1 ACRE COST BREAKDOWN: ONIONS
To attain the highest ROI [RETURN ON INVESTMENT],
Assuming you don’t have land, it's a good time to lease land. The cost of leasing land greatly differs from one region to another. There are several areas you can acquire land, just make sure the area is hot with lots of sunshine and a permanent source of water.
Onions need such climate and a lot of water for optimum growth and high yields. These areas include, Juja Farm, Mang’u, Thika, Kithimani, Matuu, Machakos, Emali, Loitoktok,Isnet, Isinya, Athiriver, Kajiado, Naivasha, Narok, Nyahururu, Rumuruti, Maralal, Nyeri, Karatina, Embu, amongst others.
In areas around Nairobi, Leasing cost can be up to 30,000 annually. Other areas range from 7,000 to 14,000 per year. This is a good point to ensure the acquired land is cleared of all bushes, trees or rocks in preparation to start onion farming.
This is where you do irrigation systems installation depending on your prefered method for irrigation. If it is drip irrigation, Total cost for buying and installing drip system is about 120,000/-. If using flood or basin irrigation, you need a pump and about 60 units of 3 inch back to back pipes @650 each and a delivery horse @1500/-. A good pump of at least 6HP, can cost around 25,000/- or cheaper depending with quality.
With drips the total setup cost is 120,000/-
Basin Irrigation Cost is: 65,000/-
Soil testing is a very important step when it comes to Onion Production. Collect a sample and submit it to KARI or KEMRI for analysis. This will guide you on the type of fertilizers and quantity to use in your onion cultivation. A soil test will cost you 1500/-.
Having the right seeds is key to a successful venture. Ensure to plant the right seeds with a seed rate of 1.5kgs in basin irrigation and 2kgs in drip irrigation for a good production. We have imported the Best seed varieties that will ensure yields of up to 28 tonnes per acre if done well and with the correct seed rate. Most onion seeds will cost between 20,000/- to 26,000/- per kg.
Establishing the nursery is a simple task. You can put up raised beds, or sunk basins depending on how you intend to irrigate your nursery. Make at least 15-20 beds with 10m length and 1m width. This is a one man work and can cost you 2000/-. This is where you can use a selective pre-emergence herbicide to contain weeds. However, if you decide to do so, do not sow your seeds until after 2 weeks.
After the establishment, sowing is the next activity. You can either sow in rows or broadcast. To save space and ensure maximum germination, we recommend the broadcasting method. Use DAP fertilizer 1 kg and cover with light soil then add mulch. Water immediately after mulching.This is a one day job using at most 5 people for the Job, paying 250/- Per person. DAP will cost you 100/-: Acquiring Mulch will cost about 500/-: Total Cost for Sowing is: 1,850/-
This practices include, Spraying, weeding and general crop husbandry. This is where most farmers lose 40% of seedlings without realization.
Make sure weeding and Spraying is done timely. Avoid spraying weeding herbicides at this stage of the nursery and use hand weeding instead.
Hand weeding will be done twice in the nursery. This will require up to 10 people each time working for 2 days at a rate of 250/- per person per day. Weeding will therefore cost you up to 10,000/- at the nursery life.
Spraying on the other hand will depend on the products being used. Using my spraying program, the cost is negligible if you purchase the entire spray program for the whole season.
My spray program works perfectly and has enabled us to contain 99% of nursery complications that come from common diseases and pests and i have been able to prevent damage or loss. To get this program, text 0719106700 @299/-
Start land preparation 3 weeks before the seedlings are ready for Transplanting. This will save you the cost of double ploughing. Land preparation involves Ploughing @4000/- and Harrowing @2000/-. With drip irrigation, this is where you check all your installations are in good shape and functioning properly.
If you did not do your installation initially, you can do it now. For flood irrigation folks, this is where you make your basins. An acre will contain about 1000-1200 basins. Each basin will cost up to 5/-. This is a total of 5,000/- on top of Ploughing and harrowing. Preparation of transpanting basins can take up to a week.
