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Profitable chilli farming in Kenya

Farming in Kenya has picked in the best way we could have all imagined. Even with chilli farming one can make un imaginable profits. Chilies have great nutritional value since they can be source of vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron, potassium and magnesium. The capsaicin in them contain anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic and analgesic properties. They also help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body, aid in digestion, help relieve migraines, muscle and joint pain.

Given the tropical climatic conditions of Kenya, chilies farming is ideal, and the warmer the growing conditions the hotter the chili.

Read: How to quit your job, move to your farm and start making sane money

How to Make money Through Chilli Farming

Chilies should be farmed in an area where they get enough sunlight, where the temperatures don’t get below 150C.


The varieties of Kenyan chillies represent some of the hottest of them; Cayenne Pepper, Bird Eye, Jalapeno, Serenade, habareno and more.

Chili Farming: Ecological requirements

  • The crop can grow at elevations from sea level to 1500m above sea level
  • The crop thrives in areas with medium rainfall about 600-1,200mm per annum.
  • Excess rain can causes leaf shedding and cause rotting
  • Extreme water deficits can stunt growth and cause flower abortion and fruit drops hence irrigation is recommended where rainfall is insufficient.
  • Chilies are warm seasoned crops hence sensitive to frost. The optimum temperatures for growth and fruit set are 20-300C.
  • Night temperatures below 16oC and day temperature above 320C can however prevent/reduce fruits set.
  • Low humidity and high temperatures cause abscission of buds, flower and fruit.
  • Light loamy, non-acidic, well drained soils are ideal for capsicum growth but with proper soil management, chili can grow in a wide range of soil types. Soil pH of 4.3-9.7 is well tolerated. However the optimum is pH is 6.0-6.5.

Read: I Have Been a Good Farmer Why Aren’t I Successful Yet?

Chili Farming: Planning Production

  • Production should be done in collaboration with the buyer so that the produce can be collected immediately after drying
  • Get certified seeds from a recommended source.
  • The size of farm should be determined by the labour available especially during harvesting.

Chilli Farming: Fertilizer application

  • Application of up to 10 tons/ha of Farm Yard Manure or compost is recommended depending on soil organic matter content (2 handfuls per planting hole).
  • 250 kg/ha TSP or DAP may be applied during transplanting.  Top-dress with 100 kg/ha CAN when plants are about 15 cm and later with 200 kg/ha CAN after 4 weeks.

Chilli Farming: Harvesting

  • The fruits are ready for first picking between 2 1/2 to 3 months after transplanting.
  • Picking continues for 3 to 4 months and it is recommended to harvest all the red ripe chilies as soon as they appear.
  • Harvesting can be done once or twice a week.
  • Harvest mature, deep red fruits only of length not more than 2 cm. Chilies should be picked without stalks.
  • Damaged, overripe, or green chilies should not be taken to the dryer.
  • The fruit should be picked early in the day after dew evaporates from the plant.
  • It is far more profitable to harvest all the fruit from a few plants than half of the fruit from many plants.

Chilli Farming: Yield

  • Depending on management yields of 1,000 kg to 3,000 kg per acre can be achieved.
  • Well-managed farms should be able to yield at least 600 grams of fresh chili per plant per year or 200 grams of dried chili.
  • A well maintained crop should produce up to 3 tons of chili per acre.

Chilli Farming: Challenges in production

  • Harvesting is the most labour intensive activity in chilli production. This has been a deterrent to large scale production of chili.
  • It is advisable not to plant more bushes than you can easily harvest.

Read: Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

Chilli Farming: Advice to potential growers

  • The market demands top quality and consistent product. Drying and grading operations needs to be maintained at high standards.
  • Start on a small scale and expand production as you get experienced.
  • It is important to plan production with the Buyer in order to ensure timely delivery of the produce after drying.



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Getting started on chilli (Pilipili) farming

Chilli farming in Kenya is one of the numerous gainful farming ventures we have in the country today. Disregard the large number of money you will get from the planting and selling your Chillies all over Kenya, Chillies just like most Vitamin crops have a high supplement content and contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and other significant minerals, for example, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron.

Individuals consume Chili for various reasons. While it’s valid that this yield is an awesome natural food additive, chilli also assists with the digestion process in the body, lowers the cholesterol levels in the body, eases headaches, joint and muscles pains. Notwithstanding these, the capsaicin content in Chillies also contains anti-diabetic, pain relieving, anti-bacterial and anti- cancer-causing properties in this way making Chillies a vital sustenance food additive for all.

If grown well, chillies have the potential to earn any farmer millions in revenues in a single year. As if the local market is not enough, you can grow your chillies for exportation and sell it on the outside market through the numerous chilli exporters in Kenya. If you are planning in getting into the chilli farming business then the following guide should help you reap great benefit from your little gold mine.

If grown well, chillies can possibly win any farmer millions in incomes in a single year. Even though the nearby market isn’t sufficient, you can develop your chillies for exportation and sell it outwardly through the various chilli exporters in Kenya. In the event that you are planning in getting into the chilli farming business then the accompanying aide should enable you to receive extraordinary reward from your little gold mine.

How to grow Your Chilli in Kenya

One thing before you begin your Chili farming venture you should comprehend is that Chillies do well in hot climate. The hotter it is the better the growing conditions for your chillies, anyway this does not discount its suitability in different areas as long as the temperatures don’t fall beneath 15 degrees Celsius. The other critical growth requirement for chilli is sufficient sunlight. Satisfactory sunlight implies that you will have your Chillies blooming and proliferating at the perfect time. When planting your Chili, the events of blooms implies that you chilli will begin showing up in a matter of weeks. Chillies are green in color and subsequent to developing for half a month they swing to red. It is good to enable your chilli to stay joined to the plant for longer until the point when they turn red before you harvest them.

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Chilli varieties in Kenya

When it comes to Chilli farming Kenya has a number of Chilli varieties that are best for most areas around the country. The common chilli varieties represented in the market include Bird Eye, Habareno, Cayenne pepper, Serenade and Jalapeno among others. If planted well paying attention to the ecological requirements, Chillies have the potential to produce amazing yields meeting the huge market demand in the country. Below are the ecological requirement you should pay attention to when it comes to growing your chillies.


In most cases, chillies in Kenya are grown in high elevation regions of around 1500m above ocean level


As stated earlier the warmer the temperature the better your yields. Chillies being warm seasoned crops require a temperature of around 20-30 degrees C for the growth and setting of the fruit. At this stage, chillies are very sensitive to frost. Night and day temperatures below 16 degrees Celsius and above 32 degrees Celsius have a negative impact on the fruits growth and therefore every farmer needs to take this into account if they are to realize good yields.

Read: Different Types Of Poultry Farming And Their Products


With regards to precipitation, your chillies require least rainfall of around 600-1200 mm yearly. In abundance of this may cause the shedding of the leaves which thusly achieves spoil. Then again outrageous shortfall of water makes your plants stunt in development henceforth shedding of fruits. On the off chance that you are planting your chillies on a dry region or miss the mark concerning precipitation, you are encouraged to supplement this supply with irrigation.


Chilli farming does well in well drained soils, slightly loamy and non-acidic this is particularly true when it comes to capsicums. However, with the right soil testing and management chillies perform well in a number of soil types. The optimum soil pH for your chillies is 6.0- 6.5 however, soil pH of 4.3-9.7 can also work for other chillies farming.


On the off chance that you are planting your chillies for business, it is essential that you tutor your plants first before transplanting them to your farm.

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