News and knowhow for farmers

Kisii pawpaw farmer’s 20K investment now yields Sh50K monthly

pawpaw farm

A former In­de­pend­ent Elect­oral and Bound­ar­ies Com­mis­sion (IEBC) clerk after leav­ing the job in 2017 in­ves­ted Sh20,000 in paw­paw farm­ing, a ven­ture which is cur­rently earn­ing him between Sh50,000-80,000 in every month.

Mof­fat On­dieki worked for the elect­oral body on a tem­por­ary basis in the past gen­eral elec­tion period as a clerk at Gucha Con­stitu­ency in Kisii County, a job which he used to earn Sh1,200 per day the money he saved its bet­ter part.

“I had to do my sav­ings well as the con­tract was within the elect­oral period. Though by the time I did not know what I would have used the money for, farm­ing could have been my best op­tion as I have had the pas­sion since my child­hood,” said On­dieki.

After 2017 elec­tions he spent Sh7,000 on land pre­par­a­tion and other la­bour, Sh3,000 on seeds and about Sh2,800 on 50kg of fer­til­iser. The rest would be used in plant­ing and weed­ing which takes Sh5,000 every time the farm is weedy.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: Re­si­li­ent farmer earns Sh100,000 a month from paw­paw and pas­sion farm­ing after los­ing Sh446,000 in wa­ter­melon

By April 2018, he star­ted plant­ing from the nurs­ery the seed­lings on a one acre fam­ily land. Within a month he had planted over 500 seed­lings.

“I had timed the onset of the long rains to plant the fruits as they need more water to es­tab­lish dur­ing the plant­ing period. April being the onset of the long-rains was there­fore an ideal period,” said On­dieki.

After one year, the ma­tur­ity period of the fruits, Mokaya would start har­vest­ing his first crops after every three months leav­ing them enough time to in­crease in num­ber.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: South Su­danese high yield­ing and fast matur­ing paw­paw vari­ety seeds avail­able in Kenya

His chal­lenges in­clude pests that at­tack his crops mainly dur­ing early stages, which force him to spend a lot of money on pesti­cides.

Bad roads that may see him trans­port the fruits to Da­raja Mbili Mar­ket in Kisii Town is also an­other chal­lenge hence he in­vites trader to his farm to avoid trans­port ex­penses.

“I have re­sor­ted to or­ders by small busi­ness people such as ‘mama mboga’ who place their de­mand when I am har­vest­ing then come to pick the fruits for mar­ket,” said On­dieki.

He har­vests a tor­tal of 1,000 fruits every month which he sell at between Sh50-80 per fruit de­pend­ing on de­mand and sup­ply. This trans­lates to at least Sh50,000 gross in­come per month.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: Paw­paw gives 40 fruits per tree

On­dieki is now think­ing of in­creas­ing the acre­age under the crop and also ven­ture into other short-term matur­ing crops which are also easy to trans­port for quick and more cash.

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