SOKO FARM AGRIBUSINESS CENTRE

Published on June 27, 2014 um 15:44

Summary of your idea

Western provinces accounts for 80% of the sugar produced in the country and in as much as it is a cash crop there, sugarcane farming is entrenched in their culture but the harsh reality to this region is the importation of cheap sugar into the country which is a political issue and part of the regional trading pact (COMESA) hence the farmers situation cant be salvaged. It is for this reason and owing to the current harsh economic conditions that western region farmers need to shed off this cultural sugarcane farming and embrace short term high earning farming methods such as commercial poultry farming, passion fruit, onion, tomato, sweet pepper and strawberry farming. My business idea is premised on the above economic situation in my western province region hence in that regard am planning to set up an agribusiness centre on an acre piece of land whereby I will plant short term high earning crops such as mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, pepper and passion fruits. The agribusiness centre will also have a warehouse whereby processing, grading, packaging, branding, and preservation of the above mentioned crops will be done before they are delivered to the respective markets. I intend to invest a lot of resources in marketing the products both domestically and internationally through liaising with online sites, NGOs and corporate such as fresh produce export association of Kenya (FPEAK). Target market is mostly supermarkets, green groceries and individual consumers both domestically and internationally hence will operate as both a business to business and business to consumer model. The innovative aspect of my business idea lies in the line of business itself as it is unique in terms of operation and too it is a virgin sector that is yet to be fully exploited in light of the opportunities therein.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

Western region climate specifically Kakamega county which lies at an altitude of 1250-2000metres has an average temperature of 20.5C ,rainfall ranges between 1250- 1750 mm per annum hence fairly good weather patterns to make agriculture a major economic activity. Tomatoes require averagely an ecological requirement of 0-2000 altitude above sea level, 760-1300mm of rainfall per annum, passion fruits require an altitude of 1200-200mm and a soil PH of 5.5-7 of which this can be controlled chemically, hence as far as ecological requirements compatibility is concerned most the crops can thrive naturally in this region, for those that cant they will be grown in greenhouses where the requirements can be harnessed. Tomatoes for instance that take 3-4 months to mature can earn a farmer $360 a month during the harvesting season, an acre can accommodate 670 passion fruit vines of which each vine can yield about 30kg of the fruit whereby a kilo goes for sh. 50 which translates to $12000, indigenous commercial poultry farming can earn one $600 a month. These are just rough statistics gathered from practicing farmers that point out how viable this venture is more so combined. This venture, through successful crusading will increase food security and increase economic fortunes in the county. Dependency on sugarcane farming and owing to the demise of this industry, the poverty level of this region which stands at 57% and with a population of 1.6 million you are right if you think the level of un-employment is mindboggling. Through such a venture most farmers will earn more which will in turn increase the cash flow in the economy due to high earnings within a short time thus will spur economic development through sprouting of business and proliferation of employment opportunities.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

I will start small with what I can afford and is easily available hence will start by leasing one acre of land for one year whereby I will demarcate the land into portions that enable me grow different types of the aforementioned crops in addition to setting up structures such as a simple warehouse, poultry house, greenhouse, sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. Bearing in mind the farm will be leased all the structures set up will be temporal and semi-permanent , the proceeds from the project in that one year duration will enable me purchase my own land whereby I will advance and improve my projects. it is imperative that I will require a capital of $7500 in the higher end to kick start the business which I will source by borrowing from friends and relatives, applying for loans and funding from the county government, NGOs and microfinance institutions and above all I will pitch my business idea to corporate, institutions and investors like am doing right now by drafting business plans and proposals. My agribusiness centre will partner up with organizations such as AMIRAN and the county government to crusade for western province farmers to embrace agribusiness, the advocacy approach will be seeing is believing this will woo more farmers reinforced with the knowledge they will amass from NGOs and institutions such as rural information and agricultural development centre (RIADEC) that train and equip farmers with skills in agribusiness to boost their productivity and earnings. The main objective of advocacy is to win more farmers in the region thus in the long term there will be more business opportunities whereby my agribusiness centre will act as both an agent and a value addition centre for the farmers products before delivery to both the domestic and international markets.

Your profile

I am 24 years of age a procurement & logistics graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural & Technology and have a passion in entrepreneurship. Currently I work with a Canadian based NGO called Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) as an ICT and entrepreneurship field facilitator in my community. I am also an active member of a community based organization in my community that is involved in promoting economic development in the community through advocating for entrepreneurship and agribusiness activities whereby we enlighten the community environs of the regions potential and opportunities and how to seize them. I have also participated in a lot of county development programs and contributed my ideas on how raise the bar of our countys development platform. My experience with a sales and marketing company I worked for as a territorial manager honed my public relations and managerial skills that will come in handy when I set up my business and in my professional work. I also have professional procurement experience having been privileged to have a 6 months internship stint at parastatal of the stature of Kenya Seed Company limited. I have interests in technology and the corporate world whereby I try as much as possible to keep abreast with dynamic fast moving world. I have a blog dubbed youth going green whereby I advocate and challenge the youth especially graduates to embrace agribusiness which is still a virgin sector yet to be exploited to full potential as opposed to seeking for white collar jobs which are seemingly getting extinct. My vision is to be a very successful entrepreneur, create job opportunities, promote economic development and be a role model to my community. I believe in believing in oneself, working hard and smart and pushing yourself to the limit without giving up.

Stage of Idea

conceptual stage, planning stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

environment, food security, poverty reduction, sustainable trade, youth

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Comments

July 13, 2014 04:03

Bravely go toward! I encourage you.