For a long time, agriculture has been touted as the backbone of the Kenyan economy. That is true. Lying on the equator, Kenya boasts a climate that is very friendly to crops with the sunshine balancing out the plentyfull of rain throughout the year.
The lack of extreme seasons like icy-cold winters or scorching summers make it a very farmer-friendly region to exist in. How better to take advantage of this than to start an agribusiness?
The rise of health conscious movements in this generation has resulted in a lot of people, both globally and locally, turning towards organically grown food choices and shunning factory-processed foods. This presents a growing market for farm produce that any entrepreneur worth their salt would at.
But how do you go about starting an agribusiness?
Look into what kind of farming has the best returns for you or the one that you can comfortably manage. This could be either planting crops or animal rearing. Even then, look at what kind of crops or animals you would be interested in farming. Some crops take longer than others to mature, some require delicate handling and a little bit of technology to get to the market.
Some animals may not survive in certain climates and other require large tracts of land to tend to.
You can also research the market. If demand is the whole reason to get into farming, it helps to look at the trend of the demand. Has it been long term? What are the industry experts saying? Avoid demand that suddenly shoots because this could be a false positive. We all remember the quail boom that unfortunately left many would-be entrepreneurs with a surplus of birds they didn’t know what to do with.
After researching, plan on how you are going to start and run your business. What part of the supply chain are you intending to occupy? Will you be a farmer, a middleman or the final seller in the market?
This plan should also include your budget, timeline and location where you’d like to set up your business.
Finally, you need to find a market to sell your products. This can either be locally or internationally. Pick a market that offers the best returns for you without costing a lot. Network and create business connections with potential buyers if you are looking to be a long term supplier. Also check if there are any laws or certificates that you need to apply for before selling in your chosen market.
Finally, just like any entrepreneur, a lot of things will be learnt on the ground. Keep your eyes open and listen to feedback both from fellow players in the industry and customers too. This will go a long way.