February 01, 2014   by

HOW YOUR CHAMA CAN INVEST IN ONION FARMINGSupposing your Chama has ten people and you save Kshs.3,000 each. Did you know that with the Kshs.30,000 you collect you can start a viable venture that will rake in cash beyond your wildest dreams. Perhaps your Chama has a piece of land lying idle why not do something that will bring in millions. That’s what onion farming is all about. If you don’t have land, you can opt to lease land and still make lots of cash. This is a simple business that requires little capital and has huge returns. Here’s how to go about it.

The red onion has a shelf life of up to six months which makes it a favourite among buyers. It matures in four months and does well in warm climates thus you can grow onions practically anywhere in Kenya. For onions to do well you require fertile, well drained soils.

The cost of production for the onions would include the purchase of seeds of about Kshs.4,800. Ploughing would be approximately Kshs700 as well as furrowing at Kshs500. For weeding you need to spend about Kshs.700. A day’s job for nursery establishment costs Ksh1,500 for labourers. Nursery irrigation which should be done four times a week, costs Kshs.1,000. Cost of spraying for the nursery would cost Kshs1500. Fertilizer that aids in development of the onions costs Ksh.2,150. Then followed by top dressing at kshs.2,200. Fungicides and insecticides are recommended to rid the onions off notorious insects. Together they cost approximately Kshs4,800.
There is a certain hormone, a growth booster that is also applied on the second month at a cost of Ksh400 as well as a fungicide to remove stubborn fungi costs Ksh1,500. Total spending at this point before the onions mature is Ksh23,750.00

From a quarter acre farm of red onions one can harvest up to 4,500 kg quality grade onions and a kilo costs Kshs60 with the total output being Kshs.270,000. This means planting the onions three times a year will give you Kshs1.8 million shillings.

Incase of wholesale production, you can get a ready market at Wakulima market with the current statistics indicating that the market is heavily under supplied with the highly preferred red onions. Small orders are preferred by supermarkets and grocery stores and this option gives you a better price per kilo. You can buy your seeds from Kenya Seed along Kijabe Street.

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