Q.Great Blog: I like your blog; it is just great!   
A. Thanks for  your email

Q.I’m a university student in horticulture n I'm planing 2 start strawberry production n employ myself. i wish u cud inform mi on how 2 start and how I can become a member of your organization. pliz respond soonest

A.You need a piece of land 10M length and 1M width to start with.You also need about 100 strawberry plants to be planted  in 3 rows 30cm  from row to row and 30cm from plant to plant.about 1kg kgs DAP ferilizer for planting.1bags well decomposed manure.Make the bed ,  incorporate manure and fertilizer then plant and irrigate. Planting material is expensive coz a piece is goes for kes 30- 50.So multiply the 100 plants  to produce splits for planting in the following season in order to minimize cost as a student.You can build the number of plants to 1000 which can earn you over kes 190,000 per year. 

Q.I wishes to applaud this initiative by the youth to turn to agriculture. I may not be within the youth bracket but do lots of work with youth, I guess I cld use this forum to encourage the youth 
A. Thank you for your comments. You are most welcome.

Q.I'm a Kenyan university graduate and you've  inspired me to start a mushroom farm in Rift Valley. Will you kindly provide me with a general overview on mushrooms?
A.  The first step is to conduct a simple market research and make a decision based on the findings, to ensure proper planning and foresight.The following information may also be of help to  you.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has developed a comprehensive training programme at the University Campus for training in growing of the most popular mushrooms.
Course Dates for 2012:
Oct 24-26, Nov 21-23, Dec 05-07
Course Charges
KShs. 10,000/= Per participant: Accommodation and meals – each participant to make own arrangement. Call : 0724256696 / 0736524200 
for more details.
Source: http://agrikenya.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/mushroom-growing-resources-in-kenya/

Important Questions in market Research

  1. What market am I targeting? Or who will be my major customers? e.g. supermarkets, Hotels, people in estates etc.
  2. What are the customer’s preferences, tastes and what are they looking for. What are their needs e.g It may be need for alternative healthy protein? 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? What is unique in my product/service compared to competitor? You must plan to be unique.
  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?
Link-Tips for a Successful Business http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html

Q.Am a young guy with a small plot in kinoo area. I want to plant onions this September 2012 on a commercial basis but before embarking on it I really need expert advice on
the variety best suited for this area and planting guidelines.
A.The best onion varieties for kinoo area which will give you high yields are:-

1. Jambar F1

2. Red Comet F1
Q.Thanx a lot. I got a bumber harvest of bulb onions this January 2013.
A.Keep it up

Q. I really appreciate your very informative articles, Keep it up. I am outside the youth bracket but I hope you will assist me.I am a small scale poultry farmer in Mombasa. I would however want to go a step further and start producing chicken sausages so as to increase my profit margins.Would you be in a position to advice on the same?
A.We can link you to our partners who can guide and train you, on sausage making at reasonable charges if you are interested. 

Q. First let me introduce myself. I am from Indonesia and I am working at one of the charcoal briquette factory. We have been producing charcoal briquette using coconut charcoal powder as the main raw material. Some buyer came asking for white ash briquette. Our briquette is brown ash since the coconut ash is also brown color. I have read your article about white ash briquette and I found the article very interesting. Here is the link: http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-make-charcoal-briquettes.html. Would you help me to explain how much calcium carbonate we’ll you use for this composition:
Coconut Charcoal Powder: 100 Kg
Glue: 30 Kg
My manager has asked me directly to research on this and I am not really familiar with this chemistry kind of thing. Looking forward for you reply. Thank you in advance.
A. 3% or 3 kg calcium carbonate is sufficient for 100 kgs coconut charcoal powder. White ash color is very appealing in briquettes. Calcium carbonate is not heat fuel but it lowers the burning rate such that the briquettes burn for a longer period at reduced heat. Add  Calcium carbonate during mixing process and inform us of your progress.
Q. Good news. We tried the calcium carbonate as per your suggestion and the result is very good. The ash turns white as we burn it and the buyers are very satisfied with the result. Thanks
A. Welcome. Read also-http://kariokor.olx.co.ke/charcoal-briquettes-making-technology-for-green-business-training-available-iid-473025403

Q.Have just come across this website. How do I get in touch with you? been dreaming of getting into agribusiness but I don’t know how.
A. thanxs for your email and your dream of getting into agribusiness. Kindly share the dream with us through email yagrein@gmail.Read http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html

Q.I came across your blog and saw it indicated that you offer business skills training. I ‘m interested in learning how to make Yoghurt and tips in strawberry farming.

