The millionaire farmer. He is probably 60 or 65, drives an old range rover, maybe a KXJ or a KSQ Or maybe an old Pajero, remember the blue ones that had the stripes on the side, round headlights and an angry looking bull bar? Yes those ones. It is still very clean and well kept, you cannot tell the age if not for the number plates
These are the cars you’ve stared at on mbagathi road traffic on your way home and wondered who the guy was. You wonder how much money he had in those KXJ years to afford a range rover considering the ex japan and ex Europe second hand ones hadn’t flooded the market. This one was definitely a show room car as the AC is still working (the scorching sun is at its meanest and his windows are still rolled up) he even has his checked coat on , you know the one all government officials wear on weekends?
This is the kind of guy who lives in Kileleshwa or Westlands on a one acre plot. The house looks like a cutting from an English magazine, the wrinkled bricks used on the outside walls showing its age but yet it remains beautiful. A towering chimney rises from one corner of the house just behind the wide front porch that pours into the garden upfront. It has well-trimmed hedges with large blue gam trees lining the fense. Maybe to provide the much needed privacy from the tenants of the high rise apartment blocks next by.Out front is one other range rover and a pick up. The one he drives off in and returns all muddy and dusty. Probably from a farm somewhere in Kitale, Nanyuki, Thika, Kiambu or Eldoret.
These are the wealthy farmers you’ve heard about in coffee lounges or bars. The farmers who fly to Nairobi for meetings in their 4 seater Cessna planes and return home in the evening. The ones who go fishing on a boat on the lake within the farm, the ones who can afford to keep some wildlife in their conservancies to entertain their high profile guests. These are the farmers of those days, the ones who were smart enough to buy land from the white settlers, the ones who were the first to set up the agricultural export business and who’s tea and coffee are served in hotels in the other continents. Whos’s roses are issues as symbols of love in Rome and Greece. These are the millionare farmers who established themselves in the past.
Which makes you wonder, where are the millionare farmers of today and tomorrow?, how do they look? Are they in the KCC 2014 Range rover just in front of the old man’s KXJ? Or is that just another investment banker? Or is he in the V8 behind you? Do they live in Nyari and own flats in Langata and Kitengela? Where do their children go to school? Are they members of capital club? Do they fly to Dubai and Las Vegas to watch the Kenya 7’s team. Because this is the life you would like to live, but which young farmer of this generation is living it?
Most farmers have contemplated going into farming fully but lack a symbol of extreme wealth and success. Maybe it is all down to a farmer’s nature who would rather buy a new tractor than get that range rover, or start a new chicken project than pay that membership fee at capital club. Or maybe there is nothing like extreme wealth in farming, the riches are just enough, nothing to make headlines. We have all asked ourselves these questions, wondering whether that step is a mistake.
What is certain though is that everything is pointing to a promising and rewarding future in agriculture and agribusiness. The population in the world is growing fast and there are not enough people to feed it. If you ask me, that is one big pot of Gold waiting to be collected.
It is now upon the young farmers reading this to take that chance, believe in themselves and the sector and maybe one day, 20 years from today, someone else will be looking at your KCC range rover and be certain that you were among the millionare farmers of your generation.