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Developing a remote farm; swalis
amorphous
#1 Posted : Friday, July 03, 2020 8:07:41 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 359
Location: planet earth
Those of you with farms in far flung areas of Kenya, how do you manage your properties remotely?



This is just a pic and NOT the farm

Facts:

-The farm is several hectares and about 190km or 4 hrs drive from Nairobi on a good day. Tarmack is less than 5 km away.
-Neighbours have borehole with vey fresh unlimited water supply
-Totally greenfield and virgin land although a few neighbours have embarked on very promising large scale farming in the area.
- Nearest major town is 1hr away but smaller shopping centres with hardware shops are less than 20-30 mins away

The issue:

- AS for now, the most pressing issue is to have a live fence planted + trees inside the chain link fence line. Also need to build a "starter" steel gate with pillars at the main entrance point. This is difficult because as you well know, cutting the fence to let cows in is a regular occurrence everywhere when there is no presence on site. Since I am not there to supervise and manage, planting things there might be a total waste.
- I also am thinking of finding a local, building him a mabati house there and paying him a monthly wage to both plant trees and water as well as keep squatters off. The problem with this is there are few amenities in the area so it is a very harsh environment to live in. I have heard storos of people who did this only to find out they have been sending money to someone who lives in a nearby town and only comes around when he hears you are on the way!
- My plate is 100% full with DC manenos so my other plan to relocate there for 3-6 months, build a small starter bungalow hapo with solar power and connect to nearby borehole + gate and fence the whole plot to get the place established might be out of the question the way things are looking right now
- Of course I cannot send a relative. Been there, done that elsewhere and it was a disaster.

What to do? Maoni tafadhali

The long term plan is to farm a crop that very few in Kenya are farming but it does extremely well in that environment and soil.

Shukran in advance Wanawazoo.



Emotions and ego are twin enemies of strategy
Gathige
#2 Posted : Friday, July 03, 2020 1:14:10 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 2,166
amorphous wrote:
Those of you with farms in far flung areas of Kenya, how do you manage your properties remotely?



This is just a pic and NOT the farm

Facts:

-The farm is several hectares and about 190km or 4 hrs drive from Nairobi on a good day. Tarmack is less than 5 km away.
-Neighbours have borehole with vey fresh unlimited water supply
-Totally greenfield and virgin land although a few neighbours have embarked on very promising large scale farming in the area.
- Nearest major town is 1hr away but smaller shopping centres with hardware shops are less than 20-30 mins away

The issue:

- AS for now, the most pressing issue is to have a live fence planted + trees inside the chain link fence line. Also need to build a "starter" steel gate with pillars at the main entrance point. This is difficult because as you well know, cutting the fence to let cows in is a regular occurrence everywhere when there is no presence on site. Since I am not there to supervise and manage, planting things there might be a total waste.
- I also am thinking of finding a local, building him a mabati house there and paying him a monthly wage to both plant trees and water as well as keep squatters off. The problem with this is there are few amenities in the area so it is a very harsh environment to live in. I have heard storos of people who did this only to find out they have been sending money to someone who lives in a nearby town and only comes around when he hears you are on the way!
- My plate is 100% full with DC manenos so my other plan to relocate there for 3-6 months, build a small starter bungalow hapo with solar power and connect to nearby borehole + gate and fence the whole plot to get the place established might be out of the question the way things are looking right now
- Of course I cannot send a relative. Been there, done that elsewhere and it was a disaster.

What to do? Maoni tafadhali

The long term plan is to farm a crop that very few in Kenya are farming but it does extremely well in that environment and soil.

Shukran in advance Wanawazoo.






@ amorphous, Fencing is in itself a very expensive affair. A good cedar pole costs approx 400 Kshs (traded illegally so not easy to find them in open yards, avoid those green pasted poles are they are useless), digging a hole about 30Kshs, A roll of good qualit berded wire 4,500 Kshs, Chainlink ranges from 2,200 Kshs, then add the fundi costs and labourers and the total acreage, and you can get the cost per acre.


Tree seedlings, depending on variety and prevalence of Nurseries, you can get good seedloings with as low as 30 Kshs. If you have a big size of land and watewr source available, you can do own nursery as its cheaper and can grow quite number over time.


A casual labourer will set you back another 10K per month. If you get a Jeuri one, they will be as absentee as yourself and only be available to collected monthly rent


Sometimes its best not to fence and incur Zero costs and less headache until that time you are ready to invest in the land.


My 2 cents
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
Balaa
#3 Posted : Friday, July 03, 2020 2:27:23 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 7/6/2018
Posts: 140
Location: Kinshasa
Gathige wrote:
amorphous wrote:
Those of you with farms in far flung areas of Kenya, how do you manage your properties remotely?