A. We can train you in yoghurt making as well as give you tips on strawberry farming. Kindly visit our office for further arrangements.

Q. I came across a very interesting and informative article in your blog on butternut squash farming. I'm green to farming and need to learn the ropes before I venture into it. I’m currently based in Eldoret with frequent travel to Nairobi. I was wondering if it would be ok for me to ask you  onfarming  techniques, seed sourcing, marketing of my produce etc. Hope to hear from you. Thanks.
A. Ask any question about farming, we are ready to give you information as far as possible. Butternut squash seeds are available in seed selling shops in Nairobi like the Kenya seed company Mega store at globe and other agro -stores in the rural areas. Market is available mostly in the major towns. Butternut squash can store for 3 months after harvesting giving you time to wait for better market prices.

Q. Hi, I wanted to inquire about ice cream making, who can I contact for training?
A. First and foremost you need  to acquire a freezer to be able to embark on ice-cream making. Visit our office for further arrangements.

Q.Hi, I’ve been following your blog and appreciate the articles. Am farming squash and ope they will do well. Am in a group n wish you enlighten us on yogurt making. We wish to take it as a group project and we are based in Nyeri. Thanx in advance.
A. Congratulations for undertaking squash growing. Youghurt making is a suitable group project which gives good returns. We train both individuals and organized groups. Organize your group and invite us .

Q.We have just recently harvested green grams and beans. As a novice farmer I don’t know where to sell them. Please advice.
A.Congratulations for farming green grams and beans and keep it up. Beans prices are low currently because it's harvest season. The best thing my dear is to store for sometime and wait for prices to go up if you are not hard up for cash, in order to benefit from your sweat. They will fetch very good prices in a month and half to come in your nearest market. During planting time, the demand will be high while the legumes will be scarce. To control damage by weevils’ immediate treatment with Actellic Super powder available from agrochemical stores is recommended. 

Q. Am a university graduate and a young farmer in Nyandarua county Kenya.Am so amazed by the work you are promoting. I do agree as we pursue Kenya Vision 2030  involvement of our youth is vital. Am also thanking you because with the high dropout of children in both Primary and Secondary schools, there is need for alternative youth empowerment programmes. 
A. Thanks for your email and we appreciate your comments.

Q. I went through your web site and found it very interesting. I would like to congratulate you on what you are doing for the society. I live in Mombasa and would like to a start  Small Scale Chicken Broiler Business and therefore  request your assistance on how to go about it. 
A. Before starting a chicken broiler business, broiler markets which include, household’s hotels, institutional buyers, Supermarkets, Butcheries etc should be surveyed to ensure ready market at the time of harvest.While planning to start chicken broiler business  determine the total amount of initial investment capital you need for:-
·                       Housing construction for a beginner
·                       Purchase of equipments-Drinkers and feeders
·                       Purchase of day old chicks-300 birds are advisable for a beginner 
·                       Chick booster feed 10g /chick /day for the first 7 days     
·                       Broiler starter feed 6og/chick per day for 3 weeks
·                       Broiler finisher feed 90g/chick per day for 2-4weeks
·                       Operating expenses(labor, electricity etc)Medication / veterinary services

Broiler chicken Business Returns in 6 weeks (300 Birds) in Kenya
Number of items
Cost/ unit
 Expected sales
270 birds
Kes 280
1.6 kg per bird
300 chicks
Kes 65
Kes 19,500
10% may die
Feeds required
1350 kg
Kes 45
Kes 60,750
5kg total feeds per bird
25 man days
Kes 200
Kes   5000

Kes  8525
10% of the cost
Total Cost

Kes 93,775


Kes 27,185

Q.  I am a student in a Kenyan university and I am trying find ways to earn some income and after reading about strawberries in your blog I've decided to give it a try. I would also like to know the amount of time, money and attention it requires and if you think I can successfully carry it out.
A. Strawberry is an upcoming crop with great potential in kenya. 1000 plants for beginners with a spacing of 30cm from row to row and 30 cm from plant to plant with a path of 50cm after every 3 rows would do. This would earn you about Sh10, 000-Sh17, 000 per month depending on management. First harvest is within 2 ½ -3 months after planting and the crop lifespan is 3 years.

