Seven Most Profitable Crops To Plant In 2024

The year 2024 started so well for people in agribusiness, the continuing El-nino rains being a great blessing. Despite the prevailing tough economic times, the unusual January rains made the agribusiness ventures all the more exciting.

As Kenya continues to solidly take its place in the international horticultural market, many new collaborations and agents have come up, helping even the small-scale farmers get their produce to the markets abroad. The youth are also coming in with ever more advanced technologies that have not only brought farming solutions nearer to the farmer but also made them more affordable. While agribusiness in Kenya is on a fast growth, the following crops have an even greater potential in 2024:

1. Blueberries 

I didn't know that there were blueberry farmers in Kenya until the high price of the fruit triggered my curiosity about its farming. When I realized that a kg of blueberries costs over Ksh2,000, my first thought was that the reason for the pricing was that the berries were imported. Well, my thoughts weren't far from the truth because I discovered there's only 1 commercial blueberry farmer in Kenya; Kakuzi. 

Blueberry farming in Kenya

Kakuzi is enjoying a sweet monopoly of growing the highly sought-after blueberries. This company, which is also the largest exporter of Hass avocado in Kenya, knows something about the profitability of blueberry farming that many Kenyan farmers don't. Bearing in mind that Kenya has ideal climatic conditions for the production of these sweet berries, it is a lack of information that has kept many farmers from investing in it. If you would like to learn about its cultivation, here's a step-by-step guide I have written for you: Blueberry farming in Kenya: The New Gold in Agribusiness

2. Dragon fruit

I am so happy about the popularity that this fruit has recently gained: not among farmers but among consumers. I am particularly excited about how children love it. We first made mention of this fruit last year but one, and it was received by some with skepticism, terming its farming a scam like that of quail farming. Now, its wonderful reception in the local market has opened many investors' eyes to the income potential that the fruit offers. 

Dragon fruit is a relatively new crop on the Kenyan soils but the kind of profit potential it has leaves everyone who gets to know about it in awe. 

 

dragon fruit farming in Kenya
Dragon fruit farming in Naivasha, Kenya

Take one acre for example: dragon fruit plants are vines of  the cactus family. As such, they have to be provided with support such as a post or a concrete structure to remain erect. The ideal spacing for dragon fruits is 2x2m which means an acre can accommodate 1,000 of these support posts. On each post, 2 vines are planted hence the plant population per acre is 2,000. Each of these vines can give you 30 fruits per year, each fruit weighing on average 0.5kg. That translates to a yield of 30,000 kgs per acre every year. 

 

Now what's crazy is the price of the fruit per acre and I would like you to check this out for yourself if you are lucky to be near a supermarket that stocks these fruits. When we last checked in Dec 2022, the price was at Ksh800 per kilo at the farm gate of the largest dragon fruit farm in Kenya so far, Boffar farm, Naivasha. Have you done the math? It comes to Ksh24 million per acre per year. 

 

Of course, the price of dragon fruit in Kenya at the moment is too high because 90% of the fruits that reach our supermarket shelves are imported. As more farmers take up dragon fruit farming in Kenya, the price of the fruit will come down. Going by the statistics of the fruits we currently produce and sell locally such as strawberries, a sustainable price will be in the range of 400 per kg. But even with such, a farmer will still be making a cool Ksh12 million per acre every year. The best thing about dragon fruit farming is that once you establish your farm, you have over 30 years to reap from it. You can visit Richfarm Kenya's demonstration farm in Kiritiri Embu or call them on 0724698357 / 0723213602 for more information. 

dragon fruit seedlings for sale kenya
Dragon fruit seedlings for sale at Richfarm Kenya

You should also read "Why Dragon Fruit is Set to Be the Next Big Thing in Kenya's Farming Business"


3. Passion fruit

passion fruit farming in Kenya
If you are looking for a high-value crop that can produce an income within 6 months, take a look at passion fruit farming. Passion fruit farming has nearly unlimited advantages from extended life span exceeding three years after establishment to ability to intercrop.
While the capital needed to start a good size of passion fruit farm is not very low, the benefits and profit are worth every investment you make. Demand for passion fruits has continued to rise in 2022, especially with the coming of Covid 19 which has made people want to eat more healthy foods, more so fruits.
In the wake of health awareness, companies like Coca-cola, Afia juices and Del-Monte are also doing more in fruit juice production. Some of them are already sourcing various fruits from farmers to tap fresh fruits processing segments. Despite all the interest by fresh drink processors, the supply of this fruit has been low even this year. This presents an opportunity for you as a farmer.

The crop produces high yields under proper care, for instance, a yield of 50,000kg of passion fruit per hectare has been reported in Kenya. The average price of one kilo of passion fruits is Sh50 in various market centres in the country. However, you can still sell at a higher price through direct marketing. From one hectare, it’s possible to earn over Sh2,000,000; an earning that exceeds many other farming enterprises.

