Kipruto,an energetic confident young man is a Jack of all trades.Coming from an affluent family of hardworking parents is a bonus as well.I mean…who will think of going to the farm when they are from a well to do background.Most of his friends refer to him as Kip.Is Professional pilot, a bike enthusiast and a strawberry farmer.
Yes,a farmer!!! It may sound a bit odd, for someone with all this kind of qualification(s) and ability to be a farmer.To him,farming is one way of unwinding away from the skies and bush rides as a biker.
I got interested in how kip juggled flying,bikes and the jembe.Many youth of his age are normally busy house partying unlike Kip.
We stroll in his quiet Hood as he talks about his strawberry farm back in Nakuru county.At 21,he now regards himself as a ‘strawberry pro‘.He is the head farmer with another team of four guys who help monitor everything around the farm when he is away on busy days.
He began farming three months after graduating from the prestigious Kenya school of flying based in Nairobi.”There is no pressure,i work under my own terms”.He chuckles.
“My flying skills have not gone to waste either,i only fly four times a week depending on my boss’s demand.Funny enough,we get to work for an extra hour during the festive season and have breaks In January”.
On the other hand,biking is one of his favourite hobbies.We get to their home,in quiet surbubs and am amazed.A blue beast stands at the well manicured garden and he tells me,it’s one of his new bikes.I touch the brakes, look at the rims and I feel the saddle which is quite an amazing experience.
”Bikes are the way to my heart”.I love bIke’s, am a speed junkie and hondas’are my thing”.He says.Kip also rides alongside his cousin a brother and are both members of Rift valley motor sports club.His brother rides a light green -KX250F(model).Which is a high perfomance speed bike.
We then get to the dining area and some mouth watering strawberries strike my eyes .”You can have some”.He say as ,he streches a green sieve-like bowl towards my direction.I take some and they are juicy.We take our sits,and he stands once again to get a variety of the berries.
The ones he grows are known as June berries although having a green house is an added advantage since he can grow and harvest them throughout the year.Being new in the market,the demand is high yet the supply is low and this forms a gap in between.Therefore big companies are forced to import the berries from other bigger producers.
Strawberries are used for a variety of purposes like in perfumes,chocolate,juice,and also forms part of a healthy snack .Two pieces of berries are equivalent to two oranges.The berries take a period of three years to grow fully ,ready for harvesting.
The stalk is plucked,and the fruit is therefore free from contamination.They are then placed in colourless perfoperforated clamshells,which are bought from a local guy who delivers them on cash basis and makes it easy for branding purposes.
Since strawberries go bad for a short period of time,there is normally ready market for this and the delivery is done by trucks with multiple coolers.Kip basically supplies the strawberries at a local supermarkert which is apparently booming at the moment.He plans to retire at 35,and run his company in years to come.He encourages young people to embrace agribusiness for a better future to cut down unemployment rate.