Q. Thank you very much for your response. The farmland that I have is in a very dry area and I was thinking of doing it in a greenhouse, I do not know how you would advice me on this.
A. You will need a shade net to prevent fruit scorch due to hot weather in your area and to prevent birds’ damage. You also need adequate water for irrigation.A green house is an expensive venture for a beginner and may lead to discouragement as it pays from the second season. Ensure you do a simple market survey before starting strawberry growing. Read our article on Tips for a Successful Business http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html

Q.I'm a youth from Kerugoya in Kirinyaga County. I have been reading your blog and found it very educative and enlightening in many areas. I have a passion for Agribusiness and the main reason of writing is to inquire on the following.
1.   Where can I purchase Guinea fowl keets and at what price?  
2.   Am also interested in vegetable preservation and require a solar drier.  Where can I get a jua kali one? Kindly respond. You are truly an eye opener and God bless you.  
A.Visit the nearest Kenya Government Veterinary Office and you will get advice on how to acquire keets and rearing permit from Kenya wildlife service. 
To get a Jua Kali solar drier visit Kamweti Agriculture Training Center in kerugoya, your home district.They will advice you accordingly. 

Q.I'm looking for Garlic Seeds to buy. Kindly assist .
A.Garlic is grown vegetatively using the cloves of the bulb.Separate the individual cloves and ensure each piece carries a rooting portion.Also plant when the bulbs have started showing signs of sprouting.Call Githaiga on-0729829532 for seed garlic cloves

Q.I visited your website and i got deeper interest in mushroom farming.I am a resident in south coast Mombasa.I am eager to know how i can get the information immediately and start the farming. Can you please furnish me with all the details of where to start, or guide me to an organization within the Coast province? Your website is very informative for young Kenyans willing to earn a living in today's world.
A. Contact the nearest Horticultural Development authority office(HCDA) for information on mushroom farming and marketing.In case you find it hard to locate the HCDA office, get directions from the local agriculture office.

 Q. I read your blog on growing strawberries which I found very interesting. I am very interested in growing strawberries as I already have identified a piece of land to do so. I would however be grateful for your assistance in getting practical advice on how to grow strawberries so that I can make arrangements to source the cuttings and receive continuous training. I hope you can help me in this.
A. Thanks a lot for reading our blog, and for your interest in strawberry farming. Sure enough strawberry is a good enterprise. 1000 plants for beginners with a spacing of 30cm from row to row and 45 cm from plant to plant with a footpath of 50cm after every 3 rows would do. This would earn you about ShSh16,000-24, 000 per month depending on management.The planting material cost about Sh40-Sh50 per piece. The first harvest is within 2 .5  months after planting and the crop lifespan is 3 years. For market information read

Q. Am a tomato and watermelon farmer from in Matuu kenya and would like to do strawberries on the same area. I have no idea about the crop and have  read about it on the internet. Please advice on the same
A. Thanks for your question on strawberries farming and for sure you can grow them in matuu, because they do well in hot as well as warm climates. Only make sure you grow them on a portion of land where you had not grown the following crops the previous season, Tomatoes, capsicums, Eggplant/brinjals, Okra. This is because of susceptibility to a viral disease called Verticillium wilt. The market is available from supermarkets and exporters. You might need a shade net to prevent fruit scorch during the hot weather in matuu and to prevent birds’ damage. Ensure you do a simple market survey before starting strawberry growing business to avoid disappointment. Read Tips for a Successful Business http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html

Q. I have been following your blog and really moved by the Dania
plant and its benefits. I would like to request for your opinion on pig
farming, accessing what it entail. Thank you and keep it up for
inspiring work.
A. Thanks for your email.  Find pig rearing resources here

Q.I hopes you are doing great! Kindly, highlight on the current activities and the area. I have interest in environmental conservation, food security and water management. Thanx for the informative blog keep it up.
A. Currently our activity is the giving youth information on agribusiness through our blog, face book page and answering questions from our readers through Our Question and answer service.Kindly register for our question and answer service. Click the link below and fill the short registration form:Click here http://goo.gl/AXKVy

Q. I saw your interests in agriculture, and we are thinking of making silage for selling to the farms during the time when green fodder is not available, can you suggest the simplest way of making and selling silage.
A. Thanks for your interest in silage making, First and foremost it’s important to engage an expert to supervise silage making for commercial purposes. The easiest way to make silage for sale is to make a hole in the ground, line it with seamless polythene to make it air / water  tight then fill with layers of fodder sprinkled with molasses water mixture, followed by thorough compressing to exclude air, cover with polythene and a layer of soil at the top. Exclude all the air in order to encourage the growth of fermentation bacteria. Air if allowed will make the mixture to rot due to the activity of rotting bacteria producing compost manure instead of silage. The best way to sell silage is to advertise at Farm input stores.

