Former KDF officer ventures into farming for a living

He served in the Military many years ago as a Lieutenant during the Ogaden War in Somalia, however after a short service commission; he resigned to concentrate on other issues.

This is none other than Moses Gitonga Ngatia- the man who wears several caps in the Langalanga area of Gilgil sub county of Nakuru.

He has been very vocal on matters Human rights fighting against social injustices and other atrocities in society- an area that saw him being christened ‘Mtetezi Gitonga’ by locals.

After resigning from the Military, Gitonga narrates that he ventured into private businesses in Nairobi as well as Nakuru.

He would later shift to Nakuru in early 2000s and settled on his farm at Langalanga just a few kilometres from the Kenyatta Barracks in Murendat Ward.

It is here that Gitonga made up his mind to venture into mixed-farming.

When this writer made a visit to his farm, the former Military man took him through various areas he has ventured into and the discipline background from the Military is also exhibited here form the well-organized farm.

Key among them is the pumpkins farming that he ventured into in 2019 after securing seeds from his brother.

On an eight- acre piece of land, he was able to get a harvest that he terms impressive with 1,000 kilograms with just less than Sh2, 000 on manure and labour.

This prompted him to venture into commercial pumpkin farming and he reveals that the crop has huge nutritional value as well as commercial potential.

Here he gives some Dos and DONTs when it comes to pumpkins farming with his focus being on the variety he grows which is Israel giant and Egypt giant varieties.

.“The seeds are directly sown in the soil that should be well-tilled and manured. The crop takes about six months to mature,” he says.

Pumpkins on Gitonga’s Farm in Gilgil. PHOTO/PRISTONE.

And for any farmer, pests and diseases become a major challenge but Gitonga notes that pumpkins’ farming is a plus as the crop is not easily attacked by pests and diseases.

His cry is however to the government to help pumpkins’ farmers get a market adding that as it stands now there are still challenges when it comes to readily available markets.

The crop that goes for between Sh70-Sh100 per kilo has an added advantage since the leaves can also be sold as vegetables.

Pumpkins is not the only crop that Gitonga is focusing on, but he has also ventured in other crops such as sorghum which he says was as a trial during the dry season and it turned out as a drought resistance crop.

Sorghum on Gitonga’s Farm in Gilgil.PHOTO/PRISTONE

He currently has a one acre piece of land that he has planted sorghum which he says can be an alternative to maize hence boost food security.

Besides crop farming, the former military man is also doing livestock farming though he notes that with the drought situation and lack of enough water and animal feeds, he was forced to sell his dairy animals a year ago.

“I was doing great in dairy farming as I had 10 animals. However late 2022 with the drought situation I had to take a hard decision to do away with the animals” he says.

Just like a soldier in war, Gitonga admits that he has not given up as his focus is now on goat farming.

Goats at Gitonga’s Farm  in Gilgil.PHOTO/Pristone 

He started the dairy goat farming late 2022 and currently he has 13 dairy goats Germany Alpine breed he targets to have around 50 of them.

“I currently have a customer who gets 2 litres of milk from me daily at a discounted price of Sh 140 to Gilgil town,” he says.

Gitonga appeals to the County government as well as the national government to support farmers at grass root level through subsidized farm inputs.

This, he notes, will go a long way in addressing food security in the county and nation as a whole.


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