Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ricky Kibet: Why onion farming will earn you more money than other crops

Ricky Kibet is a jack of all trades when it comes to farming. The farmer, who started farming in 2022, runs a five-acre farm that hosts various crops, including maize, beans, cabbage, and onions.

The Kajiado-based farmer relies on drip irrigation, as the hot climate in the region, mostly occupied by pastoralists, has made crop farming unviable.

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He notes that onions are one of the top crops that farmers should consider growing. This is due to the high demand for the vegetable in the market, low production cost and higher returns compared to other crops.

”Onions have a ready market and the demand is so high that we can’t meet it. Their returns are also good, and that’s why we decided to venture into the farming,’’ he said in an interview with NTV.

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He notes that with good farming practices an acre of onion can yield 10,000 kilos. On production cost, the farmer says a kilo of planting materials costs an average of Sh40,000.

He adds that the entire planting process, from land preparation to harvesting, can be costly or cheap, depending on the size of the farm. Further, Kibet says the profits a farmer makes per acre depend on current market prices.

Bulb onions take 3 to 4 months to reach maturity. They perform well in well-drained, fertile, sandy loam, and non-compacted soils.

Different seed varieties perform differently under different conditions. Common hybrid varieties available in Kenya include Red Creole, Red Pinnoy, Jambar 1, and Red Bombay.

The most popular seed variety in Kenya is the Jambar F1 since it produces a high yield and the size of its onions is bigger.

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