It’s A Sweet Weekly Or Daily Income From Strawberry Farming In Kenya

Lately, strawberry farming in kenya has become much more popular than the former days when all the fresh berries we go on our supermarket shelves were imported. But so has the demand for not only the fresh fruits but also for various strawberry products. Most of us walk into a supermarket and ask for strawberry jam, yoghurt, juices, cookies or even lotions and perfumes.

However, companies like trufood, zesta, Brookside, KCC among others are still importing these strawberries to use in their daily production needs with outlets such as supermarkets and hotels requesting for more of them day in day out. It is crystal clear that there is demand for this sweet soft red fruit of Fragaria genus here in Kenya.

Why are these companies importing? This is simply because the Kenyan farmers are not producing enough. Very few farmers in the country have taken up strawberry production and they have been smiling all the way to the bank on weekly basis; others talk of daily basis. 

strawberry farming in kenyaAlexander Mwengi is one of the farmers who are struggling to satisfy the demand for strawberries in Kenya. He has a farm in Machakos which is almost 1/8 of an acre and he has been doing strawberry farming for almost a year now. He is happy! 

According to Alex, strawberry farming can make you a tidy income if you give it the attention in requires. He is selling more than 15 kilos every week via MFarm at a price of Ksh 320 per kg (Ksh 200 more than he gets if he sells to brokers) making over Ksh 4800 weekly. Remember, this is from his less-than-1/8 of an acre. Imagine if he was doing ¾ acre or so! We would be talking of over Ksh 28,000 per week. 

Let’s go to central Kenya, Nyeri. Robert is one of the farmers who are enjoying the strawberry-flavoured cash. He has a ¾ acre strawberry farm which is giving him 150 kg of strawberries per week (his crop density is much higher than for Alex). He sells to brokers at a price of Ksh 150 per kg pocketing over Ksh 22,000 a week. And this he does every week during the harvesting season, which happens to be on the warm months of the year. 

From all the farmers I interviewed, strawberry farming is good business for serious farmers. The demand is available, a high one for that matter. Alex and Robert among other farmers can attest to that.

“You can’t fail to sell the strawberries; they are in high demand as we speak now. All you need is plant and take care of them” Robert commented. 

The good news!

Once you plant them, 70 days down the line you will get your first harvest. And guess what!! This will continue for up to 3 years with 2 to 3 harvesting seasons every year. It will depend on the variety planted with chandler one being the most favoured in Kenya. For 3 years you will be milking your ‘cash cow’ 3-4 times a week during harvesting period as long as you constantly keep your plants healthy(just like any other business venture, they will need your attention).

With the berries going out of season during rainy season, you can crop-rotate them with other rainy season crops from different family for continued revenue stream. Another good thing is that you can propagate the seedling from your plantation as long as the propagules are disease free. Just like grass, you can expand your plantation size without necessarily going to the seedling supplier again. The information on how to do that is in the Strawberry Production Guide below. 

But, relax!

This is not like quail farming with all the hype of good money and very little cost of production. This is for serious farmers only. Capital requirement for this business venture is rather high. And this is why very few farmers have started it. A seedling goes for an average of Ksh 20 depending on your location with a 1/8 of an acre requiring over 3,000 seedlings. Can you handle that? 

strawberry farming guide pdf
Strawberry farming guide for Kenya

However, you can beat this challenge by not rushing into the business. For a start, buy only a few seedlings, as many as you can afford. 

Grow and take care of them and from their runners, propagate more seedlings and keep expanding your farm. If you remain focused and put in your effort, soon you will be dancing in rich harvests and a tidy weekly income.

You must also have sufficient information to ensure a smooth start. Luckily, all you need to start and grow in well explained in the Strawberry Production Guide below. You can now request for it from our Resources Page

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