Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How to Make Fruit smoothies in Kenya

Today more people are increasingly health conscious globally.
Fresh fruits are generally rich in vitamin C, ant-oxidants, fiber, and phyto-chemicals. Fresh fruits protect the body from stress and diseases. Here below are exciting fruit smoothie recipes. Make delicious fruit smoothies at home and for business.
1pc stainless steel fruit knife
1pc can opener
1set plastic measuring spoon
1pc plastic measuring cup
1pc chopping board
3pcs plastic bowl
1pc spatula

One unit unbreakable blender
1 unit kitchen scale
1unit Refrigerator with ice cooler chest (optional)

Plastic cups

Examples of fruits which you can use to make fruit smoothies are:-
  • Ripe Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Melons
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Strawberry
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Apple

Morning Glory Fruit Smoothie recipe

2 cups ripe Bananas (peeled and sliced)
2 cups Strawberries (sliced)
2 cups Pineapple or Papaya (peeled and chopped)     
1 cup Apples (chopped and peeled)
1/2 cup Ice cubes(optional)
1 tsp Honey(optional)

In a blender mix a combination of ripe bananas, strawberries
 Pineapples or papayas, apples, ice cubes and honey.
  • Blend together until smooth
  • Serve immediately for breakfast or any preferred time of the day.
  • Enjoy the great delicate taste!

Tips for realization of your business dream in Kenya

A Business plan development is crucial for a successful farm business. A farm business plan is the road-map to a successful agriculture business. Furthermore most successful businesses are born out of a dream, a hobby, a vision, a passion or a drive. Every human being has a dream (some of them from child hood), But until you do something about the dream it remains a mere dream and never materializes. I can almost hear you asking, “What should I do with my dream? Don’t worry. You are in the right place as this article will teach you how to be successful in business. The components of a business plan are discussed below:-
  1. Write down the dream in details: The dream is the most important thing in your business, as it will drive your passion and motivate you to achieve it. The dream shows you where you are taking your business and it will keep you going when things get hard; therefore never loose focus of the dream.
  2. Identify the opportunity what human problems will your business solve? Or define the reason for existence of your business. A business must offer solution to a human problem or need for it to succeed. Therefore it goes without saying that every human problem is a business opportunity.
  3. Set simple achievable targets: write down what you need to do to make your dream come true. This should be simple achievable targets also known as SMART objectives.
The targets should be simple and clear
Quantify the targets to enable measuring of results
Set a measure that you can deliver as you pursue your dream
The target must be practical in relation to available resources
Set a period within which you need to achieve the dream

 4.  Decide on the form of business ownership: e.g. Family business, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited company etc
  1. Identify your products or service which you will offer the market.
  2. Conduct a simple market survey or research. Research need not be complicated and it involves:-
    • Asking the right questions.
    • Getting information.
    • Decision making based on the information.

Important Questions in market survey
  1. What market am I targeting?or Who will be my major customers? e.g supermarkets,  school children, people in estates.  
  2.  What are the customer’s preferences or what are they looking for. what are their needs?Remember people will only buy what satisfies their existing need.
  3. Is there any competition in the area for the product / service which I want to offer?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? take advantage of the competitors weaknesses.
  5.  How much must I sell per month and at what price to break even and make profit?
a)      7. Write down the marketing plan for your dream business: Marketing is a fight to have your product or service as the preferred choice of your customers. How you carry out your marketing determines how far you will go in sales. The marketing plan is your master plan and it will be consulted more than any other document.
    The key items that you must include in your marketing plan are as follows:-
    • The pricing of your product or service: The price should recover the cost of production and earn a profit. A profit of between 20%-50% can be earned depending on the purchasing power of your customers, the price of competitors, and the inflation rate.
    • Sale tactic.
    • What will you do with spoiled products / returns?
    • How will you advertise your product /service? e.g. through radio, newspaper, word of mouth.
    • How will you deliver the product / service to the customers? e.g. bicycles, vans, internet or short message service can be used.
    • Remember that the market is dynamic and the answers to these questions may change or require modification during implementation.

