Sunday, May 26, 2024

Profitable 12 weeks crops you can grow this rainy season

Co-Op post

Heavy rainfall is currently being experienced in most parts of the country, with farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture beginning to cultivate their crops.

The Kenya Meteorological Department, in a recent update, indicated that the rains, which are expected to last till May, would be above average throughout the season.

This article focuses on some of the short-season profitable crops farmers can grow this season.

Spinach

This is one of the most profitable vegetables that farmers can plant this season. The demand for spinach is increasing fast because of the growing population and an increasing awareness of the nutritional benefits of consuming leafy greens.

The crop grows well in cool temperatures, with a range of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, and takes just 4 weeks from seedling transplanting to maturity. After the first harvesting, the crop takes 5 to 7 days to be ready for another harvesting.

According to agriculture firm Rich Farm Kenya, spinach’s profitability varies depending on factors such as input costs, yield per acre, and market price.

Rich Farm estimates that planting one acre of spinach can cost a farmer about Ksh100,000 – 150,000. This includes the cost of seedlings, fertilizer, labor, pest, and disease management.

Key to note is that this cost can vary depending on the location, the type of spinach variety, and the farming methods used.

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Beans

This crop is commonly grown in the Eastern, Nyanza, Central, Western, and Rift Valley parts of the country. It is Kenya’s second staple food, meaning it has a high market demand.

There are various bean varieties in Kenya that can do well. They include Rose Coco, Mwitemania, Wairimu, Mwezi Moja, Canadian W, and KK 15.

The crop is ready for harvesting 70 – 120 days after sowing, with some varieties taking shorter periods. An acre of beans can yield 8-10 bags weighing 90kgs.

Each 90 kg bag of beans can be sold for between Sh10,000 – 15,000 per bag, translating to a potential income of Sh80,000 to Sh150,000 per acre.

Carrots

Carrots farming in Kenya is lucrative, especially if you plant hybrid varieties. Depending on the variety, they are ready for harvesting within 60 -90 days. Mature carrots should have an orange color with a blunt tip.

On average, a farmer can expect to harvest between 15 and 20 tons of carrots per acre. The average price is around Ksh50 per kilo, but this price fluctuates depending on market conditions and seasons.

According to experts, With good agronomic practices, a farmer can earn around Sh500,000 per acre of carrots in normal market conditions.

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Maize

Maize is Kenya’s staple food, and its market demand is always high. The crop is harvested after 3-4 months for the short-season varieties and up to 10 months or more for the long-season varieties.

Harvesting can be done while the maize is green or when dry. The choice of harvesting method depends on the intended use of the maize.

According to the Tegemeo Institute, it will cost a farmer around Sh26,000 to grow maize on one acre in Kenya. This cost includes the cost of seedlings, fertilizer, labour, pest and disease management.

The crop can yield an average of 16 bags per acre for small-scale and 20 bags per acre for large-scale systems.

The Average maize selling price for a 90 kg bag of maize is Ksh 2500. The selling price ranges between Ksh 1500 and Ksh 3500 based on region and the season.

Tomato

Tomato is another fruit that has for years been a cash cow for Kenyan farmers. The venture can be profitable for farmers who follow good agricultural practices and have access to reliable markets.

Depending on the variety planted, tomatoes should be ready for harvesting as from the 70th day onwards.

According to Farmers Trend, the average tomato yield is approximately 20 to 25 tonnes per hectare, which translates to 8 to 10 tonnes per acre.

While the fruit’s market price can vary depending on the season, location, and quality, the average price ranges from Ksh. 30 to Ksh. 80 per kilogram.

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