News and knowhow for farmers

Meru farmer employs mobile wallet to budget, monitor financial progress

Farmer using smartphone

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.

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