Enigma realized he doesn’t know anything about farming and decided to leave matters relating to farming to the experts. The Enigma sold the piece of land to a ladies only Chama group and reinvested the money into his retail phone selling business.
I tried onions but failed. I got things which look like chipolatas and not those round bulbs. The big missteps that as a first timer I made is that I didn’t have enough water, you need lots of water, drip kwanza. Then weka mbolea mob and get a tractor kupindua mchanga vizuri kabla upande. And then there’s mambo ya season, there’s a season when onions za Tz flood the market, I understand towards end of the year, so pia this has to be taken into account.
I am now licking my wounds, recovering financially, but not about to give up just yet. I am thinking about kuweka traditional greens, managu especially, as my next move, not too capital intensive, and informed by interactions with watu wa soko, they sell fast. But it’s not a walk in the park as unaweza skia guys saying “kilimo ina pesa”.
Those who do Canola oil form groups, they process their oil and sell to mostly local supermarkets. In Nyeri and environs ukipata canola most probably it is made in Nyeri. Every once in a while you can get canola from Nyeri in Mombasa and in such scenarios, the guy who sold to say tuskys bought cash from the processing plant sold at a margin to Tuskys Sasa kazi ni Kwake kungoja malipo from Tuskys.
Value addition is easier said than done. It also depends on what step of value addition you want since it’s not quite a simple linear process. For example, value addition ya milk can go upto yoghurt and milk powder at the highest level. Value addition ya fruits and vegetables is very different from ya milk. What/where do you want to add value?
Baked beans (canned). Kuna day I bought Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce. Warmed and ate with chapo without any additions. It was reasonably delicious and my aim was to experiment. The baking and canning process must be expensive especially the set up and the market could also be narrow in Kenya but on the other hand, it was a great challenge for me on value addition
Yoghurt is quite ‘easy’ given the proliferation of small cottage industries in Kenya that process yoghurt. From what I have seen you need good quality bacteria culture, a good source of quality milk and market to sell your products. Look for farmers who will be supplying the milk and give them a favourable business deal. Remember you will be competing with established companies like Fresha, Brookside and other lesser-known companies that process yoghurt so whatever deal you have with farmers must be a good one. I would also suggest you pay a visit to your local supermarket, note the yoghurt they sell and google each company you see on the shelf, as a start wachana na Brookside and KCC since they have been there forever. Start by doing your market research, note the gap and exploit it. For example, I have seen some companies who are now processing yoghurt from goat milk as yoghurt from cow milk is super common.
I think it’s also better to do it as a group/chama and not alone as anything to do with industrialization is not something you can do kivyako in a one-roomed office. Why don’t you visit a local yoghurt processing company in your locale and see if they are open to investors?
Tomato paste za siku hizi contain very little actual tomato, it’s usually a combination of concentrates. Kupanda tomato methinks is not enough unless you are a large scale farmer of 50 acres and above and you plant tomatoes only. You cannot meet all the demand as a single farmer so you need to work with other tomato farmers. Uzuri wa Kenya there is always a tomato glut now and then so you can always get tomatoes at a good price. Do your market research, is there demand for tomato paste? Also how are you going to compete with tomato paste imports from Egypt and the likes?
Plus Kenyans are not crazy about cheese, it is a very unfamiliar product and quite unaffordable to most Kenyans. One may need to target export markets. Also, cheese making in Kenya is done by very few companies simply because, I would imagine, exorbitant mechanization costs.
Another problem if targeting Kenyan market. its very few pple (if any) who will prefer to use tomato paste to cook their normal meals since the availability of fresh tomatoes is there. Tomatoes are out of market for a very short period and its actually there only that the price goes high. but may be you are targeting a different consumer
Yes, Kenyans are still very traditional in the sense that they want ‘fresh’ food, tomato paste, dried veges and fruits just doesn’t cut it. That’s why I said hapo mbele value addition in Kenya is something one has to think very seriously about esp if you intend to export.
sure. I would also prefer the non-processed. Why should I leave mangoes growing at home to go buy ‘mango’ juice?
As you say, it’s a field requiring a lot of thinking and is most suited for crops that cannot be directly consumed like coffee, tea, or crops producing a product which could not be directly benefited from. eg oil extraction from nuts
Sija fanya market research and I know literally nothing kuhusu tomato paste. Kuna jamaa, an acquaintance, we used to live in the same hood, before he moved away and later pia I moved, but tulikutananga in a different hood, we ended up chatting in a local over ugali na nyama, and then planning the odd drink hapa na pale. He is a consultant for some restaurants like akina Java. He is the one who sold to me the idea of tomato paste. I am very cautious to a fault when it comes to investment na pesa so I am still very far from taking any serious step, and also as I said apo juu, I am still recovering financially after machozi za vitunguu (excuse hiyo pun) but ni mojawapo ya vitu nafikiria as najaribu kunukisha kitunguu (I Iove this pun). Land sio kubwa vile, about acre mbili uko Kajiado. I tried farming after I fell on some hard times na hii corona though I was lucky I could liquidate policy fulani, cash in and have kitu kidogo on the side.