All posts by Naomi Mungai

Great milestone as Farm Shop opens its 50th outlet and first one in Nyandarua County

A satisfied farmer leaves Farm Shop Outlet
A satisfied farmer leaves Farm Shop Outlet

What started in mid 2012 as a noble idea to address smallholder farmer challenges of access to quality agricultural inputs and services in Kenya has become the most trusted agribusiness platform for smallholder farmers .The journey to the 50th franchise mark started with a pilot of four shops in Karura,Gachie,Ngecha and Zambezi markets. It was clear from the pilot that provision of timely quality inputs coupled with tailor designed local farmer training on best agronomy and livestock practices as well as a clean shop with superior design would be the biggest accelerator to local farmer agricultural productivity.
Kiambu and Nyandarua County
The success of the pilot has so far been replicated in forty nine other markets and communities in Kiambu and Murang’a County. Thousands of small-scale farmers have so far benefited from Farm Shop services through access to quality agricultural inputs as well as participating in livestock demonstration training events, crop demonstration events, free farmer clinic days, promo days and supplier days.

A certified Farmer learning Centre
A certified Farmer learning Centre

Nyandarua County
Agriculture is a mainstay of the county. The farmers mainly practice crop and dairy farming. The main value chains include maize, wheat, garden peas, snow peas, beans, cabbages, carrots and pyrethrum. Maize, wheat, garden peas, beans and Irish potato are the major food crops while pyrethrum is a major industrial crop. Major horticultural crops include cabbages, carrots, snow peas and again the Irish potato and garden peas. Other livestock products other than dairy include beef, chevron, poultry, pork, mutton, eggs, poultry meat and wool. In addition the county also produces honey and wax.
The major crops grown for food supply are maize, Irish potato, wheat, garden peas and beans. The major crops in the county are maize, wheat, garden peas, beans and Irish potatoes with pyrethrum being the most important industrial crop. Dairy enterprise is the most important livestock enterprise in the county, followed by beef production, poultry and mutton.
Farm Shop Njabini Launch
20th November is an historical day for Farm Shop as staff, local farmers and other stake holders witness the launch of Farm Shop -Njabini franchise outlet, the 50th in the network and the first shop in the county. More than fifty farmers attended this historic event and benefited from agronomy and livestock training sessions from experts drawn from Farm Shop technical team, Coopers Kenya, Biodeposit, Unga farm care, Twiga chemicals and Osho chemicals.Famers also enjoyed gifts that included Farm Shop branded merchandize like caps Dust coats and T-shits.

Njabini Franchisee Joyce Mutuota and her Daughter Jackie
Njabini Franchisee Joyce Mutuota and her Daughter Jackie

The Franchisee-pioneer in the County
Joyce Mutuota was all smiles as Farm Shop staff and local farmers joined in celebrating the unveiling of her newly branded and converted shop. Her shop was previously referred to as Taji Agrovet and had waited for three months before she qualified to become a Farm Shop franchise. The screening process was not easy and I thank God I emerged top of all the candidates who were after carrying Farm Shop brand in this town, says a delighted Joyce’’ .She now has high hopes that her business will become stronger, bigger and her customers will benefit from Farm Shop services. Joyce is happy that now she has guaranteed supply of quality products from Farm Shop and she will become part of the change that Farm Shop has brought to Nyandarua County.

This Feature been written by Samuel Munguti  Please contact me at samuel.munguti@farmshop.co.ke. If you have any question about becoming a franchisee at Farm Shop.


ROSEMARY’S JOURNEY WITH FARMSHOP

Rosemary Wanjiku Kimani was born and brought up in Ndeiya Limuru, attended Kiriri Primary School and later joined St. Mary’s Girls Thigio. After school she took a computer package course for three months.  Her father wanted her to be a teacher but teaching was not her calling and she opted to take a catering course. ‘’ My father could not hear anything of this” Rosemary says.

Rosemary at Farm Shop HQ
Rosemary at Farm Shop HQ

Her father gave her the opportunity to choose a different career path and as they were discussing with her friends the idea of becoming a veterinary doctor came up and through the friend she managed to get admission details from YMCA college of Agriculture and Technology.

Her father had no objection and she was admitted to the college in 2010 to take a Diploma course in Animal health and production. “I really enjoyed my college time and the earlier position about agriculture because in high school I really hated agriculture as a subject” She says.

Immediately after graduation in November 2012 she got employment at Limuru agrovet and worked for only eight days as the working conditions were not favourable. After this she went back to her home area and put up a general shop together with her brother. From this base she started practicing veterinary work in the community neighboring the shop.

