As you might have noticed, we have been organizing mushroom farming training tours now and then. This has been inspired by the changing eating patterns of Kenyans and the need for more agribusiness ideas.
As young agriprenuers, we can firmly tell you that mushroom farming is the best agribusiness to think of especially if you are young and with inadequate farming space.
The fungi crop has numerous nutritional and medicinal benefits, the demand for mushrooms is huge unexplored and unexploited, and the market offers unprecedented access to wealth and financial freedom. The Capital and daily expenditure are also affordable compared to other conventional crops.
Mushrooms contain more protein than fish or chicken, all Vitamins except A and D. Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus Zinc and Iron. They also contain a number of medicinal benefits, including lowering high blood pressure/hypertension, strengthening of weak bones, teeth and nails due to their high content in calcium. Mushrooms also heal impotency, improve cerebral development in children between the ages of 0 and 3, boost immunity, detoxify the body therefore preventing terminal diseases like colon cancer and improve fertility.
Nevertheless, it is the financial benefits of growing mushrooms that are breathtaking. For instance, a kilo of Oyster Mushrooms cost Ksh 800. In a small room of 5 meters by 5 meters, a small scale farmer can easily harvest a produce of 10 kilos of mushrooms weekly, which adds up to Ksh8,000 and Ksh32,000 monthly. Very few crops can fetch you this much.
In the same house of 5 by 5 meters, production can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. Therefore, bringing in an income of Ksh64,000, Ksh96,000 and Ksh128,000 respectively. From what is known by many mushrooms continuously sprout for a period of 3 months from the time the harvesting begins.
However, the most productive months are the first two. Unlike conventional crops, mushrooms are planted in fresh pasteurized organic substances known as substrate. These can be one or a combination of the following, Sugar Cane baggasse, Maize Stovers cut in minute pieces, Wheat Straw, Ground Nut Shells, crushed Maize cobs, Rice Husks and Molasses.
The pasteurization of these substances is carried out through boiling of steaming the substrate. Pasteurization eliminates all harmful organisms that deter mushroom production, while maintaining the nutritional content. After the substrate cools down, it is then mixed with mushroom seed called Spawn in a process called inoculation.
The planted substrate is then packed in several transparent polythene bags after holes are created in them. The polythene bags are then hung up in the mushroom house. A month and a half after the planting process, mushrooms begin sprouting.
When on thinks of farming, what comes of our minds, is where will I get market for my produce?
Traditionally, hotels offer a simple market that constantly demand mushrooms. For a first-time supplier, hotels often demand packaged samples of the product. After the first impression, they then require the signing of an agreement that bounds the client to reliably supply them with their required amount of mushrooms.
The number of hotels that demand mushrooms are staggering, 800 beach hotels along the coast of Kenya, hotels in all the major cities and towns. Several Pizza outlets around the country and several restaurants and hospitals.
Then there are the unlimited individual customers in the social media that offer a consistent and reliable clientele. The beauty of the social media is simple, a supplier can repeatedly post pictures of the packaged mushroom product on the most popular farmers groups in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and What’s app. Together with the Nutritional and Medicinal benefits and the contacts.
Keep checking for our next training on how to go about mushroom farming in Kenya. We always say that farmers come first, we lead while others follow.
Making more money through farming is sometimes seen by many as an old-fashioned way of doing things. However, in the real world out of fantasy, agriculture is one of the core sectors in the world and especially Kenya where it amounts to more than 30% of the gross domestic product.
For you to succeed in this sector, it is crucial to get some entrepreneurial skills. Agribusiness is no longer considered as an art or a science; its passion and a way of making money. Below are some of the tips to help you in this field;
Value addition: to attract higher returns, think about value addition and agro-processing
Technology: To expand your scope of information and market your products, embrace technology
Avoid Middlemen – Approach the market head-on and avoid middlemen who at times eat farmer’s sweat
Borrow Loans: Rome was not built in one day, partner with microfinances and banks and grow with them.
Attend trainings: no one has monopoly to ideas, always engage others in trainings and you might learn one or two things.
Well, if you do that you can rest be assured you can’t fail in agribusiness. Here are some of the few agribusiness ideas you can start in 2018/19 and make money.
Hass Avocado Farming
Hass Avocado business is booming day in day out in Kenya. Hass avocado takes about 2-3 years to mature and has a lifespan of more than 50 years. You can start with one care or a few seedlings and expand later. Currently big companies such as kakuzi are buying a single fruit not less than Kshs15 from small scale farmers. Below is break down of what you expect from hass avocado investment depending on the care given. With our package, you can sit back and watch us do the work for you. For only 40K you can join the millionaires club within no time. here is the package.
Expected no of (kg) per hass tree/year
(Calculate with average)
Total number of trees.
Total average no of Carton. (1 carton = 4kg)
Cost of a 4kg cartoon
Ave- ksh 75
Hass avocado tree have a lifespan of more than 50 years.
You can start with few trees or one acre then expand with time.
The reduction on the number of trees per acre from 11th year is due to cuttings and pruning. This is to create space for aeration as the trees grows bigger.
