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Land In Kenya Farming As The New Business Frontier
Listing #131203 by ›› Baboon- on 22-Jul-2013 5:13 pm . 1,509 views . 36 comments . 2 emails . 66 prints . 18 favorites .  › Flag This Listing
Farming In Kenya

Farming In Kenya | Doing Business In Kenya You can start Farming in Kenya easily. There are many large scale and small scale farmers. If you are looking to start a farming business, then you have a lot of choices. In fact, as long as you have land, water, labour and a lot of good ideas, then you are really spoiled for choice. In this article, I will introduce the common small scale farming options. In short, you could consider livestock or horticultural farming. If you can, then a hybrid of the 2 will be even better.
Livestock Farming

Cattle are a good option for areas which are not entirely suitable for growing crops.
Dairy Farming In Kenya | Doing Business In Kenya

Most cows will survive in arid areas provided you have a good supply of clean fresh water. In this case, there are 2 main options: cattle for beef or dairy cows. Keeping dairy cows makes more sense for the small scale farmer because they provide a regular daily income. Good cows go for the range of KSh 150k - 250k whereas some also go for KSh 80 - 120k but these will not be as productive. First and foremost prepare your land before you purchase the cows. You need to make sure there is water, the structure where cows will stay if you will zero graze and may be some houses for your farm labourers. Good dairy cattle will yield 18 - 26 litres. To maintain high yield, you will need to provide good quality feeds.

Pig farming in Kenya has really taken off. According to Farmers Choice, the demand far outstrips the supply. And pig farming is actually quite simple in comparison to other livestock. There are many advantages with keeping pigs, namely: they do not require a very strict diet, they give birth regularly; they do not need large spaces. The key challenges with pig farming are because of religion and culture. Many consider the pig an unclean animal. Farmers choice buy pigs at KSh 11k based on a rate of Ksh 192 - 195 per kg. An average pig should weigh 60 kg.

Chicken are natural to look after in small numbers. Most people will at some stage in their life kept hens, and will remember taking freshly laid eggs straight to the breakfast table. When scaled up, and you are looking after 500 - 1000 chicken, then the game changes quite a bit. For one reason, chicken in big numbers are very sensitive to disease. Then you need to be aware that competition is fierce in the egg and chicken industry. In fact the biggest challenge is securing reliable customers. Of course the big hotels have great demand for these products, but they expect the supplier to be consistent. To get the products on time every time to the hoteliers then becomes very difficult. Alternatively you could look at supplying to KenChic. They have some strict requirements: 5 acre farm to be within a 100 km radius of Tigoni, accessible in all weather conditions. They will then bring 12,000 day old chicks. They need a deposit of KSh 1.4M as security to cover for the chicks and feeds. They return to farm to pick the hens in about 8 or so weeks and buy each hen at KSh 170 per kg. Each hen will probably weigh 1.3 kg. Be aware that they will charge you for the loss of hens (not sure at what rate).
Feeding a dairy goat

To produce adequate milk, a dairy goat requires a well-balanced diet for both self-maintenance and production of milk. A dairy goat is very selective in what it eats. To encourage it to eat, farmers need to provide it with very high quality fodder. If the fodder is of low quality, the goat will refuse to eat it leading to wastage. A female goat that is being milked requires at least 1.25 kg of good quality dried grass or Lucerne in a day.

Need for balanced diet

Goats tend to eat more if they are zero-grazed than when on free range. The farmer should chop the green fodder such as Napier grass to make it easier for the goat to chew; this reduces wastage. If more than one type of forage is available, goats tend to eat more. The fodder may include potato vines, maize stalks, sorghum or waste vegetables. Legumes such as Lucerne, green beans, purple vetch, acacia, leucaena, cotton seed cake, sunflower cake, and soybean cake are a good source of proteins. Salt licks are needed to provide minerals.

Proper feeding increases a dairy goat's milk production and improves its health

It is important to know how a dairy goat’s digestion works. The main difference between a goat and a cow or a sheep is that the goat has a much bigger stomach in comparison to its body size compared to the other two animals. The stomach of the goat can be as much as 1/3 of the total body volume. This makes the goat a very efficient converter of rough feeds or browse, but the process uses up a lot of energy and there is also a need for minerals especially phosphorous. One reason goats prefer browse bushes and trees is that these plants are deep -rooted and bring up many more essential minerals from deep inside the soil that the goat needs.

A large proportion of the feed it eats is converted into milk. A goat can convert more dry roughage into milk compared to a dairy cow, but the forage must be clean and dry all the time. The amount of feed a goat eats depends on its body size and also on the quality of the feed. From the different types of feed given, a farmer can tell which type of feed it likes most. Remove waste feed at least twice a day. If there is a lot of waste, this should tell you the goat is either being given too much feed than it can eat or it does not like type of feed. A 45 kg goat that is being milked should be consuming up to 7 per cent of her body weight (about 3.4 kg) of dry matter and can drink 4 to 5 litres of clean water daily.

