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Ultimate guide for beans farming in Kenya

Beans farming in Kenya is not as common as maize. However, it is one of the common grown crops in Kenya. In fact, it is often inter-cropped with the main crop for maximum absorption of nutrients by both plants. Our guide will help interested parties, both farmers and traders to have a clear mind on beans farming and how they can get money as far as beans are concerned.

Varieties of beans grown in Kenya

Beans popularity in Kenya may be due to the fact that bean recipes are numerous and beans are consumed almost with everything and contain quite a considerable amount of protein. Before venturing into beans farming, it is advisable to look at the different varieties available. If a farmer knows the different types of beans he will be able to choose the best based on its performance. Below are the several varieties;

  • Rosecoco beans Kenya
  • Mwezi moja beans
  • Chelalang beans
  • Mwitemania beans

Do your research well as a farmer and identify which variety does well in your area and guarantees high yields.

Yield per Acre of Beans

The hybrid varieties nowadays are very impressive and has a high yield compared to the traditional varieties. Most of the improved varieties produce about 20 pods for each plant, which translate to about 25, 90 kg bags per acre. Notably, this crop is high yielding when all the conditions are optimal.

Dry beans market

Beans are source of proteins which makes Kenya depend highly on them. The market for beans is overwhelming, both locally and international. Depending on quality and type of beans, the prices per 90 kg bag of beans ranges between Ksh 7,000 and Ksh 12,000. Particularly, beans fetch better prices when it is not harvesting period. Some varieties are also more expensive than others. The rose coco and kidney beans, for instance, are a bit pricey compared to the other varieties which are available in large quantities. Beans with a high supply across the country will fetch a lower price compared to those that thrive in specific areas. Irrespective of the type of beans, the market for beans is always there and since it’s a grain, you can store it and sell when the prices are high.

Price of beans in Kenya

Just like any other agricultural product, prices for beans fluctuate depending on a number of factors including demand and supply. The crop will tend to be expensive when they are in high demand, which is often around planting time when farmers need seeds for planting, and also during periods with no new crops. The cost may also depend on the region you are in and when you are buying or selling. So different areas in Kenya register varying prices of beans. Averagely, beans prices in Kenya range from Kshs. 7,000 to Kshs. 12,000 in major towns of

Kenya from low to high seasons. The best thing to do when scouting for better rates is to check the indices often provided by trading companies and the government on the prices of beans in major towns including Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa. It is not suprising that each town could register a different price for the same variety of beans. This is because different factors play out when determining the prices.

Beans production

It is always good to have a projection before embarking on planting the crop. This is where you consider farming as a business and have a clear business plan. You will need to have a structured plan on what to expect through the farming period and how to counter different eventualities. Your projections against the real data will give a vivid picture of whether or not to proceed with the venture. Apart from this, knowing exactly what to do is necessary. Below are some tips that might help you with your business plaa;

  • Know the appropriate beans planting season in Kenya
  • Choose the best beans varieties in your area
  • Consider ideal ecological requirements – This includes temperatures of about 20 to 25 degrees, altitude of between 1,000 m to 2,100 m above sea level, rainfall of between 900 mm to 1,200 mm per year and a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5

Although the market for beans is always there and appealing, beans farming is not an easy task especially if you are to do it commercially. However, it is always possible to register good yields if you do it right and follow the above steps. You also need to have achievable goals.

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Value Addition In Agricultural Commodities And Why Every Farmer Should Do It

Generally, value addition is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. Many raw commodities have fundamental value in their original state. For example, maize grown, harvested and stored on a farm and then fed to livestock on that farm has value. In fact, value usually is added by feeding it to an animal, which transforms the maize into animal protein or meat. The value of a changed product is added value, such as processing wheat into flour. It is important to identify the value-added activities that will support the necessary investment in research, processing and marketing. The application of biotechnology, the engineering of food from raw products to the consumers and the restructuring of the distribution system to and from the producer all provide opportunities for adding value.

Economically a commodity is added value by changing its current place, time, and from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace. A better meaning would be like processing wheat into flour and eventually into more desired products by customers such as bread, cakes. Those involved in value addition should think of themselves as members of a food chain that processes and markets products to consumers.

In Kenya, the majority of agricultural commodities are marketed in their raw forms, hence losing the opportunities for higher earnings and generating employment.

The main constraints that face Kenya’s agro processing industry include among others, the high operational costs mainly due to the high prices of imported fuel and spare parts, unavailability of appropriate processing machines and spare parts, and the limited knowledge in operation of the machines.

However, despite these constraints, agro processing has a tremendous potential for increasing income through value addition and increasing shelf life and access to food security through the establishment of small scale agro processing enterprises and rural based industries.

Once these commercial agro industries are efficiently run and are responsive to the ever-changing market demands, this will be a precursor for overall economic growth of the country.

