When you think of what bees produce, you probably think of honey. But bees also indirectly produce one-third of the common fruits and vegetables we eat, via pollination. Getting good crops of avocados in Kenya is not always easy, and pollination is part of the problem. Avocado growers find it hard to provide a regular supply of fruit because the trees only give a good crop every second year. However, if we all kept bees, avocado production can increase tremendously, below is an explanation on why bees are necessary.
While other fruits have simple ways of flowering and self pollination, avocados are different. Each avocado tree can be covered by almost hundreds of thousands of tiny flowers. Flowering process is complex and generally occurs over a two-day period. Under normal climatic conditions, the flower first opens in the female stage, when the stigma (the female part of the flower) is receptive. The flower closes overnight and on the second day the male stage occurs when the pollen is shed. Overlap between male and female phases may also occur under certain climatic conditions. Due to the difference in timing of the female and male stages, therefore, a means of transferring pollen from an individual flower to another flower (within the same tree or adjacent trees) is required. The avocado flower, therefore, requires a vector to effect pollination, which is a necessary first step in the process of fruit set. A vector is an external agent that is capable of causing the transfer of pollen grains from the anthers (the pollen bearing male part of the flower) to the stigma. Numerous pollen grains need to be deposited onto the individual stigmas for the avocado tree to have the potential for a good crop. The avocado flower is adapted to visitation by most flying insects as is evident by its open morphology and the easy access to the nectar. Therefore, flies, wasps, honey bees, stingless bees, bumblebees and other insects are potential pollinators of the avocado flower. To date, the honey bee has been the only commercially introduced pollinator in avocado orchards.
Why you Should Plant Different Cultivars (Hass and Fuerte avocados)
Avocados flowers are pollinated by insects, so growers bring honey bee hives into the orchard in the flowering season. Most avocado orchards have two different cultivars so that, when some trees have flowers at the female stage, other trees have male flowers. This means the bees need to collect pollen from male flowers of one cultivar (called the polleniser) and transfer it to females of another cultivar.
Avocado trees may have hundreds of thousands of flowers, but for some reason, not many of them produce fruit.
Preparation of Bees
For a hive to be able to adequately pollinate fruit blossom, it must be above certain strength in bee numbers. It is fundamentally difficult to build a population of honey bees during cool conditions, particularly if there are no naturally occurring sources of pollen and nectar. Thus to have healthy bees early in the season, for avocados pollination, the preparation and management of bees should be a major priority between march and June.
Attractiveness, Nutritional Value Of Pollen And Nectar
Honey bees visit both female- and male-stage avocado flowers. Usually, they collect nectar from both flower stages and pollen from the male stage. However, they sometimes collect pollen only and will not visit the female flowers. The attractiveness of the avocado flower to honey bees is low, in comparison to the flowers of numerous species that may be in bloom simultaneously, such as various citrus species and species. In many cases, foraging honey bees from hives that were placed in the orchard for pollination
purposes abandon the avocado flowers in favor of competing bloom. It is quite evident, therefore, that the avocado flowers are not as well adapted to supply the honey bees? needs, when compared to the flowers of many other species.
Availability Of Bees For Pollination
Avocado blossom coincides with a number of nectar-producing flowering eucalyptus species that have the potential to provide alternative economic gains for the beekeeper in the form of honey crops.
Any serious avocado farmer who wants to make good money must keep bees. The bees not only help in increasing production, sweetness and size of fruits but also produce pure organic honey every three months.
Agriculture as we all know is the backbone of Kenyan Economy. Kenya has a population of about 50 million where according to 2009 census 80% are farmers. However, in the recent years, rural-urban migration has been very high where young people move to cities in such of better opportunities. This has left a gap in agriculture. Oxfarm Ag Ltd has identified several trends that will shape agribusiness not just in Kenya but worldwide.
Attracting Young People Into agribusiness
One of the biggest factors that will determine how well agribusiness industry will cope with and adopt the newest Ag-Tech applications related to food production, will be young farmers. The industry is facing a problem with ensuring effective food production due to the fact, that most farms are run by older demographics that can range from 40 years old and above. If this persists happening and if we will not be able to figure out methods of raising the interest of farming and agriculture to young people, the pace at which new technology will be adopted will be hindered, as well as the progress of finding new solutions to current problems in the industry will be slowed down tremendously as well.