The farm gate price at local market in current year for a 4kg carton is Ksh 200 – 500. It has been increasing per year so we predict it will even double in five years’ time as global demand of hass avocado increases.
With your farm production it’s easy to export especially when you have grown them organically. At global market last year a 4kg carton was retailing at Ksh 2000-3500.
The biggest advantage with Kenya is that its climate is suitable for avocado growing as the crop requires areas with at least 1000mm of rainfall.
Research reveals that in 2017, global market for avocado was valued at Sh13 trillion. This value is expected to more than double to Sh23 trillion by the year 2027 – in the next nine years.
Unlike other forms of get-rich-quick schemes that Kenyans have endured and lost billions of shillings, avocado farming enthusiasm appears to be driven by genuine consumer market demand and most importantly, this demand is global.
According to various studies, avocado has high nutritional value that helps people live healthy and avoid diseases like cancers of the stomach, hearth diseases, helps remove waste in the body, and protection from diseases like stroke among many others. There is a growing wave of healthy living across the world driven by emergence of diseases associated with modern living.
With less than seventy thousand shillings you can grow irish potatoes in one acre of land. In areas such as Kinangop or Molo one acre of land can produce a minimum of 90 bags which retails not less than Ksh 2000. To invest in this type of farming you will require; a piece of land in a good area, the best seed tuber variety and DAP fertilizer (200 kgs per acre) and fungicides. For you to know the best tubers for your area, consult your local agricultural experts.
Although cassava is an indigenous crop, it is a fast growing and well adapted to dry areas and is currently picking up as people in Kenya and beyond try to eat heathy. Having said that, you can never go wrong with this investment in areas such as Taita Taveta, Baringo, Makueni, Machakos and Kitui. Cassava only takes10 months to mature after planting. Some of the basic requirenments of this type of venture include; a piece of land with well drained soil of pH of between 5.5 and 6.5, cuttings from middle stem portions, Fungicide/insecticide. Start small with cassava business. With Ksh 20,000 you are good to go.
In Kenya poultry products (meat and eggs) are on demand on daily basis. Actually the demand is so high that we are at times forced to buy these products from Tanzania or Uganda. Poultry farming is broken into three categories which are Pullet or Layers, Broiler chicken and Cockerel farming. Main things required to farm poultry include: Sufficient land space, Good fencing, Chicks, Feeds.
With good care of your chicks by feeding them well and maintaining your farm you are likely to thrive and be a successful poultry farmer. The initial set-up required to start this would be about Ksh30,000.
Bee Keeping Business
In Kenya the most important species is called the Apis mellifera also know as the Honeybee. Though the country has a vast potential to grow this market only 20% has been tapped. Leaving a large 80% for future investors like you. Special beekeeping equipment is the most expensive cost head of bee production but the returns out-weigh this burden especially if the bees are well-nurtured. The initial start-up capital required is about 10,000 to 50,000 varying on factors such as equipment cost and location costs.
Capsicum is an easy crop to grow as it can be grown both indoors and out-doors. Capsicum only takes 3 months to mature and the market is usually readily available. You require; a piece of land in a suitable area with enough rainfall or enough supply of water, you can construct a greenhouse if you want to, quality certified seeds. You can start with let’s say KSh 100, 000 and grow on a 40*80 piece of land and within 3 months you can get 450,000.
This is a new venture in Kenya compared to other types of farming. Mushroom production used to be a complex thing but over time things have changed as numerous research, training and workshops have been conducted. With many researches, there have been development of more tolerant varieties such as oyster mushrooms.
Mushroom farming does not require a huge piece of land in comparison with other crops. With a quarter acre of land, you can have your incubation house as well as a cropping house. In addition, you can make use of the vertical height as mushrooms don’t grow that tall. Assuming you have 1000 bags in a cropping room, you are assured of 2 tons of button mushrooms selling at an average of Ksh 600 per kg translating to about Ksh 1.2 million. The market for mushrooms in Kenya lies in supermarkets, households and hotels. According to NAFIS, the demand for mushroom is growing up to 1200 tons a year. With proper strategies and marketing, this is definitely a venture you should think about.
Initially, we used to depend on fish from lakes or rivers. However, commercial fish farming has taken over and currently fish are produced from fish ponds. The varieties grown in our ponds include, African cat fish, Nile tilapia and rainbow trout. With the right information, it is very easy to start a fish pond.
With a quarter acre of land, you can have 100 m2 ponds fit in. The main costs in fish production include polythene, labor, feeds and fingerlings. However, fish ponds can be made from concrete and plastics but these might cost you more. With the consciousness about eating healthy, the demand for fish has been going up almost daily with people demanding for white meat growing huge. With a quarter acre you can have several thousands of fish with a kilo going not less than KSh 500. Farmers are urged to maximize technology use and modern farming techniques and with proper management, a cat fish in Kenya can grow up to 15 Kgs while Tilapia grows up to 250g.
Oxfarm.co.ke recommends Hass avocado farming. If you have any challenges or questions or want to buy certified organic seedlings don’t hesitate, call us today!