Issah the hustler! The 26 year old from Arusha, Tanzania certainly knows his way around the farm! The young man grew up working on his family’s farm back in Arusha. He enjoys playing football but often gets distracted by his interest in gambling.
Will he be able to develop a poker face and learn the business side of farming, and can he put down his football and score for gold?
Let's roll the dice and see if he will be lucky.
Have questions for Issah?
Story so far...
Issah embarks on his journey from his hometown in Arusha, Tanzania.
Issah is surprised by how quickly they will need to come up with a list of what they plan on farming, but he seems to be fitting into his new role pretty well, “niko poa!”
The young man from Tanzania, got a chance to sit down with Kimathi, a financial expert from Mercy Corps AFA, to learn how to create a budget. Issah was advised that before he decides on what commodity he wants to farm, he should list down all the costs re
Issah is keen on growing several crops to give him the extra edge. “This is a competition. If one crop fails, it will mean you will have wasted your time and have nothing to harvest."
He initially thought of growing maize, but there are several reasons why this is not a good idea.
"I want to win this, whichever way possible!" Issah discouraged Ken from doing dairy farming, which surpised Kimathi as he knows Issah has dairy cows on his own list. Could this be our first competition tactic?
Check out Issah's pitch.
That's the face of joy when you find out that your budget has been approved. Issah does need to consider what he will grow once he harvests his first cycle. He also failed to put labour costs in his budget.
Issah began this competition with an ambitious game plan, but after much research and seeking the advice from neighbours and the judges, Issah has managed to narrow down his list
Issah begins by planting butternut. He initially set out to do all the farm labour himself, however, he has decided to hire Winrose to help him out, which is a smart move as she is a diligent worker.
As Jack predicted, Issah's chicken house was not completed in time for the arrival of his day-old chicks. Issah will place them in Winrose's house instead, and once again, he's been saved by his compatriot.
Looks like his 500 broiler chicks from Kenchic have arrived, along with all the equipment he will need for his flock.
Having disinfected the equipment, Issah was then able to set up his brooding pen, and place his chicks in it.
Rispah from Kenchic shows Issah some tips on how to keep the chicken house hygienic, such as wearing a dustcoat when entering the house and using a foot bath to dip shoes in so as not to contaminate the chicken house.
A week later, Rispah from Kenchic came to check up on Issah’s chicks, and weighed them. They were a little underweight, which meant that he wasn't feeding them sufficiently.
"There's no one like me, on this farm...I am going to be the winner!" declares Issah as he puts his best foot forward to stay ahead in this competition.
He claims that his confidence is fuelled by the amount of money he is making from the sale of his leafy vegetables, and stays motivated because his family is depending on him to win. He even has local buyers coming directly to his farm to buy his produce.
One of the judges, Boniface, pays Issah a surprise visit and inspects his broilers. He expected them to have attained a live weight of 1.5kgs by now, but they are underweight. This is because they are not getting enough water and feeds.
Fortunately, he and Winrose were able to find a buyer for all their chicken. After negotiating, they agreed on the price of Ksh400 per bird.
Over the next few weeks Issah’s kales and spinach market grew. Locals would come daily to buy sacks of the vegetables.
"I am so happy because I am making good money from my kales, spinach and chicken. More than I could imagine. I have already paid back my loan. My decisions were good!" says Issah.
Jeremy from Osho Chemicals, paid the young farmer a visit and noted that his butternut are irregular in size. Issah needs to irrigate his crops properly in order for them to grow well. They also have blight, which he can avoid by using Zinc.
Thank goodness for the Sunflower pump from Futurepump! This will help Issah water his plants evenly and sufficiently.
Issah informs Kimathi, that he has successfully paid off his loan, from the sale of his chicken, kale and spinach. He is using his profit to buy more chickens.
Issah has switched to tomato farming, now that he has an irrigation system set-up. It looks as if his tomatoes have got off to a great start..
For his second harvest, Issah is planting half an acre of tomatoes and the other half is continuing to do kale and spinach.
Having been separated from his family for so long, their surprise visit was invaluable to the young farmer.
He received some bad news, that all his chicken, back home, have been stolen