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5 profitable agricultural business ideas to invest

If you are looking for an agribusiness venture in Kenya to invest in, here are 5 profitable agricultural business ideas that you can start today.

Please note that you need to extensively research thoroughly before starting your business. Farming is not as easy as it seems from what you have heard on the media. You need to be patient, resilient, hardworking, tough and optimistic to make it in this industry. Many have failed miserably due to greed for quick money.

 Fish Farming

Some potential areas of investment in commercial aquaculture in Kenya include:

  • Integrated aquaculture

Aquaculture can easily be integrated with conventional crop and livestock farming. The management techniques and inputs employed are similar to those that crop and livestock farmers are familiar with. Integration has a lot of benefits for farmers. In addition to the production of fish for consumption or sale, it increases efficiency in use of available production resources by allowing for recirculation of nutrients among different production units. This provides opportunities for diversification on crop and livestock farming and can put to productive use otherwise idle land resources

  • Cage culture

This can be done in rivers, water reservoirs, lakes and the ocean. The advantage here is that more benefits can be generated from such water bodies and yet the technology and the capital input do not have to be demanding.

  • Bait culture

There exists a very big market for bait fish (juvenile Clarias gariepinus and Chanos chanos) for the Nile perch capture industry in Lake Victoria and Tuna fisheries of the Indian Ocean. The technology for the culture of the bait fish exists locally among aquaculture experts and many farmers in the Lake Victoria region are already doing it.

  • Ornamental fish culture

There are only a handful of ornamental fish producers in Kenya. Resources for culture of both marine and fresh water species are available in Kenya. Potential markets for the ornamental fishes include local cities, the Africa countries, Europe and Asia.

  • Integration with livestock farming in ASAL

Fish could be stocked in water pans meant for livestock watering. This will increase the benefits accrued form such water bodies by diversifying sources of income and increasing security for quality food for livestock farmers in such areas.

  • Capture-based Aquaculture

This can be done in the many water reservoirs in the country. These include domestic water reservoirs, irrigation reservoirs and the hydro electricity reservoirs. Capture-based Aquaculture involves stocking of such reservoirs with appropriate fish species of commercial value which is later harvested when mature. This can have an overall effect of increasing the fisheries resource base and therefore food security and incomes to fishers.

Any or a combination of the above can lead to attractive profits if well planned and thought out. For an investor to opt for any of these enterprises, it is important for the decision to be based on proven facts. This calls for thorough prior planning.

Fish fingerlings can be purchased by going to our marketplace platform

Goat Farming for Meat

Starting a goat farming business can create good income especially if managed well.  You need to understand the market size, breeds and feeding techniques .Choice of breed and its management are important in goat production. The predominant breeds in dry areas are Gala (Somali) and Small East African. Mating should be done so as to coincide with periods of good feed supply to increase conception rates and the twinning ability of the goats. Kidding should also occur when feeds are plentiful to ensure enough milk for fast growth rate of the kids. Kids which grow fast attain sexual maturity early and also withstand disease challenges.

In-breeding should be avoided by removing young males from the herd. An apron used on the undesired males in the herd is also an effective way of controlling mating. The quality and quantity of feeds is a big problem especially during the dry seasons. Feed storage in feeds stress periods is essential and can be achieved through planting of dual purpose crops such as sorghum, cowpeas and dolichos.

Poultry Farming

The livestock sub sector contributes 7.9-10% GDP to the Kenyan economy. Out of the Agricultural GDP, which is 25% of the national GDP, the poultry industry is estimated to contribute about 1.7 %. The industry has over the years, progressed to become one of the most important livestock enterprises particularly in rural households where over 70% of the country’s population live and derive their livelihood.

Poultry are the most abundant livestock species, and domestic chicken (98%) are the most important, with other poultry species constituting 2% of the current total estimated population of 32 million birds.

The industry is an important source of food, income and employment. In addition, it is an integral source of livelihood to over 80% of the rural households, with many social and cultural uses. The poultry industry also has linkages with other sectors of the economy that include input suppliers, feeds manufacturers, breeders, transporters, processors, traders and consumers. The industry continues to be constrained by various challenges among them, poorly organized marketing structures, poor and high cost of inputs, loss of genetic diversity, low productivity within the indigenous chicken sub-sector, fluctuations in production, diseases and inadequate funding to development.

The demand for poultry and poultry products has increased due to urbanization and increasing human population. This demand may not be met due to the underlying challenges currently facing the industry. The potential of poultry to increase household incomes, creation of employment and ensure food and nutrition security can only be realized if improved strategies and technologies are put in place in a holistic manner involving all actors along the poultry chain. 

Indigenous Vegetables

The expanding market and demand for indigenous African vegetables presents an opportunity for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Indigenous vegetables have a host of desirable traits: many of them protein rich, vitamins, iron and other nutrients than popular non-native crops such as kale. The market for indigenous vegetables such as the night shade (managu), Spider Plant (Sagaa), Cowpeas (kunde), Amaranthus, is readily available and fast moving.  Indegenous vegetables are also able to endure droughts and pests making the traditional varieties a potent weapon against dietary deficiencies. Many people in Kenya consume them for medication and dietary reasons.

Seeds can be acquired by going to Kenya Seed Company Limited

Tomato Farming

Tomatoes are native to South and Central America, and are now cultivated widely throughout the world.
Tomatoes are one of the most widely cultivated vegetable crops in Africa. They are grown for home consumption in the backyard of almost every homestead across sub-Saharan Africa. They are important source of vitamins and an important cash crop for both smallholders and medium-scale commercial farmers. Tomatoes acting as taste enhancers in food are always in high demand both for fresh consumption and processing. Ideally, tomato requires a relatively cool, dry climate for high yield and premium quality. However, it is adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions. Tomatoes have even been grown as far north as the Arctic Circle (under protection) and down to the hot and humid equator. The optimum temperature range for growth and development is 21 to 24 degrees Celsius. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius can cause chilling injury. Mean temperatures above 27 degrees Celsius severely impair growth and fruit set. Destruction of pollen and egg cells occurs when the maximum day-time temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or above for 5 to 10 days. Fruit set is also generally poor if the night temperatures are above 21 degrees Celsius just before and after flower formation. Hot dry winds can also cause flower abortion. Tomatoes are not sensitive to day length and set fruits in photo periods ranging from 7 to 19 hours. Tomatoes can be grown in many soil types ranging from sandy loam to clay-loam soils that are rich in organic matter. The ideal soil pH range is 6 to 6.5; higher or lower pH can cause mineral deficiencies or toxicities. Long periods of flooding are detrimental to tomato growth and development.

Seeds can be acquired by going to Kenya Seed Company Limited

 

Further reads: Starting out in farming may be hard but never give up!