The Best Crops to Grow in Kenya

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Agriculture is one of the most profitable economic activities in Kenya. Not more than 20% of the Kenyan land is suitable for crops to grow. 12 % of this land falls under high potential agricultural land while 8% have medium potential to grow crops.

People who engage in farming in Kenya are small-scale farmers with limited technology. The agriculture sector employs about 40% of the total population in Kenya. Also, it is a livelihood to 70% of the rural people across the country. Finally, agriculture contributes to 65% of export earnings and offers a living to 80% of the Kenyan population. 

The Most Profitable Crops to Grow in Kenya

Crop Profit per acre Time taken to mature
Maize Ksh150,000 3-10 months
Capsicum Ksh1,000,000 3-4 months
Onion Ksh354,000 3-4 months
Hass Avocado Ksh700,000 5-10 months
Tomato Ksh750,000 2-3 months
Sukuma Wiki Ksh240,000-ksh720,000 2-3 months
Passion Fruit Ksh1,000,000 10 months
Strawberry Ksh800,000 2 ½-3 months
Lettuce Ksh600,000 2-4 months
Saffron ­_ 2 -3 months

List of the Most Profitable Crops to Grow in Kenya 

1. Maize

Maize is one of the profitable crops grown in Kenya. Depending on the variety of maize seed you plant, the crop can do well in different regions with different rainfall range. The crop can grow on high rainfall of 1200-2500mm and 600-1150mm sometimes.

 For short varieties of maize plants, they mature after 3-4 months while others can go up to 10 months. However, to benefit from maize farming, you require a sizable piece of land, at least 2 acres.

2. Capsicum

Capsicum is a health-benefit crop. It spices up food and makes a salad. It takes about 75 to 90 days for the crop to grow in Kenya. On average, one capsicum plant produces 15 to 25 fruits. Therefore, in one hectare of land, you can harvest 150,000 to 250,000 capsicum crops in Kenya.

It is a leading crop with the highest profit per acre of land in Kenya. When you sell one capsicum fruit 5 to 10 shilling, you can get up to Kshs1, 000,000 in just three months.

3. Onion

It is a vegetable widely used in the Kenyan kitchen and around the world to flavor food. The popular varieties of onion crops grown in Kenya are Jambar F1, Bombay Red, and Pinoy.

One acre of onion can give you Kshs354, 000, according to Don’t Lose the Plot (DLTP), a television program done by The Mediae Company. The amount you can spend from nursery to harvesting the crop in Kenya is estimated to be Kshs 125,000.

4. Hass Avocado

Hass avocado has become the goldmine for farmers in the export industry. It is one of the most profitable crops to grow in Kenya in 2020. Farmers can harvest up to 60 fruits from one tree on average. Avocado farming is common in Nyeri, Meru, Kiambu, Kisii, and Murang’a.

Hass avocado has a ready international market in China, Europe, and Asia. Also, the crop requires low maintenance compared to others, and it is a long-term investment.

5. Tomato

Most people are making millions in tomato farming in Kenya. Tomatoes grow fast, and within 60-75 days, they are ready for harvest. A well-grown tomato fruit weighs about 150 grams. Also, it can give more than 30 tonnes in one acre.

The tomato market is readily available locally. People can eat tomato fruits while fresh, cook them with food or use them as a salad. Tomato crops do well in warm temperatures, well-drained soil, and moderate humidity in Kenya.

6. Sukuma Wiki

Sukuma Wiki is commonly grown by 90% of small-scale farmers in Kenya. It is one of the profitable crops for small farms in Kenya because every household consumes it once a week. Also, most of the Sukuma Wiki varieties mature within a short time.

Under good management, while growing, the crop yields about 800kgs per acre. The main markets for Sukuma Wiki in Kenya are open-air markets, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, direct and consumers. The crop is rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, roughage, iron, and calcium.

7. Passion Fruit

Passion fruit farming is becoming popular in Kenya because of its commercial benefits. A farmer can earn up to Ksh 1 million per acre of passion fruit crops in Kenya. In a ¼ acre, you can plant approximately 350 passion plants.

When you cultivate your passion fruit crops well, you can get 10-15 kg in one fruit per year. In the local market, one kilogram of passion fruits sells at Kshs 40, while in the export world, it goes for Kshs 70.

8. Strawberry

Farmers in Kenya can enjoy strawberry farming in almost every part of the country. The crop requires a constant water supply and a temperature between 10-30 degrees Celsius. Strawberry crops take 70 days to mature, but they are highly perishable. They stay fresh for 4-5 days. Therefore, search for a market early before harvesting.

A 1/8th piece of land produces about 30kg to 50 kg of strawberries per week. You can sell each kilo at Ksh 200 in the current Kenyan market. Therefore, in a month, you can get up to Ksh 40,000 from 1/8th piece of land through strawberry crop farming in Kenya.

9. Lettuce

Lettuce farming is becoming popular in Kenya due to its high demand locally and internationally. People are going after the crop because it is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. In the market, one head of lettuce costs Ksh 70 to Ksh 100.

If you plant lettuce and take good care of them, you can earn Ksh 100,000 to Ksh 150,000 in a month. Lettuce heads can be stored for up to three weeks at 95% relative humidity and 4 degrees Celsius.

10. Saffron

Saffron is one of the best crops to grow in Kenya. The Kenyan saffron is known worldwide for its high quality. This is because the crop produced in Kenya is as good as its Indian and Spanish counterparts.

It is one of the most profitable herbs to grow in Kenya.  Saffron is used as a food spice and to make tea. Finally, saffron is one of the most expensive medicinal spices in the world. 

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