This is just a pic and NOT the farm

Facts:

-The farm is several hectares and about 190km or 4 hrs drive from Nairobi on a good day. Tarmack is less than 5 km away.
-Neighbours have borehole with vey fresh unlimited water supply
-Totally greenfield and virgin land although a few neighbours have embarked on very promising large scale farming in the area.
- Nearest major town is 1hr away but smaller shopping centres with hardware shops are less than 20-30 mins away

The issue:

- AS for now, the most pressing issue is to have a live fence planted + trees inside the chain link fence line. Also need to build a "starter" steel gate with pillars at the main entrance point. This is difficult because as you well know, cutting the fence to let cows in is a regular occurrence everywhere when there is no presence on site. Since I am not there to supervise and manage, planting things there might be a total waste.
- I also am thinking of finding a local, building him a mabati house there and paying him a monthly wage to both plant trees and water as well as keep squatters off. The problem with this is there are few amenities in the area so it is a very harsh environment to live in. I have heard storos of people who did this only to find out they have been sending money to someone who lives in a nearby town and only comes around when he hears you are on the way!
- My plate is 100% full with DC manenos so my other plan to relocate there for 3-6 months, build a small starter bungalow hapo with solar power and connect to nearby borehole + gate and fence the whole plot to get the place established might be out of the question the way things are looking right now
- Of course I cannot send a relative. Been there, done that elsewhere and it was a disaster.

What to do? Maoni tafadhali

The long term plan is to farm a crop that very few in Kenya are farming but it does extremely well in that environment and soil.

Shukran in advance Wanawazoo.






@ amorphous, Fencing is in itself a very expensive affair. A good cedar pole costs approx 400 Kshs (traded illegally so not easy to find them in open yards, avoid those green pasted poles are they are useless), digging a hole about 30Kshs, A roll of good qualit berded wire 4,500 Kshs, Chainlink ranges from 2,200 Kshs, then add the fundi costs and labourers and the total acreage, and you can get the cost per acre.


Tree seedlings, depending on variety and prevalence of Nurseries, you can get good seedloings with as low as 30 Kshs. If you have a big size of land and watewr source available, you can do own nursery as its cheaper and can grow quite number over time.


A casual labourer will set you back another 10K per month. If you get a Jeuri one, they will be as absentee as yourself and only be available to collected monthly rent


Sometimes its best not to fence and incur Zero costs and less headache until that time you are ready to invest in the land.


My 2 cents


@amorphous I believe @Gathige has well spoken. Since, I am a numbers and records guy, I can let you in on what it's costed me thus far (in rounded off figures) - in the true Wazuan spirit. Pit latrine KES 26K; Fencing KES 101K (chain link+K-apple+gate); Equipment (wheelbarrow, water tank set up, mitungis, utensils) KES 62K;Land survey KES 23K (had to do it coz the roaming Ndagwos has uprooted the beacons); Site house 54K (materials, transport, labour, etc); payroll 10k p.m but was able to to bring it down to 8K pm (new hire asked for 7k and I revised it to 8 after good initial performance); Miscellaneous 2K p.m (for tanker water + subsistence e.g ka quater whenever I show up and find the worker's done a good job). Other running costs: 5K pm, for my drive there 2x p.m (whenever I'm back home)

Acreage:1 acre. Location: just past Ostrich farm Kite.

Kazi kwako. Compare notes!

Disclaimer: The sunk costs are pre-covid.
amorphous
#4 Posted : Friday, July 03, 2020 2:38:31 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 359
Location: planet earth
Gathige wrote:


@ amorphous, Fencing is in itself a very expensive affair. A good cedar pole costs approx 400 Kshs (traded illegally so not easy to find them in open yards, avoid those green pasted poles are they are useless), digging a hole about 30Kshs, A roll of good qualit berded wire 4,500 Kshs, Chainlink ranges from 2,200 Kshs, then add the fundi costs and labourers and the total acreage, and you can get the cost per acre.


Tree seedlings, depending on variety and prevalence of Nurseries, you can get good seedloings with as low as 30 Kshs. If you have a big size of land and watewr source available, you can do own nursery as its cheaper and can grow quite number over time.


A casual labourer will set you back another 10K per month. If you get a Jeuri one, they will be as absentee as yourself and only be available to collected monthly rent


Sometimes its best not to fence and incur Zero costs and less headache until that time you are ready to invest in the land.


My 2 cents


@ Gathige asante sana for the great feedback. I think the starting a tree nursery idea is brilliant. I think that is what I will implement to save on cost big time.

Sorry for not making it clear, but there is already an existing (although battered) barbed wire chain link on site covering everything except the main gate space. Leaving that gate space open has been a blessing because the herders do not interfere with the fence as long as they have access to the grass. But inside, thanks to said herder activity, the land is pure savannah with not a single tree!

I wish I could wait until ready but this is simply not an option given the live fence will take years to grow and you never know when squatters can decide to invade at any time, so the quicker I start developing the place the better.