Give concentrates

As in the case of dairy cows, the roughage part of the ration is rarely good enough to provide maintenance for the animal, let alone milk production. It is important to add the concentrate to the ration. Avoid giving barley as it can cause bloat or poisoning if fed in large quantities.

The more the amount of milk a goat produces, the more the amount of concentrate it should be given (table below). A small quantity of concentrate should be fed even when the goat is not being milked in order to help it in body maintenance and also in the development of her unborn kid when pregnant. A goat will normally go though a daily process of eat-rest-ruminate-eat-rest-ruminate and so on.

Hygiene and housing of dairy goats

Maintaining hygiene and keeping goats in proper housing is still a big problem with most dairy goat farmers. Unlike other domestic animals, a dairy goat prefers to live in a dry and clean place. A simple way to do this is to build a house with a raised floor. A floor made of timber pieces with spaces between (slatted floor) allows the urine and droppings to pass through the spaces and leaves the floor clean and dry. The water and feeding trough should be placed outside the house (sketch). Goats should be protected from windy conditions especially during the cold season when they easily contract pneumonia.

Most farmers keep their goats indoors throughout the day. Most of the time, the goats can hardly move due to the small size of the house. All animals should be allowed to go out into open space where they can graze, exercise and get adequate light. Organic farming standards stipulate that all animals should be allowed free movement to reduce stress and allow them to express normal behaviour.
Fish Farming
Fish Farming Methods

First, a farmer would have to decide which method of farming he is willing to venture into. This is determined by the resources available. The question to ask yourself is “What resources do I have ?”. This question will help you decide which type of fish to farm and also which method to use.

There are several methods of farming. The most common are open ponds, Net enclosures and Tanks. Open ponds is the most common method of producing fish. It is also the simplest as all that is does not need a lot of equipment and can be easily constructed. The ponds serve for spawning and rearing and can be used for 3-5years easily. This method is good for farmers with adequate space.

Another method is Hapa method. In this type of farming, a net is used to enclose the fish for several reasons. The main one being easy management as the fish cannot escape and harvesting is easy. The net is ,made using fine nylon, mosquito nets and cotton mesh. A hapa usually measures 3m long, 3m wide &1.5m deep.

The last fishing method is the tank method. This is where the fish are reared in tanks rather than ponds. This method makes it easy to manage the fish but it has its downside as it is relatively expensive to construct. It involves construction of Circular tanks of 1-6m diameter containing 0.5-0.7 m of water .
Factors to consider when starting fish farming in kenya

After deciding on the method to use, a farmer then proceeds2 tpo analyzing factors such as water source, source of feeds and the fingerling etc. Most farmers source their water from rivers, streams ,springs and wells, surface run offs and irrigation water.

The most important thing to consider is the water quality. It has to be fresh and clean so sourcing has to be carefully thought through. Factors such as water temperature, ph Nitrates and dissolved oxygen also have to be put into consideration.

Another important aspect of fish farming is the food. This goes a long way in determine the size of your harvest and eventually the profitability of the venture. You should be able to know where you are going top source the food . You should also make sure that the supplier is genuine and dependable as this may just save you from losing all your fish due to factors such as food poisoning and late deliveries of feed.

Fingerlings are in high demand but there is low supply. Sagana is the only place where they are available, but they can only produce 2 M while the demand is for 20M. A basic setup would consist of ponds, piping and pump - which comes to about KSh 200k. There should be 3 ponds to include a small one for the breeders which you would get from Sagana. The fingerlings mature in 3 months and are born monthly. This is excellent for the small scale farmer because every month you can have fingerlings for sale. Be sure to watch out for mosquitoes. You will need a labourer to continually feed the fingerlings. Theft is minimal as the common thug would prefer to buy ready to eat fish size not to rear them.

I will not go into the standard cash crops: Coffee and Tea, because the small scale farmer starting out now is not likely to choose this option

Farming In Kenya GreenhouseThis article presents budding Kenyan business men and women information to start their own small scale greenhouse business so that they can maximise their business earning potential. Are you looking to start a low loss small scale business? Look no further, herein lies a good option if you have

* Land - a plot of 1/8 acre
* Water
* Labour

With a little capital, you can construct your own greenhouse and start growing crops all year round without and not relying on weather. The crops that do particularly well in greenhouse environments are

* Tomatoes
* Green Vegetables - Cabbage, Sukuma Wiki, Spinach
* Herbs
* A combination of the above

What Food Crop Does The Market Need? You need to research the food crop that the market needs, Understand how to deliver the crop to your market - retail or wholesale and Calculate the possible returns. Then you can check the profit margin and determine whether worthwhile. In addition, you must look at common challenges affecting the crop or its sale. What Do You Want To Grow? Tomatoes , Green vegetables, Herbs and flowers flourish in greenhouses. Finally consider whether you need to grow them in a greenhouse If the answer is yes, read on...

