Farming pays!

I am just back from dinner. I am literally alone on the ILRI campus here in Nairobi. I went to the Bar to have dinner. I was the only one to be present. As compensation I had a very interesting chat with the waiter, a young Kenyan student. He is studying Turism at Kenyatta University and he is just about to get his degree. He is financing his survival by working as a waiter at ILRI, but this would not be enough to pay also the University fees, which are 20,000 KSH/year (this is about 260 USD, but he mentioned 1000 USD) Whatsoever! The interesting information was, that this is paid by his parents. I asked "but your parents, what are they doing". "They were teachers" he answered. I had more or less my mouth open, because I could not imagine how you could finance the university from the pension of a Kenyan school teacher. But my chat partner told me: they making the money by farming. Most important products: wheat and potatoes for local markets. Especially potatoes give the income. Onle 3.5 months to come to a harvest. This means 3 harvest a year with the climate conditions. Then, they also have 6 cows and produce and sell the milk. Initially I asked the obvious: "But your parents produce cash crops". Nooo, he said, people are getting rid of cash crops (here coffee, tea or pyrethrum) to produce food for local markets, this brings more money! The world is a beautiful place! And the ILRI campus also: Trip to Ethiopia and Kenya 2008 But I would never live at a Campus like the ILRI campus in Nairobi, too isolated....

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