Greenhouse peppers gave a Kenyan teacher his first real cash

At David Karira Ndiritu’s family land in Thaithi village, about a kilometre from Karatina (Kenya), the sight of bananas, coffee plants and Pomegranates greets the visitor.

Next to Ndiritu’s coffee plantation is a 50-by-28 greenhouse where he grows capsicum. Ndiritu embarked on the capsicum journey in 2011. “Back then, only a few farmers in Nyeri County grew the crop,” Ndiritu says.

Growing capsicum was lucrative, as a kilogramme could sell for as much as Sh250 [2.50 USD]. He could harvest up to 360 kilogrammes a week.

Most of his customers were from Nyeri and Karatina markets. Ndiritu was also contracted by Zucchini Greengrocers Ltd, a company based in Nairobi.

He chose to grow his capsicum in a greenhouse “because controlling pests and diseases in the open is difficult”.

Ndiritu, who is also a teacher at Kiarithaini Primary School in Mathira, says he began the venture with Sh250,000 [2,500 USD].

“I saved for two years and used the money to build the greenhouse, buy seeds, manure, pesticides, hire labour and meet other related costs,” Ndiritu explains.

Read more at Daily Nation (Sammy Waweru)

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