Onion farming in Kenya has become a profitable agricultural activity, contributing significantly to the country’s economy and providing livelihoods for countless farmers. With its suitable climate and growing conditions, Kenya has emerged as a key onion-producing nation in East Africa.

onion farming in kenya
Onion Farmer: Photo Credit

Understanding Onion Farming in Kenya

Onion farming in Kenya is a lucrative business. The benefits of farming Onion in Kenya include high market demand and price, easy to grow and harvest, and Onion can be grown in many parts of Kenya. In this article, we shall look at how to grow, care and harvest Onion, varieties of Onion to grow and suitable locations and suitable climate conditions to farm Onion, market price for Onion, problems and solutions of Onion farming.

Benefits of Onion Farming in Kenya

Onion farming in Kenya has a number of benefits. The most obvious benefit is that you can make money from it.

Onion is a crop that has a high demand in the market, and you can get good prices for it.

But there are other benefits as well. Onion farming is a good way to diversify your farming portfolio.

It is also a good crop to grow in areas where other crops do not do well.

And finally, it is a very sustainable crop – you can grow it with very little water and without using pesticides or fertilizers.

Market Demand for Onion in Kenya

Onion is a very important vegetable crop in Kenya. The country is the largest producer of Onion in the region. Onion is grown all over the country but the main production is from Central, Rift Valley and Eastern provinces.

The demand for Onion is very high in the local market. The demand for fresh Onion is higher than that of processed onion. The main consumers of fresh Onion are hotels, restaurants and households. The major buyers of processed Onion are industries such as beverage, canning, flour milling, ice cream and potato chip factories.

The price of fresh Onion ranges from 40 to 60 shillings per kilogram while the price of processed Onion ranges from 25 to 45 shillings per kilogram.

Common Onion Varieties Grown in Kenya

  1. Red Pinoy
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 12-15 tons
    • Characteristics: Red Pinoy is known for its deep red color and globe-shaped bulbs. It has a strong flavor and is suitable for both fresh consumption and storage. It tends to have good resistance to diseases.
    • Important Considerations: Adequate spacing and proper irrigation are crucial for preventing disease and ensuring bulb development.
  2. Texas Grano
    • Yield per Acre: Around 14-17 tons
    • Characteristics: Texas Grano onions are large, sweet, and mild-flavored. They are excellent for slicing and using in salads. They have a light yellow to brown skin color and store well.
    • Important Considerations: Texas Grano onions require well-drained soil and consistent moisture to achieve their optimal yield and flavor.
  3. Bombay Red
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 10-14 tons
    • Characteristics: Bombay Red onions have a distinctive red color and a pungent flavor. They are suitable for cooking and are commonly used in traditional Kenyan dishes.
    • Important Considerations: Adequate spacing and proper soil preparation are essential for healthy bulb development. Regular weeding and disease management are important.
  4. Red Creole
    • Yield per Acre: About 12-16 tons
    • Characteristics: Red Creole onions have a reddish-brown skin and a slightly flattened shape. They have a strong and tangy flavor, making them a favorite for various culinary uses.
    • Important Considerations: These onions thrive in well-drained, sandy loam soils. Adequate sunlight and spacing between plants are crucial for optimal yield.
  5. Grano 502
    • Yield per Acre: Around 13-16 tons
    • Characteristics: Grano 502 onions are medium-sized with a golden-yellow skin. They have a mild and sweet flavor, making them versatile for different dishes.
    • Important Considerations: Proper soil fertility and adequate irrigation are necessary for achieving the desired yield and quality of Grano 502 onions.
  6. Tropicana F1
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 15-18 tons
    • Characteristics: Tropicana F1 onions are known for their high yield potential and resistance to diseases. They have a yellow-brown skin and a strong flavor.
    • Important Considerations: These onions require well-drained soil and consistent care to reach their full yield potential. Disease management is important to prevent losses.
  7. Red Barricade
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 14-18 tons
    • Characteristics: Red Barricade onions are known for their deep red color and slightly flattened shape. They have a mild to medium flavor and are often used in salads and garnishes.
    • Important Considerations: These onions thrive in well-drained soils with a slightly acidic pH. Adequate spacing and proper nutrition contribute to healthy bulb development.
  8. White Creole
    • Yield per Acre: About 12-15 tons
    • Characteristics: White Creole onions have a creamy-white skin and a slightly flattened shape. They offer a milder and sweeter flavor compared to other onion varieties.
    • Important Considerations: White Creole onions require consistent moisture throughout their growth cycle. Pay attention to irrigation and avoid overwatering.
  9. Buffalo Red
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 13-16 tons
    • Characteristics: Buffalo Red onions have a reddish-brown skin and a round shape. They possess a strong and pungent flavor, making them suitable for cooking and flavoring dishes.
    • Important Considerations: Well-drained soil, proper spacing, and timely pest management are essential for successful Buffalo Red onion cultivation.
  10. Sweet Spanish
    • Yield per Acre: Around 15-19 tons
    • Characteristics: Sweet Spanish onions are renowned for their large size, sweet flavor, and crisp texture. They have a yellow skin and are commonly used in salads and sandwiches.
    • Important Considerations: These onions require consistent watering and a well-balanced nutrient regimen for optimal yield. Adequate sunlight is crucial for bulb enlargement.
  11. Red Passion F1
    • Yield per Acre: Approximately 16-20 tons
    • Characteristics: Red Passion F1 onions are high-yielding and have a deep red color. They offer a balanced flavor profile and are suitable for various culinary applications.
    • Important Considerations: These onions demand well-drained soil, proper spacing, and regular monitoring for pests and diseases. Timely intervention is key to maximizing yield.
  12. Hybrid Bomba F1
    • Yield per Acre: About 18-22 tons
    • Characteristics: Hybrid Bomba F1 onions are known for their high yield potential, uniformity, and disease resistance. They have a distinct globe shape and a strong flavor.
    • Important Considerations: Adequate irrigation, proper soil preparation, and adherence to recommended planting practices contribute to the success of Hybrid Bomba F1 onion cultivation.

