Looking to start beans farming in Kenya? This is an excellent idea.
There are several reasons why you should venture into this agribusiness.
Beans are one of the most important and affordable sources of protein for the Kenyan population, both the rich and the poor.
This implies that beans have a big market. So you can make a lot of money from beans farming in Kenya.
Kenya’s agricultural sector employs about two-thirds of the workforce and accounts for one-third of the GDP.
Beans Farming In Kenya: Ultimate Guide
Beans farming in Kenya is a lucrative investment that can generate high yields if done well.
To succeed in beans farming, you should take into account the following steps:
1. Choose the right variety
There are many different varieties of beans that can be grown in Kenya.
It is important to choose a variety that is suitable for the climate and soil type of your area.
If you’re growing the crops on a large scale, it’s also important to consider the profitability the type you wish to grow.
2. Prepare the soil
Prepare the piece of land properly and well in advance. Beans need soil that is rich in nutrients and well-drained.
Add organic matter to the soil before planting to improve its fertility and drainage.
Decide oh how you will plant your beans. Beans can be planted in either rows or hills.
However, it is advisable to plant the beans in rows if you are using a mechanical planter.
If you are planting by hand, plant the beans in hills about 9 inches apart.
4. Water them
You should water them regularly. Beans need regular watering to produce a good yield.
Make sure to water the beans during the morning or evening so that the foliage will dry quickly.
Weeds can stunt your beans since they can compete with beans for nutrients and water.
Therefore, remove weeds from the beans field regularly to ensure good growth.
The beans will be ready for harvest when the pods are dry and brittle. Beans are usually ready for harvesting 70 days from the day of planting.
Simply cut the pods from the plants with a sharp knife, and then thresh the beans by hitting them with a stick or a hammer.
Read also: Goat farming in Kenya
Varieties Of Beans Grown In Kenya
There are many types of beans that are grown in Kenya. Some of the most common types are:
1. Red Kidney Beans – These beans are deep red and have a kidney-like shape. Hence the name kidney.
They are often used in dishes like chili and are a popular choice for refried beans.
2. Pinto Beans – Pinto Beans are light brown in color and have a characteristic spotted pattern.
They are often used in dishes like burritos.
3. Black Beans – Usually, they are deep black and have a rich, earthy flavor.
They are usually used in dishes like black bean soup or as a side dish.
4. Navy Beans – They are light white in color and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
They are often used in dishes like navy bean soup.
5. Garbanzo Beans – They are light beige in color and have a nutty flavor.
They are often used in dishes like hummus or as a side dish.
Suitable Areas For Planting Beans
Beans are a warm-weather crop and grow best when planted in areas with long, hot summers.
While there are many areas in Kenya where beans can be successfully grown, some areas are better suited for this crop than others.
The best areas to plant beans in Kenya are in the central highlands and the Rift Valley.
These areas have warm summers and ample rainfall, which are essential for growing beans.
The coastal and lowland areas of Kenya are also suitable for growing beans, but the summers are not warm and the rainfall is not plentiful.
Requirements For Beans: Soil And Water
Beans are a legume and as such, they have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form that plants can use.
Beans do not require a lot of nitrogen fertilizer, but they do require well-drained soil with a pH between 5.9 to 6.7.
They also require a lot of water, so make sure your soil is well-drained.
Beans can be planted in two ways, namely:
2. Row planting
Broadcasting is the traditional way of planting beans.
The beans are broadcast on the ground and then covered with soil.
Row planting is a more modern way of planting beans.
The beans are planted in rows and then covered with soil.
The type of soil that is best for growing beans is loamy soil. The soil should be well drained and have a pH of 6.6 -7.4.
Beans can be planted at any time of the year. However, the best time to plant beans is during the rainy season.
Beans can be planted using two methods, namely:
The seedling method is the most popular method of planting beans. You plant using seedlings.
The seed method is not as popular as the seedling method. The beans are planted using seeds.
Beans can be directly seeded into the garden, or started indoors and transplanted.
If direct seeding, make furrows or hills about 1.5 inches deep and 6.5 inches apart.
Place 3 or 4 seeds in each row or hill, and then thin to the strongest plant.
If starting indoors, sow the seeds in peat pots or other containers about 3 weeks before the last frost.
Harden off the plants by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions for a week before transplanting.
Plant the crop in the garden over 1.5 inches deep and 5.5 inches apart.
The following are the steps to harvesting beans:
1. The first step is to know when to harvest the crop.
Check the size and color of the beans. The beans should be harvested when they are full-sized and have a dark color.
2. The next step is to harvest the beans.
Harvest by hand or by using a harvesting machine.
3. The last step is to clean and process the beans.
You can clean by hand or by using a cleaning machine.
The beans can then be processed into different products such as canned beans, dry beans, or bean paste.
Price Of Beans In Kenya
The price of beans in Kenya has been on the rise in the recent past.
The main factors that have contributed to this are the high demand for the crop and the limited supply.
The high demand is a result of the increasing population, while the limited supply is a result of the poor weather conditions that have been experienced in recent years.
Diseases That Affect Beans Farming In Kenya
Beans farming in Kenya is affected by a number of diseases, including bacterial blight, anthracnose, and common rust.
Bacterial blight is a bacterial infection that causes lesions on the leaves and pods of the plant.
Anthracnose is a fungal infection that causes lesions on the pods and stem of the plant.
Common rust is a fungal infection that causes yellow spots on the leaves of the plant.
Challenges Facing Beans Farmers In Kenya
There are a number of challenges that beans farmers in Kenya face.
The most common challenges include:
Beans are susceptible to a number of diseases, which can affect crop yield.
These diseases include Fusarium wilt, anthracnose, angular leaf spot, and common bacterial blight.
Beans are also prey to a number of pests, such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies.
These pests can cause significant damage to the plants and can reduce crop yield.
3. Poor soil
Beans are a legume crop, and therefore they fix nitrogen in the soil.
However, the soil in Kenya is often poor in nutrients, which can limit the growth and yield of beans.
4. Lack of water availability.
Beans require a lot of water to grow, and Kenya experiences periodic droughts, which can affect the production of the crop.
5. Limited access to markets
Beans are a perishable crop and often have a short shelf life.
This can limit their access to local and international markets and can reduce their price.
Health Benefits Of Beans
All types of beans are high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and they are low in fat and calories.
Beans are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
The crop is especially high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from disease.
Final Thoughts On Beans Farming In Kenya
Beans farming in Kenya is a lucrative venture that can generate a good income for the farmer.
However, there are some important things to consider before starting a beans farm in Kenya.
First, the farmer should select a suitable location for the farm that has adequate sunlight and water.
Second, the farmer should select the right variety of beans to grow based on the climate and soil type.
Third, the farmer should ensure that the beans are properly fertilized and irrigated.
And lastly, the farmer should market the beans to local buyers or processors to earn much-needed money.