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How mentoring has helped me expand my animal feed business

Samwel Gatimu Murage

Sam and other colleagues loading a truck with dairy mealBefore I joined YPARD, I was working in animal feed formulation and production, hay and livestock keeping. I remember my dad’s reaction (he’s a dairy farmer) to my first dairy meal product: He couldn’t believe the improvement the meal made to dairy production at our farm.

I never thought I would grow my company, Lesah farm, into a big business, create more employment and make an impact in my society. I did not have many role models to show that agriculture could take me beyond my boundaries neither did i have a purposeful road map and i definitely  didn’t have lots of networks.

YPARD has made me realize that it takes one man to make a change. Believing in this mantra has helped me bring my dreams to reality.

I applied and was successful to join YPARD’s pilot mentoring program in Kenya. Meeting Margaret Syomiti as my mentor has changed my thinking and business approach in animal feed production. Calm, polite and attentive, you may not realise the power, wisdom and courage she posseses to change an idea into a successful business.

Margaret Syomiti has really played a great role in improving the quality of champion feeds. She has helped me become competitive to other manufacturing companies and create a slot in the market, thus making Lesah farm known beyond my part of Kenya.  

In a span of three months, I have been able to achieve what I thought was just a mere dream. I have expanded my business into the coast and eastern region. They may be only two farmers or three for now who are buying my feed in these regions, but to me it is a great opportunity to make Lesah Farm Enterprises (champion feeds) felt known and utilized beyond my home.

I have realized the importance of teaching students about agribusiness, idea generation and market implication. Currently, am now running a program with 20 high school students who are about to graduate with the aim of teaching them about the value of farming and help them transition into the workforce.

We are focused on breaking the overdependence of white-collar jobs to self-employment thus  meet and create employment chances for the unemployed. Drug abuse and poverty will be eradicated among the youth if we help them transform their livelihoods through self-employment in agriculture.

I would love to give gratitude to YPARD, mentors and fellow mentees, for the brainstorming interactions. It is three months since the YPARD workshop in Nairobi, but I have seen much growth within my business and outside my business through networking, interaction and ideal exchange with all of you YPARD members.

We as young people need to transfer our strong culture of agribusiness and agriculture to our fellow youth so we may create a better future generation. If you cannot transfer what you do best, you can only die with it and become useless. Share and educate. The best inheritance you can offer is to keep agribusiness a reality to future generations.

Who feeds the planet? We feed the planet
YPARD Africa at the Agri-business Incubation Confe...

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Wednesday, 21 February 2024

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