 Q. I have been on the internet checking out ways of growing Rio grade tomatoes, unfortunate i dint get any, fortunate i got ua blog n website that is intriguing u r doing awesome job there... am 4mnths old in farming down in laikipia west. nyahururu, (gatundia). i do like ua activity big tym and u cn visit us when u hv tym, cheerz.
A. Thanks for your email and compliments. Keep up farming!

Q. Hi, am from Gatundu n am interested in berries farming. Just tell me what i require to start on a 1/4 acre land, and what to expect after i start harvesting.
A. Strawberry can grow in Gatundu as it performs well in warm to cool climate.I encourage you to read Tips for a Successful Business  to help you start. Refer also to the link below for requirements LINK http://www.qldstrawberries.com.au/data/gross_margin_2006.htm
Remember your 1/4 acres is about one tenth of what is in this calculations and fertilizer you need 25kg DAP.

Q.I have read your post about the moringa oleifera plant and would appreciate to know where I can obtain seeds or seedlings. I am in Nairobi but would like to plant them in Kitale.
A. Check with these resources for molinga oleifera seedling in this

Q.I am from Kinshasa, DR Congo. How many  separate pens are needed for bucks, does, and offspring.  Also, do you have any suggestions to find the market ? Rabbits could improve food security and generate income in this country where there is 85% unemployment. 
 A. You basically need one hutch with 3 separate rooms for breeding female, breeding male and the for young rabbits being raised for meat . The young offspring should be eaten or sold by 5-6 six months to avoid unplanned breeding . Remember rabbits of the same family line are not allowed to breed as this leads to reduction in adult size due to concentration of the negative qualities and hence less meat and increased health problems. For marketing, try contacting the traders with curio/Souvenir businesses especially those who are selling to tourists. For treatment and preservation of pelts you can contact animal science specialists.

Q. I am a farmer  from Eldoret .I grow Passion fruits but would like to diversify to other crops like French beans, sugar snaps and flowers that is calla lilies, kindly please update me on info on how to go about growing this crops. Your assistance will be highly appreciated. By the way you are doing a wonderful job, congrats
A. Find the information which you requested attached.

Q. Dear yagrein, I have just been on your website and it is great. I am about to lease 2 acres in Matuu and I would like your advice on what to grow in the land.  I am looking for something that will grow quickly and give me a return on investment. What do you think of Watermelon, Onions and Coriander?  Your input is highly appreciated. Hope to hear from you soon.
A. Hi, Watermelons, onions and coriander will do well in matuu. Also consider courgettes which mature in 2 1/2 months in order together with coriander which is a fast grower. Butternut pumpkins are yet another enterprise which can do well in your area and can store for at least 2 months after harvesting if need be. However the final decision should be determined by market considerations. Read the following links and feel free to respond with more questions. 
Q. Am a graduate of a Kenyan university with a bachelors degree in environmental science Lately I have been thinking of ways of doing things that do not harm our environment and thought of mushroom plantation. When I was trying to Google, I came across your blog and your email address. In my home area, we have been creating awareness on forest conservation and tree planting which is an ongoing thing. I was so touched when I saw what you are promoting and I appreciate what you are doing.
A. Continue with environment conservation efforts as without it human race is endangered. Mushroom growing is a worthwhile income generating project with high returns.But you need to conduct a market survey before you start. Coriander or Dania herb gardening is yet another paying and low cost project ideal for beginners in gardening. It has ready market in major town markets and hotels.A small garden 1m wide by 35m length can earn you about 15,000 in one month. You only need to prepare the bed, apply manure at the rate o f one medium bucket per sq metre then drill the seeds in rows lengthwise 30cm apart and water regularly

Q. I read your blog, specifically about strawberry farming which I want to get into. You mentioned that Kenya Horticultural Crops Development authority conduct trainings for farmers wishing to farm strawberry, I was just wondering what the procedure is, or do you just show up at their offices and ask for help? Do you know where they are located? Thanks a lot for the effort you are putting to provide people with information plus the articles are really helpful. I would appreciate any information you have.

A. Thanks so much for your email and for your interest to grow strawberries. From the email I understand it’s like you want to grow strawberries individually and not as a member of a group, which is quite okay. As an individual grower you can get trained by the local agriculture office free of charge or private extension service providers for a fee. 

Q. Thanks for your article on strawberries at
Will follow up with the KHCDA guys and see what’s up.
A. Thanks for taking time to read our blog. Keep in touch and read Tips for a Successful Business for more information. Wish you well

Q. Just read your article on guinea fowl rearing in Kenya in your blog. How do you acquire the license from the Kenya Wildlife Service.I have search on their website and couldn't find anything on this area.
A. Thanks for your email and I appreciate your interest on guinea fowls. Please walk into the nearest Kenya Government Veterinary office and you will be advised accordingly.

