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;
- Make a raised nursery bed 1 metre wide and any desired length. Apply well decomposed manure at a rate of 15kg per square metre.
- Mix and Apply DAP fertilizer at a rate of 20 grams per metre square
- 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).
- After planting irrigate the nursery bed liberally for the first 10 days and continue watering regularly.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.