Time needed: 10 minutes.
To start a farming business in Kenya does not necessarily need a large piece of land, you can always start small.
Formal employment these days is very difficult to come by, this article is a way for you to think outside the box and start earning a living by farming.
Ideas listed here are for you to consider if you want to make the best out of your farm.
Of course, these ideas a more practical than others depending on your region, type of farm and demand in your region. Do what works for you.
Create multiple income streams so that not all of your eggs are in one basket. No matter how small the income stream may seem, all those little sales can add up to create one full time, livable income!
Also, read about Dairy farming in Kenya
How to start a profitable farming business in Kenya
- Business Planning
Having a well thought out business plan for a new enterprise is key, a farm is no exception to this rule.
This process helps an individual decide what they want going into the venture and also how and what they plan on achieving in the process.
In case you are short of funds, this planning helps you to come up with a funding plan to help the business take off.
Lenders will often to want to see a business plan before they even consider your loan application.
At this stage, you will also need to decide on what exactly you want to venture in when it comes to farming, it could either be animal farming, plant farming or even value addition business.
- Market Research
A common mistake by farmers is diving into the business without proper market research.
They simply assume that there is a ready market for their products and they couldn’t be more wrong about this. Don’t go into the same business as your neighbour because this will simply saturate the market.
It will also cause a domino-like effect and prices will go down and hence losses for you.
To succeed in the farming business in Kenya, you will need to find products that are on demand and that you can easily sell for the price you need to be profitable.
Also, build relationships with customers before you venture into these the farming business in Kenya, this is critically important.
Keep a record of sales to make the next batch of crops more relevant to the market you want to sell to.
Also, read about The future of Poultry farming in Kenya
- Start small when starting a farming business in Kenya
If and when you decide to start a farming business in Kenya, think about starting small to avoid going into debt too soon.
Upfront costs to take off might cost you a pretty penny so what you will need to do is to start small and let the farm pay for itself.
Crops are highly reliable on the weather while livestock is reliant on how you handle them, you need to have a trial and error kind of thing to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
If you do not have liquid cash, there are investors or financial institutions who would be willing to lend you your starting capital, make sure you, however, don’t drown into debt.
Starting small is extremely useful because it also helps in avoiding big mistakes. Pilot projects help us understand our needs, what we are good at, what we need to avoid and also what we need to improve on before we go big.
- Think in terms of value addition
The biggest point to remember when you think about farming is how you will use all the parts of the plant and animals, also called value addition.
Value addition refers to increasing the economic value of a commodity through particular production processes.
This is also a means of creating multiple income streams so that not all of your eggs are in one basket.
No matter how small the income stream may seem, all those little sales can add up to create one full time, livable income!
Before you start a farming business in Kenya, you will need to think about the different varieties of farming that will get into.
The different farming choices might include planting different kinds of produce, poultry farming, fish farming or rearing animals.
Diversification is very important especially in crop farming because different kinds of crop shave different maturity rates.
Diversifying will make sure that you will have income all year round. Also, if one crop is unsuccessful, there are likely to be many others that are successful.
In addition, this will help you discover what you are good at without losing time trying to do so.
Also, read about Top 10 profitable business ideas in Kenya 2019
- Knowledge is Power
Everybody wants to run a successful business, but what sets apart those who make it and those who don’t is KNOWLEDGE.
In order to start a profitable farming business in Kenya, you need to research more about your industry.
Have a thirst for knowledge, wanting to do better, wanting to learn how to make more money with what you have.
Also, the world is evolving every day, learn how to use new and improved equipment to turn a profit in your business.
Build relationships with other farmers, this is surprisingly very helpful as you get to learn the do’s and don’t in the business from the first hand.