Given the recent drought conditions which cost Kenyan farmers billions of shillings in losses, there’s a lot of investment in the development of advanced drip irrigation technology, which allows farmers to limit wastage by efficiently delivering the exact amount of water to the soil, needed by their crops to grow.
In order to improve operational efficiency and yield prediction, the agricultural industry is increasingly using data analytics. Farmers are now able to implement complex systems that assist them with equipment management. This is also combined with data on weather patterns and soil conditions as well as crops to be planted, to develop a formula to determine the best time and place to plant and harvest. Big data is also useful for forecasting demand for crops, yield on crops, as well as potential land size and usage of land.
This modern form of farming, used to produce food in a smaller controlled environment through vertically stacked layers to save on water and fertilizer, is no longer just a noisy word, but a reality. A number of farmers in Kenya are already successfully using this technology as part of their farming practices.
Mobile applications (apps)
Smart phones are no longer just used for multimedia purposes and accessing information through the internet. Farmers are now actively using apps to monitor their crops via GPS, calculate feed, save water, get access to networks and markets, etc. Mobile apps have become a major disruptor in the agricultural industry. Developers globally are working around the clock to introduce app innovations that were once unimaginable.
Future Trends We Can Expect In Agribusiness
The introduction of new technologies and the potential they can provide to farmers across the globe (e.g. using Biotech to alter crop health, utilizing Digital Twin to predict optimal weather conditions for crop growth etc.) will become dependent on our ability to introduce younger generations to start a career in farming and agribusiness. In order to achieve this, we need to put the focus on financing and funding the younger generation in terms of financially encouraging them to start their own sustainable farming businesses and help them get a meaningful start that will contribute to efficient future food production.
The agricultural sector in Kenya is a booming one with myriad rich opportunities. Even the government has acknowledged it by trying to improve things in the sector and thus shift focus from Maize farming. The agricultural business has little or no risk involved. Plant rearing and animal rearing are the major areas in the agriculture that has lots of benefit. The list of crops and trees that can be cultivated for sale is a massive one. Hass avocado is high on that list after banana and mangoes. The hass avocado farming has attractive financial significance from its sweet fruits. So engaging in hass avocado farming in Kenya presents several employment and business advantages.
Get started on that piece of land just sitting there or invest in some plots of land which you can get at cheap prices in remote places. A plot of land can take 150 hass avocado stands with each stand producing up to 1000 fruits of hass avocado. It costs about 40,000 (see our package) to plant an acre of hass avocado and each fruit can be sold for Ksh 15. Properly planted and cultivated trees can start yielding within 2 years, although in little quantities, but after a few more years, it will begin producing in large quantities.
To have a productive business of hass avocado farming in Kenya, certain things need to be taken serious. One of those is treatment of the trees to fortify them against bugs, sicknesses, infections and other nuisances.
Basic Requirements for Hass avocado farming In Kenya
Climate condition and location for growing hass avocados: Kenya’s tropical climate is ideal for growing hass avocados.
Soil Condition: while hass avocados can grow in assorted soils like sandy, topsoil, red sand or clayey soils, the best choice however is loamy soil. Whatever soil is used, it must contain soil properties favorable to hass avocado cultivation with soil pH of 6.0 to 7.5.
Water System: Your hass avocado plants need lots of water when young. Having an irrigation system for it is therefore necessary. During dry season your trees should be watered every 2 days.
Theme: How to run and manage a modern day dairy farm on a small piece of land.
The farm that started with 6 dairy cows in 2016 is to day the hub of 85 dairy cows comprising high yielders, low yielders, in-calf heifers, and unweaned heifers housed in different sections of the unit depending on age and development stage. Utilizing modern innovation technology in milking and preservation, Kenran Dairy is one of the most technological advanced farm in Kenya today.
*From the high investment in computerised milking machines, to the high standards of hygiene practiced by the farmhands; everything spells Europe-style class here.*
The cows here listen to slow jam & classic music, undergoes pedicure, shaving to keep them clean and sleeps on cow mattress to ensure comfort hence more milk production.
