Fact Sheet: Greenhouse options and costs in Kenya
By Farmbiz | Thu 10 Jan, 2013

greenhouse-Farming-in-Kenya.jpgWith an initial investment of Sh120,000 you can make upto Sh1.2million in an year, thanks to tried and tested farming technology that is keeping pests and harsh weather at bay while producing yields in record time. Greenhouses, which has been a buzz word have been hailed for allowing farmers to even start enjoying profits from their venture even in their first harvest, something hard to find in outdoor farming.

The average unit of a greenhouse is 8 by 30 metres and costs Sh150, 000. Government through KARI has also introduced miniature low cost greenhouses that go for as low as Sh40,000. Horticultural produces like tomatoes, onions and capsicum have been actively planted in Kenyan greenhouses and are among produces that are turning farmers into instant millionaires due to their demand.
For example, one tomato plant yields 16-20 kilograms of tomatoes with the markets, both local and export buying the healthy looking tomatoes at between Sh150-Sh250 a kilo. A square metre of tomatoes fetches about Sh3,000 shillings which means an average greenhouse in one harvest can bring a farmer some Sh400,000 in one harvest.

With three planting seasons in a year while leaving one season without planting to allow the soil to aerated, it means that a farmer can make 6,000 kgs per season which would translate to 18,000 kgs after every year. With even the cheap local market prices for the tomatoes standing at Sh40 and deducting the expenses a farmer can pocket upto Sh1million yearly.

Metal houses of 8 x 15 Meter cost between Sh 120,000 and Sh180’000; they are usually sold as a complete kit including the drip irrigation system. They should last 10 to 12 years. Timber constructions are cheaper, around Sh100’000 for the same size. But to put up your own construction is technically more demanding, and termites, wind resistance and durability of the polythene are usually a problem.

There are also metallic ones cost Sh140,000. For More Information Contact or  Irrigation, Drainage and Problem Soils Research Programme at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories, Waiyaki Way, Nairobi. Tel: 4444250. Email; irrigation@iconnect.co.ke

Agrotunnel international also has a variety of greenhouses which lasts between 10-12 years and come in different sizes.  Metal houses of 8 x 15 cost around Sh180’000; they are usually sold as a complete kit including the drip irrigation system. Timber constructions are cheaper, around Ksh 100’000 for the same size. Agro Tunnel International Ltd can be contacted through, Tel. 020 2012626 (office), Oliver 0722 520 083, 0733 520 083, Frida 0720 560 727 e-mail: agrotunnel@gmail.com

Compiled by Alvin Kwaga for African Laughter

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