He is Passionate about his work because it fills a large part of his life, and the only way to be satisfied is to do what he believes is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what he does. In my daily work attention to details is key.
How is it coming from your local primary School and rising to where you are? (Personal and Professional background)
I attended Gathiru-ini Primary School in Githunguri, Kiambu County, then proceeded to the neighbouring Gathiru-ini Secondary School. I was destined to attend Gathiru-ini University but since it did not exist, I attended the University of Nairobi in the Capital undertaking a Bsc Agriculture Degree.
I came from very humble background and grew up on my parent’s farm doing subsistence crop farming and semi commercial Dairy farming as well as commercial coffee farming. I started working on a flower farm in 1998 to date having worked in various roles and settling to Production Management/ Growing and Farm Management in 2001.
Was there any sort of pressure when growing up from parents or others on your future career? Did you ever have conflict of profession? Unable to decide what next
My Parents were both teachers and teachers were really respected back in the 70s and thus me and my six siblings got a head start and it shows as most of us as are quite successful in various high profile careers and other commercial activities.
There was no much pressure for a career in whichever sector the pressure was to be admitted in a prestigious University and bring back to my village a degree which I did. Back in the 90s the economy was small and shrinking and thus it was not that easy to find a good and well-paying job.
Most children grow up thinking of white-collar jobs, growing up, did you ever imagine you would come to farming as a career?
My job has actually been nice as I split my time from growing and farm administration/ management at time general management. I became a farm/Production Manager back in the year 2001 in a 6.5 Hectare farm in Nandi County after working in other roles in the Horticultural companies for 3 years.
The job is quite rewarding and I have many privileges.
In your opinion, where do you see flower farming in the next decade?
Having widely travelled and been lucky to visit a few countries in Europe I think the future of farming is large scale, intensive, Robotics and Mechanization as this leads to better production quantity per unit area and higher quality of produce thus a much better return on investment. Thus, we will see less and less physical-small scale farming in the global perspective.
Other than growing have you ever worked in any other sector?
My first degree was in Agriculture. After college I worked for Barclays Bank for a while but realized I had to develop a career in my area of qualification and that’s when I found my first job at a flower farm in 1998.
Take us your daily life as a grower in a breeding facility. What are you most conscious about in your current position?
At Dummen Orange Naivasha I am in charge of greenhouse and outdoor growing of roses and Gerbera breeding facility. Am also in charge of other cut flowers e.g., Gerbera, Carnations, Heliconia, Chrysanthemums, Statice, Calla lilies and Lavender. Am also in charge of all the growing and operations at the Rose and recently Gerbera Breeding facility.
Making of Fertigation/ Irrigation programs, Integrated pest management, spray programs, leading in crop maintenance and cultural activities. I am also in charge of land preparation and Hydroponic systems setup. Labour management is also an integral part of my daily activities.
Of all the things you’ve done in your life, what are you most proud of?
Besides bringing up my kids running successful operations in different Horticultural companies. I am also proud of the long Growing/ Farm Management career.
I am also proud to have mentored and coached many upcoming managers and growers who now hold very senior positions in many companies some even senior and with more scope than myself.
Do you subscribe to the quality or quantity of time when it comes to spending time as a grower?
The job of a Grower/ Farm Manager can be demanding but with proper planning and the right team it can be both rewarding and enjoyable and thus one will not mind spending a lot of time at work as it is fun.
It is very interesting to plant and propagate plants and then you see them grow and bloom into beautiful flowers. The fields and greenhouses always look very amazing.
When the final consumer receives our products, they are always very happy and that adds to my satisfaction as a grower.
What do you want people especially those you are mentoring to remember about you?
To remember me as this positive minded person that never gives up and focuses on the job and gets results.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a grower?
I have never imagined doing anything else for a career as I have been a Grower/farm Manager/Production Manager for the last 24 years.
I have however an interest in Project management as I love to see things starting, progressing and then enjoy to see the end results.
What are you most passionate about?
Am very passionate with flowers especially Roses and recently Chrysanthemums. I also love traveling especially to different countries, I also love hiking and mountain climbing.
My passion learning new things has led me to my current position. Currently I am a student at The HAS University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands taking a Course in Soil (Planting Media) Dynamics, Fertilization and Plant Physiology which is very interesting and adds to my knowledge and experiences.
Any final comments?
The flower industry is very fascinating and can also be very rewarding when one is focused and determined. We still have a big room for improvement and also have a big potential as a country as we have a lot of comparative advantages in terms of availability of well experienced and educated manpower, land, water, good climate and other factors that enable profitable growing and exportation of flowers and vegetables.
My current job is really nice as I get to travel to Europe quite often and visit many advanced farms/Operations and learn a lot. It also exposes me to many experts and consultants as Dummen Orange has farms in many countries spread across almost all continents and has a very wide variety of crops.
At Dummen Orange we are the leading Propagator and Breeder of cut flowers; Roses, carnations, Chrysanthemums, Gerbera, Statice and many ther plants including pot plants.
We invite all those involved in growing and exporting of plants to our facilities as a one stop shop for all your flower and young plants needs.