Born to a prison warder father, Alphard Gitau always thought of how he could supplement his father’s income and pay for his own school fees.
The options were few, but a plot in Kahawa West came to his rescue after he narrowed down to agriculture as the way to go. "I am passionate about Agriculture, youth empowerment and environmental conservation," says Alpha.
The 23 year old Bachelor of Arts in Pure Economics student at the University of Nairobi is a green groceries farmer and currently also stocks more than 300 chicken.
"I have just cleared my stock of 300 broilers and I am restocking with another 300 broilers and 500 layers. That was a cool Sh 120,000," explains Alpha as he is known to his peers.
The fourth year student started farming when he was 19 years and the prospects are promising. We have a stream near where we live..I grow vegetables and also keep two dairy cows. But the chicken are my major investment,” he says.
Among the vegetables he grows are sukuma week, amaranthus and managu (solanum psedocapsicum).
Luckily, he got a tender to supply his vegetables to Naivash Supermarket where he supplies about 40 bunches of spinach, 50 bunches of sukuma wiki and dhania. “This alone gives me about Sh 600 a day,” says Alpha.
Now, he has set his heights even further. He has expanded his farm after leasing one acre from neighbour who is not utilizing it at a cost of Sh 20,000 per year. Currently he is milking one dairy cow which is in calf. “I get 15 litres of milk which I sell at Sh 60 per litre,” he says
From his farming, Alpha has been able to pay his school fees and upkeep at the University of Nairobi. Says his proud mum, "From 2nd year I have never paid any fees for my son, he meets his cost. The fees can range from Sh 76,000 to Sh 83,000!"
And farming does not keep him off from his passion for environmental matters.
After high school he joined the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, which is a continental movement of young people passionate about climate change.
An year later together with friends he pioneered the establishment of Kenya Youth Climate Network which is also a youth movement passionate about climate change advocacy on a national platform.
"While in this platform he has been able to represent Kenya many regional and international negotiations and discussions the latest being COP 19 in Poland late last year.
He was among the young people who came up with the Road to Durban campaign towards the 17th conference on climate change that took place in Durban, South Africa.
He was also selected under the Norwegian Church Aid to attend an exchange program in Norway for a year where he campaign work on economic and climate justice.