Farming Starts Here

Earn Ksh 350, 000 from one acre of Onions in 3-4 months

When you want to cook Managu what do you use? Onions. When you want to cook meat, what do you use? Onions! Nearly every meal of the average Kenyan has to have onions as part of the ingredients. This tells you something about the market out there. There is a high demand for onions! Here is how you can tap into that demand and make a profit from it.

In 3 months an acre of Hybrid bulb onions will give you an income of Ksh 350, 000. After 3-4 months of transplanting the onions it can produce a yield of 20,000 Kgs bulbs.

1 Kg of Onions at current farm gate price goes @ Ksh 25
i.e 20,000 Kgs × 25 Shillings = Ksh 500,000 minus average cost of production which is (approximately) Ksh150, 000 = Ksh 350, 000 Net income
. (If all goes well with your farm management)

 

High yielding varieties in Kenya today include, Jambar F1, Red Pinoy F1, Red Comet F1, Red passion F1.

How to Plant

To get the best results with onions you need to start them in a Nusery. Here is how to do this;

  1. Make a raised nursery bed 1 metre wide and any desired length. Apply well decomposed manure at a rate of 15kg per square metre.
  2.  Mix and Apply DAP fertilizer at a rate of 20 grams per metre square
  3. Make shallow furrows 15 cm apart. Mix the seeds with dry ash, sand or soil at a ratio of 1:3 to help spread the small seeds. Plant the seeds and cover lightly with soil and apply mulches ( Grass or Polythene cover spread over the soil on the nursery bed).
  4.  After planting irrigate the nursery bed liberally for the first 10 days and continue watering regularly.
  5. Germination of seeds will take about 7-10 days after which the mulches are removed and used to make a shade above the tender plants which have not fully developed.
  6. Transplanting of the seedlings takes place 6 weeks after planting seeds in the nursery. Transplant when the seedlings have pencil thick base and a height of approximately 15cm. Seedlings should have 3 to 5 well formed leaves at transplanting time. Two weeks before transplanting reduce the shade to improve seedling survival rate in the field.
  7. It takes about 4-5 months for onions to mature

 

Onion farming in Kenya can be done in greenhouses and open gardens.

NB: Before you begin onion farming you need to check and confirm Market availability, Price of the onions and the variety of the plant.

The market price for onions changes constantly so please do your research before planting.

Also you for you to get high yields of oinion per acre you need to practice good farm management. Onion farming is labour intensive. Challenges will arise the first time you start farming but over time you will get better and i succeed in onion farming.

Consult with onion farmers near your area to get inspiration and a better understanding on how onion farming works. They will help you with starting your own onion farm and how to handle challenges that arise.

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Graduate Farmer

Graduate Farmer aims is to empower young men and women from becoming job seekers to creators through the agribusiness value chain.

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291 Comments

    1. Hello… Would like to start onion farming in Kitale..Please advise me the best type of Onions to go for… Thanks

    2. As I am Indian farmer and I want to grow an onion on my land and after
      watching your results about onion I am so surprised and I want your seeds
      to grow onion in India. Kindly provide me the full details and
      procedure/Price so that I can move forward and able do a business with you.
      Thanks and Regards
      Azam Ali
      +919990736725

    1. Hi Carolyne Onions have a shelf life of 4-6 weeks so after you harvest spread them out in any warm, airy place out of the sun, such as on a porch and cover them with a light covering so that they can dry evenly.They are a cold-season crop and easy to grow because of their hardiness,you can use Jambar F1.

  1. is there you can offer visuals for some of your blogs.. or invite people to be there during the planting process, im very much interested.

      1. I would like to grow onions ni Bungoma County at Lwandanyi which is the best seed to grow there and at the Kenya Uganda Border

  2. Hi,

    I would like to start onion farming and i have two options, Naromoru area and Kirinyaga area. Kindly advise me on viability for these areas and also the best seed variety for these areas.

    Thanks

    1. The best temperatures for growing onions are from 13-25°C (55-75°F). They produce higher quality bulbs if the weather is cool during their early growth stage, then they like increased temperatures for optimum maturity. Check the climate of the two areas. You can get seeds from any local Agrovet in your area.

