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Is Managu farming worth it?

If there is a vegetable I can eat all day, every day then its Managu (African Nightshade). Managu, when cooked with milk cream, has this taste that can confuse you to think you are eating chicken after a whole year of starving. Okay, maybe that’s a bit too much praise . If you have ever eaten Managu then you know what I mean. There are some people who complain that Managu tastes bitter. That’s because they do not know how to cook it. The trick is how you handle it. Make sure you wash the leaves twice or thrice after boiling it. Then the bitter taste will go away. Ooh, don’t forget to add cream when you are cooking it. Doing this will give you the best results. Thank me later.

With so many agribusiness ideas online, it is often difficult to know which ideas are actually worth it and worth the trouble. Many farmers in Kenya are always worried about the problem of what kind of farming activity to do to earn a decent living from. Where do I start? What’s the cheapest crop to grow with less capital? What do I grow? Which crops fetch the most profit? Spend a few minutes to reading this article and it will give you the motivation to grow one of the most underestimated vegetables in Kenya and earn an honest living from it. Managu.

Managu is known by many names to different people. It is known by namasaka by the Luhya, mnavu by the Swahili, osuga by the Luo, Sucha by the Kalenjin, Kitulu by the Kamba, ormomoi by the Maasai, ndunda by the taita. Managu/ African nightshade originated from Africa and has since spread to many parts of the world.Managu/ African nightshade boasts a lot of health benefits which has seen its value and demand raise. Good, healthy and tasty foods are now trending in various parts of the world and Managu is one of them.

The following are the health benefits of Managu;

  • Beta-carotene: Extemmely high
  • Vitamin E: Medium
  • Folic Acid: Medium to high
  • Ascorbic Acid: High to extremely high
  • Calcium: Medium
  • Iron: Medium
  • Protein: 2.0%-4.0%

Economics
There are many factors that might affect your production so the figures indicated below are just a guide. You need to have good seeds, an irrigation system, good management and planning to get great Managu yields.

Assuming all those factors are met, you can get a yield between 300 Kg- 500 Kg of Managu/ African Night Shade per Acre. One acre of Managu farming will cost you between 20,000-30,000. This calculation is done with the thought you already have a reliable irrigation system in place. An acre of drip irrigation costs between Ksh 70,000- Ksh 100,000.

An average Managu sack/bag is measured at 50 Kg.This means one acre of Managu can give you an average of 8 bags per acre.

1 kg of Managu goes for Ksh 30 (Ksh 60 during the dry season) and an average Managu sack/bag is measured at 50 Kg. This means one acre of Managu can give you an average of 8 bags per acre.

Managu income per acre is therefore around 500 Kg x Ksh 30 (per kg) =Ksh 15,000 (per week). You can harvest Managu for 2 months that means your total income will be Ksh 120,000. Subtract this from your expenses and you will be left with Ksh 90,000 profit.

Expense Considerations

  • Land
  • Seedlings
  • Chemicals (Foliar, Pesticides and Fungicides)                      
  • Farm Equipment (Irrigation, General Tools)
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Salaries/ Wages

Market prices are not fixed and can change depending on the weather and season. This should not discourage you because you can decide to sell your Managu in bunches (which has more profits by the way) directly to the consumer thus bypassing the middlemen and market vendors.

Selling Strategies

  • Wholesale:  Signing supply contracts of Managu with supermarkets and large retail stores.
  • Restaurants: Delivering your Managu to restaurants and hotels. This a profitable approach and most reliable because people eat food every day. You need to be consistent and reliable when dealing with restaurant lest you lose the supply deal to other players.
  • Farm Gate:  This means selling products straight from the farm. The main people who buy produce from the farm are brokers so be ready to bargain well with them.         

So, what is the conclusion? Managu farming is a worthy investment for any beginner farmer in Kenya. The capital input is less and the demand is there. If you would like to know how to to grow Managu click here

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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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