How to start an agribusiness in Kenya – There is a far fetched notion in Kenya that agribusiness is a ‘rural man’s’ venture. However, this rural man’s venture is a multi-million goldmine that very few Kenyans know of. Agribusiness is considered the backbone of Kenya’s economy, contributes to 24% of Kenya’s GDP and accounts to 65% of Kenya’s exports. The agricultural sector has proven to be the saving grace for the unemployed in Kenya; especially the youth. Take for example Eric Mumo, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology First Class Graduate who started his agribusiness with Ksh. 150,000 and grew it into a Ksh. 16 Million business. Or Fabian Kibet, the Eldoret University Media graduate who earned his first million at the farm. Agriculture is a lucrative business venture for those who are willing to seek to research, save money, time and seek farming knowledge.
Are you thinking of dipping your feet in the farming industry? Here is how you can start your agribusiness in Kenya.
Before you think of setting up your agribusiness, you need to know what type of produce you want. There are many agribusiness ideas out there; tomato farming, poultry rearing, egg supply, potato farming, vegetable production, dairy farming, fruit farming; the list is literally endless! What can help your decision, is doing a market research of demand and supply of various products in whichever area you are in Kenya. Will the idea you choose thrive there? How is the climate in your area, will your idea be favored by your environment? A good is example are small time potato farmers who sell their potatoes in Ongata Rongai, where potato production is almost non-existent while demand is high. This is a good move as opposed to selling potatoes in Meru where production is at an all-time and the demand is low. You can also find a niche sector that few farmers have tapped in to for example earthworm rearing for the purpose of use by other farmers.
It is crucial to think about product and place in the case of agribusiness, unless you want to be your own consumer.
Do you have any savings for your desired business? Many successful started their businesses from their personal savings and loans from close relatives; not necessarily banks or investors. The good thing about agribusiness is that not many ideas need a lot of money. For example, if you want to start poultry farming you will need good fencing, chicks, chicken feed, chicken shelter and water supply which may cost a minimum of Ksh. 30,000 for decent quality material. Mushroom farming on the other hand can be started with as low as Ksh. 10,000. Businesses like Dairy Farming need an upward of Ksh. 100,000. Depending on your idea, do thorough market research, talk to business owners already in that niche and find out the minimum amount you need, save or raise more than that.
You don’t need to have a very complicated business plan for your agribusiness in Kenya; you only need a blueprint to help you plan things such as funds allocation, farm location, possible bills, etc. If you find trouble writing your business, contact us and we will walk you through this process.
A lot of farmers skip this step because they take agribusiness as a ‘less formal’ type of business venture. However, your agribusiness will still need to be registered and set up as a company, a sole proprietorship or a Partnership, for the purposes of formalizing your business and making it easy to do business with corporate clients like supermarkets or even financiers like Banks and Saccos. We are happy to help you set up your business within ten working days.
Once you have all the necessary documentation, you can go ahead and set up your business; whether it’s selling milk, eggs; poultry, you are good to go. Make sure you market your business strategically reaching as many people as you can. Your friends and family should always be your first customers. Make use of social for online marketing and depending on the range of products, you can open have a website and online store for more professionalism.
All in all, like any other business, agribusiness is not easy, just like any other business out there, farmers face challenges. They range from pests and disease, irregular and harsh weather conditions, to financial difficulties. However, they are hardships that can be overcome with, again, thorough research on your niche and financial discipline. Contact us today for a Free Business Consultation on how to start an agribusiness in Kenya and enjoy the fruits of agribusiness!