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Furthermore, the maturity and ripening of the fruits, does not happen at the same time; some take three days others one week while others two weeks. This is an advantage, as it will allow you to harvest weekly, and have time to market the produce. Starting as a small grower you will find lots of eager buyers at your neighbourhoods and supermarkets.

4. Strawberries

The demand for strawberries is bursting at the seams and the supply is low. This is because of the strawberry flavour that is used in the production of yoghurt, ice-creams, jams and in perfumes. Companies that use these fruits in Kenya are relying on imports. This is sufficient justification why strawberry farming is and will remain lucrative agribusiness in the years to come. Strawberries can grow in almost every part of our country provided there is constant water supply and stable temperature.
A one eighth of an acre would be adequate for a beginner but if you are in an urban setting you can invest in a few containers (which you can then put in your backyard) and start farming. It takes about 70 days for the crop to mature and produce the first fruits. But because the fruits are highly perishable (stays fresh for four to five days after harvesting), it is advisable to start looking for market early enough to avoid incurring losses.

An eighth piece of land can produce between 30 kg and 50 kg of strawberries per week and each kilo goes for about Sh200 at the current wholesale market price. Now assuming your small farm produces 50 Kgs per week then that means you can make Sh40,000 per month using only a small portion of your land.

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Once you plant them, 70 days down the line you will get your first harvest. This will continue for up to three years with two to three harvesting seasons every year. Like any other business with attractive returns, strawberry farming in Kenya requires capital. Chandler is the most popular variety. Strawberries are runners, so once you plant, you do not need to buy other seedlings as you can propagate them by removing the splits from the parent plant.

You don’t have to be an agriculture expert to succeed in strawberry farming. All you need to do is find a good piece of land. Then you need to source for the right seedlings – and this is where you need to contact Richfarm Kenya on 0724698357 for assistance. Alternatively, you can talk to other successful farmers in your area for assistance in sourcing for the right variety.

5. Mushrooms

I love to refer to mushroom farming in Kenya as the new Gig for youthful investors. Its production has of late captured the attention of the young Kenya’s farming community with most farmers posting amazing profits. Mushrooms are land and rainfall independent hence making them the better option for those looking to maximize revenue from their small pieces of land. For those without space to establish commercial horticultural gardens, growing mushrooms for profit can produce a great return from a small space.

Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, make sense, as they can be grown indoors without soil. They only require a house and your attention. Mud thatched houses can create the right climate for mushroom growing. The demand in Kenya is unsatisfied with data indicating that we are only producing 500 tonnes of these mushrooms against an annual demand of 1,200 tonnes.
Mushrooms can be grown using various substrates from agricultural wastes such as cereal straws such as maize stalks, bean stalk, wheat straw Coffee pulp, coffee husks, paper waste, papyrus, water hyacinth, banana fronds etc. Cotton husks, maize cobs, banana leaves, papyrus, grass straw, paper wastes, sugarcane bagasse and hay. Spawns ‘seeds’ can now be easily obtained from Richfarm Kenya.

Oyster mushrooms, for example, produce around 10kg per square foot of growing space in a year’s time. At the current price of Sh400 a kilo, that’s Sh400,000 worth of mushrooms from a 10’x10′ space! Exotic mushrooms do not travel well, so as a small local grower you will always have an edge over distant producers. In most supermarkets, the oyster mushrooms are also the first items to sell out. 

You can see more details about mushroom the mushroom market and profitability in Kenya in this article: How Profitable is Mushroom farming in Kenya: Costs and market analysis. 


Before, mushroom farming has been a very complicated venture requiring lots of chemistry, biology and attention. So many people were discouraged by this but not now, Richfarm Kenya has simplified it so much that anyone can do it. There are training sessions every week and starters can even buy already prepared and seeded mushroom production bags such that they are in production in less that 1 month. 


6. Onions

Although onion prices reached the lowest in 2020 with a kg selling for as low as Ksh20 at the farm gate, this is a crop that is still worth a shot at. It is not so much of a goldmine as it was in previous years but my prediction is that there is going to be an abnormal rise in onion prices very soon since so many farmers abandoned the crop when the prices went low and remained so for a long time.

Done well, 1 acre of onions should yield 20,000 kgs or more. If you sell the crop at Ksh20 per kg, your revenue will be Ksh400,000 in just 5 months. The cost of production usually goes to an average of Ksh120,000 per acre so you are still making profits. The kill will be when these prices start going up, most likely in early 2021, something that seems sure to happen. Can you imagine how much you will earn if you harvest your 20 tons when the price are at 80 per kg! That is not a far dream; the prices have many times been on such a high. 



7. Pawpaws

This is a crop that few farmers  consider and that is where the opportunity lies. It is a tree that is quite resistant to dry conditions and hardy to pests and diseases. Once planted and well established, just a little care will be required from time to time.

