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Kenyan Woman Grows Melon Business into a Million-Dollar Venture

Niaje

Niaje

After graduating from Egerton University in 2007 with a degree in biomedical science, Annie Nyaga expected to land a job soon after and scale the ladder in her career.

She got a job as a purchasing assistant at a firm in Nairobi, but quit after six months because it was boring.

She turned to farming, which was what her parents had been doing for years at their home in Mbeere, Embu County.

It has been six years since Nyaga, 28, went into watermelon farming, a business that has brought her great joy.

“I settled for watermelons because they do very well in Mbeere. They are high-yielding, mature faster and do well in the market,” says Nyaga, who farms under the trade name Farm2Home.

She started growing the fruit on her parents’ three-acre farm with a capital outlay of U.S. $197.83.

She used the money to buy seeds, but soon realized that she needed more to invest in a proper drip irrigation system.

“I did trial runs with seeds from different companies before I discovered that hybrid seeds produce the highest yield.”

She plants the seeds in a nursery before transferring the seedlings to the farm after three weeks.

“The whole process, from nursery to harvest, takes about three months depending on the climate and the variety of watermelons as some mature early,” she said.

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