Conditions for Onion Farming

Onion farming requires specific conditions for optimal growth and yield. Proper attention to these factors ensures healthy plant development, bulb formation, and overall success in your onion farming.

1. Climate:

  • Onions thrive in cool to mild climates with moderate temperatures.
  • The ideal temperature range for onion growth is around 55°F to 75°F (13°C to 24°C).
  • Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations, as they can lead to poor bulb development.

2. Soil:

  • Choose well-drained soils with good water-holding capacity, preferably sandy loam to clay loam.
  • The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ideally ranging from 6.0 to 7.5.
  • Ensure proper soil preparation, including loosening, leveling, and incorporation of organic matter.

3. Irrigation:

  • Onions require consistent moisture throughout their growth cycle, especially during bulb formation.
  • Drip irrigation is recommended to provide targeted and efficient watering while minimizing water contact with foliage.

4. Sunlight:

  • Onions thrive in full sunlight. Ensure your onion field receives at least 12 to 14 hours of direct sunlight daily.

5. Spacing:

  • Proper plant spacing is crucial for healthy bulb development and disease prevention.
  • Generally, onions should be spaced 10 to 15 cm apart within rows, and rows should be spaced 20 to 30 cm apart.

The Season for Onion Farming in Kenya

Like any other type of crop, onions can’t grow at any time of the year. Onions, particularly bulb onions, don’t just thrive at any location or at any given time. The best time to plant onions in Kenya is during short rains which start from October to December.

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onion farmers in kenya

Onions are harvested in January and February after planting during the short rains. This is when the weather is hot and suitable for onion harvesting. During the harvesting period, the onions cost is very high since Tanzania has a low supply at this time of the year.

After the long March rains, the onion prices rise, and farmers who harvest after this period make a lot of profits. If you do your timing well, you will have a chance to benefit with considerable profit margins when you supply when the demand is high and supply is low.

Onions Nursery bed preparation

Onions are planted on a raised seedbed for germination and later transplanted into the field.

Therefore, preparing the seedbed two to three weeks before sowing is encouraged. To make your seedbed, proceed as follows;

  1. Prepare raised seedbeds of 1.2m wide with a length of your choice.
  2. Add two 20 liters per square of organic fertilizer, mix it with the soil, and rake it evenly.
  3. Irrigate the raised seedbed one day before sowing seeds.
  4. Make evenly spread rows of 10-15cm from row to row.