  3. Hi,
    I would like to start farming and i have two pieces of Land. One in Kinyambu at Kibwezi, the other one is at Aima Ma Kilungu near Konza City.
    Can i be able to plant onions and if not what agricultural produce would you recommend me to plant in that weather.

  4. Hi I would like to plant onions in Kibwezi…. I am in the final stages of drilling a borehole. I would love to plant the onion in open field and green houses. kindly advice me if you can offer technical support so that I will not incur loses and 2). which is the best type of onion which thrives well in Kibwezi 3). is it a must I do soil testing and sampling and 4). Do you secure market for those young farmers who are fresh in the business to avoid loses. kindly advice me accordingly.

    Regards,

    Gabriel
    Tel: 0718569266

    1. Hello Gabriel. To amswer your questions
      1.We don’t yet offer technical support but when we do we will notify you.
      2.Look for any of the onion hybrid seeds one of the most popular ones in Kenya is Jambar F1. Refer to the article above
      3.Soil testing is recommended to ensure you get maximum productivity from your crop
      4.We will be launching an online marketplace soon so keep in touch

  5. Hallo,my name is Wendy,just came across your blog when I was searching about onion farming.
    First,am quite new in this area. I have 2acres of land that is rather idle near Namanga,a place called Ngatataek.
    The area is very fertile for farming.
    Please,if there is a way you can help me with this and any other advice on farming, and the market for the produce.I will really appreciate.
    I do not mind getting all dirty because of farming. I really need this.
    Thank you.
    Regards,
    Wendy

    1. When you plant the onion seeds on a nursery you should mix it with sand so as to disperse the seeds evenly but after transplanting the soil needs to be fertile without sand. Yes cheranganyi can perform well

  6. How many seasons in a year can one grow onions? Does the price of Kes.40 per kilo a steady price throughout the season?

    1. 4 times. You need to have constant water for irrigation for your crop through the whole year. Prices vary depending on market demand. Currently a Kilo goes for Ksh.100. You need to do your market research first before planting.

  7. I WANT O START ONION FARMING, DO YOU OFFER TRAINING SERVICES ON HOW TO DO IT..
    I WOULD WANT THE PEOPLE I WILL EMPLOY TO BE TRAINED.
    ALSO I WOULD WANT TO KNOW APPROXIMATELY HOW MUCH CAPITAL WILL I NEED TO START THE FARMING IN A ONE ACRE PIECE OF LAND?

    1. Hi Faith. We have not yet launched our training program but we will keep you posted as soon as we do. You will need approximately Ksh.150,000 for one acre. When you start planting though make sure you fence your land to avoid animals destroying your crop. Please subscribe to our posts below👇 to get regular updates

    2. I would like to grow 5 acres of Red onions and chillies. Which are the best areas for these products.
      which is the most preferred type of chilly in the world today.
      Bjorn 0722718249

      1. Onions do best when started in cool (not cold) weather so you can use this information to guide you if where you are is suitable. Chilli varieties include Bird Eye,Habareno,Serenade, and Jalapeno.

  8. Hi,

    I would want to venture into onion farming, however this will be my first attempt at farming. I have a myriad of questions. Do you offer like training support for starters and can I have a site visit from someone you can refer me to?

    1. Hi Kabura..We currently do not offer training in horticulture. We will notify you when we do. We want to ensure you succeed in farming as a beginner. Please subscribe to our newsletter below.

    1. Manik are you selling onion seedlings. What variety ordinary or f1. Are they ready for tranplanting
      .what price and where are you

  9. What fertiliser and pesticide should I use and how regularly. I’m planting next week. The seedlings have been growing in the nursery for about 5 weeks now.

  10. Hello,

    I want to do garlic farming. Please let me know where I can grow in Kenya and the start up capital for an acre of land

    1. Garlic requires high temperatures of 30ºC for optimum bulb development. They will though need cooler temperatures in its early stages for it favours vegetative growth required for plant establishment. It needs well drained fertile soils. Avoid clay soils as they may result in malformed bulbs.

  11. hi,kindly advice me on onion farming in bomet county,and anyother cropd that can do well other than maize in this region.how is the market price for onions from december?