How To Make Quality High Yield Dairy Meal At Home
The three main, essential ingredients of a high yield dairy feed are energy, protein and minerals. It is recommended that you come up with a mixture that contains 68% of energy giving foods, 30% of protein feed and 2% minerals. Now how do we know which feeds are for energy, which ones are for proteins and where to get the minerals?

* Examples of high yield energy feeds include maize germ, wheat pollard, molasses, maize bran and wheat bran.
* Examples of high yield protein feeds include lucerne hay, cotton seed cake, soya bean meal, sunfl ower seed cake, sesbania leaves, calliandra leaves and fish meal.
* Sources of minerals for making a high yield dairy feed include dicalcium phosphate, limestone, rock phosphate and mineral premix.

So, the ingredients that you will use to make your homemade high yield dairy feed will depend on what you can locally produce at your farm of buy nearby at a fair price. For example, to make 100 kilograms of feed, you could mix:

* 50 kg maize germ
* 16 kg wheat pollard
* 2 kg molasses
* 14 kg cotton seed cake
* 16 kg lucerne hay
* 2 Dicalcium Phosphate

TIssue culture bananas
Within 12 to 14 months of planting a farmer can harvest a healthy productive stalk with disease free fingers. “Other local breeds take two years before harvesting,” said Gacheru. On maturity, a well tended healthy stalk can be up to five feet long.

One farmer whose fortunes have improved since he began cultivating the banana is Julius Wainana of Sabasaba Maragua. In 2000, he quit his truck driving job and began with 300 tissue culture plantlets on his half acre piece of land. Today he owns a pick up and has bought another piece of land from the proceeds of growing the bananas on half an acre.

A farmer with an acre can start with 540 banana plantlets, each costing around 100shs. If at first harvest, 480 are ready each stalk will deliver bananas weighing 30kgs, with a kilogram at the market typically fetching Sh10.

The proceeds sum Sh144,000, but the 10shs and 30kilograms estimates are probably under-estimates
Places where tissue culture banana initiative has taken off include parts of Thika, and areas in Meru including Tigania, Kirinyaga, Maragua and Muranga, where farmers harvest them in bulk and take them to bulking centres for weighing. Technoserve Kenya is an organisation that has created market linkages to these small-scale farmers in groups of 50 to 100 by bringing buyers to bulking centres

Small scale dairy farming

tissue culture bananas

A poultry farm

goats are profitable...theres growing demand for goat milk

Some fish farming maybe???

 * Showing only the most recent 25 comments... ›› Show all 36 comments
›› Baboon-  22-Jul-2013, 6:28 pm, reply_1042967
^^^^^^Stop tryng to make an idiot of me Rabbits are on demand in high end hotels Being the best white meat, demand for rabbit meat is increasing in the local market. Most of the five star hotels in Kenya are willing to introduce rabbit meat in their menus but the challenge has always been a constant source which could sustain the demand vs. supply chains. The Norfolk hotel for example are serving rabbit on plate, the safari park once introduced but could not get enough from the farmers.

The only available rabbit meat is gotten from farmers who produce rabbit for breeding but are forced to reduce the bucks (males) since buyers buy one Buck (male) for every eight Does (females).

A kilo of rabbit meat ranges between Kshs.500.00 and 1000.00 in the local market.

He he he Enjoy the rest of the information
›› Baboon-  22-Jul-2013, 6:29 pm, reply_1042969
Hacker that was for Muchatha Retoasted
›› MUCHATHA RELOADED  22-Jul-2013, 6:33 pm, reply_1042974
^^^Professori..ask me some of these things please. to quote you 'The only available rabbit meat is gotten from farmers who produce rabbit for breeding....'

@THW..i have read that story but please like i told @professori..ask me these things. Been there and done that and i can guarantee you there is absolutely no money in rabbits.

We can have a listing tomorrow on rabbits alone and we see how the discussion goes.
›› Donkeytitsforhire  22-Jul-2013, 6:39 pm, reply_1042977
^^^^^^^^^^›› MUCHATHA RELOADED 22-Jul-2013, reply_1042974 › Flag Member/Comment
^^^Professori..ask me some of these things please. to quote you 'The only available rabbit meat is gotten from farmers who produce rabbit for breeding....'

@THW..i have read that story but please like i told @professori..ask me these things. Been there and done that and i can guarantee you there is absolutely no money in rabbits.

