GABORONE, (BOTSWANA)- It is three years since we first published Willy Kathurima's story. A daring Tswana of Kenyan origin with a passion for farming. His story, which traces back to the late 1980's when he left Kenya for Botswana, is that of in inspiration, determination and ability to make things happen. And that story, has now become the most liked, most watched and most talked about. The most addictive and very inspiring!
He has become a celebrity, he says, all thanks to the Daring Abroad series. But there is a lot that has changed in Kathurima's farm. He now hosts Kenyan governors, MCAs and even members of the national assembly (all known to be good at bench-marking). He no longer just ranches cattle but has diversified into horticulture. He explains why.
"Every product is seasonal in one way or the other, cattle have to take time (8 to 9 months to calve)." I realized that the opportunities for us to have an income stream from January to December, we had to diversify," he says.
"We had opportunities to buy land and this is what we have done. We have also gone into small stock, sheep and goats... and even serial production of maize and related things."
Despite all the glamour, Kathurima says he faces disease-related challenges which sometimes take toll on his farm produce.
"Disease, mainly on tomatoes which are very sensitive, the cost of input and generally managing the whole spectrum."
He owns 22,000 acres of land on which a ranch of 1000 cattle is kept for commercial purposes. Statistics indicate that livestock farming is the second economic resource in Botswana after diamond and Kathurima tapped into the market.