That is what best describes former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara’s farm tucked deep inside Ongata Rongai. His one-acre farm is an example of how to run a modern-day dairy unit.
One of the biggest headaches for large-scale dairy farmers is safe milk preservation and boosting their milk yields while maintaining their profit margins. Because majority of them lack affordable milk preservation equipment and machines, some end up using dubious methods to achieve this goal.
The farm, having partnered with EuroDairy supplies innovative dairy equipment’s such as coolers and milking machines from Muller — a farm equipment company in Netherlands. Hon Magara also runs a fully stocked state of the art facility that stocks modern dairy farming equipment’s, spare parts and general cow comfort such as cow brushes, cow shaving machines, hoof cutters, cow magnets and detergents for washing milking machines, all which are key to boost milk production
Expect to learn on the following
• Dairy farming as a business
• Production and herd structure
• Animal health
• Calf rearing/young stock management
• Feeds/feeding management
• Groupings and requirements (lactating, dry cows, calves and heifers)
• Cow comfort and efficiency
• Herd management
• Adoption of technology
• Socio-economic management
• Staff management
Mpesa Till Number 201677
Then send confirmation details to +254 706 222 888
Charges per head 4,000/=
Inclusive of transport from Nairobi, writing materials and meals
More Details about the farm. Omingo Magara The Dairy Farmer
MORE PHOTOS OF THE FARM
Agribusiness is important to global food supplies and developing economies. However, getting agricultural products from re-mote rural areas into larger markets has its challenges. These include a lack of intermediaries to develop relations between vendors, purchasers and contract systems. Other problems include inconsistent product quality and supply of products because of poor infrastructure. There is also competition in domestic markets from transnationals that can sell their products for less than domestic producers can. This is where an agri-preneur comes in; sees a problem and thinks of a solution.
What is agri-preneurship?
Agri-preneurship is a key factor for the survival of small-scale farming in an ever-changing and increasingly complex global economy. But what is agri-preneurship? How does it relate to small-scale farmers who operate on the edges of the economy?
Agri-preneurship is one way in which small-size farmers can confront issues such as under-employment and need for new jobs. Opportunities exist for farmers to create value-added agricultural products that are sold in local markets. For example, Oxfarm adds value to tree-tomato fruits to make juice and jam. Rural agri-preneurs can compete against larger corporations through a business cluster that controls significant quantities of local farm products.
Agri-preneurship motivations are important in understanding how the agri-preneur operates their business or defines success. Traditionally, the definition of an agri-preneur is an individual who starts a new business, cognizant of associated risks and ambiguities, for profit and growth. The agri-preneur takes advantage of opportunities and gathers resources, usually money, and other necessary non-monetary resources to turn their ideas into reality. Motivation for agri-preneurship, its meaning and measures of success differ among people, as well as countries, and by income level.
In addition, agri-agri-preneurship is tied to personal identity. Each agri-preneur seeks to legitimize their identity through business activities and thus their goals reflect the environment and social norms. For example, an agri-preneur in a developing country may view success as the ability to support oneself and one’s family. In contrast, another agri-agri-preneur may be competitive, seeking to be the largest and best in order to reach their goal to be a profitable self-supporting business, independent of others.
Successful agri-prenuers in Kenya are highly knowledgeable, contacts with various people, innovates and adopts improved practices in agribusiness. However, there are many challenges that these farmers face: social barriers, economic barriers, regulations, access to finance and information, and their own managerial capacity to cope with risks and changes and to seize opportunities.
Characteristics of an agri-preneur
- An agricultural agri-preneur should be able to think purposefully in terms of farm activities. This is perhaps, the hardest task most farm agri-preneurs face. Most of the farm people find it easy to do, to act, to perform. Most farm people have difficulty, however, in thinking clearly about farm development. An Agricultural agri-preneur must be able to think.
- An agri-preneur should be able to express himself clearly. The best conceived idea is worthless, unless it can be communicated. An Agricultural agri-preneur must communicate to farm laborer effectively.
- An, agri-preneur in the farm sector must possess competence in farm operations. This does not mean that he must be a technician. But rather, he should possess the technical competence necessary in his field to enable him to manage the farm effectively.