We can have a listing tomorrow on rabbits alone and we see how the discussion goes.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Whats all the fuss about MUCHUTHI RESTOLEN Kwani are you a rabbit@ prof said enjoy the listing Wewe ..........Wacha Nyee!!!!!!!!!!
›› Baboon-  22-Jul-2013, 6:43 pm, reply_1042983
@Donkey leave Muchatha alone The demand for rabbit meat is very minimal He might be right Anyway
›› Donkeytitsforhire  22-Jul-2013, 6:47 pm, reply_1042989
› uwesmake 22-Jul-2013, reply_1042978 › Flag Member/Comment
Ona ngombe ingine ya Mooseveni Jaruo Kihii!!!!!!!!!!!
›› Donkeytitsforhire  22-Jul-2013, 7:07 pm, reply_1043011
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^KIHII!......... UGLY FORESKIN AND SONS COMPANY LIMITED!!!!!!!!!!
›› Baboon-  22-Jul-2013, 7:16 pm, reply_1043017
^^^^^^^^^^^^Take your fights elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!! Tigaai WANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
›› Nyegebaridi  22-Jul-2013, 7:29 pm, reply_1043037
Professori, this is very well thoughout, farming is nice because it keeps you away from taxes and the government red tape. Mucatha there is an opportunity cost in every business, I am sure if you have enough money you can buy government bonds that are risk free instead of risky equity. So is rabbit farming, if you have been exporting Roses then Rabbits are not for you but remember you are not everyone else. So if they never made money in you they would do it for someone else.
›› Nyegebaridi  22-Jul-2013, 7:32 pm, reply_1043040
Professori, this is very well thoughout, farming is nice because it keeps you away from taxes and the government red tape. Mucatha there is an opportunity cost in every business, I am sure if you have enough money you can buy government bonds that are risk free instead of risky equity. So is rabbit farming, if you have been exporting Roses then Rabbits are not for you but remember you are not everyone else. So if they never made money in you they would do it for someone else.
Guys it is good to keep coughing out tribal undertones but remember a hungry stomach does not give a rats ass whether you are Kikuyu or Luo. Its unfortunate when people start talking of who eats fish and who eats rabbits. We are all human and let us be respectable to ourselves. When it is Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta throw flack at each other. When it comes to business cut the bulls--- and build your country.
›› Baboon-  22-Jul-2013, 7:34 pm, reply_1043043
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Thank you @Nyege Good answer!!!!
›› Award Winner  22-Jul-2013, 7:44 pm, reply_1043052
I like the info on dairy goats. Will put it into use and see if I can improve the production of my herd.

Well done prof.
›› powderpuffer  22-Jul-2013, 7:58 pm, reply_1043060
Funda should try this instead of sitting behind a keyboard spewing rubbish all day
›› inthanite  22-Jul-2013, 8:15 pm, reply_1043073
Please please ..., Don't join that 'PyRabbit Scheme' !.
›› karema_hiti  22-Jul-2013, 8:27 pm, reply_1043079
Liked & favourited. Thankyou prof.
›› Manyasty  22-Jul-2013, 8:29 pm, reply_1043080
Labour is becoming scarce, in few years there will be no one to employ.
›› tm Away < 15 minutes   22-Jul-2013, 9:14 pm, reply_1043108
I was here. Prof, nice one.
›› Clark Away < 15 minutes   22-Jul-2013, 9:25 pm, reply_1043117
Thanks prof for the great article.... am considering pig farming in the future as am still researchin on it. i want to build a large pig farm one day. food and agricultural products will always be a constant source of income and good profits.
›› scumbag  23-Jul-2013, 12:38 am, reply_1043292
Pig farming is profitable and affordable. They require minimal space and pig feed is relatively affordable. What one needs is to ensure that there is back up from a vet for innoculation and you are in business....
›› seeker  23-Jul-2013, 7:57 am, reply_1043389
good listing,we need more of such articles on klist.
›› 1black  23-Jul-2013, 9:39 am, reply_1043452
Good Stuff ,*shukran*
›› biraru  23-Jul-2013, 9:59 am, reply_1043477
all in all i think goats are easier to rear
›› MUCHATHA RELOADED  23-Jul-2013, 10:25 am, reply_1043509
@ donkey @profe @nyege: I was just putting the facts as they are. Don't hate please. I am also not a know-it-all...but please follow @ inthanite's advice:› >>

inthanite 22-Jul-2013, reply_1043073 › Flag Member/Comment
Please please ..., Don't join that 'PyRabbit Scheme' !.

I will enjoy the listing as advised
›› nawa-ule  23-Jul-2013, 11:48 am, reply_1043626
Good job proffessori
›› karema_hiti  02-Aug-2013, 12:17 pm, reply_1053327
›› Manyasty 22-Jul-2013, reply_1043080 › Flag Member/Comment

Labour is becoming scarce, in few years there will be
no one to employ.

I don't think so @manyasty. I think it will just be expensive, not unavailable.
 * Showing only the most recent 25 comments... ›› Show all 36 comments
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