20 ways you can make money from agribusiness in Kenya without going to the farm: Top agribusiness ideas for startups [PART 2]

This is the second part of our series of articles on “20 ways to make money from agribusiness in Kenya without going to the farm.” If you’ve not read PART 1, check this link. You see, many young people think to make money from agribusiness in Kenya, one has to keep animals or grow crops. That’s false! Here are 20 ways to make money from agribusiness in Kenya without having to grow crops or keep animals or birds.

1. Provide transportation & shipping services for agricultural products

Efficient transportation is a key requirement to successful agricultural marketing for obvious reasons. As you know, farmers need their farm produce to reach the market safely, on time, and cheaply. A good transport system is also part of the agribusiness supply chain that enables farmers to access farm inputs from manufacturers.

However, in rural Kenya, the transportation system remains underdeveloped and this presents a great challenge to farmers. Another problem is the cost. It is reported that transport claims up to 28% of the final market price for most farm produce in Kenya.

For a potential agribusiness investor, the lack of a reliable, efficient, and affordable transport system is an opportunity to explore.

If you can help farmers and agri-traders to cut out the transportation hardships, you already have your first way to make money from agribusiness in Kenya without going to the farm. As an example, you could think of transporting agricultural produce from farms in rural Kisii to Nairobi markets.

The good part of it is that this kind of investment does not require huge initial capital. If you have a pickup truck, start partnering with farmers in rural areas. You’ll need to explain to them the business value of your fleet of trucks.

Here is FAO’s article on rural transport as a service to further your understanding of why properly managed transport services with the potential to deliver harvested crops to customers and farm resources to farmers will definitely sell in rural Kenya.

You may also want to gather more ideas from this article on how logistics companies work with farmers around the globe. TruTrade, Agricultural Transportation Services, Inc. (ATS), and MSC Mediterranean Shipping are just a few examples of companies that are already making a kill out of this kind of business.

Are you a talented content creator? Can you write engaging articles on agribusiness? Do you have some unique agribusiness skills and the passion to share your knowledge with people? If yes, waste no more time. Start creating video presentations and make money from agribusiness in Kenya without going to the farm.

Let’s talk briefly about agribusiness blogging. One fact to note is that agribusiness is a broad field. It has so many niches that you cannot lack a topic (niche) about which to write.

When I tell young people about blogging, I always get questions like “what can I blog about? Others ask me how to start a blog while others even wonder whether or how blogs really make money.

If you’ve any of these questions crossing your mind right now, take a quick check on the following links: How to start a blog?; What should I blog about? 10 ways to discover your perfect niche; 25 ways to make money from your blog

In the first article, I explained that starting a blog requires begins by choosing a blogging niche. Think of it as a topic.

For example, you can write about fish farming, tree nursery, urban farming, dairy farming, home gardening, hub gardening, beekeeping, aquaponics, microgreen farming, vegetable farming, Hydroponic Farming, snail farming, poultry farming, flower farming, or fruit farming. It is prudent to focus on a specific sub-niche like onion farming, cabbage farming, tomato farming, etc.

Again, you don’t have to limit yourself to farming or gardening. I have seen blogs and niches like agriculture technology, agribusiness education, and agricultural transportation. These topics perform very well on Google Search.

Similarly, it is possible to money from agribusiness in Kenya via YouTube content. Create and upload farming content on your channel to start making money. Make sure you create engaging content on your chosen topic. As a word of caution, content creation is not a “get-rich-quick” business. You’ll need to be persistent, but patient.

Here are additional resources I thought you may need.

Top 100 Agriculture Blogs and Websites for Agriculturists and Farmers

11 top farming YouTube channels to watch

How to earn money on YouTube

3. Become an agribusiness broker

Do you have a strong internet connection? Can you chat online? How about your communication –is it strong enough to support a business deal? Can you browse the internet effectively? If yes, then give yourself a shadow of praise and approval because you have what it takes to link agro farmers in remote areas to urban customers, agro-suppliers, and exporters and earn a commission.