    1. Onions do well in cool weathers when growing and warm weather when maturing. you should get your soil tested before planting onions. Visit your nearest agro store to get recommended seed type. To check market price for onions go to our homepage graduatefarmer.co.ke and check sidebar

  12. Thanks for the good job to inform Kenyans,I think this way we are heading in the right direction.Currently I am doing research on vegetables and fruits farming,I am finding some confusions in most blogs which I think should be addressed.1)When it comes to yields we need to be factual we talk about hectares or acres,we should differentiate both.

    1. Thank you James, and I agree with you on that. There are approximately 2.47 acres in 1 hectare.
      This can be dangerous when it comes to the use of herbicides/pestcides on a farm as most companies use Hectares to explain the dosage on their labels.

  13. Hey, Am glad I found this site. Am interested in planting garlic and onions in Kisumu. This will be my first attempt in farming though I want to do verticle farming. Am concerned about the shelf life of both and the best species to plant in this area. I have a constant water supply and can do irrigation

  14. Nursery preparation ia a very big challenge……..you can imagine. buying the seeds at 36k n they failed to sprout……very sad…..i need an expert to advise accordingly…..

  15. Hi, i like this, i wan to start growing onions in Bondo can the soil type and weather allow me? And which variety should i plant.

  16. Am based in cheptais Mt. Elgon.
    please which is the best high yielding onion variety to be planted and harvested on Feb/March eason?
    thank youu in advance

  17. Great article . Do have market info for onions, like, demand patterns for the 12 month in Kenya, or average prices per month?

  18. I want to grow onions in Makueni county,kibwezi west constituency,please advice me on the varieties of seeds suitable to grow in this area.

    1. Onions do well in cool weathers when growing and warm weather when maturing. you should get your soil tested before planting onions. Visit your nearest agro store to get recommended seed type. we dont have training in nairobi

  19. thanks for the update… does it matter in the market abut the size of the onion….some hybrids becomes too “bulby” and the buyers are reluctant to take them… whats wrong with them?

  20. Hello, thanks for the information. Is it possible to not use a nursery bed and plant dirrectly. What are the dangers?

  21. Hi. I have an acre of land in Narok where I would like to farm onions. Jambar F1 type. I would like to come for a visit at your farm if possible kindly let me know if it is possible. I would also like to find out if September to December is a good period for farming?

  22. Hallo and congrats for the good information.i have a few questions:
    1. Can onions do well in embu?
    2.if so,which type?
    3.how much capital wud i require to plant on a quarter acre?
    4.what are the best months for planting?

    Thx

    1. Onions do well in cool weathers when growing and warm weather when maturing. you should get your soil tested before planting onions. Visit your nearest agro store to get recommended seed type and costings.

  23. Thanks for the information and advice to us farmers.
    I have leased 1 acre in karia kirinyaga county and planning to do onions (red coach F1) in July. Kindly advice me whether it’s viable.
    Thanks

  24. hi what is the best time to plant onions when its cold, rainy or warm. and how much will it cost to utilize 4 acres. I live abroad and was thinking could come home for a couple of months. pleas help

  25. what are the best months to plant and harvest onions and how much will it cost to utilize 4 acres I live far form home but I am thinking I could come home for a period of 3 months, please help

  26. I’m from Bomet county and I want to plant onions and i want to use organic manures in stead of inorganic fertilisers . Could this method works properly? pliz advice.

  27. hi,

    i am interested in starting onion farming in Kikuyu.What is the recommended seed for that area and in addition,how is the market out there for onion farmers.

  28. Great site and good work. Am planning to start onion farming in Kajulu area of Kisumu.the soils are clayish.any hope of onions doing well? Are there any methods of improving this kind of soil? Thanks

  29. I would like to start onion farming in Muhoroni, about 70km from Kericho.
    Am not sure if the temperature is right.
    What variety would give best yield in that area?

  30. Hi,

    Writing from Uganda What is the best soil recommended in terms of ph. i have bought my seeds already but worried that the soil aint the best.

    500gms of seeds can be planted on what amount of space

  31. am in Muranga kahuhia , plus help the best seed , pestiside and fertilizer and when to apply . Red soil.

