Staying true to our mission of getting more young people interested in farming, this post will look at some types of farming that a cash-strapped young person can undertake and build a career out of. These farming ventures will consider both urban and rural youth because, like in other developing countries, Kenya still grapples with rural-urban migration in search of employment opportunities.
- Poultry farming. This type of farming is considered the most successful in Kenya in terms of return and it’s true. Kenya is known for a very high consumption of chicken meat and farmers can barely meet the demand. This is a good place to begin even with a paltry 30,000 Kes. You can get an affordable poultry eggs incubator at 15,000 Kes and use the rest to set up. You can then sell chicks to poultry farmers. With one successful batch you can break even. An incubator will not take much space hence can also be done in urban areas.
- Affordable greenhouse farming. Many people assume that greenhouse farming requires a lot of capital, this is not the case. One can get a greenhouse for as low as 50,000 Kes and decide to do tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber or strawberries. You can also build one using locally available materials and the results wont be far away from the expensive ones. This is best done in rural areas where materials can be acquired cheaply.
- Livestock farming. Many urban youth consider livestock farming very labour-intensive, and for good reason. You need substantial land to keep cattle, goats and sheep thus suitable for rural youth. The secret for earning a lot of money from this is traveling to Northern Kenya and buying goats and sheep for prices as low as 1000 Kes and transporting them to wherever you are. Imagine how much a full sheep would be in Nairobi or Kisumu! All you need is transport permit for livestock.
- Leasing land. For young people in urban areas who would like to do farming and are curtailed by land issues, good news, leasing land in places like Olkalou, Narok and Nanyuki is very possible and affordable. For an acre you can pay as low as 3,000 Kes for the whole year, which, for some crops like potatoes, will be three seasons. Leasing land for maize in Kitale, Wheat in Narok and Sugarcane is South Nyanza is all doable and profitable.
- Urban farming. This type of farming is becoming more popular because it can be done in very little space, as little as 2ft by 2ft. Here, vegetables are planted in bags or tins that are mounted vertically on poles. A 2 meter pole can give you 16 plants therefore having 10 or more poles will provide you with a profitable garden right in your backyard. Remember to grow popular vegetables in your area, for example, Nairobi has developed a very healthy penchant for indigenous veggies (Mchicha, kunde, managu).
There are many affordable types of farming and agribusinesses that I have left out and I will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Kindly get in touch.
Remember, if you had a meal today, thank a farmer.