There are various varieties of pawpaw and now we even have the dwarfs which start producing fruits from the ninth month. With a line spacing of 2 m and tree-to-tree spacing of 2m, one acre can carry 1100 trees. Each of these trees produces 40 to 50 kg of fruit every year giving you about 40 to 50 tons of fruit per acre every year. With a kg selling at an average of  sh.30, you can easily make 1.2 to 1.5 million shillings from an acre of pawpaw every year.

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The initial cost of planting an acre of pawpaw is low since each seedling can be bought at an average of 50 shillings meaning you will only need 55,000 shillings to buy seedlings for one acre. The rest is labour and a bit of fertilization. The cost would hardly exceed 100,000 shillings. 

Bonus: Off-Season mangoes


I know you can hardly convince a Kenyan that mango farming is profitable. Unfortunately, this is a view held because of lack of knowledge. Mango farming in Kenya is very profitable but for a few farmers who have mastered the business of doing things in a unique way. 

Instead of planting the ordinary mangoes whose fruits have more fiber than edible flesh, they plant unique, high quality varieties. These fruits have high eating quality, they mature after other ordinary varieties are finished and they have an extremely higher yield. 

Most importantly, these mangoes can be processed through simple dehydration methods and packed in air-tight bags. This process preserves the fruits making it possible to sell them off the supermarket shelves for a very long time, not to mention that the price becomes premium. 

Have I raised your interest? There is a lot more about the business of mango farming in Kenya that I have written in detail. Read it from this article: Mango Farming In Kenya: How To Grow The Best Mangoes For Export

Well, while dragon fruit caps our list of the five most profitable crops in Kenya this year, we have two unique crops we would like you to research more about:
1. Kiwi fruit: Please read "The Basics of Kiwi Fruit Farming in Kenya"


If you need more assistance, do not hesitate to call us directly on 0724698357 / 0723213602 or email us on info@richfarmkenya.com

31 comments :

Anonymous said...

how can i get seed of this all thinks

Anonymous said...

At Dutch seed center, our farmers doing onion production confirmed it. One well manages acre of onions, a farmer can get up to 25tones of yield and if he or she sells a kg at 1000Ugx farm get price, they are able to 25M just in 4moths with an investment Capital of about less than 3millions Uganda shillings

Anonymous said...

Which of this crops can do well in Kinangop? The weather there is very cold

Anonymous said...

Have you ever dealt with propagation of bitter cola (kola) nut tree in Kenya? If so where can one get seedlings within Kenya.

Anonymous said...

Hello thank you go or posting this. You mention later maturing varieties - which ones are you referring to? Regards

Anonymous said...

Which fruit type can do well near Aberdare ranges

Richfarm Kenya said...

Here plant apples, plums, pears, kiwi, Hass avocado, peaches, passion fruits, tree tomato, granandila or goose berries

Richfarm Kenya said...

Which crop are you referring to specifically?

Richfarm Kenya said...

Sorry we have never

Richfarm Kenya said...

In kinangop, grow tree tomato, sweet granandila, Hass avocado, peaches, pears and plums

Richfarm Kenya said...

True, we fail to make money in farming because we do not follow the right steps.

Richfarm Kenya said...

Call Richfarm Kenya on +254724698357 / +254723213602

Anonymous said...

Which crops can do well in kuria area

Anonymous said...

Which crops to do in Kiambu on the highlands parts?

Anonymous said...

Can strawberries be planted in Isiolo?

Anonymous said...

Hello. Which crops can do best in Nyeri, Kieni?

Anonymous said...

Which plants do well in coast semi arid areas

Richfarm Kenya said...

Yes they can be planted under a net house that will reduce the heat of the direct sun.

Richfarm Kenya said...

Blueberries, dragon fruits, onions and pawpaw will be best in Kyeni.

Richfarm Kenya said...

Go for purple Passion fruits, strawberries and the bunching onions in the highlands of Kiambu.

Richfarm Kenya said...

You are blessed in Kuria since it is a warm climate that can support all the crops we have highlighted here. I would suggest that you start with dragon fruits and pawpaws because of their ease of growing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thanks for the insightful article about fruits ti plant in 2024.what berryfruits do well in Nyeri Tetu area and do you have vanilla pod seedlings

Anonymous said...

What's the best crop around Kano area black cotton soil high temperatures

Anonymous said...

Can all this do well in Bondo, Siaya County?

Anonymous said...

Greetings Rich Farm Kenya 🇰🇪,
Can strawberries/ blue berries do well in Machakos? Why aren't watermelons not in your list?
Do you do trainings?

Thank you in advance

Anonymous said...

What's your opinion in the profitability of avocados and do you think the supply is currently too high

Anonymous said...

what fruits will do well in Nyandarua ?

Jopestkil Kenya said...

This wonderful farming practices. And also pest control naturally.

Anonymous said...

Am in laikipia specifically sipili the farm has black cotton soil what varieties can do well there

Anonymous said...

What of chayote

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this

What would you recommend for Kilifi?