  32. Hello,would like to do onions 1 acrea and habaniero chilies half acre in kongoni naivasha,,water and hydroponic on site,,please advice as I have two weeks to commence,,any budget/record twmplate

  33. Hey
    A partner and i have half an acre land
    We have done the soil & pathogen test
    We can plant the red passion F1 onions
    The water is almost sorted out aswell
    We have got the seeds too
    we dont know which fertilizers to get? when should we start planting? how much the labour would we need approx? could you please help us. thank you

  34. Hey
    A partner and i have half an acre land
    we have done the soil and pathogen test
    we would like to plant the red passion f1 seeds
    we have bought the seeds
    the water is almost sorted out too
    could you please advice us on the fertilizers to buy, when to start planting and how much labour shall we need approx
    thank you

  35. Please confirm if type of soil affect the production of the onion.I have black cotton soil land where i want to start the project

  36. Hey
    A friend and i have half an acre of land to grow red passion f1 onions.
    I would like to know which fertilisers to use for the nursery.
    thank you.

  37. I want to start a nursery by August 31 and in our area rains go upto early dec followed by a dry spell upto late feb. Am I late?

  38. Can onions do well on cotton soil, I have 7 acres in juja idle for the moment and I would really appreciate your advice on onion growing.

  39. hello, thanks for the information above but as an horticulturist and agronomist in profession have some questions for you.
    1. how is the spacing/ planting density affect the yield of onions since it lacks there above?
    2. you have dealt mostly with the opportunity, but what are some of the challenges like diseases, pests etc which affect onions?
    3. different localities have different climatic conditions and as i know these F1 varieties dont suit in each environment, so which can you provide the complete information showing the best variety at each location?

  40. Hi, I really appreciate the site & the good advice you are offering to new farmers. I want to start onion farming and av never been in farming.
    My quiz is (1) how many types of onions can one plant (2) does onions need fertilizer?

    Regards
    apple G

  41. hello,
    just seen your blog as i was researching about onion farming in Kenya.i have been thinking about doing farming.i have two acres of land in Ol-kalau in Nyadarua district.what kind of onions would you recommend in this climate and where do i get them?

    Thank you.
    Kellen wairimu Kamau.

  42. hi am johnson from molo in nakuru county. would like to know best type to plant n around which swason to fetch maximum returns.

  43. Hi, am from molo. I have seen your blog and am much interested in onion farming. At my place when is the right time to plant them and which seed will I use. Molo is a cold place. Please help

  44. Hi, am from Molo and like to plant onions. Which seed is suitable at my place and what time should I plant because of climate changes at my place? Please help

  45. I want to practice onion farming in Naivasha. Is it a suitable place? What effect does the fast approaching el nino have on farming? What are the best months for onion farming in Kenya? Please advise.

  46. I bounced on this site and found it just what I needed. I am preparing my piece of land right now in kithimani. I do have water through out the year. I want to try onions and tomatoes. I have already tested the soil. My concern is the el-el-nino warnings… should I start now or wait a bit. Which are the best months to plant onions for irrigation. Thank you..

  47. Hello The Graduate Farmer, I hop this finds you well.. am a business student so passionate about agribusiness though.. I’ve gone through all the posts here in and your firm advice is SOIL TESTING; what is the relative ph for onion farming??

    Ted, -Homa bay, Kenya.

  48. Kindly give details of Jambar F1 as that is the kind of onion I would like to grow on my 1.5acres piece of land in Oldonyo Sabuk.

    Once you get to assist farmers in selling their produce, please advise as well.

    Thanks,

    Jacquie.

  49. hey graduate farmer ,i am interested in cultivating red onions on my farm at isinya please advice me on the best variety and the best time to plant.i am waiting for your prompt responce.thank u.

  50. hi good job
    kindly i would like to do onion farming,am in Rongo, Migori county pls which type is the best?
    kindly can i get visuals or detail of a possible site visit
    my mail :felix.seje@yahoo.com/0724344760
    kindly pls

  51. Hi, I planted an onion nursery, Red Passion F1, about 2 months ago. Thing is most of the seeds didn’t sprout while a few did very well. I pretty much followed all the advice given by my agrovet. I would like to know what to do so that I have improved yeilds next time round. Thanks.