Amount of seeds needed

The seed needed to grow in one square meter is five grams, equivalent to a full teaspoon.

This amount will produce enough seedlings for transplanting to an area of 100 square meters. You only need 2-2.5 kg of seeds for a hectare of land.

Cover the seedbed with mulch, and remember to water the seedbed daily, morning and evening. Onion seeds take approximately 10 -12 days to start germinating.

Field Preparation for Onion Farming

Plow the land one month before transplanting the onion seedlings. Rake the soil to fine particles for two weeks before transplanting the onions.

Next, Incorporate 20 -25 tonnes per hectare of ripe animal manure (Poultry or cow dung) into the field.

This makes the soil rigid and increases moisture retention for an extended period. Mix the organic fertilizer well with the ground, then prepare the furrows you like.

Add the organic manure to every hole during transplanting instead of mixing it with the soil.

Onion Seedlings Transplanting

After six weeks after germination, the seedling should be ready for transplanting. The seedlings should have attained a 12 to 15-cm height by this time.

  • To avoid damaging the roots, thoroughly water the seedbed a day before transplanting.
  • Use a shovel to uproot the seedlings from the seedbed, and remember to prune the seedling leaves and roots to enhance water retention.
  • Plant the seedlings in rows with a 30cm space between rows and 8 to 12cm from one seedling to the other. Onions grown in this position take the shortest time possible to mature early, and the number of onions per area is vast.

Remember to select healthy and pest-free seedlings for transplanting. Very young or very old seedlings are not suitable for transplantation.

It would help transplant the seedlings as deep as they were in the nursery. It would help if you transplanted in the morning or evening to avoid the hot sun and the heat burning the seedlings.

Immediately after transplanting, water the seedlings and then keep watering in the morning and the evening until the seedlings hold well in the soil.

How to Plant:

To get the best results with onions you need to start them in a Nursery. Here is how to do this;

  • Make a raised nursery bed 1 metre wide and any desired length.
  • Apply well decomposed manure at a rate of 15kg per square metre.
  • Mix and Apply DAP fertilizer at a rate of 20 grams per metre square
  • Make shallow furrows 15 cm apart. Mix the seeds with dry ash, sand or soil at a ratio of 1:3 to help spread the small seeds.
  • Plant the seeds and cover lightly with soil and apply mulches ( Grass or Polythene cover spread over the soil on the nursery bed)
  • After planting irrigate the nursery bed liberally for the first 10 days and continue watering regularly.
  • Germination of seeds will take about 7-10 days after which the mulches are removed and used to make a shade above the tender plants which have not fully developed.
  • Transplanting of the seedlings takes place 6 weeks after planting seeds in the nursery. Transplant when the seedlings have pencil thick base and a height of approximately 15cm.
  • 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.
  • It takes about 4 months for onions to mature

Cost of Onion Farming in Kenya Per Acre?

The cost of onion farming in Kenya per acre ranges from Ksh. 100,000 to Ksh. 200,000.  This cost of onion farming is highly affected by the cost of the seed. The good news is that if you don’t have this amount as an onion farmer, you can get funds from agribusiness funding sources in Kenya.

Let’s calculate the cost of onion farming in Kenya using an approximate of Ksh. 500 per kg estimation.

Note that the cost is an estimation and might even be less if you get the necessities at a considerably lower price.

Necessities  AmountCost 
Onion seedsOne acre requires about 100kg of seeds. 1kg costs around Ksh. 500500 times 100= Ksh. 50,000
Fungicides, insecticides, pesticides, and any otherRoughly Ksh. 10,000Ksh. 10,000
FertilizerGiven that garlic is the heaviest of onions, we can estimate. One 25kg bag costs roughly Ksh. 500Ksh. 5,000.
MiscellaneousThese may include; irrigation transport, labor, and other emergencies.Ksh. 50,000
Total costKsh. 115,000.
Breakdown of the cost of onion farming in Kenya

But if you’re venturing into large-scale onion farming in Kenya, you will require more capital. Since working on several acres of land will require various farm machinery and equipment.

