French beans provide new graduate with good returns
Mbegi ya Akurinu village in Gilgil is wet following the heavy rains being experienced across the country. The place is muddy and difficult to walk around without gumboot.
But this is the opportune moment for Evans Kimani and his nephew Geoffrey Mwangi to lay grounds for good money when the dry period comes calling.
Kimani is busy making trenches in the just recently plowed one-acre land. At the lower side of this land, one’s attention is captured by rows of healthy cabbages. To the right side, one cannot stop admiring an acre and a half of well tendered French beans. He puts down his jembe and walks leisurely towards the French beans farm.
“We concentrate on French beans because it has a ready market. Although the company which has contracted us offers a fixed price, there is still good money,” he says.
He says they expect to harvest between 3,500Kgs and 400Kgs of French beans from the current crop and sell at Sh60 per kilo, hence make a gross between Sh210,000 and Sh240,000. Annually he says, they can make a profit of Sh500,000.
Kimani says they started growing French beans last year after he did a small portion and realized it does well. He acquired a loan of Sh250,000 which he invested in the crop.
“I will service this loan with ease and still be left with some good cash. Those who say there is no money in farming need to do their calculation right. If people watch closely, they would notice that government employees, once they retire concentrate on farming. Our leaders are farmers too,” he says.
Kimani and Mwangi say they find farming as the best employment because you find time to do many other things that too generate income.
Mwangi graduated with a degree in education from Masai Mara University in December last year, where he majored in Kiswahili and History. But he is not anxious about finding a job as he went back to the farm where he says he is learning more about farming from his Uncle.
“Agriculture sector is a big employer and can offer numerous opportunities to those who know what they want. Instead of seeking to be employed by schools’ boards of management as I wait for a government opportunity to come by, I decided to work in the farm,” he says.
Kimani and Mwangi rotate French beans with cabbages. Currently, they have 4,000 pieces of cabbages growing in the quarter an acre where they previously grew the beans. Here they expect to harvest as from mid this month and hope to make good money as the least they will sell a piece is Sh20, making a gross sale of at least Sh80,000 in a portion they say they invested Sh10, 000.
For cabbages, the main planting season is November and December for their crop to coincide with dry months of January through March where they earn good profit.
By this time, there is hardly cabbages in the areas which rely on the rain-fed agriculture and the crop is normally in demand from various markets across the country.