Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blogging from Kilimo 2

Farm Budgets and the Enterprise-Mix Updates Sample Survey
In the second week of May I was assigned the task of going to the field under the consultant who had been hired by MoA with support of ASPS to carry out the above survey.
During this survey I learned a great deal from the Kiambu farmers i.e. the district in which our team was undertaking the survey.
Although, we are still crunching/analyzing the data there are some new information one could pick from the ground such as the emerging farming trends. Most of the notable observations were emerging crop being grown most notably mushrooms and horticulture.
From the survey I picked up that a Kilo of Mushroom retails in the Market at an average price of Kshs. 400 per Kg and gives a monthly income of about Kshs 30,000 if you operate a small shed (growing mushrooms).
Major challenges faced by farmers
  • It requires a lot of capital to start i.e. Building a shed, securing wheat straw.
  • Requires a lot of attention in terms of man hours i.e. (Labour)
  • It requires raw materials that need to be sourced from specific regions (Wheat straw). This means that Mushroom farmers highly depend on Wheat farmers i.e. after the harvesting of wheat, mushroom farmers source the wheat straw. Hence during the current season there was a shortage of wheat straw due to the drought that had affected wheat crop.
  • It is affected by diseases if the minimum conditions of mushroom farming are NOT met.
  • The housing part requires constant repair.

Mushroom growing shed

Mushroom growing in the shed

Mushroom growing in the shed 2


Courgettes farming is slowly replacing tomatoes farming in the fields. The farmers are replacing tomatoes enterprises with courgettes enterprises. According to farmers tomatoes have become susceptible to diseases and planting tomatoes in the same farm for more than one season results in poor yields.
Courgettes fetch an average price of Kshs 500 per crate.

3. Chicken Farming Enterprise

Chicken farming enterprises

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