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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Farmer acquires tractor using online services

By Dennis Kipkirui

Farming in Muhotetu is an activity the residents have only known since they settled in the area over four decades ago. Muhotetu division in Laikipia County has been known for its successful dairy farming. Residents also have one characteristic: they originally came from one area, Tetu and Muhoya in Nyeri County, hence the name Muhotetu. It is therefore worth noting that activity in this part of the county is fluid because of the shared past among the residents.

Njeru ignites his brand new tractor
Francis Njeru 63 is one of the residents of Muhotetu. His late father was among the people who bought land in this place after the white settlers left. His migration to Muhotetu is not however something he had planned for more so after retiring as a teacher having served for thirty three years. Njeru had built a retirement home in his Nyeri backyard and being at the helm of leadership in coffee co-operative society, he knew that he was bound to be a busy man after-all.

However, this was not to be the case. “The then coffee-politics turned to be nasty and even threatened my life. I had to run away. I was only lucky to have known Laikipia and served as my hide out. I locked myself in for three months after which I made up my mind not to go back to Nyeri,” said Mr. Njeru nostalgically.

After settling in his father’s farm, he had to begin things all over again despite completing plans for his retirement. He used the few resources he had saved to build a homestead and till the land. Unlike most residents of Muhotetu, Njeru did not give much attention to dairy farming. He instead ventured into horticulture and other forms of crop production. His farming activities expanded to the extent that he bought another farm.

It was after successful farming that Njeru thought of acquiring a farm machinery to ease his activities. He set on the pace of owning a tractor. He was initially for the idea that he visits Massey Ferguson dealers in Nakuru. However this could not materialize after being advised that he could buy it cheaper from the manufacturer in Japan.

His journey to the port of Karachi in Japan to the port of Mombasa Kenya could only start and end in Ng’arua Maarifa Centre. He came to the centre and through assistance from one of the officers identified and engaged in a transaction with the dealer. Njeru was sent an on-line invoice and after making on-line bank payments, visited the centre to have the payment slip scanned and sent to the manufacturer. He continued to engage the manufacturer using on-line services until he was told to go to the port of Mombasa to pick his tractor. 

Njeru left for Mombasa and cleared his tractor at the port and brought it to his farm.  When Maarifa centre team visited him, he was full of gratitude. “I’m happy for the work you people are doing here. You saved me up to half a million shillings through on-line transactions. If I had purchased it here in Kenya I would have been treated to a raw deal,” said Njeru aboard his new tractor, Massey Ferguson 260. He even managed to have the Maarifa Centre team dropped on the Sipili-Muhotetu road using it to have a feel of their assistance.

The happy farmer thanked ALIN for the support it has extended to the community.

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