For example, in small-scale farming of one acre of land, you require equipment such as knapsack sprayers, hoes, rakes, and forks. On the other hand, large-scale farming will require heavy machineries such as windrowing and bagging equipment, under-cutters, and tractors/trailers.

Such latter will be costly, but the yields will undoubtedly be higher.

Harvesting.

Your onions will be ready for harvesting after three to five months(90-150 days) from sowing the seeds. This also depends on the variety of the onion and climatic conditions.

A bountiful harvest depends on taking good care of the field during growth, the weather, and the type of onion variety. Properly managed crops can produce 30 to 40 tons of onions per hectare.

Therefore, you should start harvesting the onions when you notice that 50 percent of your crops are weak and dry. Early harvesting causes the onions to spoil early.

When harvesting, prune the entire stem and cut off the excess leaves and roots.

After harvesting, dry the onions in a moisture-free, well-ventilated area. Again, store well-dried onions in a moisture-free, well-ventilated place. Wet onions will rot if you try to keep them.

If the weather is excellent and moist-free, you can store onions for three to six months. You can keep small onions longer than wider varieties.

After harvesting onions, remember to incorporate crop rotation to preserve the soil for the next planting season. This also assists in pest control and diseases.

Spray and Fertilizer Program On Onion Farming In Kenya

 

CROP GROWTH STAGE

 

TARGET            PESTS/DISEASESPRODUCT FOR CONTROLACTIVE INGREDIENTRATE/20L

WATER

Spray

interval

No. of spraysTotal productPHI

DAYS

REMARKS
Nursery establishment

(seeding)

Downey mildew

Damping off

Southern blight

 

 

Pearl sc

 

Control 70DF

 

 

Carbendazim

 

Thiophenate Methyl

 

 

 

20mls

 

16gms

 

 

14

 

Once

 

2

 

1

 

 

40 ml

 

16g

 

 

14

 

14

 

–           The soil borne diseases can lead to total crop loss as seedlings dry before transplanting. Drenching the seed with control 70DF before sowing helps prevent the diseases.

Oshozyme seed boosterPlant growth promoting

hormones, sea

Weed extracts .

 

10ml

 

once110mlMix oshozyme with the seeds before sowing to help increase the seeds germinative power. Oshozyme is rich in vitamins ,proteins and plant hormones.
Nursery (seedlings)Damping off

Root rot

 

MistressMancozeb + Cymoxanil

 

30gms

 

7 days260g7

 

Systemic products,both curative and preventative and offers good control.
Master 72Mancozeb + Cymoxanil50gms14 days150 gm7
Aphids, Whiteflies, Onion ThripsOshothion 50ECMalathion40mls7days280ml14Seedling  pests which cause direct damage/ transmit diseases.
Onion Fly / Lesser bulb flyAtom 2.5EC +

Nimbecidine

Deltamethrin

Azidarachtin

10mls

50ml

7days220m

100mll

14.Can lead to crop loss if not managed well.

The two products to be mixed together.

Nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potphos

 

 

Easy grow stater

 

Oshozyme GR

 

 

 

NPK-0-50-30

 

 

NPK -18-20-21+TE

 

Plant growth promoting

hormones, sea

Weed extracts .

 

30mls

 

 

40gm

 

2.5 KG / 50 KG fertilizer

 

Once

 

 

7 days

 

Once

 

 

 

1

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

 

30ml

 

 

80g

 

2.5 kg

 

 

 

Well balanced foliar feed with high phosphorous and pottasium contents hence enables seedlings develop strong rooting system.

 

essential for root development and increases the plant length.

