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A Simple Outline of Income-Generating Farming Ideas

Updated on June 29, 2020
Carole Mireri profile image

Carole is a farming enthusiast who grew up on a farm. She is also an article writer for hire.

Earning income through sheep farming
Earning income through sheep farming | Source

Farming as a Way of Earning Income

Farming is considered the number one employer. It has employed millions and turned many others into millionaires. What is amazing is that in some instances one does not require a huge capital.

Some creativity and a substantial plot of land is all you need to to get started. The following are some income generating ideas for farming that can change your life forever. A combination of any two or more can be employed depending on your capability and interest to maximize your returns.

9 Basic Farming Ideas That Will Earn You Income

1. Poultry/ Ornamental Farming

There is a wide variety of poultry to choose from. You can decide which type of poultry to rear. For chicken, one can rear the indigenous, the hybrid or the non-indigenous. You will need to decide if you want to cage them or allow them to roam freely.

Other decisions you need to make is whether you will keep only broilers for meat, or layers only for eggs. You may want to have a mix of the two. You could also think of using an incubator to mass produce chicks for sale to other farmers. all these are lucrative ways of generating income fro your small farm.

You need an enclosure where they will be reared in. This can be a simple structure made of wood and chicken mesh. It could also be a permanent small house. Most shapes are rectangular. You can have a one-story or multi-storeyed structure depending on your preference and financial status. Make sure you have some space around the structure for the chickens to roam in if they are free range or when the coops are being cleaned.

Also ensure that their houses are well-lit and regularly cleaned. Water should be changed daily. Do not allow visitors into the chicken pens and if they must enter, they should be quarantined before getting inside.

Other birds that can be kept include ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons and a variety of ornamental birds such as bantam, guinea fowls,silkies, peacocks, quails, and marans. Ornamental farming is quite lucrative compared to the work that goes in.

2. Animal farming

Your interest and size of land can guide you as to whether you should engage in livestock farming. There are a wide variety of nimals to choose from. You can choose to concentrate on one animal or keep several types.

Dairy farming does not necessarily require a large piece of land. There are farmers who keep up to ten animals on less than an eighth of an acre of land and they manage to take good care of these animals.

Beef farming on the other hand requires considerable space so that the animals are fully attended to and grow to maturity.Sheep farming requires a spacious place. Goats can survive on either a large open space or a very small space where zero-grazing can be done.

Pig farming is another great idea especially if you do not mind pigs.Most pig farmers have contracts with factories such Uplands in Limuru (the biggest manufacturer of sausages and related products in Kenya) where they supply pork on a regular basis. This resolves the headache of looking for market.

3. Crop farming

There is a wide variety of crops you can choose to grow. These include the common seasonal crops like maize, peas, beans, and irish potatoes. Ensure you prepare your land well. You can choose to use animal manure or store-bought fertilizer.

Where land is limited, you may consider growing vegetables as there is always ready market. These vegetables include kales, cabbages, carrots, lettuce, cauliflower, and traditional ones such as spider plant (esaget), African shade (managu), jute mallow (mrenda), and vegetable cow peas (kunde). Ensure the soil is very fine and well mixed with either manure of fertilizer. there should be water availability.

4. Herb farming

This is quite lucrative and a small space is good enough. Herbs are an ideal income generating idea whose returns cannot be overlooked. They are very marketable. They are used for enhancing flavor in cooking and baking. You can sell them fresh or ground.

The ground herbs require you to dry the fresh ones and then blend them to a fine mixture. You could also leave some herbs to dry naturally on the farm before pulling them up. Leave them to dry in the sun before beating up to release the seeds. These seeds can be re-planted and can also be sold

Examples of herbs include rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, mint, sage, coriander, parsley and dill. The beauty with herbs is that they can also be grown indoors with ease.

5. Fruit farming

This also depends on the size of land, your interest and patience levels. Some fruit trees take between 2-10 years to mature, for instance, oranges, mangoes, pears and apples. Yet once they mature and with proper care, you can reap for between 20-30 years. Others take a relatively short period of time to grow such as strawberry, passion, raspberry, peach, gooseberry and figs. they can grow within 1-2 years.

Bull farming and tourist farming conducted on the same farm
Bull farming and tourist farming conducted on the same farm | Source

6. Tree planting

You can choose to plant trees if you have land that is lying idle, This is a good investment as mature trees can be sold for a tidy sum, can be used when constructing your house and can earn one carbon credits (and therefore cash) yearly. By planting trees you can increase your income further.

7. Tourist farming

This is a relatively new concept in developing countries but has taken root in the developed world. It involves opening your farm for visitors (tourists) to have a look around, to picnic, to buy farm products and to sample farm fresh food. All this is at a set fee that will augment your income.

8. Fish farming

One of the ways farming can generate your income is by engaging in fish farming. You need to dig out soil in a place you have set aside for this. The depth can be between 2 feet and 5 feet depending on the region you reside in and the type of fish you want to rear. Having dug out, you need to identify your source of water and introduce it in your pond.

Next place your fish in the pond and throw in fish feed. You can also choose to have plankton algae grow in the pond. These will provide the fish with food and increase their growth rate. Once the fish mature in 6-10 months time, you can harvest them and sell to improve your farm income. You can also consume with your family to enrich your diet and modify your nutrition.

You need to consistently clean your pond and if need be improve your fish breeds. Just like poultry, there is also ornamental fish farming where fish such as koi, yellow cornet, fantail, shubkin, oranda and goldfish are not only kept for beauty but also fetch good prices when sold.

9. Silk worm farming

It is also known as sericulture farming. It is a relatively new concept in developing countries. It involves rearing silkworms with a view to harvesting silk. To do this , you need a house-like structure. You can make two to three raised stands with table tops where you will place the young worms.

These worms come from hatching of incubated eggs. Eggs should be bought from a registered sericulture research center. You could also produce your own eggs if the weather is favorable. This is not advisable though, because you will end up with poor quality silk yarn and spreading of diseases.

Worms have four developmental stages. The young worms develop into caterpillars. Caterpillars feed for 26 days before spinning yarn and then turning into a pupa. the pupa is what later becomes an adult butterfly.

The farmer times the caterpillar at the 26th day when it spins the cocoon for three days. It is not allowed to develop into pupa as it will break the silk yarn. It is therefore dried up at this stage and the farmer harvests the silk cocoon.

It is worth noting that during these initial stages, the young worms and the caterpillars are fed on mulberry leaves. If you are venturing into this, it would be prudent to first grow the mulberry plants so you do not lack their food.

Silk is on high demand in various countries like India and USA. It is mostly used for making fabrics. One kilogram of silk fetches about $45 and one collect between 100-150 kilograms. This type of farming earns you money in less than a month making it quite lucrative.

Another way of earning income: raising ornamental birds
Another way of earning income: raising ornamental birds | Source

With all these ideas of turning your farm into a profitable venture, you cannot miss one that will appeal to you. Try one and see how your farming income will increase. You could also think about value addition for your chosen type of farming. Remember, everything takes time, hard work, and due diligence.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Carole Mireri


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