    Financial plan: This section of your business plan is fed by all the above covered sections. Financial plan is about where the money will come from, how much you will need, what your income and expenditure will be, and by when you will have recovered the capital invested in the business.This section requires at least knowledge in basic book keeping skills and high level of accountability. Finally a business plan can help you get additional financing from financial institutions and/ or partners. Consult an expert after you have written down the basics of your business plan, in order to have a comprehensive business plan made for you. Remember a good business plan is the key to a successful business dream.

    Thursday, 24 November 2011

    Types of Farm Business Records

    Farm business records keeping refer to documentation of events, business or news that occurs on the farm, and it is a crucial step in the success of every farming business. Farm records keeping provides the farmer with a tool to help in farm planning, farm management decision making, and projection of future profitability of the enterprise, with an aim of maximizing farm profit. Therefore three main reasons for keeping good records are:
    1) Income tax reporting
    2) Obtaining credit
    3) Management tool

    There are various types of farm records which include:-
    1)      Daily farm records: These are records of important events and activities that take place on the farm every day. These records serve for future planning of the farm activities. Example of  a daily farm record is shown below:-

    1st October 2011
    200 broilers were sold
    25th October 2011
    Carrots plot was weeded
    17th November 2011
    Fish pond was stocked

    2)      Records of farm implements and equipments: as in the example shown below

    Date of purchase
    Type of Equipment
    Description/ remarks
    3rd October 2011
    Knapsack sprayer
    Economy brand

    3)      Record of agricultural inputs: These shows type and amounts of farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers etc .The farmer records amount purchased, amount used and amount left for each month.

    4)      Records of livestock and livestock products: Each type of livestock needs different records. Milk records and eggs records are good examples of livestock products records.

    5)      Records of animal feeds: These records show the types and quantity of feeds used and the amount of feed remaining in the store. an example of animal feed record is shown below:-

    Type of
    In store
    In store

    6)      Production records: These records document everything that is produced on the farm. They are mostly prepared on weekly basis which add up to monthly and annual records. These records monitor the value of the farm produce and measure progress in production and enable individual farmers to access farm credits. An example of production record is shown below.

    Type of Produce
    Value ( Ksh)
    5th September 2011
    Chicken broilers
    50 kg
    3rd November 2011
    Green peas
    20 kg
    10th December
    100 kg

    7)    Records for farm use: These records show the dates for land preparation, planting of different plots, sale or utilization of produce and rotation programs. They also include difficulties encountered on the farm such as disease and pest outbreaks.
    8)  Others:-  
    Farm expenditure records: Farm inputs used  
    Workers records:Salaries and other payments 
    Vehicle records: petrol, oil used and any repairs

    Growing Bulb Onions in Kenya

    Bulb onions growing is particularly suited to small-scale farmers and youth  in most countries as they can be grown all the year round particularly where irrigation is available. In the tropics only short day or day neutral onions plants will form bulb onions. Some bulb onions varieties commonly grown in Africa are:


     Red Creole -This is a popular high yielding variety of bulb onions which is in high demand due to its good keeping quality, mainly producing single bulb onions from transplants, and they  are red, flat-round and with a pungent taste.
    Red Tropicana F1 Hybrid- this produces large, red, thick flat bulb onions with firm pungent taste. It is high producing and needs high levels of management.
    Bombay Red- Is are bulb onions variety for dry and warmer conditions producing small to medium sized bulbs, which are globe shaped, purplish red and pungent.

    Yellow Granex FI Hybrid- Granex F1 hybrid is an early maturing as well as high yielding variety with attractive, thick flat bulb onion and thin yellow scales. It attracts high market prices due to its uniform shape, size and good storage quality.Bulb onions plants require cooler weather during the early stages of growth with a dry atmosphere and moderately high temperature for bulb formation & maturation. Bulb onion plants thrive well in warm to hot climates of 15-30°C, with Optimum temperatures for plant development ranging between 13 and 24°C.Bulb onions plants require light well drained soils with a PH of 6-7 and high fertility. Bulb onions plants need a substantial amount of water at bulb stage, but excess moisture must be avoided throughout the growing season. Irrigation is necessary especially on light sandy soils and can either be overhead or on drip irrigation. Stop irrigating the plants 2-3 weeks before harvesting, or when 20-30% of the tops collapse.

