Former Teacher Earns Sh30,000 A Day From Vegetable Farming
Christopher Angote’s farm and home, located about a kilometre off Musutswi-Esirulo Road in Emuhaya, Vihiga, sits on 7.5 acres of land.
He’s very busy. But not with chalk on a board, a job he held for 13 years before leaving to pursue vegetable farming. He is attending to customers who have come to purchase various types of vegetables to sell at nearby markets.
Christopher used to earn Sh25,000 per month as an Agriculture teacher, but now he earns more in a day.
He began farming on a small plot of land, approximately 0.4 acres, that he inherited from his father.
“When I decided to quit teaching, I bought 7.1 acres of land to fully concentrate on vegetable farming,” says Mr Angote.
He grows cowpeas, also known as likuvi, black nightshade (lisutsa), slender leaf (mito), spider plant (tsisaga), and jute mallow on his farm.
He also grows onions, kales, and Ethiopian kales, as well as cattle and chicken, the dung of which fuels his biogas’mini-plant,’ which powers his home.
When he began to see the benefits of farming, he leased an additional 17.5 acres for Sh80,000 to expand his vegetable farming, which now earns him up to Sh30,000 on a good day.
“I felt teaching was wasting me. The Sh25,000 salary was not enough and I could not do anything meaningful,” he says.
“I decided to put the knowledge I have in agriculture into practice. Now I have a total of 25 acres, owned and leased. If I was still teaching, I could still be stuck in some job group with an increment of Sh2,000,” he adds.
He grows native and exotic vegetables all year thanks to drip and overhead irrigation.
He has six permanent employees on the farm and hires 15 to 20 casuals every day, with some plucking vegetables, others weeding, and others preparing sections of the farm for more planting.
Mr. Angote owns a pickup truck that he uses to deliver produce. However, for ease of movement, he has a motorcycle that allows him to easily supervise the farms.
He has 26 cows, mostly Friesian and Jersey, 12 of which are milked and the rest are in calf. He gets 250 litres of milk per day from his 12 dairy cows, which he sells locally for up to Sh25,000 per day.
This is in addition to the Sh30,000 earned from daily vegetable sales. He has 600 chickens that produce 14 trays of eggs per day, as well as two agro vets.
His wife, Maureen Achieng’, is an animal health technician.
“We do not keep bulls at the farm. My wife does artificial insemination. This business is teamwork. That’s what is driving our success,” he says