TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH VEGETABLE FARMING
Christopher Nakuta a vegetable farmer in Imvepi, has experienced a significant transformation in his life thanks to a business grant provided by Save the Children in partnership with Enabel, Joint Energy and Environment Project (JEEP), and the International Centre for Research in Agro Forestry (ICRAF) project, funded by the European Union Trust Fund.
With initial involvement in beekeeping, he used part of the cash grant to expand his beekeeping business, harvesting 22 liters of honey. However, recognizing the unpredictability of the honey business during the dry season due to wildfires, he decided to diversify his income by investing the remaining money in vegetable production on his family's land. “I was given a cash grant of 600,000 shillings and this money greatly impacted my life. I decided to do vegetable farming as a business. I cultivate various vegetables like cabbages, eggplants, and tomatoes, with plans to further expand into growing watermelon and pumpkins,” Christopher says.
His venture has been fruitful, with a readily available market and minimal competition in his community. In his first harvest, he earned 1.8 million shillings, and he aims to increase his income to 3 million shillings in the second season through investment in pesticides and proper irrigation. Diversifying his income streams, Christopher has also ventured into goat rearing, which he sees as a promising economic opportunity.
With a significant amount of family land at his disposal, he anticipates positive financial outcomes not only for himself but also for his extended family, enabling them to meet their basic needs. He has also become a community mentor in vegetable farming, offering guidance and advice to those interested in pursuing vegetable farming. “People now reach out to me for advice in my kind of business. Whenever I support them, they give me some little money for my time,” he says.
Additionally, he is actively involved in mentoring youth who dropped out of school due to several challenges, providing them with opportunities to learn about farming and encouraging them to embark on income-generating activities for a brighter future. “I am giving them an opportunity to learn about farming. I hope this inspires them to start their own income-generating activities and make their lives better,” he notes.