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7 Profitable Crops to Grow in 2016

December holidays are always fun. You get to spend time with your family, go on vacations to luxurious resorts and experience new things that leave pleasant memories in our minds. All these activities are important because they bring us together and help us bond with family and friends.

As we enjoy such moments we need to think about the following year. Most of us have school fees and house rent to pay and if we are not careful we can usher in the New Year with empty pockets only to rush to the bank to look for a loan to pay off our expenses, which is not recommended at all.

We all need to start saving and invest in farming business ideas that have short returns that will boost back our wallets.

Here is a list of profitable agribusiness venture to consider as you usher in 2016. These commodities have proved to have a mostly stable market price and rewarding in 2015.

  • Onions

Who doesn’t know what an onion is? It’s practically served in every Kenyan dish at home or your local hotel. The onion is a humble vegetable that grows under simple weather conditions. Its health benefits and nutritional value are far much great making it a unique vegetable that farmer should always strive to plant/grow. It is this reason that makes onions on high demand in Kenya. Onions take between three to five months to mature while the spring one takes a period of four to six weeks. The amount of rainfall required is 500-2000mm per year. The vegetable requires well-drained soil of ph 6 to 7. They are first planted in Nursery then transferred to the field. They require a long dry period of ripening with less expense on managing pests. With an acre of land, one can harvest 20,000kgs of onion which is currently sold at 100 shilling per kilo. Download the growing guide Here

 

  • Potatoes

Most of us when we hear potatoes think about fries and how good they taste. Potatoes are common food source taken in the form of potato chips. It is a good source of vitamins, potassium, fiber and phosphorus which are important elements require by the human body by assisting in maintaining the level of blood glucose.

Potatoes require fertile and well-drained soil with some quantity of sand content to make it suitable. It is a highland crop therefore also requires cooler conditions with a water supply of about 500mm during the growth and maturity cycle. The crop takes between 90 to 120 days to mature after emerging from the soil. Potato farming is reliable since the time for growth is relatively small and has an immense market demand.  Therefore putting it on top of the list of what farmers are looking for to grow and get good money. Potatoes can give you up to 90 bags (100 kgs) per acre with a price of Ksh 2,000 per bag. What are you waiting for?

  • Tomatoes

Yes. Kachumbari mambo yote. The holidays are here and I am just thinking about how I am going to roast nyama choma on Christmas. Tomatoes are vegetables that are regularly used as cooking ingredients, taken raw vegetable salad as kachumbari. It is a food crop that has a high demand yet requires a little investment to maintain the crop.  It can either be planted on a small field for a farmer who has a large piece of land or grown in a Greenhouse where temperatures are maintained and controlled. Tomatoes are high earners and the trick to get into this bracket is to wait for the time few people are harvesting then you coincide your harvesting to that. This will mean the demand will be high and your income will skyrocket.

  • Pilipili-hoho

Capsicums, best known as pilipili hoho is another short term crop that brings smiles to farmers who are planting them. Pilipili-hoho is a vegetable that is widely used as a flavor additive in stew stuffing with meats a taken raw in a salad. It has a variety of red, yellow and green colors. The plant grows is warn temperature and can also mature well in dry hot areas when irrigated. The seeds are first grown in a nursery before transplanting the seedling to the field. The crop takes about three months to mature and be harvested. Capsicums are rarely affected by diseases and pests, but they require proper care. With 10,000 seedlings in a hectare, one can harvest 150,00 to 250,000 pilipili-hoho that go for ksh5 to ksh10 per fruit incurring production cost of ksh 150,000 only. Do the math. Download the growing guide Here

  • Watermelon

This fruit does not need any introduction. If you have ever been thirsty and someone offered you a piece of watermelon then you know how juicy and satisfying watermelon is. It’s a fruit that that does well in hot regions that provide adequate exposure to Sun and high temperatures and this gives sweet taste when ripening. Insect pollination contributes highly to the yield of watermelons and therefore, farmers are advised to put at least one beehive per acre. The fruit matures between 4-5months period of time. An acre of watermelon can give you up to 15,000 fruits with each fruit sold now  at KSh 200 per Kg. What! Download the growing guide Here

  • Cabbages

I love cabbage. Especially when I take it with warm milk and Ugali, I don’t think I will need anything else after that combination. Cabbages are widely consumed vegetable since they are quite affordable and the nutrition values it offers. It aids in treating constipation problem, stomach ulcers, obesity and skin disorder. Cabbage requires well-aerated soil with a thick much layer.  Growing cabbage requires plenty of water therefore, the crop thrives well when irrigated. The crop takes a period of 3-4months to mature till harvesting. Cabbages can either be taken raw as a salad or cooked. The crop is highly demanded in hotels meaning the growing of this crop means enormous profits to the farmers.

