Her name is Shiko Waweru, Limavest director. She is an ECD trained teacher but has never practiced as she got married and concentrated on her family life.
She has one kid and while at home, she tried a number of different business which did not take off. This includes farming but she did it remotely via phone. While at it, she noticed that farm management just like any business, requires a lot of dedication and professionalism.
That’s why she started Limavest, a company that farms and sells pineapples in Malindi.
“Having been a stay home mum for almost seven years, I felt it was about time I do something that generates income. I also did not want to loose my time for family. I’ve had an interest in pineapple farming due to the longevity of the plant as it is harvested for at least seven years without requiring much effort. When I spoke to my husband about it, he bought 100 acres (in Malindi),” she says.
The journey would not be easy, but it was promising. She partnered with other stay-home mums who had the same interest to start farming.
“At first, I used to think Malindi is only a tourist destination. I love the beach and any opportunity I get to walk on sand, I take it. I could have never imagined that there was a place in the world where I could watch my food grow and be on the beach within one hour. So when I found I could grow pineapples in Malindi, it was a no brainer,” she adds.
Her good networks ensured that she got good market for the produce, and soon the company expanded and she was now even selling land and planting pineapples for clients who would collect profits for seven years non-stop.
“We have a system that collects payments and generates receipt so all you need to do is call us and provide your details which we use to create an account in our system, make your payment and you will be on your journey to being your own boss,” she says.
Kenya is one of the major tropical countries that export pineapples across the world. It competes with Asia Pacific countries like the Philippines, the Indian subcontinent, Central America and south-east Asia in the growth of the fruit.
The investment generates between Ksh200,000 to Ksh480,000 per acre on every harvest, for at least seven seasons, while seasons come after 9 months.
Pineapples, once planted will take 18 months to give you your first harvest. There after, from the same plant you will harvest yearly up to 7 years without re-planting. Harvest includes the pineapple fruit per plant, and at least two suckers (seedlings).