What Is Managu?

Managu is a kikuyu word for the African nightshade plant. The Swahili call it Mnavu, Luhya’s call it Namasaka, Luos refer to it as Osuga, Kambas simply call it kitulu while the Kipsigis call it isoiyot. The herbaceous plant normally grows to about 1 meter high, producing many leafy-branches.

Native to the African climate, this vegetable is hardy meaning it requires little or no maintenance to thrive. You plant the seeds in a rainy seasons and they are ready for harvest in as few as 45 days.

You then pluck off the top leaves of every shoot (harvest), leaving other leaves to grow bigger and greener. You can do this repeatedly (once per week) over a period of 3 months making good sales with each harvest.

How Much Money to Invest

50 x 100 piece of land – Ksh5,000 (lease per year)

Manure & Fertilizer – Ksh5,000

Labour & Transport – Ksh5,000

Managu Seeds – Ksh1,000

Other expenses – Ksh4,000

Total Budget = Ksh20,000

How Profitable Is Managu Farming?

A 50×100 piece farm can produce anything between 200Kgs and 300Kgs of fresh managu every week. The average price per kilo is Ksh30. That means you can make a minimum of Ksh6,000 per week or Ksh24,000 per month.

The returns are even better if you increase the acreage of your farm. For instance, an acre of land can produce managus worth over Ksh140,000 per month. Each harvesting season lasts for three months bringing your income to Ksh420,000 per season. There are three seasons in a year – meaning a year of consistency can bring you Ksh1.26Million.

Challenges of Managu Farming

Finding good productive land

Inconsistent rain patterns

Prices tend to fall during bumper harvest seasons

Scaling Up

Apart from just planting managu, you can scale up your business to include other indigenous vegetables like terere (amaranth), kunde, spinach and mrenda. And to explore even more profitability, you can start packaging and branding your produce and deliver it directly to the market. There are even some farmers who dry their managus, package and export it. There also others who dry the vegetables and use it to fortify other food products – e.g. terere wheat flour.

So, in other words, your opportunities as far as this kind of business is concerned are virtually limited.

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