Money Monday

Excelling In Farming On A Low Budget


Is lack of money and lack of land your main hindrance to farming?

At Kilimo Insight, we purpose to heightening the accessibility of agricultural information and inspire the younger generation of farmers to look at agriculture as an economic venture, whether or not they have accessibility to land, and, or money.

Today we highlight a few tips that could get you going as an agricultural enthusiast who is cash strained.

Zero Budget Farming: This farming method also known as natural farming reduces the reliance of capital and loans to develop and enhance the land. It cuts down on production costs and allows a farmer to spend close to nothing as the crops grown require no tilling of the land, no applied chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

This farming is only suitable for agricultural crops that can survive in low maintainable conditions such as pumpkins, okras, turmeric, garlic, among others. This practice is widely used in India and farmers in Kilifi have adopted the technique.

Leasing of Land: Think of the uncultivated land in different parts of the country. Have you ever thought of leasing a piece with the intention of farming? Land leasing in Kenya is a business venture in itself. From as low as Ksh 10,000 per year, any aspiring farmer can acquire an acre of land in places like Kitengela for French beans, Kitale for maize, Nanyuki for onions, Kitui for passion fruits, Kilifi for cassava, Olkalau for potatoes among others.

Some notable prerequisites of leasing any agricultural land include considering the location, type of farming you intend to undertake, duration of lease, status of the land (has it been cleared or is it a bush) and price. Land leasing advertisements and referrals are a way of generating leads and especially for urban youths.

Bee Farming: As one of the cheapest modes of farming. With a starting capital of Ksh. 5,000, one can construct their own beehive and use the money to purchase the gear necessary (gumboots, gloves, bee suit, smokers) to protect them from bee stings. Alternatively, one can part with an additional Ksh 10,000 to purchase the beehive.

Due to their minimalistic space consumption, the bee hives can be set up in a bush, neighbor’s land (of cause with permission) or on high grounds like trees. To attract the bees, one can make a mixture of sugary solutions or pour juice in the hive.

Low Cost Greenhouse Farming: Establishing a commercial greenhouse may be labour intensive and costly, hence the assumptions of high capital required to set up a green house. However, the launch of a miniature greenhouse by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), has made it possible for one get a greenhouse for as low as Ksh 45,000.

This greenhouse is constructed using locally sourced materials where an automated drip irrigation system and solar powered sensors are installed. One may use water harvesting techniques to direct water back in the drip lines for watering the plants.

Urban Farming: Where most residential complex buildings have balconies, rooftops and kitchen gardens, this type of farming is increasingly becoming popular due to the use of minimal spaces. Quick wins would include growing vegetables from sacks and tins and selling them at a profit, as Kenyans have increased their liking for a healthy lifestyle. Urban youths can engage in the practice that will see cities grow their own food. 5 reasons why balconies and terraces are your new farms


Wanjiru Kiarie

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