- Farm entrepreneur should possess the ability to think broadly. He should be able to see the overall, not miss the forest because of the tree. Broad comprehension is necessary so that he can see the effect of each proposed action on the whole of the farm activities.
- An agri-preneur must know the actions and reactions of different farm people engaged by him in his farm or in the hired farm which he is managing, and he should have the tact, intelligence, foresight, etc., to channelize such actions and reactions for greater interest of farm activities in which he is engaged.
- Agri-preneurs must take appropriate decisions with regard to farm activities from its very first stage till the last stage and he should know how to coordinate various stages of farm operations so that new result is encouraging.
- He should know how to get various facilities extended by the government, semi-government and: other departments, institutions and organizations in time and in right quantity. This is a quality he must have to have for being successful in his farm activities.
- He should also be able to think how his land can be used in the best possible way through multiple-cropping or double cropping and to make proper arrangements so that he gets maximum prices for his farm products. Production and marketing of farm products should be well coordinated.
- He should be able to maintain daily records of the …..costs including depreciation costs of his farm activities and should make all possible efforts to reduce costs to the minimum and to have maximum return after selling his farm products. There should be a detailed costs and revenue accounts of his farm.
- He should be able to think the feasibility of starting an agro-industrial activity to supplement his farm income. He should also see how he can earn more through subsidiary occupations.
- He should work in such a way that he can minimize jealousy, rivalry etc. Among his neighbors so that his farm operations are least disturbed.
- He should be tactful enough to avoid political pressure, if any, to influence his farm decisions.
- He should foresee vested interests to disturb his farm activities beforehand so that he can take appropriate steps at the right time to minimize such influences, if any.
- He should be dynamic. This is a trait that is characteristic of leaders and is essentially needed in a changing economy. This trait is a desire to move ahead, to change, to break new trails, to do bigger and better things. It is not an obvious personality trait. It is not a high-pressure personality. In fact, it may not even show on the surface. But it is desirable and usually spells the difference between passive agri-preneur and dynamic agri-preneur.
- He should possess skill in human relations in the farm sector and have insight into human motivation and behavior, this enables him to lead, not drive, his farm workers.
In the process of farming the farm agri-preneur will require to decide on the best size of his enterprise, the storage facilities needed, and the amount of credit required to implement the production plan. Similarly, the methods for land preparation, planting, weeding, irrigation, fertilization of land, controlling pests and diseases, harvesting, threshing and cleaning of produce need to be decided in advance. Decisions on all these issues are vital as they very much influence the productivity of an individual farm. Nevertheless, a serious obstacle is to be found in the shape of imparting appropriate training, to farmers in order to make them capable of taking decisions of various types, so that the farmer of tomorrow may also become a good agri-preneur.
Forget the well-paid 8-to-5 job, two bedroom house and the other trappings of material wealth. Sure, it’s nice to have them, but we farmers know that real wealth is clean air, clear water and healthy nutritious food, not piling up stuff and then dying with it.
We want to spend our days outside, tending our gardens and food forests, spending more time with our families. We want the freedom and security of a farm and take care of our needs, bring abundant vitality back to the landscape, and earn a living wage from our efforts to “make the Earth great again”.
It’s a modest dream, isn’t it? In a world of greedy banking elites, deceitful and self-serving politicians and daily environmental destruction, it’s a simple ideal that deserves to come true, and yet you can’t help but wonde..Can this dream come true for you?
Do you really have what it takes to be a farmer, or that’s just an escapist fantasy? Is it realistic to expect that you can make a living wage from your farm and quit your job, or is it just the pipe dream that everyone ‘normal’, including your spouse, thinks it is?
Well, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be just a dream. Actually, in contrast to what you might have been told, it’s quite a reasonable expectation.
There is a way to turn your dream into a productive reality, but the truth is you’ll have to be strategic about it and learn a little bit about business and entrepreneurship.
Having a hobby vs. running a business
The moment you decide to use your land to generate some income for you, you’re no longer just a hobby farmer playing. At that moment, you also become an entrepreneur, and your farm becomes a small business. Farming today is essentially entrepreneurship and this means that you’ll be putting extra hours to make this work. I’ve never seen anyone starting a sustainable and profitable farm business without the time investment. Also, there’s the chance of failure, almost at every step of the way. You can invest all that time and money, try and fail miserably because you made a fatal mistake.
