How I built a profitable fruit farm with 7000 Kenya shillings as capital

How I built a profitable fruit farm with 7000 Kenya shillings as capital

Mkulima today is a story of resilience and building a farm with over 500,000 seedlings consisting of trees and fruits. Some 2 kilometers from the Lela junction on the Kisumu Busia highway sits Rose Oyoo’s seedlings and fruit farm. This is a story of how I built a profitable fruit farm with 7000 Kenya shillings as the capital by Rose the proprietor.

The one-acre farm is adjacent to River kisian enabling the farmer to have a constant supply of freshwater to irrigate the crops.

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Fruit farming

She has partitioned the farm into two portions. One side of the farm is used for the propagation of the seedlings and one is left for demo purposes.

The farm is called green tree society and was started six years ago with a group of 7 women.

At the farm, you will be able to identity 300 dwarf pawpaw trees, yellow passion fruits, and a few avocado trees.

The farm started as a tree nursery farm and has grown in the previous years. The capital of starting the venture was contributed by the 7 members with each contributing the sum of 7000 shillings. Quick calculations total 49,000 shillings.

Before starting production, the members were trained on seeds

  • Selection
  • Germination
  • Grafting
  • Pests and diseases control
  • Plant maintenance

Just like with other business ventures the group broke apart as a result of revenue streams. This was mainly a result of marketing challenges.

After the group members decided to call it a day all members received their initial contribution of 7000 shillings. However, the lady was determined and decided to build her own venture with her contribution as startup capital.

She started by doing trees but clients kept asking for fruits that she didn’t have. As a result, she decided to buy from other farmers in order to meet the market demand.

With a daily effort, the business improved and later she moved to her current location.

Mkulima today the farm hosts some 500,000 seedlings that include indigenous trees, shade trees, fruit trees both for fencing and the use as a snake repellant plant species.

Job creation

The mother of five employs eight people to support her in running the business. Though she owns the farm she has a full-time job that she reports to on a daily basis.

The community is happy with the jobs created on the farm both directly and indirectly. One of the staff is George Oluoch a grafting officer who oversees quality seedlings production.

Mr. Oluoch mainly works with women during the grafting process of fruits like mangoes, passion, and avocados.

Certification

Eucalyptus and gravellier seedlings cost 10 shillings on the farm while those of fruits range from 150 to 300 shillings.

For other special items like pawpaw the retail price shillings 50 per piece.

Some of the farms’ clients include NGOs, farmers, and community-based organizations. Mainly the clients come from Kisumu county and the surrounding counties.

She says in a good month she can sell hundreds of trees to clients.

To have quality seeds from the seedling vendors ensure they have relevant papers as required by law. The farm has a certificate from KEPHIS, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service that was issued after the farm was inspected.

Prof Dida of Maseno University says most fruit tree seedlings suffer from fungal infection. Some fungal infections are spread by wind. It is best to identify the type of fungal infection and get the relevant fungicide to deal with the infection.

Common fungal diseases that affect fruit seedlings include

  • black rot
  • Rust and

These fungal diseases can sometimes affect the leaves and plant stem.

Having an agribusiness question? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture or story that you wish to share? I would like to hear from you. Send me the TIP(s) at mkulimatoday@gmail.com

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