321 10 NOVEMBER. 2012
iii!ii~~~~;;:!~'~~""~b~~..~_!~~~~ - .~ ~. . _~. ~~e~I~2 -:fl.e ~G~~~L~ ~.e~";~ OS:~~-i'~ Farming your way to wealth • Story of a graduate who makes millions as farmer
.: , .' • An .bondo ned frac tor
He hlKl graduated in 2008 from tM university and hil the rOlld looking for a job. He gol a}ob and months ~In, his life was to change In a way that he: could not
HE average age of farmers In Nigeria Is put al between 60 and 67 The reason Is not faf·fetched have imagmed H. now earns about Sh 1 million a Many young NlgeTians afe refUSing to tllke up a month from his farm carur In agriculture MWe had done ex«pti~lIy well and our director Also. experts have continually depkwed what they haw: gave us flit bonuses Straight away. 1 kl'M'W what I had daaibed as the neglect of thai SKlor of the economy by wanted 10 do WI,h my share - I always wanted to buy the govt'tnmenl. an Audl ~ Unlike jusl a harwtlul of their able·bodied peers, the Mr Kanja got lhe car purchase prouu in molion . atillude o f mllny youths to farming is condescending, but when tM was about to ptCk his car, an aulgnmflll espedally in the hlce of the fortune: of most senior clliuru at II ranch changed his thinking and pl'"iofity in the ruRiI areas, ..... ho have lemllined poor despite their MI grew up in Ihe aty. but I haw always loved the ~ndence on agriculture farm. the open spaces and the animals When I _nl . A flJlf'm«l' United Slates prnident, Thomas Jefferson, to this while man's ranch to repair his computers and had no ted that, "Cuilivators of the earth are the most saw cows being reared In a truly modnn way, I was vU1uous and independent citl.zens," but the idea of hoe fasclnaled a nd cutlass fqMsn a good number of young Ntgerlans MI asked the man a few qunlkms and ~ thai WItS MlIny gredUlltes and other job seekers would rather exactly whal I hed to do. While still al the farm, I called ""oe fOf a mirade 10 clinch the bank and cancelled the car lransacUon a wbite-colar job amid the After thai, I ~I the next two months visiting pervasive unemployment dairy fllrms and leamlng lIll that I could In the country than go 10 "I d1scowred not just an Interesting businas the hum. T heirs is the opportunity, but a ruDy enjoyab&e one I saw notion-which it general peopte living quiet 11\10 lar from the hustle and and the anyway- that no one 01 the dty and making much tnO"e money could make as much b t» bit w-1icwJ~ in peaceful lind mvotving ways " •~ey from farming as spent next two Armed wllh hb Sh33O,OOO bonus, he wenl they could in olher careers about looking for three cows 10 get Sfllrted But whUe this set of visltJng That was In January 2009, TodlIy, Mr Kanja N"tgUtans are waiting on kas grown hb had 10 more than 100, worth salaried jobs Of dreaming all about Sh 12 million In thrn year$. He has o f becoming weallhy that done so with self-drrw, focus and saaince without vlable means, a L _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _---I '" denied myself the Auefl, but thai WIIS ma n In h i. lale 20. In the easier perl," he said Kenya has "milked" his "Cows require corutant attention and my ~ to wealth . The man eams about N2 miUioq a month from a businnl lhal most young peGpM: of hb age would typical day .tarts at 4.00 a m. and does not end unhl af te r 8.00pm Besid .. , there 1$ a lot o f ha nd$·on frown upon - 'annlng. ma negement tha t has meant tha t as a young mlI n, I Mf Oougkts Kan)a loid the S ".'" u. DaU, his slOt)!.
While stili at the
I called balk cancelled ror After that,
I the I11OI1ths
fanns and 1eca,,'n9 I could.
have had no Irme to do the things Ihat young men do. But he has no regrets "Dairy farming Is Ihe best thing I couk! have done In no other business can your stock be doubling every y_r But wilh each of my cows deltvering a ClIIf every year, I am most contented With what 1 am doing .. In a country where unemployment Is giving you ng people sleepless nights, he repeats what most entrepreneurs have, fOf years, told people looking for Jobs "The opportuniliu In farming generally ale Inexhllustlble With a fillSt growing populahon and mo re people choosing 10 live In clUes, the demand Is becoming exponential for farm products," he said He sells his milk at Sh30 a litre He diKloses hIS wlnnlng formula "Daify farming Is 70 per cent mallllgCmenl and only 30 per cenl inpub ." "Deveiop the right kind of breed" feed them "with intelligence and ensure Iheir comfort" He leeds his cows on a Tolal Mlx.c:i Ration (TMRlthallncludes mall e meal. bran, ground omena, ground hay and green fodder He milks them thrH timet a day, c1eaM their sheds regutarly and even provides mats IOf siHprng "The more comforlll~ , happier and beller taken cale of " cow Is, Ihe more producUve II Is," says Mr KanJa . ..... ho breeds onty HOOfeins but Is currentty upetlmentrng on a Hoistein-Borana aossbreed .. The HOOteins are the workl', best milk producers but they possess some vulnerabilities In d,seMe re!.istance. hence the decision to c rossbreed with the hardy Boranas" He says the secret will be lalsing Ihe bar high like whal b Mppt:nrng In the US "The bat I am dOing is 55 Iltres pet cow per day In Ihe US, Ihe standard is between 60 and 80 Illres per cow per day" This wiD mean working harder, he admits "This Is my life and I will no t stop until I hit the crest of InlemaUonal benchmarks ..