The experience was good although there were challenges of getting paid by the farmers. As she continued to work in the field with farmers she got a call from her college colleague of a vacancy requiring computer skills which she gladly opted for due to the poor returns that she was getting from her field experience.

She later came to learn that it was one of the Franchisee’s at Farm Shop. This was her initial contact with Farm Shop although the position didn’t materialize. She was later taken to Farm Shop offices and given activation work which entailed looking for farmers and informing them about Farm Shop’s products and services they were offering.  She was attached to Ndenderu, Karura, Kahuho and Kwamaiko Shops. After this assignment she was attached to one of Farm Shop at Kiganjo as a shop assistant where she took care of the shop management on a daily basis.

Later on she joined Farm Shop office as a farmer finance officer in a project called Farmer Finance.  The project was mainly dealing with different challenges that the farmers are facing as they conduct their farming businesses and finding practical solutions. “ My main achievements for the program were getting financing for the groups from Juhudi Kilimo to be able to expand their businesses”  Other benefits from the program were getting participating farmers to get products at promotional prices, and advisory services on new technologies and Market linkages.

Rosemary took a break for maternity leave and her contract expired while on leave, so after her break she took up a position as a shop assistant at Ngecha Farm Shop. This was not her expectation as she wanted to move on further but she took the challenge, this time determined to own her own business in future. She talked to Farm Shop about this idea and they encouraged her as they are the right people at Farm Shop to support and help her progress.

Towards this step she started saving money and talking to her parents as well as close friends who encouraged her. She started taking keen interest in the product profiles especially Agronomy products to understand better the uses and also the pricing issues and reading through notes on business skills. She has also been trained by Farm Shop on Business skills and record keeping.

Rosemary in her Farm Shop at NgechaRosemary in her Farm Shop at Ngecha
Rosemary in her Farm Shop at Ngecha

Rosemary is the newest in the list of Farm Shop’s Franchisees. “Farm Shop has been a pathway to my success, where I am now and where am heading to because I have gained a lot of confidence in my veterinary work, how to practice farming as a business, customer care relations. My dream is to become a successful lady and be a model to the youths; my desire is to walk with Farm Shop to greater heights”

 

This profile has been written by Naomi Mungai. Please contact me at naomi.mungai@farmshop.co.ke. If you have any question about becoming a franchisee at Farm Shop.


Profile of a Farm Shop Demonstration Farmer: James Mugo

Naomi Mungai
August 30, 2015
Comments Off on Profile of a Farm Shop Demonstration Farmer: James Mugo

An opportunity with the Farm Shop Trust turned James Mugo into a successful Farmer keen to expand his farming business

I (James Mugo) was born and raised in Gikambura area, before I joined Farm shop I had little interest in farming. One day in May 2014 on my way to Gikambura shopping centre , there was a farming seminar taking place I came to learn later that it was farm shop Gikambura shop launch. I joined the group that was being trained about maize production. After the seminar, through the knowledge gained that day and seeds obtained from the training I planted maize variety Duma 43 and the resulting yields were good.

Maize plants growing near Ngecha, Kenya
Maize plants growing near Ngecha, Kenya

Later on we held discussions with a Farm Shop Trust agronomist in the follow-up trainings and we planted kales and spinach with the correct spacing and used Mavuno fertilizer. Since then, my farm has since been used as a demonstration farm where farmers are trained on the current technology in agriculture. Currently my farm has spinach and African Nightshade( managu). Other plants in my nursery are kale and peppers.

DSCN1421

From my association with Farm shop I have added to my knowledge on how to choose the right variety of maize seed depending on the different seasons. I have also gained knowledge on the use of fertilizer; the importance of mixing the fertilizer with soil before planting to avoid scorching and the need to use the right fertilizer for each plant.

I have also learnt about keeping records, how to use chemicals for pest control and benefits of mulching to retain soil moisture. I can now say that I have a lot of interest and passion in farming and getting small sales from the kale and spinach has been my joy.

Spinach plants growing in Ngecha
Spinach plants growing in Ngecha

I am excited to continue my association with Farm shop for more knowledge and education. My area (Gikambura) is dry and my dream in future is to have a drip irrigation system complete with a tank so as to expand my farming business.

 

This farmer profile has been written by Naomi Mungai. Please contact me at naomi.mungai@farmshop.co.ke if you have any questions about becoming a demonstration farmer with Farm Shop.