    NOTE:There many Hybrid varieties of onions today
    Bulb onion plants are most commonly propagated using seeds which are first sown in a nursery to enable selection of strong healthy seedlings for transplanting. The seed rate is 2-3 kg per ha.
    To make the nursery prepare raised beds a metre wide and work in plenty of well decomposed manure as well as rock phosphate. Make drills about 15 cm apart, sow the seeds and cover lightly with soil and mulch. Irrigate the bed liberally for the first 10 days and continue watering the seeds regularly. Germination of seeds takes about 21 days after which the mulch is removed and used to make a shade above the tender plants. Transplanting of seedlings is done about 6-8 weeks after sowing, when the seedlings have pencil thick base and a height of approximately1 5cm. The ultimate yield of bulb onions is determined by the number of leaves that are formed prior to bulb formation; therefore seedlings should have 3 to 5 well formed leaves at transplanting time.  Two weeks before transplanting reduce the shade to improve seedling survival rate in the field.

    Incorporate well decomposed manure into the soil, at a rate of 25 to 40t/ha to obtain vigorously growing plants. Avoid application of fresh manure to the plants, as it will cause development of thick necks and excess leaves at the expense of bulb formation. Transplanting of seedlings is done in cool weather either in the morning or evening. Water the nursery bed thoroughly for ease of uprooting seedling for transplanting, and then make rows in the field 30cm [12’’] apart. Uproot the healthy strong seedlings leaving the weak seedlings to strengthen for planting latter. Prune the roots for better plants establishment. Plant the seedlings at a spacing of 10cm [4’’] within the row and 13mm [1/2’’] deep, and then firm up the surrounding soil. Irrigate the field before and after transplanting seedlings or alternatively transplant seedlings during the rains when the soil is moist.

    There are many pest and diseases that attack onions plants some of which are onion thrips, leaf miners, purple blotch, bacterial soft rot, leaf blight and downy mildew. These can be controlled using cultural control methods which include use of disease free seeds, harvesting mature bulbs only to avoid rotting in store, uprooting and burning isolated diseased plants, keeping the field free of weed plants to avoid alternative host, crop rotation and field hygiene,
    maintaining good air circulation during curing, packaging and storage of bulb onions. Chemical control is an option when infestation is severe.The field should be kept free of weed plants throughout the growing season Harvesting takes place 90-150 days after transplanting seedlings and bulb onions are ready for harvesting when the leaves collapse, or alternatively the leaves can be bent over and left to dry for 10-12 days. Pull mature bulb onions manually from the soil and cure them in the sun for 10-14 days with the bulbs covered by the leaves. Cut dried leaves 3.5cm [1.5 inches] from the stem and remove the roots, then grade bulbs according to size & quality. Pack in jute or net bags for storage or immediate sale. Yields of Bulb onions can go up to up to 20 tons per hectare.For more information read

    Garlic/Bulb Onions Farming e-manual
    We sell detailed Bulb Onions Growing e- Manual .The document is a good source of information and covers details about Onion Farming including: -
    1.     Varieties suitable for growing in Kenya
    2.     Capital investment &Returns per acre
    3.     Nursery Establishment
    4.     planting onions
    5.     Planting Garlic
    6.     Pests and their Control
    7.     Diseases and their control
    8.     Post planting field management
    9.     Plant vigour maintenance for high yields
    10.  Yields of onions
    11.  Yields of Garlic
    12.  Post harvest handling
    13.  Business plan preparation
    14.  Farming Records and accounts.
    15.  Farm salaries and wages Records
    16.  Farm Cash register
    We shall email the e-manual to you after payment thro’  MPESA.. Email for more information.