  • Beans

I was never really a fan of beans, think I ate too much of it in high school until it wore off me. The rest of Kenya loves beans though. Kenyans loves of beans is fascinating and institutions are always paying huge cash to purchase it every season. They are common cereals consumed in the country. Different varieties of beans are known to attract different demand in the market and thus different prices. Beans are a source of proteins and are mainly used by vegetarians in substitute for meat. The crop needs more attention and can be grown together with maize on the same piece of land. A bag of beans goes for Ksh 8,000 right now and an acre can give you up to 12 bags.

 

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About Graduate Farmer

Inspiring and motivating young farmers in Kenya
  • I wouldn’t agree with you more. Winding up a new year signals a time of heavy spending with everyone making merry. We kinda need some people to remind us the inevitable that comes afterwords. Commitments!

    You are actually being that voice of reason that everybody needs around to help them make new resolutions that are worthwhile. Vegetable gardening is by no doubt one of the easiest ways one can make extra revenue to “fill back to the pocket” as you call it.

    Love the article, quite informative and inspiring too.

  • Janet Nzioka

    I want to know about seasons, right seeds, and areas where onions, capsicum, pawpaws grow well. I’m new and want to try farming

    • Hey. Get your soil tested. You will then be advised more about best crops to plant in your area

      • Jeremy

        Where would you advise to have the soil tested within Nairobi?

        • soil tested in Kari westlands branch though others bodies still test but i know of KARI Currently known as KALRO

  • I like to say thanks,
    this is very very beautiful massage ..
    keep going to write another article, specially about , Mangoes and citress..

  • I can’t agree more…this blog is a HOTBED of information and insights. Danke

  • Peter Olayiwola

    Do you have training on herbs and spices (tarragon, chives, basil, turmeric etc). Is the training for individual or you have specific time for the training. Please what is the cost. Thanks for prompt response.

  • Gideon

    I really don’t want to raise anybody’s hope about making ksh 600,000 per acre growing onions. I have done this before and I was only able to make ksh 115,000. This is what I made. Please do not listen to people giving information that aint accurate.

    • Hello Gideon. Sorry for your disappointment. Farming has its own challenges . There are a lot of factors involved in farming for you to get maximum output from your farm. Let me ask you a few questions…Did you test your soil before planting? Did you plant the right onion seed rate per acre? What kind of irrigation system do you use? Did you water your crops well? How much did you sell your crops per kilo? Where was your market? Did you sell to a middleman? How many kgs did you harvest per acre? All these factors may result in low yields and incomes. However these should not deter you from aiming high and trying again. Thank you for your comment, perhaps you should share with us some of your challenges so that other farmers may learn from your experiences….

    • Grace

      Was the 115k your profit after the expenses? was it on 1 acre? did you use middlemen in selling the onions?

  • STEPHEN

    Thanks I have discovered what av been misssing information and knowledge!

  • sylvia

    m in eldoret n intrest in farming what can i grow on this time investing 20000 shillings

  • Francis

    M in kinangop north and want to venture into farming expecialy wheat farming… Which is the best seed that does well in those areas?

  • virginia

    I also got disappointed the first time round due to the many factors stated by graduate farmer .However,this time round i need to do things right from right seeds to drip irrigation system in my shamba.Kindly let me know how to contact you guys.Shamba is at Ngoliba,Thika

  • Rose

    Very interesting site. I am also looking to venture into farming in Nakuru. Great wise comments.

  • murigugmuthui

    Am based in Nairobi and want to venture in potato farming in narok,please advice.

  • MARTHAR NYANCHOKA

    Thank you for your information i have grown veg like sukuma wiki spinach pawpaw and many others but my problem is the animal living underground spoiling my pawpaws please help me.

  • nilesh

    Hi I Want to Export green Capsicum Out of india please let me know the scope of export ,also guide me and share contact detail if any you have

  • Joseph

    Hi do u connect farmers with buyers and what is the procudure

  • Rohit

    HI

    can i invest the money in potato & what is average return is given to invest the money potato . what is future in potato in future market 2017 & it is good for me to invest the money in potato