Francis Muiruri faced adversity early in life when he was affected by polio as a child. However, today, he is a husband, a father, and a determined individual who has not let his leg disability hinder his ability to work and support himself.
Despite the need to use crutches for mobility, Muiruri works hard to manage both farming and livestock to supplement his income from his accounting job at the Kiambu County Government.
“I have to coordinate my time well to accomplish all these tasks. Often, I teach people about the use of hanging cages in chicken farming every weekend or after work,” Muiruri explains.
On the thumb-sized piece of land where he has built his home, Muiruri has allocated space to raise over 100 chickens, along with other sections for dogs, birds, and shelters he previously used for pig farming.
“Most people know me for my expertise in raising chickens in hanging cages. It’s a modern method that simplifies and increases the income of chicken farmers in limited spaces,” he says.
“Chicken farmers using open methods face many challenges, such as the risk of disease transmission, the use of large spaces, chicken attacks by animals, and low income from hard work,” Muiruri adds.
According to this accountant, he embraces a law that exempts people with disabilities from paying taxes to strengthen his hanging cage business across different regions in the country.
Muiruri imports cages from China without paying taxes and promotes his business through social media. Many of his customers reach out to him through Facebook, where he has a considerable following.
This farmer and livestock keeper started this business in 2019 and has installed 15 hanging cages for chicken farmers to date.
The cost of fully installing one hanging cage for a farmer is Ksh 140,000. This package includes a structure that accommodates 128 birds. With this cost, the farmer is also provided with 70 kilograms of chicken feed to last a week. After a few days, they can start harvesting eggs, and Muiruri even ensures a market for the eggs.
His farm is named Maono Farm, and it is self-sufficient, meeting his needs despite being employed by the Kiambu County Government. From here, Muiruri produces goat milk, vegetables, eggs, meat, and security through dog farming.
“I have plenty of vegetables, and sometimes I give them away to neighbors. On average, I sell at least three trays of eggs for over 1200 each. Soon, I will start pig farming at home,” Muiruri reports.
From this side-business, he makes up to Ksh180,000 per month.
For Muiruri, the key to his business stability lies in turning challenges into opportunities for success.
He challenges people with disabilities to step forward and embrace their strengths because disability does not mean helplessness.