    Wednesday, 16 November 2011


    Rearing rabbits is a suitable meat producing agribusiness activity among the youth in Africa, for self employment and income generation. Rearing rabbits is increasingly becoming popular particularly among the youth and smallholder farmers as they require low capital investment, limited space and they multiply fast. In recent years there has been increased awareness of the advantages of rabbit meat production in Africa as a means to alleviate animal protein shortages and generate income, particularly in areas with high human population and limited agricultural land. Rabbits have enormous ability to utilize fibrous feed-stuffs which are unsuitable for humans.

    Rabbit’s feeds include grass, weeds, garden waste, kitchen waste and concentrates like rabbit pellets. Moreover the carcasses of rabbit have very high meat to bone ratio in comparison with other meat producing livestock. Rabbit manure is high quality fertilizer, while utilization of rabbit skins to make hand bags, shoes and hats creates employment and generates more income. Rabbit market exists mainly in major hotels.
    Californians white [which is white with black ears] and New Zealand white [which is entirely white with pink eyes] are the recommended pure rabbit breeds for meat production and upgrading of local African rabbits. These two breeds are fast growing and good meat producers as adult rabbits weighs between 4.5kgs and 5.5kgs.Flemish giant [which is grey to black] is a heavy late maturing rabbit breed weighing up to 6kgswhen fully grown. Local African rabbits are relatively small, usually white, hardy and well adapted to local conditions. Adults weigh about 2.5kgs and make good meat producers when crossed with Californians and New Zealand whites.

    Before bringing in the breeding stock a rabbit hutch should be constructed to protect the rabbits from predators. The breeding male or buck must have his own hutch from 3 months of age for good development. Breeding does or females should also be separated from 4 months of age. One buck is enough for every ten does and it’s recommended that several rabbit keepers share one buck at the beginning. The doe can be mated for the 1st time at the age of 5-6 months. Rabbit gestation period is about 31 days or one month.
    A good doe will kindle about four times a year giving about 6-7 kids each time. This makes a total of about 24 young ones per year for every breeding doe. The kids should be weaned at 5 weeks old and separated from the mother.
     Read also-

    Value chain approach to agriculture for rural development in Kenya

    Value chain approach to agriculture business refers to collaboration of the industry partners, to improve quality of agriculture products, increase agriculture systems efficiencies, or develop differentiated agriculture products, for achievement of a more rewarding position in the market place. This helps the partners to have competitive advantage. Value chain approach to agriculture is a recognized modern agriculture business strategy which is customer focused. The partners aim is to match products and services to the needs and demands of the end consumer. A common vision among the partners to serve the consumer, and similar motivation of profit maximization normally has a direct positive impact. This approach lays special emphasis on value creation and agriculture innovation. Value-chain approach to agriculture is crucial for linking small businesses to markets. Therefore it is invaluable for livelihood improvement and rural development particularly in Kenya. The approach challenges its partners to ‘think outside the box’ in order to add value to the products and services demanded by their customers.

    Therefore every partner focuses on value creation for the end consumer. The value chain partners in includes:-

    • Farmers or producers
    • Farm input dealers
    • Wholesalers
    • Distributors
    • Retailers
    • Exporters
    • Primary agro-processors
    • Secondary agro- processors
    • Food companies
    • Food service operators
    • Marketing boards
    • Agro-Industries
    • Finance institutions

    This  approach has several key benefits some of which are access to markets, improved information flow, Benefits of economies of scale, shared cost of risk of innovation, rewarding business relationships, competitive advantage, guaranteed markets, better prices and accelerated rate of innovation due to involvement of the end customers such as retailers and food service operators, who understands the market demands. This results in a chain which is very responsive to the market needs.
    Government Extension agents in Kenya deliver key value chain information to the players.

     communication between partners is vital and should be maintained resulting to:
    1.      Partner’s rapid response to change in technology or market needs.
    2.      Feed back from customers on problems for solutions to be worked out together.
    3.      Customer loyalty (trusted relationships)
    4.      Improvements in value chain activities because feedback is shared among partners.
    5.      Sales achievement, while customers receive the desired product.
    6.      Quality compliance of products and services to established
    7.   standard and Financial stability for value chain partners due to business success.