In other words, it’s exactly like starting a business. Exactly. Can you succeed as a farmer entrepreneur? Sure, there are many people doing it, some of them crushing it and that’s why many people are attracted to making a living from the farm, because it can be done. But you can also waste all that time for nothing and lose everything you invested in.
Process for Starting A Successful Farm Business
Know Yourself and Identify Your Strengths, Passions And Interests
Most people are not evenly gifted, even as farmers within producing plants or animals, that’s why you tend to see farms that gravitate towards plants and farms that gravitate towards animals. And that’s why generally you don’t see expertness on both of those things even among the farmers.
Think about this for a second, what kind of person are you; are you an animal, plant, technical or people person? Not everything will come naturally to you, and not all elements of permaculture will interest you to the same extent, nor will you have the same levels of skills and strengths in all areas of your new professional life.
You might be a people person, with teaching and education as your thing, or you might be a technical person who just loves earthworks and can’t stop talking about machinery – you get the picture, right? Whatever it’s, discover your natural inclinations and your unique skill-set.
Select Your “Industry” Based on Your Strengths And Passions
Now, based on your initial assessment, decide what would be the best path for you. Not everything in farming has the same appeal to everyone, and not everything comes down to being simply a farmer, you have many options from which to choose.
To sum up, in essence you can choose to be a farmer (the most obvious option), a secondary producer of value-added products , do marketing and distribution (basically selling the fresh produce or value added products), provide services related to your farm or farming (ecotourism, basic healthcare…), develop a nursery, i.e. plant propagation and animal breeding (everyone needs plants), teaching and education on the site (and online as well), or consulting – designing and implementing designs.
As this suggests, there are many ways to win at this permaculture game and, once you now know what interests you, comes naturally to you, and what your strengths are, you’ve definitely minimized the chances of doing something that, ultimately, won’t work out for you.
Research Your Local Market and Identify What People Want
When you’re starting a farm business, ideally you want to find something that is at the intersection of your passion/strengths and what people want to buy. Once you’ve determined the first part of that equation, your next step should be to research your local market to learn more about your potential customers and their needs/desires.
I’m going to simplify the process here and say that the market research in this stage boils down to analyzing what type of people live in your local area (demographics – young students, retirees, or…), what the culture of the area is like (what do people value – local artisan products, nutritious food or perhaps they couldn’t care less), what is their purchasing power (is the local economy booming and people have the extra income to spend on quality produce, products and services?) and their purchasing habits.
This research doesn’t have to be complex or extensive, in the beginning just develop the habit of putting your market research hat on when you visit different places (especially your competitors) and looking at who are the customers, what’s the demand like for certain products, what sells well and why, how are they marketing and selling their produce/product/service.
For example, if you want to start a nursery, make sure you visit one and see what people are buying. If a certain type of tree is selling like crazy, then this is a good indicator that there is a demand for more than what’s being produced. You could be potentially filling that hole, (see what I did there?), so dig deeper.
Produce A Minimum Viable Product and Learn About Business
Once your research has shown that there is a need for a certain produce, product or service, it’s now time to test the waters and produce something of your own.
At this stage, I suggest you hang on to your old job and start something small on the side. I really don’t recommend simply handing in your notice and figuring it out later; you wouldn’t want to jump off a cliff without a parachute and then try to figure out how to make one on the way down. Instead, use your secure job and security to learn new skills and start to develop something on the side.
You don’t have to worry about all the details of running a successful business just yet, diving in too deep when starting out can result in analysis paralysis and, as a budding entrepreneur, momentum is important. So, start small and as a sideline – this can be one nursery bed, one garden bed, one room to rent, one value-added product…
The point is that all these small activities will require some prior learning and, most importantly, are scaleable, think about them as small modules or small business units.
Develop Deep Domain Expertise and Scale Up
Okay, so let’s recap what you’ve done thus far: you’ve found your permaculture career path based on your passions, interests and strengths, you’ve done the market research that’s helped you pinpoint exactly what people want and like to buy (a produce, product or a service) and you’ve successfully created your first MVP, which proved that people will want to buy from you.
