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Kabete Organics: How we do organic farming

Kabete Greens farm sits on a one-acre piece of lush land located within the Nairobi Children’s Recreation Center in Lower Kabete on an artery road towards Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Center (KAGR).

I recently had the opportunity to connect with the co-owner of Kabete Organics Farm through social media, specifically Twitter. What intrigued me about this particular farm was their commitment to organic farming. As I browsed through their social media profiles, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous orders from satisfied customers and the frequent referrals on their Twitter wall. It became evident that Kabete Organics Farm had managed to establish a reputation that spoke for itself. Intrigued and impressed, I decided to book an appointment with the young co-owner, Mr. Nzioka Onzere, after a couple of postponements.

Kabete Organics Farm: Where organic vegetables meet social media success

Located within the Nairobi Children’s Recreation Center in Lower Kabete, on a main road leading to the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Center (KAGR), lies Kabete Organics Farm. Spanning across one acre of lush land, this farm primarily focuses on vegetable cultivation, with a special emphasis on indigenous varieties. Among the vegetables they grow are amaranthus (Terere), African Nightshade (Managu), cowpea leaves (Kunde), stinging nettle, cauliflower, amaranth (Mchicha), and Collard Greens (Kanzera), among others.

In addition to vegetables, Kabete Organics Farm also cultivates a variety of herbs and spices such as mint, beetroot, and neem, which they source from an out-grower. Furthermore, the farm boasts a small banana plantation and utilizes the sprinkler method for irrigation. Witnessing Nzioka in action as he harvested orders for the next delivery, I knew it was the perfect time to engage in a conversation. Intrigued by the farm’s offerings, I promptly placed an order for a bunch of their organically grown Kanzera, priced at an affordable forty shillings.

Unveiling Kabete Organics Farm: A social media-powered organic farming gem

Curiosity got the better of me as I inquired about the farm’s origins. Nzioka revealed that Kabete Organics Farm was not a venture that sprouted overnight. It was an idea that took shape after an entire year of dedicated research. Naturally, I questioned the reason for such a lengthy preparation period. In a world where information is readily available on platforms like Google, why wait an entire year to kickstart a business? Nzioka emphasized the importance of market research, which proved to be the foundation of their thriving business model.

The farmers at Kabete Organics Farm identified a niche for organically grown indigenous vegetables. They delved into the scientific aspects of growing these leafy greens organically, secured a suitable piece of land, estimated costs, and identified a strong customer base. According to Nzioka, “We already had a ready market even before our first harvest, given the healthy lifestyle Nairobians are adopting by going organic. That one year was the foundation of our effective business model that runs by itself due to a ready and reliable market.”

Organic farming at its best: Exploring Kabete Organics Farm through social media

One of the distinctive aspects of Kabete Organics Farm is their dedication to using organic methods throughout their operations. The Kanzera vegetable, for instance, requires specific seedlings that are not readily available in regular agrovets. However, the farm has established a reliable supplier for these seeds and others. The Kanzera crop takes approximately three weeks to mature and harvest, and it is known for its regenerative nature.

As I walked through the farm’s gateway, I couldn’t help but notice a heap of compost manure. This served as their reliable fertilizer, further highlighting their commitment to organic practices. To manage pests and diseases, Kabete Organics Farm employs organic pesticides derived from natural sources such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, and neem oil, which is obtained from neem plants grown within the farm. This holistic approach to pest and disease management creates a balanced ecosystem where even bugs, such as ladybirds, play a beneficial role.

While observing the farm’s bustling activity, a passing truck caught Nzioka’s attention. He asked me if it was already 5 pm, to which I replied that it was fifteen minutes to five. He explained that the truck’s daily passage served as their time indicator. It was a reminder of the farm’s busy schedule, which sometimes made it challenging for Nzioka to keep up with social media and order scheduling. I found it fascinating how he managed to balance the intensive and enjoyable farm work with the demands of maintaining an online presence.

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According to Nzioka, Kabete Organics Farm has developed a streamlined operating system. Customers are required to place their orders one day in advance, allowing the farm to guide them on whether the vegetables are ready for harvest or if they need a few more days. This ensures that customers receive fresh, just-harvested vegetables delivered right to their doorsteps. Delivery fees are based on the distance covered, with a bunch of vegetables priced at forty shillings attracting a delivery fee of Ksh. 150 for destinations like Uthiru.

Nzioka further explained their daily routine, sharing, “I close the entry of orders by midday and then focus on farming and deliveries in the afternoon. At the moment, I’m busy harvesting and packing for tomorrow’s deliveries. Some orders will be delivered as late as 7 pm when our loyal customers are settled at home after work.” In addition to the vegetable offerings, the farm also caters to a high-end customer base for herbs, spices, and even packaged salads, showcasing their commitment to providing a diverse range of fresh produce.

Before we concluded our conversation, Nzioka left me with a piece of advice: “Don’t give up on any farming venture. It is a learning process, and I’m glad we are finally getting the hang of it as Kabete Organics.” When I asked if he desired more customers, his eyes gleamed with enthusiasm as he expressed that expanding the customer base is the ultimate satisfaction for every farmer—seeing their market grow.

In conclusion, Kabete Organics Farm stands out as a unique mama-mboga store, offering fresher and better produce. Their journey into organic farming, fueled by social media, has enabled them to connect with customers who value healthy lifestyles and organic options. For those interested, you can find more about Kabete Organics Farm on their Twitter handle, @kabeteOrganic. Embark on a journey to discover the flavors and benefits of organic vegetables cultivated with passion and care at Kabete Organics Farm.

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Author

  • Mary Mwema

    Mary is very passionate about agribusiness and resource use efficiency with SDG 2, Zero Hunger, being closest to her heart. She a member of AAIN (African Agribusiness Incubation Network).

2 Comments

  1. Nice article Mary. We need to see this more and more especially from our youths. Just a piece of advice… I understand (from the article) that he use sprinkler irrigation… Since most of the vegetables grown have leaves as their edible parts, he can change the system especially when the crop is almost ready for harvesting. Unless he assures us the quality of the water he uses. Am approaching his activity in this way so that he can reduce any possible contaminants especially living organisms. Thank you.

  2. Wow. Incredible Mr. Jeff. Thanks. So just before harvesting period, he should opt for drip system or?
    I have shared this with him. Further input will be highly appreciated.

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