With a splash and a drop: Soil-less farming with Meshope Hydroponics


Have you tried to grow mint in your kitchen? Or tomatoes on your balcony? Let me save you some time – it usually ends with a wilted plant and a serious discussion about replacing the carpet among other tragedies of trial and error.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and a  savvy startup is about to solve our problems using – wait for it – hydroponics. Sounds complex from the beginning, right! Not quite. 

First, let’s talk about hydroponics. In the simplest of terms, it’s a savvy method of growing plants in nutrient-rich water rather than soil. But for Meshack Lekumok  and Hope Mutanu Robert , two trailblazing Stratizens, it’s their lives, their ambition, and their food.

The two who were integral parts of each other’s education at Strathmore became trusted business partners. It was the perfect synergy of complementary skills; Meshack’s expertise in finance and investment dovetailed perfectly with her knowledge of digital marketing. Together, they founded Meshope Hydroponics, an innovative venture harnessing the power of hydroponic farming.

Their mission? To revolutionize the urban agricultural landscape by growing balmy tomatoes, crunchy capsicums, and a medley of vibrant vegetables. All of this without even a hint of soil. Who would have thought of agriculture without soil? Well, Meshack and Hope! 

Trees might not grow in the sky, but the seed for this sprouting organization was planted by the  KCB Foundation’s Tujiajiri scholarship, which aims to empower youths to make a livelihood from entrepreneurship.

You see, as the world came to a standstill in 2020 due to Covid-19, Meshack applied for the program, and after finishing his agricultural training, he received funding that would be the bedrock of Meshope Hydroponics.

Although the concept may be groundbreaking, their path to success was less paved with gold and more lined with curious missteps and market pricing fluctuations, especially when the supply is abundant, not to mention the battle with crop pests and diseases. Yet, through each challenge, the startup managed to bloom quite literally— with no soil attached.

Fashioned from a history of collaboration and community support, our founders are looking to give back in a powerful way. They aim to train 30  local youths on the magic of hydroponics and assist them in setting up their own greenhouses. It’s clear that Meshope Hydroponics is serving up more than just fresh veggies. They’re the proponents of a silent revolution, sowing the seeds of empowerment within their community.

In addition to the impressive technical aspects of hydroponics, Meshope’s approach also comes with a refreshing side of sustainability. Hydroponic systems generally use less water than conventional farming methods because of effective recycling. They also reduce our carbon footprint by removing the need for heavy farm machinery and long-distance transport of crops, as hydroponics can be set up almost anywhere. 

“One thing noteworthy about the produce harvested from this soil-less venture is the taste. If you’ve never tasted a herb fresh off the “vine,” put it on your bucket list .” Meshack says during our interview.

Now, let’s talk about the champions behind this revolutionary cause; Hope graduated in 2018 while Meshack graduated in 2023 with a Bachelor of Commerce. For Meshack, Rather than following the traditional path,  he chose to explore the untrodden avenues of sustainable farming and entrepreneurship, demonstrating that the future belongs to those who believe in their dreams. 

If you find yourself contemplating life, the universe, and everything, why not take a moment to consider the modern marvel that is hydroponics. Ultimately, who can resist a good ‘root for the littles’ story, especially if it comes with a fresh salad on the side?


This article was written by Keith Albert. 


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