 

 

 

Transplanting

21 days after germination

NB: Use oshozyme Granule + blackearth +DAP +Manure in each planting hole

 

Weed control

 

 

Oxygold

 

Oxyflourfen

 

50ml

 

once

 

1

 

50ml

 

Should be applied on wet soils 2 days before transplanting. Can also be applied upto two weeks after transplanting provided soil is wet at a rate of 30ml/20L

NematodesBio- nematoneP. lilacinus100gonce1100g0To control and manger root knot nematodes
Weed controlOxygoldOxyfloufen

 

50 ml

 

once150 mlControls weeds early and give crop opportunity to vigorously  develop.
NutritionOshozyme D

Oshozyme G

 

Blackearth

 

 

 

Easy grow stater

 

Ascophyllum nodosum

 

 

Water soluble soil amendment and blend composition

 

NPK -18-20-21+TE

 

20ml

2.5kg/50kg DAP

 

1kg/50 kg

DAP

 

40 gm

Once

 

 

 

 

 

 

once

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

20ml

2.5kg

 

 

 

 

 

40g

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

helps the seedlings develop strong rooting system and fast pick up after transplanting

 

reduces nutrient lock up,helping stabilizing Nitrogen,improves soil aeration,stimulates growth of beneficial fungi especially in soils low in organic matter.

The foliar promote vigorous root and fibrous roots development.

 

Purple blotch , Downey mildew and other fungal diseasesPearl 50 SC

Control 70 DF

Carbendazim

Thiophenate methyl

20mls

16grm

14 days

14days

 

5

 

80 gm

14

14

Soil borne fungal disease. And can affect any stage.Drench the planting holes with the Pearl 50SC or Control70DF solution before transplanting to control the disease.Crop rotation is also useful
Bacterial diseasesEnrich BM10g14days110 gmTo induce immunity to manage Bacterial wilt early

Enough  on  the crop.

Vegetative

Stage1-4weeks after transplanting

 

Transplanting

NB.

Top dress at 3weeks with sulphate of ammonia

Aphids, thrips and other Insects

 

 

 

 

 

Manik 20sp

 

Atom

 

Nimbecidine

Acetamiprid

 

Deltamethrin +

 

Azidarachtin

 

5gm

 

10 ml

 

50 ml

 

14days

 

14 day

 

14 days

 

2

 

4

 

4

10g

 

40 ml

 

200 ml

 

14

 

 

 

 

Serious pest like aphids and whiteflies cause direct damage and transmit viral diseases.

Damaging pest to young seedlings disrupting head formation.the presence of its larvae in florets can lead to rejection of the produce.

 

Bacterial soft rot and bacterial  diseasesSulcop 50DF

 

 

Copper oxychloride

 

 

50gms

 

 

142100g7

 

 

These are bacterial diseases and mainly seed borne.Begin applications after transplanting with SULCOP 50DF repeat after every 10 days Use certified seed and practice crop rotation
Powderly mildew ,Botrytis and Rusts.CotafHexaconazole20 ml14 days240 mlControls all these economical deseases well
Leaf blotch / Neck blotchControl  70DFThiophenate Methyl20gm14 days2 40 gm7The product will control most of the fungal diseases
Nutrition

 

Easy grow Vegitative

 

NPK-27:10:16+TE

 

40gms

 

14 days3120g0Fertilizer with high N is recommended during the vegetative phase-Repeat at 2 week intervals.
OshozymeAscophyllum nodosum20mls14 Day360ml0oshozyme is a plant biostimaulant that has hormones, proteins/vitamins and helps the plant to withstand stressing conditions
Week 5 onwards

-Harvesting stage

Aphids, ThripsAtom 2.5EC

 

Nimbecidine

Deltamethrin+

 

Azidarachtin

15mls+

 

50ml

14 day

 

14 days

4

 

4

60ml

 

200 ml

1Atom 2.5EC has quick knockdown effect on these pests and stops their damage immediately after the spray
NutritionEasy gro starter

 

Oshozyme liquid +

 

 

 

Potphos

N:P:K

18:20:21 + Trace  Elements

 

Growth hormones and

Natural bistimulant

 

NPK 0:50:30

40 gm

 

 

20 mls

 

30ml

14 days

 

 

14 days

 

once

3

 

 

3

 

1

120 gm

 

 

60 mls

 

30ml

0

 

 

0

Provides the right minerals to the crop at this stage.

 

Oshozyme required at every stage of growth.

 

Provides phosphorous and potassium necessary for proper bulb development.

