Finding capital in Kenya to start farming is one of the most frustrating things you can ever do. The Kenyan government has launched many funding schemes over the years that are mandated to cater for the youth but when you slow down, assess yourself as an individual and think…they have never helped you in any way. For that matter they have even wasted your time waiting for your applications to go through only to be told you did not make it or qualify. This often leaves most youth in Kenya feeling hopeless with nowhere to turn to for funding. So what can you do now in order to jumpstart your farming business with little or no capital?
- Farm what you know- Do not venture into farming practice that you are not well familiar with. Make sure that you have done your research well and you have all the knowledge and skills at your disposal. This will improve your chances of success in the agribusiness venture you are going to launch. Also, this will reduce any outside help that would have added expenses into your business. Sometimes having the knowledge and experience in a certain farming venture is all it takes to succeed.
- Start small- I always tell people to start small. I even wrote about this a while back in this When you want to get into farming you have to look at the small apple below the tree before setting your eyes on the apple on top of the tree. By doing this it will enable you to use the little money you have to start small and grow naturally. Within no time you will look back and smile thanking God for giving you the patience and wisdom of starting small. Then you will have build up all the experience and even come up with custom made solutions to farm problems that may arise.
- Spread the word about your new agribusiness venture- Inform your family, friends, business contacts and past colleagues about your new venture. Call, send emails and make your new venture known on your social-media profiles. Your friends and family members can help you spread the word, and past business contacts can introduce your new agribusiness venture to their professional contacts as well. This type of grassroots marketing can help introduce your agribusiness to a much larger audience. This will help you when it comes to marketing your harvested produce. Now when a family member or a friend hears of someone looking for fresh vegetables they will just forward your name to them.
- Avoid unnecessary expenses- When you start your farm in Kenya, you are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. For example if you want to plant Cabbages and you do not have money to buy the expensive hybrid seeds, why don’t you instead buy the normal seeds and save the money. By doing this you will have enabled yourself to spread out your money and buy other farm implements that will be required during the growing period e.g. insecticides, fungicides and D.A.P. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed agribusiness.
- Get ready to hustle-Hard work is an absolute necessity, but when you are starting an agribusiness venture in Kenya with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the farming business a success. This might mean planting and taking care of the crops yourself, handling marketing, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.
Don’t let limited capital prevent you from empowering yourself in agribusiness. Will it be difficult and will you have some stressful situations? Of course, but that is part of being a farmer 🙂