With over 50 million population, Kenya’s daily demand for food is relatively high. But what are the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya?
Some of the most lucrative vegetables to farm in Kenya include Mushrooms, kale, spinach, cabbage, pumpkins, coriander, onions, tomatoes, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and green beans.
Kenya has a favorable climate that allows for the growth of the most in-demand type of food-vegetables. Moreover, the agricultural sector advancement has resulted in drought-resistant seedlings that maintain quality harvests even in dry seasons.
The new trends like blending pumpkins in chapati making and juicing vegetables to make healthy smoothies have heightened vegetable demand in the country. Hence, it’s a lucrative and long-term venture.
In this guide, we will cover
- The top 11 profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya
- What you need to start each vegetable farming
- Why you should start vegetable farming
- How to stand out from your business rivals
Let’s delve in!
Top 11 Vegetables To Grow in Kenya (That Will Make You Wealthy)
|Vegetable Business||Business Requirements||Expected Returns|
-Warm temperatures(15 to 30 degrees Celsius)
|Kshs 400 to Kshs 600 per kilo|
|2.||Kale||-Planting containers/small farm|
|Kshs 1,000(and above) per day|
|3.||Spinach||-Regular fertilizer application|
|Kshs 1,000(and above) per day|
|4.||Cabbage||-Well-drained and fertile soil|
|Kshs 30,000 and above per harvest|
-Weeding and spraying
|Kshs 20,000 per ton|
|6.||Coriander||-15 to 20 degrees Celsius temperature|
– 6.5 to 7.0 soil PH
-Moderate rainfall 600 mm to 1000 mm
-Plenty of sunlight
|Kshs 30,000 and above per month|
|7.||Onions||-Temperatures of 13 to 24 degrees Celcius|
-Well-drained 6.0 to 7.5 soil PH
-Drip irrigation for consistent moisture
-12 to 14 hours of direct sunlight
|Kshs 1.5 million per harvest (¼ acre-6 tons)|
|8.||Tomatoes||-15 to 35 degrees Celsius temperatures|
-Well-drained and fertile 6.5 to 7.0 soil PH
-600 mm to 800 mm rainfall
|Kshs 850,000 per harvest|
|9.||Passion Fruit||-6.0 to 7.0 soil PH|
-1000 mm rainfall
-18 to 25 degrees Celsius temperatures
|Kshs 1,000,000 per harvest (an acre plantation)|
|10.||Dragon Fruit||-Well-drained soils with 6.5 to 7.0 PH|
-20 to 35 degrees Celsius temperatures
-6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight
|Kshs 750,000 to Kshs 1,950,000 per acre|
1. Grow Mushrooms
(Initial capital Kshs 60,000 – Kshs 250,000)
Mushroom consumers in Kenya import over 700 tonnes annually due to the shortage in the country. Hence, there’s an opportunity for you to mince huge profits when you venture into this business.
You can make Kshs 400 to 600 per kilo in every harvest.
Why Invest in Mushroom Business?
- Mushroom is a nutrient-dense vegetable that attracts millions of consumers in and outside the country. As a result, there’s a growing demand for this vegetable every day.
- Mushrooms are highly profitable when farmed right and can open opportunities for you overseas.
- Once you become a pro in mushroom growing, you can package and export your products to enjoy huge profit margins.
Mushroom Farming Requirements:
The main requirements for mushroom farming include proper shelter, clean water, and warm temperatures between 15 and 30 degrees. You should also learn the different mushroom types’ needs before planting them.
Tip: Start by attending a class from one of the best mushroom farmers and learn best practices to increase profitability. Always stay updated on the trends, for instance, exportation and value addition.
2. Venture into Kale Farming
Commonly known as Sukuma Wiki, kale is among the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya. Their demand is constant, and they are a staple food nationwide.
You can expect to earn from Kshs 1,000 and above daily.
Why Invest in Kale Farming?
- Kale has a high demand since it’s a side dish for many staple foods in the country.
- Kale can grow all year round, no matter the weather
- Kale is easy to grow as it requires less space and less care
- Kales can be harvested multiple times from one plant
- Kales take a short time to mature compared to other vegetables
Kale Farming Requirements
Kale has minimum requirements, including a small farm or containers, manure(you can use livestock waste), watering, and seedlings.
