In my parent's greenhouse checking out the tomato seedlings

In a greenhouse checking out the tomato seedlings

Kenya is a huge country with diverse geographical regions but despite the many regions, only one is referred to as the country’s bread basket. Kitale is the country’s bread basket and this is also my home. This is where I was born and bred – in a small village on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. This region is known as the country’s food basket not because it is the only place where farming is done but rather where the country’s staple food (maize) is cultivated.
Being a daughter of this land I knew nothing but farming as a source of livelihood. I grew up watching my parents and siblings toil on the farm and I knew I was destined to join them. Yes, I knew I would too become a farmer but I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to become a farmer with my own land and grow vegetables, grow flowers and sell them to Europe in exchange for Euros. This was my dream, a dream that was planted and cultivated in me by my granny who told me that if I did that I would earn enough to take her to the city. She had always wanted to go to the city, a privilege she hadn’t had unlike her husband (grandpa) who had travelled the world in the World War II fighting for the British. So I wanted to help my granny reach to the city.
It was in school where my dream plummeted like a shiny coin dropped in a dark well. Here, what I loved and looked forward to doing as a career was perceived as a punishment. The noisemakers, bullies, poor performers, absentees and other petty offenders in the school context were made to work on the school farm as the rest of us studied. As a small girl from the farm I thought of it as a motivation and I‘d do anything to be allowed to work on the school farm. However, with time I knew it for what it really was – a punishment. I started giving it the contempt it deserved and avoided anything that would make me work on the farm. Outside school were not any better for those aspiring to be farmers. They had to overcome a myriad of challenges in the sector. Besides inadequate financial resources, ladies are victims of discrimination and prejudice from their male counterparts who believe that land ownership is a reserve of men.
In secondary school, I schooled with city kids who mistook cows for buffaloes, goats for gazelles and thought vegetables grew in supermarkets. Being informed on these matters than my fellow students from the city made me proud of my agricultural background and so my dream was revived. I was back on course to become the successful farmer I had always dreamt of. I finished my secondary school education and enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy but I still harbor my ambition of becoming a farmer. I have initiated a chicken rearing project which is my flagship project. Starting at five chickens in March, the number has steadily increased to thirteen, of which some of them are laying while others have already hatched chicks.
I have a dairy cow that produces milk which I have allowed my granny to milk and sell. I have also rented a one acre piece of land on the outskirts of Nairobi which I intent to use as a platform to scale the heights of agriculture. My plans are grand and I just started.

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