Kilifi farmer who left a ‘lucrative’ ICT job when he discovered fortune in lemons

Saturday June 9 2018

Faheem Aloo in his farm in Mtwapa.

Faheem Aloo in his farm in Mtwapa. He quit his IT job in a transport company in Nairobi and went into farming. PHOTO | CHARLES ONGADI | NMG 

By CHARLES ONGADI
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Just kilometres from Mtomondoni Primary School in Mtwapa is the four-acre Faheem Farm.

Mr Faheem Aloo, 36 inherited the farm from his grandfather.

He says his grandfather started working on the land in the early 1960s. He planted a variety of vegetables and fruits.

“This was like the granary of Mtwpa during those days. They came here to buy vegetables, fruits and maize,” Faheem said.

Faheem quit his IT job in a transport company in Nairobi and went into farming. He has never looked back.
He grafts indigenous lemon trees to get quality fruits.

Faheem avoids chemical fertilisers “because it leaves the soil in a poorer state”.

He instead opts for organic fertiliser which is cheap and easily available.

When properly taken care of, lemon trees take three to four years to mature. A tree can be harvested for up to 20 years.

“Apart from lemon growing, I also keep goats and sheep whose dung I use as manure,” said Faheem.

He added that the lemons are loved by his customers, many who happen to be tourists.

A kilogramme of lemons goes for between Sh100 and Sh200, depending on season. He harvests about a tonne daily.

Faheem also grows tomatoes, pawpaws, cabbages and sukuma wiki.

“ I  work extra hard in order to satisfy the demands of  my customers and neighbours,” Faheem said.