Tip: Since kale is easy to grow, you should establish excellent market links with market sellers and neighbors to supply them with this staple food.
3. Start Growing Spinach
(Initial capital Kshs 5,000 and above)
Spinach is a healthy and affordable vegetable, usually safe for people with acidity conditions. Hence, it faces a high demand nationwide, making it a lucrative venture.
Similar to the kale business, you can earn from Kshs 1,000 and above daily with adequate supply.
Why Invest in Spinach Farming?
- It has a high demand
- It can be used to make salads and juices for sale
- It takes a short time to grow
- You can harvest multiple times from one plant
The main challenge of growing this vegetable is frost and flooding during heavy rainfall due to their short height. You can plant on raised surfaces for planting using methods such as terracing.
Spinach Farming Requirements
To farm spinach, you will need a raised piece of land, fertilizer, and seedlings. Note that fertilizer should be applied after every few weeks for maximum produce.
Tip: Ensure you implement best practices to get maximum produce and profit. Establish a strong market link by connecting with food distributors, restaurants, and local grocers.
4. Farm Cabbage
(Initial capital Kshs 30,000 and above)
From salad to side dishes, cabbages have numerous uses. It blends with almost every meal in the country, which makes it the need of the hour all year round.
Depending on your farm size, you can make at least Kshs 8 per cabbage. This, multiplied by the number of your harvest, say 7,500 cabbages, can result in a minimum profit of Kshs 30,000.
Why Invest in Cabbage Farming?
- Cabbage has a constant demand all year round
- Its high yield can earn you huge profits
- You can use it for other business ventures like salad
The main challenge of this vegetable is maintaining well-drained soil. It also requires intense care from pests and diseases.
Cabbage Farming Requirements
Unlike kale, cabbage requires fertile and well-drained soil. It also requires regular fertilizer application and top dressing doses per the botanist’s recommendation(check the dressing container).
Tip: Learn the best practices and advancements in cabbage farming to keep up with the farming trends. Also, ensure you establish good market links to have a market to supply.
5. Invest in Pumpkin Farming
(Initial capital from Kshs 100,000 and above)
Pumpkins come in varieties, including Kabocha, butternut, and Cheese. Their high nutritional value and diverse uses make it a highly demanded vegetable.
Farming this vegetable will earn you an income of Kshs 20,000 per ton.
Why Invest in Pumpkin Farming?
- They are in high demand
- With a good market link, you enjoy great profit margins
- Pumpkins don’t require much care
The main challenge of pumpkin farming is market connection and preservation difficulties.
Pumpkin Farming Requirements
Pumpkin farming requires land preparation, fertilizer, pesticide, weeding, and spraying to produce maximum and quality harvest.
Tip: Pumpkin farming demands a good market connection to ensure you have a ready market immediately when your pumpkin matures.
6. Begin To Cultivate Coriander
(Initial capital Kshs 10,000 and above)
Coriander is a popular spice in regular and occasional cooking activities. Coriander’s essential oil and extracts have nutritional and medicinal value, making it a great vegetable for most citizens.
You can make Kshs 30,000 and above every month with the right farming practices.
Why Invest in Coriander Farming?
- It takes a shorter time to grow, between 3 to 4 months
- It has a high demand
- It is resistant to common pests and diseases
The main challenge of coriander farming is the cultivation costs. Fortunately, you can minimize this by observing the best practices to ensure you get maximum output that will yield high returns.
Coriander Farming Requirements
Coriander does well in moderate temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, 6.0 to 7.5 soil PH, moderate rainfall, and plenty of sunlight.
Tip: Monitor the cultivation process to avoid exceeding the returns. In addition, network with market food distributors and restaurants to have a ready market for your produce.
7. Start Farming Onions
(Initial capital Kshs 25,000 – Kshs 80,000)
This is the vegetable that can make you a millionaire. Reason? The red and yellow varieties are quite in high demand nationwide. A population of over 50 million people uses onions to cook daily!
Suppose you’re planting a ¼ acre that produces 6 tons of this vegetable; you can earn Kshs 1.5 million per harvest.
