key in properly with dates and time to enable me to retrieve the information anytime and anywhere to check on my performances,” said Mureithi.
His investment capital in the banana and dairy farming has been over Sh2.2m. He bought some indigenous banana seedlings from a fellow farmer in the area but the bananas did not do well prompting him to buy about 1000 seedlings of tissue culture banana variety from Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) at Sh100 per seedling.
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Currently banana is occupying about six acres of his land.
He used the remaining amount to buy two mature Friesian cows and one Ayrshire cow, for around Sh120,000-Sh140,000 each, in October 2016. He now owns 10 cows, having later added five Friesian heifers of 6-18 months old, which he bought at Sh40,000-80,000 each.
“I want to purely rear Friesian cows because I find them easy to keep and they are more productive in terms of milk production. This means, the Asher types I have will be faced off slowly by crossbreeding,” said Mureithi.
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Dairy is occupying one and a half an acre of his far where he also make silage for his animals from maize stalks, sunflower and molasses.