Are you looking for the most profitable agribusiness idea in 2024? This article will give you a list of the top money-making investment ideas in the agriculture, food, and drink sectors of Kenya and the East Africa region in general.
According to Agcenture consulting firm, one can easily invest at any stage of the agriculture value chain or the food system. You can fit as a farm input supplier, farmer or grower, food trader or broker who buys and sells farm produce at a profit. The other promising areas are food processing and value-addition or specialization in provision support services like transport and consulting as later explained. If you are consistent and creative, the agriculture sector has a huge potential to create jobs and income for you.
These top ideas are;
- Best Agribusiness Ideas in Farming
- Best Agribusiness ideas in farm input supplies
- Best Agribusiness ideas in service provision
- Top Agri-Business Ideas in Value Addition & Food Processing
- Best Agribusiness ideas in the food trade
Best Agribusiness Ideas in Farming
Commercial farming or “Kilimo biashara” is the raising of crops and livestock and selling them or their produce at a profit. To succeed in it, consider 2 tips. first, ensure your farming is efficient to raise high-quality products. Second, grow the crop variety or animal breed with the highest demand in the market to get high profits. Finally, look out for the emerging trends in farming as a business such as organic farming, and observe food safety standards likely to impact your profits.
According to research, the most profitable farming ideas in Kenya are chicken, dairy, pig, vegetable and tree farming.
In poultry farming, you make a lot of money by raising chicken for white meat and eggs. The price of 1 kg of chicken meat in Kenya is Ksh 500. Similarly, chicken eggs cost Ksh 300-450 per tray. Other ways to make money in poultry farming are selling chicken manure, setting up a mini egg hatchery, or becoming a chicks breeder to sell one-day-old chicks to farmers in Kenya and Uganda. Wondering how much money you can make by farming chicken? Explore more from the following chicken farming guides
Read More on Chicken farming in Kenya
Kenya has the 2nd highest milk consumption in Africa. The annual per capita consumption of milk in Kenya is 121 liters per person. This translates to the total demand of milk in Kenya as 5.3 billion liters of milk. As a commercial farmer you can farm this dairy cattle, dairy goats, and camels to produce milk for sale. In addition, you can grow animal fodder such and follow the following suggested tips on how to succeed in dairy farming in Kenya such as zero grazing, feed conservation and investing in milk processing or value addition.
Pig rearing is very profitable and also cheaper for you, they require cheap food and animal drugs. Unlike other livestock types, your pigs mature and are ready for sale in 6 months. In comparison, beef cattle in Kenya mature in 4-7 years. On the downside, you need to observe strict biosecurity measures on your farm. Besides rearing pigs for slaughter, you can make profits by supplying high-quality piglets and weaners, pig food, etc.
Urbanization in Kenya is growing fast, today around 30% of Kenyans live in urban centers, towns, and cities. This trend will continue and it is projected over 50% or over 5 billion of the global population will be urbanites by 2050. These people will need to eat. You can tap into the sector through urban farming business ideas like vertical farming, hydroponics mushroom farming, etc.
Unlike rural farming, urban agriculture requires intensive methods like zero grazing and the use of tech makes it more costly, interestingly, you sell at premium prices making more money.
Commercial tree farming is a low-risk agriculture business for you. Little maintenance is required and you can tend to them effortlessly. It is a top agribusiness idea for Kenyans in the diaspora or telephone farmers who wish to invest in their rural farms while living in towns.
There are three types of tree farming you can try; Orchard (fruit tree) farming, commercial (timber) tree farming, and tree seedlings raising which you can combine with a landscaping business.
Are you looking for money in agriculture? Consider growing high-value vegetables like Okra, and leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage, etc. They have a high demand from January to December. And almost every household has a vegetable in their meals. You irrigate or grow them in greenhouses to ensure consistent quality and quantity of yields.
Best Agribusiness ideas in farm input supplies
There is an untapped business opportunity in supplying farmers and herders with quality farming inputs. You can distribute fertilizers, pesticides, animal feed, and animal drugs at a profit. Some of the top business ideas in the provision of farm inputs are;
Trees, herbs, or vegetable nursery
As a plant raiser, you make money by growing seeds and selling healthy seedlings to farmers. An alternative is to germinate the seeds or propagate other materials on their behalf as a service.
It may require investing in greenhouses and tunnels to grow healthy young plants. Other expenses include transport, planting trays, growing materials, and a clean water supply.
Examples of successful plant raisers in Kenya are Carol Herbs and Isinya Plant Raisers for vegetables herbs and spices. Kakuzi and Oxfarm are the best examples of fruit seedlings.
Provide quality genetic materials to poultry and animal producers for a profit. You can have a pig breeding farm, cattle, goat, or sheep ranch, or a poultry hatchery. You will sell weaner animals and one-day-old chicks after vaccinating them and monitoring their health. Examples of successful breeders are Kukuchic
Agrodealer (agrovet) shops
An online or a local farm store can make you a millionaire in a short period. You will stock crop and animal inputs from suppliers and sell them to rural and urban farmers. Apart from the conventional stock like fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, and vet products like medicines, vaccines, and animal feed, the following are some profitable products to consider;
- Irrigation kits like water pumps, drip lines, watering cans
- Greenhouse materials
- Certified seeds
- Chemical and organic fertilizers
Making and selling organic fertilizers is a profitable agribusiness idea. The demand for it is high as people choose safe organic products. You can make it by composting animal and crop materials like livestock manure, plant waste, municipal sludge, and industrial wastes from food processing and manufacturing like seed cakes, fish bones, grain husks, vinegar residues, blood, and feathers.
