Simon Ngure, a Murang’a County pastor-cum-farmer earns Sh52,000 gross income a month by growing various vegetables such as zucchinis, spinach, kales and tomatoes on relay system that enables him access steady income throughout the year as opposed to planting all the crops at once.
Within his quarter acre farm at Mathioya Sub-county, Ngure has been growing the crops for 23 years by scheduling his planting to offer his customers a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season.
“I plant my vegetables at timed intervals, rather than all at once. The plants mature at staggered dates, establishing a continuous harvest over an extended period,” said Ngure adding that the method also called successive planting is useful in circumventing the initial large yield from the crop and rather providing a steady, smaller yield that may be consumed in its entirety.
The short term crops that take about three months to mature has seen the farmer feed the surrounding community as he balances his pastoral work with the production of the crops.
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He grows the vegetables organically by the use of livestock and farm manure to boost soil fertility and controls pests and diseases using charcoal dust and milk which is effective in reducing the effects of adverse cold.
“I also use a solution of crushed chilly, turmeric, ginger to clear destructive pests such as aphids that the corps are prone to,” said Ngure.
In a week the farmer is able to harvest up to 120 kilos of kales, 100 kilos of tomatoes, spinach 50 kilos, and zucchini 40 kilos.
He sells a kilo of kales at Sh30, zucchini at Sh70, spinach at Sh35 and tomatoes at Sh50 farm gate price to traders who come to fetch the produce at his farm daily. This translates to Sh13,150 gross income per week and Sh52,620 per month.
Ngure who is also a pastor does all his farm work in the morning and leaves the wife to watch over in the better part of the afternoon while he shifts to his pastoral duties.
Caption: Simon Ngure tending to his sukima wiki (kales) vegetables. Photo: Zablon Oyugi.
He can be reached on +254 726 354 080