I am thinking maybe I just sacrifice and take the long drive there very early in the morning each Friday, to leave for the place by 4.30 am latest so as to arrive latest by 10am and then return the next afternoon. That way I can start putting up a basic solid bungalow structure, gate and presence hapo as well as establishing the tree nursery pole pole there as well.

Thanks for the pricing on the casual, that price sounds good...if I can get one to shikilia things in a mabati house there for a few months until the gate and basic planting has been done, as well as the starter bungalow, the better. I can also get them to chop nearby acacia thorny branches and start placing them on chainlink immediately to protect against the herders having their cows and mbuzis munch the seedlings! Once the place is established and comfortable enough to live in, I can organise for someone a bit more professional to live there and supervise the preparations until the pressure of my activities in DC eases and I can afford to go there and spend weeks at a time and really get going. This is a very high potential land that I need to start making use of soonest.I feel like I am really wasting it as of now.

Emotions and ego are twin enemies of strategy
amorphous
#5 Posted : Friday, July 03, 2020 2:41:02 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 359
Location: planet earth
Balaa wrote:
Gathige wrote:
amorphous wrote:
Those of you with farms in far flung areas of Kenya, how do you manage your properties remotely?



This is just a pic and NOT the farm

Facts:

-The farm is several hectares and about 190km or 4 hrs drive from Nairobi on a good day. Tarmack is less than 5 km away.
-Neighbours have borehole with vey fresh unlimited water supply
-Totally greenfield and virgin land although a few neighbours have embarked on very promising large scale farming in the area.
- Nearest major town is 1hr away but smaller shopping centres with hardware shops are less than 20-30 mins away

The issue:

- AS for now, the most pressing issue is to have a live fence planted + trees inside the chain link fence line. Also need to build a "starter" steel gate with pillars at the main entrance point. This is difficult because as you well know, cutting the fence to let cows in is a regular occurrence everywhere when there is no presence on site. Since I am not there to supervise and manage, planting things there might be a total waste.
- I also am thinking of finding a local, building him a mabati house there and paying him a monthly wage to both plant trees and water as well as keep squatters off. The problem with this is there are few amenities in the area so it is a very harsh environment to live in. I have heard storos of people who did this only to find out they have been sending money to someone who lives in a nearby town and only comes around when he hears you are on the way!
- My plate is 100% full with DC manenos so my other plan to relocate there for 3-6 months, build a small starter bungalow hapo with solar power and connect to nearby borehole + gate and fence the whole plot to get the place established might be out of the question the way things are looking right now
- Of course I cannot send a relative. Been there, done that elsewhere and it was a disaster.

What to do? Maoni tafadhali

The long term plan is to farm a crop that very few in Kenya are farming but it does extremely well in that environment and soil.

Shukran in advance Wanawazoo.






@ amorphous, Fencing is in itself a very expensive affair. A good cedar pole costs approx 400 Kshs (traded illegally so not easy to find them in open yards, avoid those green pasted poles are they are useless), digging a hole about 30Kshs, A roll of good qualit berded wire 4,500 Kshs, Chainlink ranges from 2,200 Kshs, then add the fundi costs and labourers and the total acreage, and you can get the cost per acre.


Tree seedlings, depending on variety and prevalence of Nurseries, you can get good seedloings with as low as 30 Kshs. If you have a big size of land and watewr source available, you can do own nursery as its cheaper and can grow quite number over time.


A casual labourer will set you back another 10K per month. If you get a Jeuri one, they will be as absentee as yourself and only be available to collected monthly rent


Sometimes its best not to fence and incur Zero costs and less headache until that time you are ready to invest in the land.


My 2 cents


@amorphous I believe @Gathige has well spoken. Since, I am a numbers and records guy, I can let you in on what it's costed me thus far (in rounded off figures) - in the true Wazuan spirit. Pit latrine KES 26K; Fencing KES 101K (chain link+K-apple+gate); Equipment (wheelbarrow, water tank set up, mitungis, utensils) KES 62K;Land survey KES 23K (had to do it coz the roaming Ndagwos has uprooted the beacons); Site house 54K (materials, transport, labour, etc); payroll 10k p.m but was able to to bring it down to 8K pm (new hire asked for 7k and I revised it to 8 after good initial performance); Miscellaneous 2K p.m (for tanker water + subsistence e.g ka quater whenever I show up and find the worker's done a good job). Other running costs: 5K pm, for my drive there 2x p.m (whenever I'm back home)

Acreage:1 acre. Location: just past Ostrich farm Kite.

Kazi kwako. Compare notes!

Disclaimer: The sunk costs are pre-covid.


Asante sana Balaa. You are on a roll! This is very helpful details that can serve as a guide for me.
Emotions and ego are twin enemies of strategy
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