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2017: A year to change tact as new role robs me off time at farm

It can not be said that Mkulima Mixed farm didn’t do well last year. But in the same vein, it cannot be said that we performed according to the wish list we prepared last year. It was a mixed bag of fortunes. On the positive side the year ended with a high note of Mkulima’s management abilities were recognized and got a job in a bigger cooperative- am yet to decide on the right title.

 Although this was at a cost to Mkulima Mixed farm, where the focus was more on serving the farmers at Mashambani Cooperative.

On the bad side, it was the year that I spent most of my energy, time and money fighting irrelevant fights with Mzee Jeremiah. You all know that MJ is an enemy of development, especially if it is digital related. If I was to award him, he would take the top prize “Attention Diverter of the year”.

This year is different. I have given deep thought to whether I should develop resolutions or wish-list or just set some goals.

 

Yesterday, I pensively sat under the mango tree near the cattle shed. It is the only tree that provides a cool shade against the hot scorching sun at Mashambani. I first went down memory lane of what worked well. First, the idea of harvesting water and conserving fodder worked so well that I am the only farmer who is feeding cows on green matter- the silage. My farm is the only source of green leafy vegetables courtesy of the small scale drip irrigation. This has enhanced even the relationship with Wandia, the girl I love.

This year it will be different. With three different honorable management roles that includes – Makutano Consultant  General Manager, Former Chairman Mashambani Cooperative- I am very sure the incoming Chair who have not been named will be consulting me on regular basis, Owner-manager Mkulima Mixed farm.

I have realized that I am very poor in implementing New Year resolutions because last time I checked, I could never recall all my resolutions come March. This year will be different. I decided to define my goals that are measurable doable and specific. Above all, I need to keep them simple.

Without wasting your time these are the goals I have set.

Production

Mkulima Mixed farm needs to have a consistent production of milk, vegetables and eggs. Since I got Wekesa as the farm hand, the performance has been average. You will recall in the middle of last year I lost one of my best cow – this is normal in a farm. I intend to finish the zero grazing unit project that I was accused of building using tender kickbacks. Since I might not been in the farm full time I need to shop for a technology that will facilitate monitoring from a distance.

Makutano Cooperative

As you are aware towards the end of last year, my transformative talents were recognized and got a new job at Makutano Cooperative. My roles in the new job at Makutano are not clear. All I know is that this is a different lot of farmers. They are the emerging investor farmers that do farming from a distance. Compared to Mashambani people these will require a different approach. Physically I may go and work at Makutano, but spiritually I still remain at Mashambani Cooperative. My services are more needed here.

Politics

This is a political year. Despite the push for Mkulima to vie for MCA I will concentrate more on farming. I will have to turn down any approach from the various youth groups and Mashambani elders.

Paperwork & Document Organization

Finally I will try and make an effort to keep all my documentation of Mkulima Mixed Farm in one place and up-to-date, if at all possible. Let those long rainy nights be a time to perch beside the warm-lit fire to flick through those documents.

Be social

The success of these plans will need some serious partnerships. That means, I will need a helper. I will double my efforts in convincing Wandia, the girl I love that we can perform better if we are one team in marriage.  Therefore the final goal this year goal is to propose to Wandia, the girl I love as we partner in this farming journey. This will enhance our joint venture of mobile grocery in Nairobi.

Those are my goals. Help me God.