Friday, July 19, 2024

Six most profitable crops per acre that have made several Kenyans millionaires

Agribusiness is undoubtedly one of the highest-paying ventures in Kenya, given the minimal risks involved.

The venture has, in recent years, gained more attention as the government seeks to create employment opportunities for the youth.

With vast tracts of arable land, Kenya is endowed with a favorable climate that is suitable for a wide range of crops. Here are the six most profitable crops in Kenya per acre.

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Dragon Fruit

This is one of the rare yet profitable crops in Kenya. Dragon fruit, also called Pitaya, is known for its vibrant colors and unique taste.

According to experienced farmers, this exotic fruit can yield an average of 6500Kgs per acre during the first two years of growth and assuming a plant population of 2400 plants.

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As the tree progresses, the yield increases to 10,000 to 12,000 kg per acre. Each dragon fruit is normally around 300 – 1000 grams in weight.

Walter Muange, who grows the fruit in Masii, Machakos County, says that during each harvest season, he achieves a minimum yield of 50 fruits from a single pillar.

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In the current market, a single fruit fetches between Sh. 400 and Sh. 600 during the low and high seasons, respectively.

The weight of a single fruit is an added advantage, as three fruits are sufficient to make a kilogram. One kilogram can sell for up to Sh. 1500. The fruit can be harvested more than twice a year.

Avocado

Many avocado farmers in Kenya, especially those growing the fruit for export, have attested to its lucrative nature.

On average, it takes about three years for avocado trees to start producing fruit. According to sources, the cost of production per acre for avocado farming in Kenya ranges from Ksh 150,000 to Ksh 200,000, while gross revenue ranges from Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 1,000,000.

The Hass variety is the top selling, and its market is widely available both locally and internationally.

According to Alfred Maingi, an Avocado farmer in Nakuru, a well-maintained Hass tree can produce 1,000 to 1500 every two weeks when in season.

Harvesting is done at least twice a year. Maingi adds that the venture is profitable, and a farmer with two acres of avocado can make more money than a farmer with 10 acres of land under maize.

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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.

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.

Elijah Gitari, who grows the fruit on a seven-acre farm, says from an acre of a healthy crop, he harvests about 300 crates of tomatoes (the wooden box of 60kgs).

If he has the fruit when the price is high at Sh5,000 to Sh6,000, he earns about Sh1.5 million from an acre.

He incurs about Sh150,000 to tend an acre of tomatoes to maturity. But there are times when prices fluctuate to lows of Sh1,000 per crate.

Carrots

Carrots farming in Kenya is lucrative, especially if you plant hybrid varieties. On average, as a farmer, you can expect to harvest between 15 and 20 tons of carrots per acre.

The average price is around Ksh50 per kilo. However, this price fluctuates depending on the current market conditions and seasons.

According to experts, With good agronomic practices, you can earn around Ksh. 500,000 per acre of carrots in normal market conditions.

David Wango, a farmer in Nakuru county, says he harvests between 80-100 bags from an acre of carrots, which earns him between Sh300,000 and Sh500,000.

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Passion fruit

Passion fruit farming is a popular and lucrative agribusiness in Kenya due to the high demand for the fruit in local and international markets.

The fruit takes between 8-10 months to mature after planting. The fruit has a high yield potential, with one passion fruit plant capable of producing up to 50 kgs per year.

The current market price for a kilogram of passion fruit in Kenya ranges from Kshs 60-100, depending on the season and location.

Assuming a yield of 30,000kg per acre and a price of Kshs 80 per kilogram, a farmer can earn gross revenues of Kshs 2.4 million per acre.

Gregory Koech, who grows the crop on his farm in Eldoret, says he sells the produce at a price of Sh100 to clients who export to the UK and other export markets.

In the local market, Koech sells the fruit at Sh70 per kilo, making around 21,000 weekly. If he sells to the company that exports to the UK, he makes Sh30,000 weekly and up to 60,000 per week when he harvests 600 kgs weekly.

Onions

There is a high demand for onions in Kenya, and farmers in the business undoubtedly rake in a decent income.

In 3 months, an acre of Hybrid bulb onions will give you an income of Sh. 800,000. After three months of transplanting the onions, it can produce a yield of 20,000 Kgs bulbs.

1 Kg of Onions at market price goes @ Ksh 40 i.e 20,000 Kgs × 40 Shillings = Ksh. 800,000 minus the average cost of production, which is Ksh. 150 000 per Acre = Ksh 650,000 net income. This, though, is on the lower end.

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