How much can you make from potato farming in Kenya

How much can you make from potato farming in Kenya

Potato farming is a highly profitable venture whose income potential depends on the size of the farm, location, yields, production costs, and market prices.

It’s a business that requires thorough research and planning before starting. Currently, Kenya ranks as one of the top potato producers in Africa. Regions such as Nyandarua, Narok, Kajiado, Nyeri, Nakuru, and Meru are renowned for their thriving potato production. The crop is not only a staple food but also a source of income for smallholder farmers, contributing significantly to food security and economic growth.

Procuring Certified Seeds

Potatoes need to be cultivated in deep, well-drained, fertile soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. After doing a soil test, it’s time to procure certified seeds if you plan to maximize harvest yields. You can purchase from KARLO, Kisima, and certified seed companies. This will guarantee you that you are purchasing disease-free seeds from a reliable source.

The average cost for a 50kg bag of seeds may range from Ksh 2500 to Sh 5000. Some of the potato varieties you can grow are;

  • Shangi

  • Humba

  • Sherekea

  • Wanjiku

  • Tigoni

  • Arka

  • Mavuno

  • Chulu

  • Nica

  • Dutch Robin

  • Sagitta

What Influences the Earnings?

Your earnings in potato farming are influenced by;

  • Yield per acre

  • Market prices. They fluctuate based on supply, demand, and market dynamics. Grow in the right season to maximize your earnings.

  • Production costs. The cost of production, including land preparation, inputs, labor, and transportation, directly impacts profitability. Efficient resource management and cost-effective practices can help minimize expenses and enhance returns.

  • Quality of produce. The quality of potatoes significantly influences market value. Farmers producing high-quality, disease-resistant varieties can command premium prices, thus increasing their income.

  • Market access. Accessibility to markets and transportation infrastructure affects the cost of getting potatoes to consumers. Brokers may also affect market prices and access.

How much can you make from potato farming?

Generally, the yield potential per acre is about 80, and production costs are about Sh 80,000. If each sells at Sh 2000, that’s about SH 160,000 per acre. When the prices are good, the price will be Sh 3000 to 4000, and a net profit of Sh 80,000 – 240,000.

It can be hard to provide accurate estimates for production costs. If you plant the Arizona variety, you can harvest about 16 tons per acre. For Shangi, this can rise to 30 – 40 tons. Besides, planting seasons and management practices also affect profits.

Lastly, the profit will depend on how well the farmer maintains their farm and manages post-harvest losses. There are several potato varieties in the market. However, we will only discuss the most popular.

Let’s break down the costs for potato farming per acre.

Production costs – 45000

Land preparation – 11000

Fertilizers – 25000

The estimated total cost of production – 81,000

This cost includes seeds, fungicides pest management, and labor.

Final Thoughts

Although agribusiness offers lucrative prospects, success lies in strategic planning and hard work. Remember, farming is not a get-rich-quick scheme but a business that requires patience and dedication.

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