When most people think of agriculture in Kenya, images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm readily come to mind. Many, especially young Kenyans, still think that agribusiness is a poor man’s occupation. Nowadays everybody wants a white-collar office job in the Nairobi. Agribusiness is hardly on anyone’s mind. Here is Oxfarm’s insight on this story!
Did you know that Kenya sits on an agribusiness goldmine but most people just don’t see it? If you’re one of the blind, allow Oxfarm Ag to open your eyes with a few exciting facts you need to know about agribusiness in Kenya and Africa in large.
Did you know that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, recently invested $1 billion in rice production? Every year, Africa spends billions of dollars on rice imports, and Dangote surely wants a juicy slice of the market. Didi you know that President Uhuru and his Deputy are also farmers?
Did you know that since 2009, investors in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of Kenyan land for agricultural purposes? Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign interests for Kenyan land.
Did you know that Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness was around $20 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? Agriculture is taking a huge leap in Kenya and investors want a piece of the action too.
Did you know that Kenya’s agribusiness industry will be worth Ksh 1 trillion by 2030! That’s huge! If this projection by the UN comes true, agribusiness will become the ‘new oil’ in Kenya!
In the light of all these facts, how come the rich and wealthy folks are investing in Kenya’s agribusiness industry while the majority of Kenyans are largely ignorant about the amazing potentials of agriculture on the country?
Below are five reasons why agriculture is the biggest business opportunity right now in Kenya. We will tell you why many of the world’s top business people are investing in agribusiness.
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Kenya Has Abundant And Cheap Agricultural Land
According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly 50 percent of the world’s fertile, usable and uncultivated agricultural land. The size: over 200 million hectares! This is why the continent is now widely considered to be the future breadbasket of the world. It is this huge abundance of land resources that gives Kenya the strategic potential to grow crops!
Most of Kenya’s agricultural land lies in the tropical belt, which receives a favorable amount of rainfall and sunlight all year round. As a direct consequence, more than 80 percent of food crops consumed across the world can be produced here.
Interestingly, a large proportion of Kenya’s agricultural land is located in the rural areas. That’s why they’re often cheap to buy or lease. On the average, one hectare of land (10,000sqm) can be leased for as low as Ksh10, 000 per year (depending on the location). This makes it one of the best land bargains you can find anywhere in the world!
Existence of Ready Market
Agribusiness is one of the best business opportunities in the world because food never goes out of fashion. People must eat food everyday!
Currently, Kenya’s population is just over 45 million people. At its current growth rate, the country’s population is expected to reach 70 million by 2050. Now and in the future, Kenya will always have a lot of mouths to feed.
Kenya currently spends billions of dollars every year to import maize, sugar, rice, and all kinds of finished and semi-finished foods which it can produce locally. There is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs who can provide cheaper and locally-grown alternatives to the food that Kenya imports.
It’s not just the food industry that depends on agribusiness. Several other industries, especially the manufacturing and processing industries, depend on agribusiness for a wide range of raw materials. As Kenya’s economies continue to grow, the demand for raw materials will surely increase and create more interesting opportunities for agribusiness on the continent.
Technology Change and Improved Varieties
Agribusiness in Kenya has suffered through the years because of its poor yields and crude farm practices. Most of the crops cultivated on the country produce very little and are often very prone to pests, diseases and drought. As a result, most Kenyan farmers used to work very hard but have very little to show for all their hard work during harvest time.
However, due to advances in crop/animal science and technology, it is now possible to harvest more food per hectare than ever before in Kenya’s history. There are now improved crop and animal varieties that mature earlier, require less resources, and are less susceptible to pest attacks, diseases and drought. Across Kenya, these improved varieties are increasing yields by as much as 400 percent!
There are now improved and locally-adapted varieties of maize, cassava, millet, rice, sorghum, beans, sweet potato, cowpea, hass avocado, banana, and wheat.
There are also several local and international organization that are focused on supporting Kenyan farmers with improved seedlings and support.
Agribusiness Is Very Easy to Start
Whether you own one plot of land or 10,000 hectares, agribusiness is one of few business opportunities that allow you to start on any scale, with whatever you have!
Entrepreneurs like Dickson Kahuro started his agribusiness in 2014 in his backyard with just few tree tomato trees. Today, he owns Oxfarm and is a major supplier of hass avocado and other seedlings.
The opportunity to start small means that people with little capital can become part of Kenya’s multi-billion dollar agribusiness industry. Because of the guaranteed demand for agricultural produce, that small vegetable or poultry farm in your backyard could just become a huge business tomorrow.
Every evidence shows that you don’t have to be a wealthy investor with millions of dollars in the bank or a highly-educated person in order to start a business in agriculture in Kenya. You can start where you are and use what you have, and grow from there. You can start your agribusiness journey in your home backyard or do it on a part-time basis with your day job. It’s very flexible that way!
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Agribusiness Is A Huge Job Creator
Agribusiness is one of the most effective ways to create jobs and empower millions of Kenyans. At present, up to 60% of the labour force in Kenya is employed in the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness remains a top employer of labour in many Kenyan countries.
The value chain in the agribusiness industry, from food production, processing and marketing provide huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
So, if you’re looking to start a business or invest in an industry that makes a significant social impact, provides jobs and creates sustainable wealth, agribusiness is surely the way to go!
Interested in Kenyan Agribusiness?
If you’re excited about the potentials of agribusiness in Kenya and would like to explore it much further, we have just the right resource for you! Just head over to our website and you will learn about several ideas, opportunities and success stories that will surely amaze you.
Kenya is changing. You ought to have this big dream that’s finally changing the world.