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9 Simple Income-Generating Ideas: Make Money Farming

Updated on June 29, 2023
Carole Mireri profile image

Carole is a farming enthusiast who grew up on a farm. She is also an expert content writer.

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, both directly and indirectly. It has employed millions and turned a few others into millionaires. What is amazing is that in some instances you may not require a huge capital to get started.

Some creativity and a substantial plot of land is all you need. Here are some income generating ideas for farming that can change your life forever. Use a combination of any two or more—depending on your capability and interest to maximize your returns.

9 Basic Farming Ideas That Will Earn You Income

1. Poultry/Ornamental Farming

You can choose from a wide variety of poultry based on the type you decide to rear. For chicken, pick from the indigenous, the hybrid or the non-indigenous. Also consider whether you want to cage them or allow them to roam freely.

Other decisions to make include keeping only broilers for meat, or layers only for eggs. You may want to have a mix of the two. Think also of using an incubator to mass produce chicks for your project or/and for sale to other farmers.

All these are lucrative ways of generating income from 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 small, permanent house.

Most shapes are rectangular. You can have a single story or multistory structure depending on your preference and budget. Make sure you have some space around the structure for the chickens to roam, if they are free range or when the coops are being cleaned.

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

Other birds you can rear include;

  • ducks
  • geese
  • turkeys
  • pigeons
  • a variety of ornamental birds such as bantam, guinea fowls, silkies, peacocks, quails, and marans

Note that 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 numerous animals to choose from. You can opt to concentrate on one animal or several types.

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

Beef farming on the other hand requires considerable space so that the animals are fully attended to and grow to maturity. Similarly sheep farming is best done on 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 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. It resolves the headache of looking for a market.

3. Crop farming

The choice of crops you can grow is very wide. You may consider the common seasonal crops like maize, peas, beans, and irish potatoes. Ensure you prepare your land well. Decide whether to use animal manure or store-bought fertilizer.

Where land is limited, you may grow vegetables as there is always a ready market. These vegetables include;

  • kales
  • cabbages
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • cauliflower
  • traditional ones such as spider plant (esaget), African shade (managu), jute mallow (mrenda), and vegetable cow peas (kunde)

Prepare the soil, so it is very fine and well mixed with either manure or fertilizer. Consistently water your vegetables to ensure they grow well.

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. Most of them are used for enhancing flavor in cooking and baking.

You can sell them fresh or ground. Dry the fresh herbs and blend them into a fine mixture to make the ground herbs. In addition, leave some herbs to dry naturally on the farm before pulling them up.

Let them dry further in the sun before crushing them to release the seeds. You can then re-plant the seeds and sell the surplus. Examples of herbs are;

  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • basil
  • oregano
  • mint
  • sage
  • coriander
  • parsley
  • dill

The beauty with herbs is that they can also be effortlessly grown indoors.

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

Instead of your land that is lying idle, plant trees. This is a good investment, as mature trees can be sold for a tidy sum. You can also use them to construct your house and can earn one carbon credits (and therefore cash) yearly. By planting trees you stand to increase your income further.

7. Tourist farming

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

8. Fish farming

Another way farming can generate income is by engaging in fish farming. Dig out soil in a place you've set aside for this. The depth can be between 2 feet and 5 feet with respect to the region you reside in and the type of fish you want to rear. Having dug out, now identify your source of water and introduce it to your pond.

Next place your fish in the pond and throw in fish feed. You may want to have plankton algae grow in the pond. They 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. What's more, you can consume with your family to enrich your diet and modify your nutrition.

Remember to consistently clean your pond and if need be, improve your fish breeds. Just like poultry, ornamental fish farming exists 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

Also known as sericulture farming, it's a relatively new concept in developing countries. It involves rearing silkworms with a view to harvesting silk. To do this , construct 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 the incubated eggs. You can buy the eggs from a registered sericulture research center. Better still, you can produce your own eggs if the weather is favorable. This is not advisable though, because you may end up with poor quality silk yarn and may spread diseases.

Worms have four developmental stages;

  • 1st: The young worms develop into caterpillars
  • 2nd: Caterpillars feed for 26 days before spinning yarn
  • 3rd: They then turn into a pupa
  • 4th: 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 don't 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 $54 and one can collect between 100-150 kilograms. Silk 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 simple farming ideas of turning your parcel of land into a profitable venture, you cannot miss one that appeals 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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