You haven’t invested that much time and/or money, yet in the process you’ve learned about business and what it means to be entrepreneurial.
As you can see, you don’t have to wait for that perfect, day when you’ll suddenly have more space, land and time to start that big business that will replace your day job and you’ll live happily ever after. You want to test the waters first and take a few calculated risks. Being risk-averse is a good thing, especially if you’re the breadwinner in your family.
Now you can start to take that one small test module that has produced your MVP and scale it up. For our nursery example, this could be to two, four, six or eight buckets, a further nursery bed, or to a more professional setup. You’re not attempting anything new, rather you’re simply doing more of the same, just on a bigger scale.
As you scale up and produce more products or provide more services they become better with every new iteration as you start to learn more about the entire business cycle.
Because you now know that you’re onto something, you have extra confidence to put in the time and effort to develop the necessary expertise in your domain.
Stack Other Enterprises and Develop Multiple Income Streams
Once you’ve mastered that first initial business unit or enterprise and it generates some continuous profit, you can start thinking about all the other business opportunities on your farm. First, you need to focus on just that one aspect and getting it off the ground, but once you have it running efficiently, you can use the profits to expand your field of operations and stack other enterprises.
If you’ve have had a close look at the sources of incomes of successful permaculture farms, you can clearly see that every single one of them has multiple income streams. That’s because it’s hard to make a living by doing one thing; the reality is that in today’s world no one venture alone can keep the farm afloat.
You should always ensure multiple income streams. In this way you become more resilient and, if one falls apart, each business unit will prop up the others (some years one unit will carry the others, while at other times, other units will be successful). Eventually, all of these will help keep you securely anchored to the land, close to your family and the abundance you’ve created.
Look for other business opportunities on your farm and use existing profits to start developing and stacking other enterprises.
Whatever Your Dream Is, Get Started Now
Starting a successful permaculture farm business is not easy, and realistically there is a high chance you’ll fail, but here’s the deal… If you really want to come closer to living off the land, you must be willing to actively get yourself in the game, making mistakes, learning from them and then moving on, wiser and stronger.
Whatever your dream is – get started now. Don’t wait for that perfect, never to be seen, moment when you’ll have more land, the optimal financial situation, more experience. As we’ve learned, you can start small, on the side, with just one small module and, if it works, then scale up. You can start your journey as a hobby, but to be able to make a living from something, it has to be more than just that. You can start out that way, but ultimately you’ve got to turn it into something more.
As with everything you try for the first time, at first it’s going to be a bad version of what you want to be. Accept this, because, in the beginning, the right mentality and momentum are more important than perfection. That imperfect and modest version of what you is still better than where you’re currently at if your life feels drab, soulless and unfulfilling.
Farming in Kenya is not as easy as people think. If you listen to the media today, you will hear of many successful stories, well don’t be confused if you are an aspiring farmer and think that you can generate fat incomes overnight. Many farmers have lost hope and gave up on farming because of such stories.
We all at one time reached that point where it seems like going forward is impossible. When you’re already overwhelmed, it’s easy to talk yourself into giving up on farming. However, giving up too soon could cause you to miss out on success. Hang in there you never know how soon you might start seeing progress and profits. Give it a little more time. Below are a few reasons that might help you keep on farming.
Farming Takes Time
If you hear successful stories on media, chances are that farmers in Kenya have done it before and it’s not their first agribusiness venture. Most successful farmers in Kenya whom I know are people who have tried, failed, tried, failed, and tried again and eventually succeeded. They didn’t call each iteration a failure. They called it a way to improve, because each test, each trial, gave them new information which influenced and improved the next model. Not getting it right the first time, or the 100th time, is not a sign that you should quit. It’s simply a way for you to keep learning how to do it better next time.
There is nothing like Instant success
We’ve all heard stories of the overnight rise to richness. But the truth is that what looks like an instant or overnight success is always preceded by years of struggle and work. There’s a long, hard road to success, but when success hits we only focus on the last mile or so. It looks so easy, and makes for such a great story, that we ignore the miles and miles of obscurity, difficulty, and perseverance required to get to that hill top of glory. Those stories make us feel that if we haven’t achieved a high level of success in a matter of days or months, we must be doing something wrong. And we are: we’re listening to make-believe stories as if they were guidelines to how life works.