Why Invest in Onion Farming?
- Onion has a relatively high demand compared to other vegetables
- They’re a need that cannot be ignored. Remember the onion shortage that hit Kenya in August 2023?
- They are imperishable. With proper drying, they can be stored until you have a ready market.
Onion Farming Requirements
This vegetable requires moderate temperatures of 13 to 24 degrees Celcius, well-drained 6.0 to 7.5 soil PH, drip irrigation for consistent moisture, and 12 to 14 hours of direct sunlight.
Tip: Follow the correct onion farming practices at the right time. This will ensure a quality massive harvest when the market’s demand is high, earning you enormous profits.
8. Establish a Tomato Farming Business
(Initial capital Kshs 155,000)
Tomato farming is one of the most lucrative agribusiness. This vegetable has a high demand in the country and can be used to make different products for sale.
Farming an acre of tomato can yield you up to Kshs 850,000 profits per acre.
Why Invest in Tomato Farming?
- Has a high demand nationwide
- Can be used to make tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and juice for sale
- Has high profit returns
- It’s a need, so its demand is constant
The main challenges of tomato farming are pests, inadequate capital, water access, and poor market connection. You can solve this by learning the best pest measures, preparing irrigation systems, and networking with produce distributors and restaurants.
Also, ensure that you have a good credit score for easy fund acquisition to start farming in due time.
Tomato Farming Requirements
Tomato thrives in temperatures of between 15 to 35 degrees Celsius, well-drained and fertile 6.5 to 7.0 soil PH, and 600 mm to 800 mm rainfall.
Tip: Select the right seed to avoid pest and disease attacks, as it reduces your produce and profits. In addition, attend farming events to connect with key market professionals such as produce distributors and sellers for market links.
9. Farm Passion Fruits
(Initial capital Kshs 500,000 and above)
Passion is a tropical fruit that’s highly sought after due to its multiple uses. Farming this vegetable can make you wealthy, but you must optimize your harvest.
Typically, a well-grown acre of passion fruit can earn you an income of Kshs 1,000,000 and above per harvest.
Why Invest in Passion Fruit Farming?
- It has high profit margins
- Passion fruit has high yield
- It takes a short time to mature 3 to 4 months
The main challenge of farming passion fruit is poor market connection and pests. You can prevent this by networking with key market players and applying pesticides at the right time.
Passion Fruit Farming Requirements
Passion fruits thrive in 6.0 to 7.0 soil PH, 1000 mm rainfall, and 18 to 25 degrees Celsius temperatures. They also require well-drained and fertile soil.
Tip: Since passion fruit has a low shelf life, you must plant at the right time to have a ready market link for immediate sale when you harvest them.
10. Venture into Dragon Fruit Farming
(Initial capital Kshs 3.7 million per acre and above)
Dragon fruit is a versatile vegetable used in making wine, skin products, jam, and juice. Farming this fruit can earn you from Kshs 750,000 to Kshs 1,950,000 profits per harvest in an acre.
Why Invest in Dragon Fruit Farming?
- Dragon fruit has high profit margins
- Dragon fruit has a wide market (within the country and exporting overseas)
- It thrives in Kenya’s high temperatures and little water
The main challenge of farming dragon fruit is the high initial capital. You can partner with other investors or get funding from the government. This will allow you to start small and scale progressively.
Dragon Fruit Farming Requirements
Dragon fruit is a sun-loving vegetable that thrives in well-drained soils with 6.5 to 7.0 PH and 20 to 35 degrees Celsius temperatures. It also does well in low to mid-altitude regions.
Tip: Once you secure enough capital to start dragon fruit farming, you should network and establish good market connections to have a ready market when they ripen.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Vegetables Have the Highest Demand in Kenya?
Spinach, pumpkin, onions, tomatoes, and cabbage are the most in-demand vegetables in Kenya.
2. Which Vegetables Grow Fast in Kenya?
Kale and Spinach are the fastest-growing vegetables followed by mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, onion, pumpkin, and coriander.
Farming is a great way to become wealthy, especially when investing in the 10 most profitable vegetables in Kenya. You can also venture into other agribusiness ideas depending on your passion and knowledge.
Which of the ten vegetables do you find most suitable?