Top 6 Profitable Horticultural Crops To Grow in Kenya in 2023

Horticulture is a versatile and profitable field, and a wide range of crops can be grown in Kenya. Are you looking to start a horticultural crop business in Kenya? With the right strategy, you can turn a profit in early 2023. There are many lucrative options, from food crops like maize and potatoes to flowers like roses and lilies.

This article will look at the top six most profitable horticultural crops to grow in Kenya in early 2023.

Spinach

Spinach is another popular vegetable in Kenya due to its high nutritional value. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and can be used in various dishes. Spinach is easy to grow and harvest and highly profitable in the market.

The amount of money that can be earned from spinach farming in Kenya depends on the size of the farm and the market prices. Generally, farmers can expect to earn between KES 400,000 and KES 800,000 per acre per season with spinach farming.

Let’s do the math. An acre has an average of 30 – 40 bags per harvest. This equates to about 90 to 120 bags per month if you harvest after every 10 days. During the dry season, the prices range from Ksh 15 to Ksh 30 per kilo. Per harvest, this translates to Ksh 45,000 – Ksh 90,000 per month and Ksh 135,000 – Ksh 270,000 per month. If you harvest for 3 months, this will be 400,000 to Ksh 800,000. Isn’t this some good cash? But, the prices may vary depending on various factors.

Factors that may affect spinach prices in Kenya

Various factors affect spinach prices, which include:

Weather Conditions: Unfavorable weather conditions (e.g., prolonged droughts, heavy rainfall) can affect the availability and quality of spinach and, in turn, its price. January to March is composed of an extended dry period which means relatively high prices. The prices per kilo range from Ksh 10 to 30 or higher.

Supply and Demand: Changes in the demand for spinach by consumers can affect the price, as can changes in the supply of spinach due to farmers’ production decisions and the weather conditions at a particular time.

Competition: Competition from other vegetables or spinach production can also affect the price of spinach.

Pests and Diseases: Pest and disease outbreaks can reduce the amount of spinach available and increase its price.

French Beans

French beans are a popular, horticultural crop in Kenya and can be grown on small plots of land. They are a great source of income for small-scale farmers, as they have a high market demand and can be harvested within two months of planting.

However, to make a profit, you need to plant the right varieties, control pests and diseases, apply fertilizers well, and keep your orchard weed-free. Also, when the demand is high, you should grow in the right season.

January to June is the best period to harvest your French beans. Since they are primarily for export, the produce undergoes strict quality control measures to keep everything in order. They are prone to diseases such as anthracnose, rust, blight, and bean-powdery mildew. Also, they are attacked by pests such as thrips, aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, and slugs. Control them in time before they escalate into a major challenge.

You can plant varieties such as Vanilla, Serengeti, Boston (Goal), Teresa, Amy, Seagullm Gloria, Buffalo, Star, Samantha, Pekera, Julia, and Buffalo. An acre requires an average of 18 – 30 kgs, depending on the size of the seeds.

From February to May, the prices are high, ranging from Ksh 40 – 11 per kg. This can be a good price.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another popular, horticultural crop in Kenya and can be grown in small plots. They are highly profitable and can fetch a high price in the market. Tomatoes can be harvested within three months of planting and can yield a high return on investment.

Onions

Onions are another popular and profitable vegetable crop in Kenya. Onions are relatively easy to grow and require little maintenance. The crop is also very versatile and can be used in various recipes.

Watermelons

Watermelons are a highly profitable crop in Kenya and are among the most popular fruits in the country. They are extensively used in many dishes and value addition. For instance, they are used in fruit salads, pudding, and juices.

To make the best out of the agribusiness, plant fast-maturing varieties and grow in drier seasons. January to April is an excellent growing period characterized by extended dry periods. Plant varieties such as Sukari F1, Pato F1, and Charleston grey are drought-tolerant and mature in 85 to 110 days. Sweat beauty takes 80 days to mature. Early March and early August are the best times to sow watermelon seedlings. Control wasps on time.

In Kenya, watermelon thrives in hot areas such as Kajiado, Machakos, Rimuruti, Makueni, and coastal regions. However, they also perform well in highland areas such as Nyeri. Plan your 2023 schedule well. Watermelon is a money-making plant you should consider planting.

Cabbages

Cabbage is a highly profitable crop in Kenya and among the most popular vegetables. They are easy to grow and thrive in various soil types and climates.

To get the best out of your cabbage farm, you need to select the right varieties and consider factors such as yield potential and maturity duration. Besides, you need to apply fertilizers in a balanced manner to ensure uniform maturity. Understand the tolerance and resistance of your cabbage to pests and diseases and control them in time to enhance the product quality. Cabbages are mainly attacked by pests such as aphids, thrips, caterpillars, diamondback moths, cutworms, and cabbage loopers. They are prone to diseases such as Downey mildew, damping off, head rot, leaf spot, and rust.

Generally, cabbage can be harvested at any time after the head is fully formed. Depending on the variety, they take an average of 75 to 150 days to mature. For optimum yields, cut the cabbage when they are firm to hand pressure. Ensure you plant fast-growing varieties such as Gloria, Victoria, and Pretoria.

January is an important planting period as you harvest your produce in early to late April. It’s characterized by an extended dry season which means production is relatively low. With a low supply in the market, the prices will be relatively high from March to May, with a single head selling at about Ksh 30 on the farm.

These are just a few of the many profitable horticultural crops in Kenya. With the right plan and marketing strategies, growing these crops can be a lucrative agribusiness. For entrepreneurs and farmers looking to capitalize on the growing horticultural industry in Kenya, these are the crops to watch in 2023.

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