Fortunes change for youth eyeing self-employment #youngFarmers

Together with his siblings, Mwelesa owns six acre farm in Kebiringo, Nyamira County, an inheritance from their deceased parents.

Like John, Mwelesa’s interest in farming started after high school. Having been orphaned with no income and two siblings to care for, he opted to farm tomato and kales.

“The business was profitable when I started. I would earn Sh200 per crate of tomatoes,” he says.

Due to unreliable weather condition, Mwelesa abandoned his 1,000 tomato plants for sugarcane farming and a small tea plantation. It was still not enough to pay for his siblings’ education. Forced to look for alternative sources of income, Mwelesa moved to Nairobi.
He secured a job as a guard with the help of a friend.

His plan, he says, is to save enough capital for his farming venture. “I want to go back home as soon as my sibling graduate. I intend to practice dairy farming and also expand the tea estate,” said Mwelesa.He believes tea is the best crop to grow as it is profitable and easy to tend.

Although more youth would like to engage in agriculture, startup capital and land continue to be a hindrance. Only after these aspects are fully addressed can the country begin to see more youth investing in agribusiness.

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