Summary of products required assuming each spray will use only one pump to cover the demo site;

  1. Control=100g
  2. Oshozyme liquid=200ml, Oshoxyme seed booster=10ml, Oshozyme granules=2.5kg
  3. Mistress=60g
  4. Oxygold= 50ml
  5. Atom=150ml
  6. Nimbecidine=500ml
  7. Oshothion=100ml
  8. Cotaf=50ml
  9. Sulcop=100g
  10. Easygro starter=250g
  11. Potphos=100ml
  12. Enrich BM=20g
  13. Easygro veg= 120g
  14. Bionematon=100g
  15. Manik=10g
  16. Blackearth= 1kg
  17. Aquawet=300ml

Notes

  • During the fungicide/insecticide sprays on ONIONS, it is advisable to incorporate Aquawet 10 SL (Nolyphenol Ethoxylate SL) which is wetting/spreading agent in the mixture.
  • During dryness use Green miracle (fatty Acid nutrients) to reduce water loss by the leaves during warm hot weather.
  • For insecticidal sprays ensure you mix the insecticides with NIMBECIDINE for best results.
  • During harvesting use short P.H.I products .e.g Atom

 

Common Pests and Diseases of Onion Farming In Kenya

Common Pests:

  1. Onion Thrips (Thrips tabaci): These tiny, slender insects feed on onion leaves, causing silver streaks and reducing plant vigor. Severe infestations can lead to stunted growth and reduced bulb size.
  2. Onion Maggots (Delia spp.): The larvae of these flies feed on onion roots, leading to wilting and plant death. Affected plants may appear stunted and exhibit yellowing.
  3. Aphids: These small insects suck sap from onion plants, causing leaves to curl, distort, and become yellow. Aphids can also transmit viral diseases to onion crops.
  4. Cutworms: Larvae of various moth species, cutworms cut off young onion seedlings at the base, leading to plant loss. They are active at night and hide in soil during the day.

Common Diseases:

  1. Downy Mildew (Peronospora destructor): This fungal disease appears as white, fluffy patches on onion leaves. It thrives in humid conditions and can reduce plant vigor and bulb size.
  2. White Rot (Sclerotium cepivorum): A serious fungal disease that causes yellowing and wilting of onion leaves. Infected bulbs develop a white fungal growth and eventually rot. The disease persists in the soil for long periods.
  3. Purple Blotch (Alternaria porri): Purple-brown lesions with a target-like appearance develop on onion leaves. Severe infections can defoliate plants, reducing bulb size and quality.
  4. Bacterial Soft Rot (Pectobacterium spp. and Erwinia spp.): This bacterial disease causes water-soaked lesions that quickly turn into a slimy, foul-smelling decay. It often affects stored onions.

planting onion and spray program in kenya

Management Strategies:

To mitigate the impact of these pests and diseases, consider the following management strategies:

  1. Cultural Practices:
    • Practice crop rotation to reduce disease buildup in the soil.
    • Use certified disease-free seeds and transplants.
    • Space plants properly to improve air circulation and reduce disease spread.
  2. Integrated Pest Management (IPM):
    • Monitor fields regularly for signs of pests and diseases.
    • Use traps and pheromone-based techniques to manage insect pests.
    • Release beneficial insects, such as predatory mites, to control pest populations.
  3. Chemical Control:
    • Apply insecticides and fungicides when pest or disease pressure reaches a threshold.
    • Rotate between different classes of chemicals to avoid resistance.
    • Follow label instructions and safety guidelines when using pesticides.
  4. Sanitation:
    • Remove and destroy infected plant debris to prevent disease carryover.
    • Properly dispose of infested plant material to reduce pest and disease spread.
  5. Crop Protection:
    • Cover seedlings with row covers to prevent insect infestations.
    • Provide proper irrigation to minimize stress and make plants less susceptible to diseases.

FAQs

  1. What is the best time to plant onions in Kenya?

The best time to plant onions in Kenya is during the long rains, which are from March to May. This is because the soil is moist and warm during this time, which are ideal conditions for onion growth.

  1. What is the best soil for onion farming in Kenya?

Onions grow best in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. The soil should also be loose and friable, so that the roots can easily grow.