    1. -The reason could be improper soil temperature and moisture or a combination of the two, are the majority of the reasons that seeds don’t germinate in a timely manner.Planting too early, too deep, watering too much or too little are common mistakes made.

      -Other factors include soil preparation,  did you get your soil tested?
      The seeds could have been leftovers from several years ago, forgotten in a box or cupboard or stored in extreme temperatures that have destroyed the seed germination potential.
      or
      -Seedbed mismanagement

  52. Hi Madam!
    Im very exicited with ur experience on red onions, im a Tanzanian with 50 acres land and im planning
    to use part of it to practise a very serious onions farming, what at the issues to be looked after so that
    i can minimize the risks of loses?

    much regards!
    deo

  53. Hae i am pleased with your information and inspirations. i wish to start onion farming in karatina. Which is the best onion type/variety please.
    Thanks

  54. Thanks, from nigeria. am interested in starting onions/tomatoes next year and your site was informative… will save and make reference to same

  55. Hi,

    I have a 10 acre piece of land in Isinya that I intend to start farming sometimes next year. I have been following your blog for quite some time and I am settling on doing onions and water melons after I do soil tests as per your advise. My question is; do you know of any organizations or banks that I can apply for a soft loan.

    I also wish to subscribe to this site so that I can be sure to receive all conversations.

    Thank you

    Rwamba.

    1. Hi Rwamba, I hope this finds you sooner.
      kindly contact me on 0722115626, there’s a business I would like to talk with you.

  56. I’m very pleased with this blog Graduate Farmer. Now, I intend to farm onions around Naromoru area. Question is, all factors held constant what’s the average yield of 500g Red Pinoy F1. Thanks and looking forward for further engagement.

  57. Hi Graduate farmer,congs for this best job and site.kindly give me a detail abt the best type of onion to do with black cotton soil,size of seedling per acre and where i can get them a seedling ready for planting within meru region please .

    With Thanks.

    Roba

  58. Am in Mombasa and would like to know if the climate is suitable for growing onions and if yes which type of onion to grow?

  59. Hi, which variety should I use in Kamulu around ruai. I have water for irrigation.
    Thank you for sharing such important info.

  60. Congrats for such an informative blog. I saw in an earlier post that it would cost approximately Ksh. 150,000/- per acre to grow onions. Are you able to give a break down of this cost?

  61. Hi! Would like to grow Onion in Kitui. The temps are normally between 22 and 28°c most of the time. Which is the best variet. 2. If I plant 1 Kg, what is the expected yield?

  62. Am so greatful for such informative piece of advice…..am currently doing an acre of onions in Kieni, Nyeri.

  63. I would like to do onion and tomato farming in Angola would love advice from you. you are doing good work.

  64. Hi, This is very informative. Please advise which would do well in Kandara area, Where to go and get a growing guide if one has no access to the internet. Please also assist with a breakdown for an acre. Thank a mil.

  65. Hi, I would like to grow bulb onions specifically in kitale. Which is the best season to plant as in seedbed and what variety is the best there. Thank you in advance.

  66. Hello.
    I admire your insights.
    I have tested the soil where i want to grow onions and the desirable onions are red passion. The area is humid. Kindly give me the steps on how to start from seed bed preparation stage on wards.
    Thank you.

  67. Hi i want to start onion farming in Narumoro near solio ranch advise if the location is favorable and the best seed to plant as a start up.

        1. Unfortunately no. Though you can take a tour on the Ngaring’iro road, heading to muiogo. There is serious farming going on there.

  68. Hi Graduate ,
    I am planning to try green house farming , starting with the 8m by 15m one . I am debating between onions and tomatoes. Which one yields a better profit?

  69. Hello Sir, I am over impressed for this lucrative info. you have provided on this platform! I in Liberia a Country with vast farm land and idea climate and seasons for farming and yet we don’t farm but with this info. I can start a farm on onion by following this above mentioned tips.
    Thanks..

  70. Do you offer step by step guidance on onion production?For instance at nursery stage what is needed and how do i ensure maximum yields..like pesticides and best fertilizers to use?

  71. hi i want start potatoes farming in nyandarua kipiripiri area so when is the best time to plant and where can i get the certified seeds of shangi

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