Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Why become a farmer in Central Kenya?

I am a young farmer. It is by professional that I practice agriculture. I am based in East Africa, Kenya in the Central parts of Kenya which are the highlands thus have cool weather and reliable rainfall combined with suitable soils.

 We have an employment problem in the country which has affected all regardless of whether you have a university degree or not. This is part of the reason why I chose to go into farming as a profession. Part of the other reason I choose farming was because Kenya has experienced perennial food shortage in the last 4 years. We simply do not have adequate food production to cater for domestic consumption.

Many of my colleagues do not appreciate farming viewing it with disdain as an option only considered when all else has failed. This means that a lot of useful manpower is being under utilized.

My choice of farming(I initially started with vegetable production and later ventured into livestock) is basically to cover the domestic market. The irony is that Kenya is reknown world wide for its coffee and tea but truth be told, the farmers have nothing to show for it. Thus despite being in an area known a lot for tea and coffee farming.

I choose not to focus on export products as I had seen its effect on the families around me growing up. There is however a new generation of farmers that are now also focusing on other food crops as well as using updated methods of food production. These farmers are in touch with the world market situation. I believe that things will change for the better thanks to the technology that is now available to farmers like the mobile phones and Internet. Now I can be able to compare price rates through an SMS (short Messaging Service) subscription service using my phone. I am also able to go online to get information on best farming practices as well as tips and advice on livestock farming. Thanks to technology all this is now achievable with more to come in a foreseeable future.

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