In March, Josephine Mwangi heard of agribusiness commercial farming venture in Isinya, Kajiado County, and jumped onto it.
Josephine says she got attracted to the innovative idea dubbed PRC KilimoBiashara because she would farm without being physically involved.
“I have always wanted to try a hand in crop farming. However, my busy schedule wouldn’t allow me, as l am in full-time employment. Although the farm is over 50km away, this model suits me because l just pay and somebody manages it for me,” she says.
Josephine bought a plot worth Sh750,000 and paid an extra Sh250,000 for a greenhouse. That is all she had to do.
“On my second visit, they had constructed a greenhouse and planted capsicum,” she says, adding that she visited the third time to witness the maiden harvest. Smart Harvest met Josephine at the farm witnessing her third harvest, which also coincided with the official launch of PRC KilimoBiashara project at Mbuni estate in Isinya.
The project is a partnership between Property Reality Company (PRC) and an Israeli owned Company, Green Arava. It involves selling and developing agricultural land together with a package of agricultural infrastructure and professional farm management services.
“We set up greenhouses and provide quality seedlings and technical support,” says Nitzan Baur, the Project Manager.
Like Josephine, many other farmers with busy schedules are now farming in the estate that so far deals with three crops — capsicum, cucumber and tomatoes.
“I run my own business in Kajiado town from 7am to 8pm. I love farming but actually have no time for it. But through this model, l have a plot and a greenhouse of tomatoes,” says Eric Wandera.
Wandera, whose tomatoes will be ready for harvesting in two weeks, terms his agribusiness venture as a side hustle that gives him extra income.
It is one year since PRC KilimoBiashara project, which sits on 72 acres, was introduced. So far, 125 greenhouses have been constructed on a similar number of crops and all of them have crops. The first greenhouses have had the third harvest and the produce sold.
When completed, the unit will host 300 greenhouses. It already employees over 200 casuals and professionals.
Abraham Murithi, the PRC General Manager, says the project is a new frontier in agribusiness whose concept was borne to add value to customers and contribute towards feeding the population on quality produce consistently.
“Food insecurity has over the past few years become a major issue. We are therefore playing a vital role in ensuring constant supply of produce and support measures to alienate food insecurity,” says Murithi.
Director of the State department of Livestock, Lorna Odero, lauded the project and other current innovation trends shaping up the agricultural sector.
“Statistics have shown that over the last 10 years there have been discussions on food insecurity. With such technologies, soon food insecurity shall be a thing of the past,” said Odero.
She says climate change is threatening food supply and agriculture in Africa and globally, adding that promotion of technologies to enhance both crop and livestock production will play a great role in boosting food security as will the need to remove constraints to agricultural services and marketing.