Meaning of Value addition

For farmers in Kenya, value addition has a particular importance in that it offers a strategy for transforming an unprofitable enterprise into a profitable one. In fact, there are very few items that a Kenyan small holder farmer can produce and sell profitably at the first level (that is, on the open wholesale market).

Therefore, a value-addition strategy is critical to the long-term survival of most small farms in Kenya.

A good example is say, a coffee farmer who simply grows and harvest coffee cherries, and then sell them “as is” to a local processor. Here, they usually sell at a price below the cost of production. This marketing strategy may be viable in the short run, because it may cover the cash costs involved in producing the crops.

This is, however, a poor strategy because it usually does not cover the total costs of production, and, therefore, the coffee enterprises will not be sustainable.

Value addition strategies could also be easily drawn from the production of tropical fruits, vegetables, livestock, grains and other commodities.

Many small holder farmers should be encouraged to increase their profitability by vertically integrating their operations rather than simply expanding horizontally to increase their volume of production.

Here, they are adding value to their crops by taking their product one or more steps up the vertical ladder of processing and marketing rather than staying at the same level and trying to increase quantity.

Agribusiness support agencies should be seen to support the promotion of rural agro industries. This is mainly crucial because of the following reasons;

  • Agro –industrial products, unlike the basic commodities, do not exhibit a long-term real-price decline so they are more effective in increasing local incomes.
  • Value addition activities in the rural areas tend to increase local employment and income and usually have a positive impact on the local economy mainly due to forward and backward linkages.
  • Product differentiation as a value addition strategy is easier for goods that have been processed, transformed, packaged and labeled.
  • The agro-industrial products where value has been added tend to enjoy a higher profit margin than basic commodities.

In conclusion, for those in agribusiness, as markets become more competitive, it is important for mainly small holder farmers and other value chain actors to seek ways of taking advantage of the value adding opportunities to be able to increase the incomes of the rural producers.

Deliberate efforts should be put in place in establishing market research teams to help in investigating both fresh and processed markets.

The value added products can be those that are traditional or those that already exist in the rural areas, or can also be new products, which can be processed using new, low cost technologies

Advantages of Value Addition in Kenya

  • Increased profit – any value addition increases financial value to the product and has the effect of improving the income of a farmer.
  • Value addition gives a farmer a chance to focus on the consumer
  • The producer/farmer can get a share of the marketing bill which is the difference between the farm gate value and the retail value and it is growing bigger day by day.
  • Enhanced shelve life – this is a benefit any farmer would want. the longer the product can stay without getting spoilt, the more guarantee one has of a product selling at their preferred price and time. for instance raw milk doesn’t last for long but when processed into ghee, yogurt and other products can last longer.
  • Improved bargaining power
  • Creation of a brand – if a product goes to the market being identified to you or your farm, then your future is defined.
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Preparing for Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training Center Event

Wambugu farm situated in Nyeri County will on 27th and 28th July 2018 hold their annual ATC. During the two days, farmer and aspiring farmers are invited to interact with the biggest agriprenuers.

If you are an aspiring farmer, and you have been following us, you will witness that we have been on the forefront in informing farmers on the best farming practices and how to start from scratch.

This is an opportunity for you to see what other right-minded farmers like you are doing.

What You expect to learn

  • Value addition on tree tomato
  • Kales farming
  • Cabbage farming
  • Dairy goat farming
  • Dairy Cows Farming
  • Arrow-root Farming
  • Sweet-Potato farming
  • Vertical Farming, e.t.c

Value Addition on Tree-Tomato

Did you know that tree tomato is used to make jams, juice and other end products? Well you have a chance to come and learn from us.

Oxfarm (oxfarm.co.ke) in collaboration with tamarillo farm mweiga (tamarillo.co.ke) and Mkulima wa Nyeri Farm are inviting you to Wambugu farm ATC to learn more on value addition on tree tomato fruits. This in an annual event that take place in July every year. We will have samples for those who will visit our stand to get a taste on our various products.

Some of our products are;

  • Jam,
  • Juice
  • chili sauce and
  • fresh fruits

Vegetable prices has in the past few years skyrocked. This is so because of the rising population which means demand for food is on the rise. So how can you manage the small land you have to feed you and still have a space to grow vegetables for sale? What about dairy farming, where do you go wrong?

Below are some pictures of what you expect to see and learn about. Set a date and make sure to visit our booth when you are there.

 

 

Kales Farming
Spinach Farming
Spinach Farming
Onion Farming
Sweet Potato Farming
Onion and cabbage farming
Spinach Farming
Green Peas Farming
Tomato Farming
Kales Farming
Spinach Farming
Spinach Farming
Onion Farming
Sweet Potato Farming
Cabbage Farming