So be keen on timing so that you don’t run out of time. We don’t want our seedlings to overstay at the nursery( not more than 45 days) awaiting land preparation. Total land preparation is 11,000/- per Acre.
This is a beautiful activity. It gives you that sense of achievement. However it is costly and you should ensure you have enough funds to keep it going.
On the eve of Transplanting, check my spray program and see what to add to the soil for very quick growth and strong plants after transplanting. This mixture makes for smooth transition and prevent damage and loss from shock.
You will need at least 12 people for this job and this people will work on average 3 days or a maximum of 4 days depending on the kind of workers you will be having. Normal rate is 250 per half day or 350 full day. In our case, full day for 3 days is achievable. That’s a total cost of 13,000/-
This is one of the most important aspects in onion farming. Late or wrong fertilization could mean a reduced yield in your production. For maximum utilization, check your soil test results.
For those doing organic farming, check your soil test results to understand what amounts and type of manure to apply.
1 week after transplanting, Apply DAP or Yara Power. 3 weeks later, Start Topdressing with NPK, CAN or YaraWinner. For best bulb formation and heavier bulbs topdressing should be done 3 times with 50kgs rate per acre.
This means 4 bags of fertilizer the entire season. Each application will require application labour of 1 person @350. Depending on the cost of fertilizer in your region fertilization will cost you up to 15,000/-
Use MrJoker chelated fertilizer for uniform growth of bulbs and compact heavy bulbs.
our spray program(december edition) covers fertilizer application in details according to your soil test results and application rates per linear row.
Your production could drastically reduce if you don’t create a weed free environment for your onions. This is because onions do not compete well with weeds. Hand weeding is the most common method you can apply. You will need 10ppl @350 working 2 full days for each weeding activity.
Depending on you farm, weeding maybe done up to 3 times. This will mean a Total of up to 21,000/- for Weeding the entire season.You ca use chemical weeding on the other hand which is cheaper and efficient in weed control. Ensure to follow the guidelines for chemical weed control.
Only use selective herbicide after transplanting. Oxyfen has been proven very effective in weed control in onions. Apply 14 days after transplanting. View prices on our website.
This is key in onion farming. For organic farmers, i will be sharing biological control methods that work best for onions in the case of pest/disease infestation.
Most farmers lose a lot of potential yield due to lack of skills in controlling such pests and diseases.You end up using a lot of products( which are actually ‘the same’) and spend a lot of money in trying to contain common diseases and pests that could be contained following a spray program specifically for onions.
The cost for spraying could be alot more and it all depends how timely you start spraying your onions. Our spray program covers proper timing and preventive measures that will cost you less and save you the mess of trial and error. On average, with a spray program, you can spend about 10,000-15,000/-
Ensure to spray our organic MrSortie foliar every two weeks for perfect growth.
Buy the spray program on our website or WhatsApp 0719106700 for quick purchase.
By this time, you have everything set-up and it's all systems go for irrigation. Irrigation starts during transplanting and is done every 3 days for the entire season until the bulbs seem to mature.
Irrigation should stop 2 weeks before harvesting to allow for drying in preparation to start the bending procedure of the necks. Using the drip system means your only cost will be for pumping water to the tank. Depending on the climate, type of soil and the WRC( Water retention capacity) you may have to run your drip system for 30 min or 1 hour 2 or 3 times a day using 3,000 - 6000 litres daily. You will be able to determine this cost yourself.
For the basin type, you will need to use a max of 5ltrs of petrol or 3 litres of diesel per each irrigation. We can do a max of 600/- per each irrigation. Thats 1200/- weekly for 8 weeks assuming no rainfall. In very hot areas, irrigation should be done every 2 days. Irrigation cost may be 11,000/- on average or lower or even higher depending on climate extremes.
You can therefore do your own summary on the above costings depending on the factors mentioned at each level of your farming.
To get a table summary for this breakdown,seeds, herbicides or consulting Whatsapp +254719106700. For any suggestions, corrections or info, leave a comment.
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