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Kenya: 'Mr Agriculture' runs model farm to educate growers

Rodgers Kirwa, popularly referred to as ‘Mr Agriculture’ by friends and associates, is an award-winning agronomist. He believes if youth take up agriculture and do modern farming, Kenya would not be subject to famine every year.

Kirwa, 27, grew up in Nandi, a county full of tea farmers. His interest in farming started when he was a child, admiring farm managers of big multinational tea companies set up in his home area.

He started off by farming potatoes in 2013 in his father’s farm in Molo. Speaking to the Star in an interview, he said he made a huge killing while farming and decided this is the path he would follow after finishing university in 2016.

In January last year, he partnered with an Israeli company, Green Arava, and set up the model farm in his father’s one-acre land in Nandi.

The model farm has a greenhouse and also operates open farming. He does irrigation, where he plants onions, kales, indigenous vegetables and tomatoes. Cucumber and tomatoes are planted in the greenhouse.

He pumps water from the river and uses drip irrigation, and, therefore, does not rely on rainfall, unlike most farmers.

Mr Agriculture did not incur any expenses, as his new partners offered agronomical support for the entire year.

Visitors have since been streaming to the farm, including the Malawian Ambassador, politicians and foreigners.

Read more at The Star (Melanie Mwangi)

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