As a young boy, Lawrence Kirimi, now 32 was introduced to coffee farming by his parents. He planted two stems within their compound and his father was so pleased with Lawrence that he bought him a present. This developed an interest in him for taking care of the coffee plant and eventually a special attachment to coffee farming.
Planting the two stems would not be the only thing his father would be proud of. He went on in life to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management and Trade in Kenyatta University. Thereafter, Lawrence went to work for CMS (Coffee Management Services), a leading agribusiness service provider offering a wide range of services in the coffee sector in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda since the year 2015. He is now in his second year at Eaagads which is in the business of growing, blending, and selling coffee products, both locally and in the international market.
Working at the Eaagads farm has earned him an award for the best farm manager and consequently, best well-run coffee farm. When asked about the award and what it meant to him, he ecstatically said, “It was a great honor and I really feel so proud about it.”
Lawrence’s success journey began by analysing the challenges the farm was facing. One major problem he discovered was delay in timely execution of the activities due to lack of enough workers. He realised that poor supervision and communication were also contributing factors. Lawrence solved these problems by training all the key field and office staff on effective communication, good labor relations and importance of team work.
He shared what his typical day at work looks like. “My typical workday begins at 6:30 am with a worker’s meeting for a brief update and labor allocation.” He went on to add, “I am responsible for overseeing all the field teams as they progress on various field activities as well as carrying out administrative assignments at the office with the assistance of the Farm Head Clerk.”
The award-winning farm manager is a coffee lover. He says that for more people to become coffee consumers, a number of things need to be resolved. These include support to small scale coffee farmers through subsidised inputs and a proper regulatory policy framework governing the Coffee Cooperative Societies.