The most valuable things Takes Time
People and especially Kenyans like easy, comfortable, familiar things. That’s because we tend to be lazy, and we don’t want to put forth the effort required to do difficult things. Because we shirk from the effort, we go to great lengths to convince ourselves that we don’t need that goal… whatever it is. We pretend that we’re satisfied with the easy things, but we know the truth. The best things, the things that matter most, are the most difficult.
Try the right thing
If you’re trying and failing, perhaps you just haven’t tried the right thing, crop or activity yet. Don’t judge yourself and quit on life and on your goals because you’ve failed in one area, or even several. Every time you try and fail, you learn something about yourself, about life, and you gain experience that can help you to do better next time. So press on. Try something different, and don’t let past failure keep you from future success.
Persistence matters more
If you feel like you aren’t good enough, or talented enough, remember this: there are plenty of supremely talented people out there working at dead-end jobs, not using their talents. Talent is great, but without tenacity, talent won’t get you very far.
I know, I know: the overnight success stories. Right. But there’s a backstory to those, remember? And the backstory is the tenacity that kept that talented person pushing forward, long before success “hit.” Success doesn’t hit, or happen. Success is something you reach by hard work and determination. So hang in there, and stay tenacious.
Your past does not determine your future
For you to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. Many great successes were once known as big, sad, sorry failures. Every amazing entrepreneur was once a shaky little start-up. Every great farm was once a small plot. And 99.9 percent of the time, their first attempts were not their best. But they didn’t quit. They pushed through one bad draft after another, one business flop after another, until they learned enough and tried enough that they succeeded. Each failure teaches you. Each attempt can give you valuable insight into how to do better next time.
No one is doomed to repeat what didn’t work in the past. It’s a gift in disguise; a gift to look back and learn the mistakes from your past. You never know, the past might be the thing that will guarantee you your future.
Success is coming, just hang in there! Don’t Quit Farming!
Agriculture involves the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for food, the most basic of human needs. The first ecologists, farmers, understood the interaction of soil, water, grasses and trees; they understood the need to work with nature to produce sufficiency or abundance, and to try to avert scarcity in times of drought or pestilence. Agriculture dictated the survival and development of societies, and security in food allowed the growth of modern industrial states.
In today’s interdependent and technological world of global markets and distribution systems, agriculture has become an essential element of national and international economies. Food is a commodity for trade, and food security is a matter of global concern. The future security of the world’s food supply has focused international discussion on one over-arching question: Can agricultural systems meet the demands of a rising world population and expanded expectations on the one hand, and deal with the deterioration of land and soil resources on the other?
Many scientists today believe that modern agricultural practices, which have increased efficiency and production to an extent unknown in history, now appear to be exhausting the agricultural ecosystem. A movement towards more sustainable agricultural practices has begun. On the other hand, agribusinesses point to new science and technology based on genetic engineering and other methods that may revolutionize the food industry.
Kenya, rich in resources, has always been a major exporter of food. Kenyans, like other societies, have seen farmlands and farm communities as part of their environmental heritage, national identity and culture. But in today’s world of supermarkets, fast foods and freezer containers, where food is available to all who can afford it, many urbanized Kenyans have lost the connection between the food they eat and the land that produces it, not recognizing the profound changes that agribusiness has brought to farming communities, the farming way of life and the environment.
In recent years, concerns about pesticide use, biotechnology and other issues have focused public attention on the quality and safety of food and industrial farming techniques, and spurred interest in alternatives. Resolving issues regarding the sustainability of Kenyan agriculture will involve a new recognition of the integrity of nature and ecosystems and the wisdom of farming methods in harmony with the local environment, while at the same time utilizing the best national and international science and technology to maintain food security levels and meet the challenge of rising populations and deteriorating land and soil resources.
Players of Agribusiness in Kenya
From Sugarcane farming in the western region to tea farming in the Western Kenya region, livestock keeping in northern Kenya, maize farming in the north rift and fishing in the Indian Ocean, smallholder producers face more or less the same hurdles to wealth creation. The good news is that opportunities exist to make farming, including the small-scale types, a profitable venture for anyone. One of the ways of bringing shine to the much-neglected sector is by adopting sustainable agribusiness.
