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Friday, June 9, 2017

University students turns to agribusiness.

University students turns to agribusiness. This is the story of 4 agri-preneurs, all who are under 30, who give insights into their ventures and how they strike a balance between the lecture halls and running their fast-growing side hustles. Dickson Otieno Okello, 29 and Dickson Otieno Ouma, 27,started the business started in 2015 has grown tremendously and is valued at more than Sh1 million. The two students started Agri-Fresh Supplies, a fruit juice company, and Prima Gallus, a poultry extension services outfit. Agri-Fresh Supplies deals in fresh mango, avocado, passion fruit, pineapple and orange juices alongside banana and apples. The shop located at the university processes juice under the brand name Smoothies, which sells like hot cake. They buy yoghurt from the university and use it blend our juice, a unique mixture that has become popular with students, teaching and non-teaching staff, noting they also makes plain juices. A bottle of a 250ml of juice sells at Sh40 and in a good day, they make up to Sh12,000 from the shop that opens six days a week. There are occasions when sales drop to Sh6,000 per day especially during the dry season when getting milk is a challenge. Ouma and Okello who still are the co-founders of Prima Gallus which specialises in chicken farming, feed their chicken at Egerton University, Njoro. Prima Gallus, the poultry extension services business, was started in 2016 and focuses on the entire value chain. They train farmers on various aspects of poultry farming and offer extension services. The business that employs four people is incubated at Egerton University’s Centre of Excellence for Livestock Innovation and Business (CoELIB). According to him, farmers want to get into poultry farming because it is less intensive and there is quick cash flow.“It is this gap we are now exploiting by making use of the skills we learnt at the university,” explained Ouma, adding in a good month, they make Sh50,000 and get clients from up to Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. Besides extension services, they host clinics for farmers where they charge groups between Sh15,000 – Sh20,000 and train them on how to brand their products, whom to approach to get the correct market prices and funding and how to present and preserve their products to shield them from loses and poultry management aspects. more