Q.  came across your blog today as I was reading on onion farming. I am intending to farm onions in nyahururu, kinagop or Ndaragwa areas. I would appreciate if you would offer any information on the best varieties and practices suitable for these cool areas to maximize profits.
A. Thanks for your email enquiring about onion production in
nyahururu. High, yielding commercially competitive varieties of onions which can be grown in nyahururu, nyandarua, kinagop include:-Jambar F1, Red comet F1, Red Tropicana F1. Special practice include planting with DAP fertilizer and aggressive Control of fungal diseases.

Q. Thank you for the information. I appreciate the speedy
response. If I could bother you some more, could you provide me with information
on watermelon and tomatoes on a large-scale production in the same
geographical regions? I would very much appreciate it.
A. Watermelon is a crop for hot areas. It’s not economical to grow it in Kinangop area
Tomatoes growing in cold areas for commercial purposes is best carried out in, greenhouses in order to regulate climactic conditions as well as pest and disease occurrences.

Q.Would Laikipia be more suited for watermelons? (Rumuruti,

Kinaba, Marmanet if you are familiar with those areas?)
A. You are right; watermelons would do well in Rumuruti area as this is the right zone for them. 

Q. You have been such a resourceful person, that’s why I am inclined to consult you. With my intentions of irrigation I was wondering if using 
treated tap water would have any adverse effect on crops or the soil. Are there any methods to mitigate or reverse these effects or how best would the tap water be used for irrigation?

A. You can use tap water in the short run for a period, but you would have to store it in water tanks for at least 24 hours before use for excess chemical to evaporate, which would otherwise interfere with the soil balance and reduce crop performance. Have a medium term plan of installing rainwater harvesting technology. Read our article on Tips for a Successful Business http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html for Guidance in planning and keep us posted.

Q. Hi, am a youth aged 24 and wish to start mushroom farming in our farm in kipipiri but I have no information on how to start it and still no idea of its market in Kenya. Could you plz maybe send mi in4mation on how to do that and tell me whether we have ready market for them in Nairobi. 

A. Thanks a lot for your email and your interest in mushroom cultivation. I encourage you to read Tips for a Successful Business http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2011/11/tips-for-successful-business.html   to help you start off.
The mushroom cultivation information you requested is ready on this page. http://yagrein.blogspot.com/2012/03/oyster-mushrooms-cultivation-in-kenya.html.
Q. I am interested in strawberry cultivation. Is there any consumption or export data/statistics about strawberry that is very recent that you know? I would like to have that so that I can write my business plan comprehensively. Let me know thanks.
A. I appreciate your interest in strawberries .update consumption /export data can be obtained from Kenya Horticultural Development authority. The ministry of agriculture can also give you strawberry production trends statistics.

Q. I am researching on  straw berry farming in Kenya so that I can invest in that sector. I saw a documentary from K24 Television and it gave me insight on the above. I have also read your article which are very resourceful on the same and that's how I got your contacts.
Am a young Kenyan who has a vision to buy an acre of land in the cause of this year and would like to invest in strawberry farming and animal rearing, was hoping to search for land in area's of Kinangop because of the vicinity to Nairobi. Would you mind to advice me whether in the weather in Kinangop is conducive for strawberry farming bearing in mind at times it isvery cold?
A. Thanks for your interest in farming. Strawberries will do well in kinagop as they perform in a wide range of climatic conditions.

Q. I am a 4th year Kenyan university student carrying out a project on conservation agriculture which is a farming system suitable for semi arid regions such as Laikipia and Makueni. As environmentalist, I think we should cater for all regions to improve people’s well fare as well as keeping our environment clean and conserved. I wish to share my knowledge and skills to help achieve such goals. I am ending my last semester in April 2012.
A. I appreciate your concern for arid and semi arid regions of our country .  you are welcome to share the information on our blog site.

Q. Am from Bulawayo Zimbabwe and looking into starting a chicken broiler project in one of the rural areas. I would greatly appreciate any  tips you can give.
A. Thank you for your email and your interest in chicken broiler project. Ensure you do a simple market survey before starting to ensure good planning .

Important Questions in market Research

  1. What market am I targeting? Or who will be my major customers? e.g. supermarkets, Hotels, people in estates etc.
  2. What are the customer’s preferences, tastes and what are they looking for. What are their needs e.g It may be need for alternative healthy protein? 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? What is unique in my product/service compared to competitor? You must plan to be unique.
  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?