  1. What is the best variety of onion to grow in Kenya?

There are many different varieties of onions that can be grown in Kenya, but some of the most popular include:

  • Red onions: These onions are known for their strong flavor and are often used in cooking.
  • White onions: These onions are milder in flavor than red onions and are often used in salads and sandwiches.
  • Spring onions: These onions are young onions that are harvested before they mature. They have a mild flavor and are often used in stir-fries and salads.
  1. How much does it cost to start an onion farming business in Kenya?

The cost of starting an onion farming business in Kenya will vary depending on the size of the farm, the type of equipment used, and the cost of inputs. However, a small-scale onion farming business can be started with as little as 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

  1. How much can I earn from onion farming in Kenya?

The income from onion farming in Kenya can vary depending on the yield, the market price, and the cost of production. However, a good onion farmer can earn up to 1 million Kenyan shillings per acre per year.

  1. What are the challenges of onion farming in Kenya?

Some of the challenges of onion farming in Kenya include:

  • Pests and diseases: Onions are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, such as thrips, leaf miners, and downy mildew.
  • Weather: Onions are sensitive to weather conditions, and can be damaged by drought, flooding, and frost.
  • Market volatility: The price of onions can fluctuate wildly, making it difficult to predict profits.
  1. How do I prevent pests and diseases in my onion crop?

There are a number of ways to prevent pests and diseases in your onion crop, including:

  • Using certified seeds
  • Rotating crops
  • Practicing good sanitation
  • Using pesticides and fungicides as needed
  1. How do I irrigate my onion crop?

Onions need regular irrigation, especially during the dry season. The best way to irrigate your onion crop is to use drip irrigation. This will help to prevent the spread of diseases.

  1. How do I harvest my onion crop?

Onions are ready to harvest when the leaves start to fall over and the bulbs are firm. To harvest your onion crop, use a sharp knife to cut the bulbs off at the base.

  1. How do I store my onion crop?

Onions can be stored for several months in a cool, dry place. To store your onion crop, place the bulbs in a single layer in a basket or bin. The bin should be placed in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

  1. What are the nutritional benefits of onions?

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber. They also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

  1. What are the medicinal uses of onions?

Onions have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. They are a traditional remedy for coughs, colds, and flu. Onions can also be used to treat wounds and burns.

  1. Where can I buy onion seeds in Kenya?

Onion seeds can be bought from most agricultural stores in Kenya. You can also buy them online from a number of reputable seed suppliers.

  1. Where can I get more information on onion farming in Kenya?

There are a number of resources available to help you learn more about onion farming in Kenya. You can contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, or visit one of the many agricultural research stations in Kenya. You can also find a number of books and websites on onion farming.

  1. What are the government policies on onion farming in Kenya?

The government of Kenya supports onion farming through a number of initiatives, including:

  • Providing subsidies for inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers
  • Offering training and extension
  1. How can I access government support for onion farming in Kenya?

You can access government support for onion farming in Kenya by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The Ministry has a number of programs that support onion farmers, including:

  • The Onion Seed Subsidy Program
  • The Onion Training and Extension Program
  • The Onion Market Development Program
  1. What are the risks involved in onion farming in Kenya?

The risks involved in onion farming in Kenya include:

  • Pests and diseases: Onions are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, such as thrips, leaf miners, and downy mildew.
  • Weather: Onions are sensitive to weather conditions, and can be damaged by drought, flooding, and frost.
  • Market volatility: The price of onions can fluctuate wildly, making it difficult to predict profits.
  1. How can I mitigate the risks involved in onion farming in Kenya?

There are a number of ways to mitigate the risks involved in onion farming in Kenya, including:

  • Using certified seeds
  • Rotating crops
  • Practicing good sanitation
  • Using pesticides and fungicides as needed
  • Insuring your crop
  1. What are the future prospects for onion farming in Kenya?

The future prospects for onion farming in Kenya are good. The demand for onions is increasing, both domestically and internationally. The government is also supporting onion farming through a number of initiatives. As a result, there are good opportunities for onion farmers in Kenya to make a profit.

  1. What are the challenges to the growth of onion farming in Kenya?

The challenges to the growth of onion farming in Kenya include:

  • Lack of access to land
  • Lack of access to credit
  • Lack of access to quality inputs
  • Lack of knowledge and skills
  • Market volatility

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