If you didn’t know, a lot of farmers find it extremely difficult to get their farm produce to the target customers. Sometimes, it is not the farmer’s lack of transport, but their inability to connect to the right people, businesses, or companies to buy their produce.

At the same time, many urban dwellers are looking for a way to connect to farmers back in the rural areas to supply them with farm products either for sale or direct consumption. So, if you can play the linkage role, don’t delay. A business opportunity is awaiting.

As a broker, you can earn a commission by acting as a farmers’ agent in an urban area. In this case, you will not only help rural farmers to reach their target customers but also connect them to exporters. Your package of services may also be designed to link smallholder farmers to retail farm suppliers and transportation service providers.

Remember we are in the digital age. So, you can easily play your brokerage role via the internet. Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook. However, operating your business through your own website will give you many additional advantages that you may not get by relying on social media.

Some examples of companies already making money by leveraging this idea are Mkulima Young, Shamba Pride, Twiga Foods. Here is a video that explains how Twiga Foods does it.

4. Give loans/capital to farmers

The lack of affordable loans is one of the main barriers to youth success in the agribusiness sector in Kenya. As I discussed in my other blog post, several financial institutions offer agribusiness loans to farmers in Kenya. There are loan options such as Mavuno loans, Kilimo Biashara Loans, Dairy Farming Loans, and Crop Farming Loans plans.

These financial solutions are offered to Kenyan farmers by institutions such as Barclays Bank, CFC Stanbic Bank, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Family Bank, Juhudi Kilimo, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Sidian Bank, Kenya Women Finance Trust, Letshego, and Musoni Microfinance among others.

The problem is that most of these loan portfolios have extremely stringent minimum requirements that disqualify the average young Kenyan. Consequently, millions of youths are left wondering where to get the initial capital they need to kick off their agribusiness dreams.

In short, young people are looking for alternative sources of financing for their farm projects and this is where the business opportunity lies. If you have the money, you can invest in someone’s farm by offering the initial capital they need to purchase equipment, buy farm inputs, acquire land, fund marketing campaigns, or invest in growth. See this article for how agricultural loans can help farmers to grow.

By giving out loans to farmers, you make money through sharing profits from the loanee’s agribusiness investment.

5. Start a recruiting/training agency for farmers

Do you own some unique agribusiness skills? Have you developed exceptional experiences in a field of farming such as dairy farming, beekeeping, goat farming, poultry farming, or crop –onion, cabbage, spinach –production? Or are you skilled in using agribusiness technology? If yes, why not sell your skills?

There are thousands of farmers out there looking for a place to buy that unique knowledge you own. What’s more, the lack of relevant skills has locked millions of young people out of farming. This means you can make money through agribusiness without going to the farm by simply selling your knowledge to people who need it.

Start a farming class and begin demonstrating your unique expertise. You’ll be surprised at how many farmers are willing to pay for your training services. You’ll make money teaching college students, local communities, and university students interested in farming but lack the skills.

Judi Wangechi, a Nakuru-based cabbage farmer, is leveraging this idea to generate additional income from her farming ventures. With a decade of experience as a cabbage grower and dealer, Judi has learned the art of making money through farmer training. The 2018 Women in Agriculture Award winner offers training seasons for farmers who visit her farm at a cost of KE 1,000 per day. Here is the story.

I cannot forget to mention the important roles they can internet play in driving the success of your farmer recruitment business. Kenya’s digital transition is more rapid than you may think and you can see and feel the change around you. Soon, Kenyan farmers with no online presence will have no place in the competitive market. Today, young Kenyans are everywhere on social media. This link has some interesting statistics regarding the estimated number of Kenyans on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.  

What am I trying to say here? As an agribusiness or farmer trainer, you should think of running your classes online where people can access the lessons from the comfort of their homes. Learning hubs such as Udemy, Coursera, Study, FutureLearn, and LearnDirect are perfect examples of how the internet can power your farmer’s training business. Make sure your tutorials are affordable and easily accessible.

So, do you have the passion to share your knowledge? Go ahead and start your first interactive learning platform for farmers. You can find some pieces of advice on how to start a training business in this blog post.

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