Install farm infrastructure(s)
If you are in building and construction, you can generate income from installing farm infrastructure for farmers and other players in the agriculture and food industry, Examples of areas you can tap into are;
Building zero-grazing units, poultry houses, etc, Installing greenhouses, Installing solar electricity and cold rooms as well as drip irrigation lines or boreholes.
Supply Animal feed
Help livestock farmers mitigate the risks of frequent droughts and floods by growing high-quality animal fodder crops like hay for sale. The most nutritious fodder types include Calliandra, Brachiaria, and Napier grass. Besides, you can use market and factory wastes like maize bran seed cakes, and sunflower seeds to mill high-quality animal feed. The other option is to use local resources like insects and worms to formulate homemade animal feed for chicken, pigs, and dairy cattle.
Best Agribusiness ideas in service provision
Which are the best agriculture business ideas for the youth and women? As they have lower control of land and access to loans, offering services to other agribusinesses in the country. offering services have some of the highest returns and its attractive to young people, unlike farming. Here are the top ideas for you.
Fumigation & Spraying services
Help small-scale farmers by giving them crop protection and animal health or vet services. You can set up a fumigation business that will diagnose, treat, and control pests and or diseases affecting their crops and animals. Your ideal business would be bringing young people together to offer spraying services or vaccinate animals.
Make money by offering soil analysis services to crop farmers to identify their soil nutrient content and soil acidity deficient or experiencing a negative soil fertility balance. It is a service offered best like a package by supplying soil fertility correction materials like fertilizers and agriculture lime.
Lease Machines and Equipment
Mechanization in Kenya is low at around 20%. You can buy expensive farm equipment and machinery like tractors, water pumps, or milk coolers for small-scale farmers or traders. They will pay you the rent fee to lease or hire their use. Your agriculture ideas in automation of agriculture will center on financing and maintenance of the farm machinery.
Set up a large transport business that allows farmers to access markets. You will need to collect and ferry goods or farm inputs from farms to towns and vice versa. To make it more efficient gather clients into farmer groups and trading cooperatives to formalize your business. Invest in a modern fleet that uses cold storage trucks or motorcycles, specialized vehicles like solar milk coolers, and electric tricycles to lower your fuel costs
Set up a professional consulting firm to help entrepreneurs and existing agribusinesses grow and expand. They will outsource your services like record keeping, writing business plans, and market research services. Besides these, you can help traders access export markets and online markets by assisting them in setting up e-commerce sites, digital marketing, and other services like statutory and taxation.
Create jobs and income by helping farmers adopt and use modern technologies in farming, harvesting, food preservation, and processing methods. You will help farmers adopt Good agriculture practices (Gaps) to get high yields and earn higher profits.
Agritech and smart farming
Most of the modern and future agriculture and farming activities will be automated and carried out online. Make money by coding mobile apps, programming information systems, or selling agriculture drones. In addition, businesses need to have social media pages, e-commerce websites, etc.
Top Agri-Business Ideas in Value Addition & Food Processing
In Kenya, Post-harvest losses of animal and crop yields are between 30% and 50%. It is a result of low investments in value addition and processing. You can invest in this area to reduce spoilage of fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and meat that happens in farms or during transit. Manufacturing will help in the diversification of products and the use of by-products. Some of the best investment ideas in reducing food wastage, value addition, food processing, and manufacturing are;
Cold Storage Services
Kenya loses between 30-50% of its perishable farm produce like vegetables, milk and meat to spoilage. You can tap into this area by constructing cold storage where clients can rent space to store their fresh produce. To reduce your costs, try solar-powered cold rooms and coolers.
Establish a poshomill business to buy cereals during the harvest period. Store them and mill them in the shortage period. You will then Package flour and sell it at a profit.
This value addition business idea works by aggregating raw milk from small-scale farmers. You will process it into yogurt, maziwa mala, and other value-added dairy products. Market this at a premium price
Fresh fruit juicing
Collect fruits, nutritious vegetables, and other healthy herbs and spices to extract healthy juices for sale. Target these to health-conscious consumers like those suffering from stomach ailments.
Establish a hotel, roadside food joint (kibanda), or restaurant business to sell cooked meat and other food products. You will source raw foods directly from farmers and add their value by cooking. To make more money and expand your market, use popular food apps like Glovo or Jumia Foods and make home deliveries.
Best Agribusiness ideas in the food trade
You can sell cereals and flour to schools and flour millers can make you more money. To attract the most profits, have a social media page since most people rely on them for initial online shopping
Learn more; How profitable is cereals business in Kenya.
Informal roadside kiosks (mama mboga kiosks) are one of the best-performing small business ideas in agribusiness sector. stock the fast-moving items like fruits, cooked grains, and vegetables for sale. Locate one in a busy estate along a busy feeder road with high traffic.
Food industry trends to watch in 2024
What does the future store for the farming, food, and beverages industry? Understanding these trends will help you to make the right investment decisions. They include major happenings expected this year as well as the emerging issues in the recent past. The seven trends in agriculture to watch in Kenya are;
- Sustainability given the effects of climate risks
- The rising cost of production and living
- Introduction of GMO foods in Kenya
- Agritech development including smart farming