Why did Sisal farming die? Are we that shortsighted

I’m truly some astonished that we chose to remain backwards.

Before all the Sisal plantations are turned into real estate land. Maybe government should talk to these farmers and we try exploring the vast potential we have in the product.

Sisal being an agave plant.

Can be used to make Tequila and Mezcal we have literally thousands of acres of land with Sisal and a very dry environments in places like West Pokot, Isiolo, Meru, Tana River etc. that has potential to grow Kenya into a Tequila exporting Nation.

Kenya last year exported $30 million dollars worth of Sisal. The global market share is like 2 billion dollars or higher.

On the other hand the Tequila market dominated by Mexico is rapidly growing worth $4.5 billion dollars and its projected to be $7 billion dollars by 2025. If we can tap into that market and we supply a quarter of the global market then it would really be a job creator.

Then as added value benefit they’re a ton of other uses we as a country can capitalize on like the medicinal uses of Sisal, makeup, hair extensions, juice etc.

And then we can return of the fiber manufacturing of the plant instead of importing Raw since Technology has come a long way. And extraction of fibers from Sisal can be done by machines and people can be employed since the world is rediscovering that this plant is very good if the fibers are of high quality. And Kenya used to have some of the best high quality fibers on the planet but we ruined it.

If we can return this industry we can literally pull a couple thousand more people out of poverty and earn an extra $10- $12 billion in GDP.

BBI will not get us here. We need to create jobs for our youths who will drive this Nation.




Harvesting tequila is very labor intensive and we have an ample supply of people who need jobs.


We killed and stopped farming cotton as if watu waliwacha kuvaa nguo… Ile upuzi iko Kenya cannot be explained by logic

Manila aka plastic ilimalisa sisal

Calm down. The mathematics is overpowering you.


You bring up good points. But your projections need revisions.

Remember that Tequila is synonymous with Mexican Agave. If we use Kenyan Sisal, you may not get the exact Tequila flavor ( actually I read somewhere attempts have been made ). Mexico has desert areas, towards Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Pretty sure they can meet the demand. And they also grow Agave on large scale. Cheaper price point than Kenya with our overpriced land. On top of transport and refrigeration costs.

But Sisal does have many uses. If anything, it is superior to Agave. So we are missing on opportunities.

You can’t read? I’ll explain deeper.

Mexico sale of tequila this year has reach $4.5 billion dollars. Projected to reach $7 billion by 2025. That is only tequila I have talked about the continued value addition since the entire this is 100% useable.

In Kenya diversification of Sisal can add $10- $12 billion dollars into the market.

Sisal fibers high quality ones fetch at a high price if we can manufacture them and instead of exporting them raw. On the best plantations in East Africa, yearly yields of 2.0 - 2.5 tonnes/ha of dried fibres are obtained. And yet in other regions of the world they grow .9 tonnes/ha. We can add $2 billion dollars into the economy since car seats, furniture, ropes, carpets, etc. I should add that since plastic bags are slowly being banned a demand for sisal fibers globally is going to rise.

Tequila making if we can capture a quarter of the growing market about $1.5 billion we can steadily grow it since demand is being fueled by China, Australia, the Americas and Europe.

Food industry about $500 million in organic agave syrup and juices which has many uses.

Cosmetic industry which is a literally gold mine uses the juices and agave in the plants for Skincare products. Global cosmetics market is rated at $400 billion dollars and still growing. Let your mind wonder.

Medicinal value immense it can treat dysentery, syphilis, leprosy, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Short fibers from the plant can be used to make Paper Pulp which means it’s better long term in terms of it being re-recycle. And we save trees from being turned into paper.

In that line the construction industry can also use the fibers and mix into concrete to create a strong reinforced concrete. That will last a longtime.

All of this if we can tap into its potential could be worth more than the $10 billion i quoted.

Kitu yyote kenya huwezi jifanyia individually kutoka kupanda hadi kupeleka sokoni utapata hasara, heri ikae.
panda sisal na pamba na watoto wako watakosa karo ukingoja kulipwa. kila mtu ajiamulie atapanda nini kwa shamba lake kulingana na mahitaji na uwezo wake.

there are two companies doing sisal farming in kenya and they make good profits.

You can thank the colonists for that. They brought the Agave sisalana plant to Kenya from Mexico in 1914. This is what we call Sisal. They’re not two different plants but the same.

The taste of Tequila comes from its distillation process. And how long the plant sugars matures which is 6-7 years.

We literally have acres and acres of dry and semi- arid land in Northern Kenya. The perfect place to start sisal plantations since the land is cheap and local can get jobs. Like West Pokot is perfect.

All this has been in Kenya for almost a century and no one knew they could create Tequila is astonishing.

According to the video you posted 150 lbs (70 kg) of Agave produces 2.5 gallons (10 l) of tequila. In 2019 Mexico produced 352m liters of Tequila. To capture a quarter of the market, we would need to produce at least 90 m liters of tequila. Best case scenario according to you is we can produce 2500 kg of Agave per ha which will give 360 l of tequila. To produce 90 m liters of tequila in 1 year you need to cultivate 250,000 ha (600,000 acres) of land per year. The crop takes 8 years to grow. So to have a sustainable supply you need at least 2 million ha (5m acres) under constant cultivation.
$1.5 b revenue from 5m acres under cultivation gives an average revenue of $300 per acre per annum. In my opinion and with my amateur back of the envelope calculation. If you don’t have wild Agave growing that you can simply just harvest, it’s not worth it.

Planting an acre for 8 years. Then processing the harvest further in expensive distilleries for god knows how long else to get an average revenue of $ 300 USD is madness when you can grow ginger on that 1 acre and get revenues of 10,000 USD within 8 months with no need for further processing.

Don’t want you to diminish your argument but:

Agave sisalana can be distilled to make a tequila-like liquor, but true tequila is produced from Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave.

Agave sisalana: Cacti and succulents: Featured plants: Biology Building Greenhouse: Indiana University Bloomington
Who knows, maybe the blue agave can grow in Kenya. It’s never been tried.

Weka pyrethrum in the mix.That was one good cash crop

Blue agave has grown in Kenya. Mzungu farm ya Kristos has a mix of different agave plants. And they get huge.

It would be cool if someone was like let me see if I can make alcohol from this…

So capital and land. Currently there’s about 10-16 thousand acres with agave. But this number has been falling as land is being subdivided

Theres more than enough idle land in Kenya. Biggest landowners being Delamare Family and Kenyatta Family.

A solid decade of planting and waiting.

We should start by making potato vodka since we have lots of potatoes.

Or sugar cane rum, since tumeshindwa kutengeneza sugar.

If the Caribbeans can do it, we can also do it.

Look at what is happening to Keroche Breweries, understand this. Kenya is a business and the owners want their dividends, nothing personal just good business.

Try it. It’s real easy. Vodka is a spirit. So it does not require aging. Bring us samples to test for quality.

The local distillers in Kenya just make cheap alcohol.

There’s a very strong demand for high quality liquor which we can make here in Kenya. I’m very much interested one of the few projects I will do when I return home.