laureen-aseka

AGE:  24

NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 4

YEARS IN BUSINESS: 4

EDUCATION: Degree in international relations and diplomacy

AVERAGE MONTHLY INCOME: Between Sh100,000-Sh200,000

Laureen grows tomatoes, growing her crop with all the love and care that it demands. For most of us, tomatoes are simply one of the ingredients we use to cook food, but for Laureen, they are her life and pride.

Her journey here began four years ago when she transferred from Mount Kenya University to United States International University-Africa, where there was more flexibility, allowing students more time to pursue other interests.

For some reason, Laureen had always been interested with farming, and decided to give tomatoes a try. The university allowed a grace period for payment of school fees, an advantage she used to fund her farming.

“I would use some of the money my parents gave me for school fees to fund my tomatoes project on leased land in Juja, in the outskirts of town, and then pay the remaining school fees at the end of  the semester after selling my tomatoes,” she says. Four years on after graduating from university, Laureen is a satisfied farmer. She however points out that tomato farming requires 100 per cent dedication, because the crop needs constant and careful care.

“Tomatoes are very demanding, you have to give them your full attention, with this crop, you cannot afford to do phone farming.”

She adds, “This is my passion; I even took evening classes so that I could spend more time at the farm.”

An acre of tomatoes, she says, will give you about Sh300,000 should everything go right for you.

Where many have given up, Laureen soldiers on in her labour of love. And no, she does not plan to look for a job, rather, concentrate on growing her venture.

Interview by Boniface Nyaga

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