Agribusiness is a broad area and covers the entire spectrum of food production with multiple players along the value chain. It includes farming, the supply of various inputs, distribution, processing, wholesale and retail sales, research and development, marketing and financing as well as the end product: the food on the plate of the consumer.
The key players in the value chain include the farmers, co-operatives, regulators, government agencies, research institutions, companies, business associations, financial institutions, multilateral bodies, civil society, and the academia.
Sustainable agriculture is not singularly fixated on the profit motive. It considers the socio-economic, environmental and cultural impacts of various activities along the value chain. It supports the local economy through knowledge transfer, job creation, supporting local enterprises and ensuring food safety and security.
The academia can play a crucial role in promoting sustainable agribusiness through carrying out research on new ways of doing agriculture such as better and eco-friendly ways of increasing the soil fertility, increasing animal produce, among other things.
There are various businesses that do a lot with regard to promoting sustainable and inclusive agriculture. There is also a need for improvement in infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, research and extension, value addition and skills upgrading.
As long as funding remains limited or is diverted by officials, farming will remain unattractive and farmers will continue to suffer in spite of their toil. Lack of trust across the value chain is another issue with many farmers perceiving middlemen as exploiters. The other key aspect is the imbalance of trade between Kenya and its trading partners. Take for instance, coffee and tea which are grossly under-priced with farmers barely meeting the cost of their investment.
Yet the same commodities fetch better prices once they leave the farmers’ hands. The widespread failure to add value to farmers’ produce denies producers the opportunity to earn the true value of their produce. It also denies local entrepreneurs and budding industrialists the opportunity to grow new lines of business and create jobs for many jobless Kenyans. Value addition requires policy intervention through a favorable tax regime, lower cost of power, improved infrastructure and government commitment to find markets outside its borders.
Kenyan farmers and especially the youths are urged to indulge in farming and more specifically agribusiness. Do it for fun and money!
Starting an Agribusiness in Kenya with no capital is one of the most difficult and frustrating thing. The Kenyan government on paper has placed many avenues that are meant to help the youth in farming but they rarely work. In most cases you will apply only to realize much of your time has been wasted but nothing of value has come out of it. This normally leaves most of the youth frustrated and hopeless with nowhere to turn to for funding. So what can one do in order to start agribusiness without capital or with little capital?
We always urge people to start small. By so doing you will be able to use the little resources you have to start small and grow naturally. After a while, you will look back and thank God and time for what you will have become. In addition, you will have build-up enough experience that will help you to even come up with custom made solutions to help you with farm problems.
Grow what you know
We advise you not to venture into farming practices that you are not well familiar with. Always ensure you have done your research well and you have all the knowledge and skills at your disposal. This will enhance your chances of success in the agribusiness you want to venture into. In addition, it will reduce the outside help that may have increased the expenses into the agribusiness. In most cases, having the knowledge and experience in a certain farming venture is all it needs to succeed.
Market your Agribusiness
Spread the word to your family, friends, colleagues and anybody you know about your new agribusiness. Send e-mails, call and make your new business known in all your social media platforms. Your family and friends are the first priorities and they might help you spread the word. This method of marketing can help you to introduce your agribusiness to a much greater audience. When it comes to harvesting, your contacts will have the information of what is coming their way. This means that when a friend or a contact hears anybody asking for a product that you produce, they will just give your contacts.
Avoid too much expenses
When you start your farm in Kenya, you are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. For example if you want to plant Cabbages and you do not have money to buy the expensive hybrid seeds, why don’t you instead buy the normal seeds and save the money. By doing this you will have enabled yourself to spread out your money and buy other farm implements that will be required during the growing period e.g. insecticides, fungicides and D.A.P. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed agribusiness.
Hard work is an absolute necessity, but when you are starting an agribusiness venture in Kenya with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the farming business a success. This might mean planting and taking care of the crops yourself, handling marketing, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.
Agribusiness is not hard neither is it simple. It requires patience and dedication. Stay focused, try and do agribusiness that doesn’t require much money but keep your eyes on the ball.