Bungoma County is one of the counties that have been known to contribute largely on the agricultural sector in the country, thus opening up a variety of investment opportunities in the sector.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the county with sugar cane, maize, coffee and beans being the main crops that most farmers have concentrated on. Dairy farming is also practiced hugely in the county. These crops not only contribute to the county’s economic growth but to the country as a whole.
It is estimated that Bungoma County produces 1.6 million tons of maize every year. If this produce was to be processed within the county, the projected income is Sh. 96 billion per year. Unfortunately, almost 80 per cent of this maize is usually processed outside the county due to shortage of processing resources. This opens up an opportunity for investors to invest on Maize processing mechanism in the county.
Beans are grown on an approximated 36,000 hectares while coffee covers 4,965 hectares. Most of the beans harvested is sold to middlemen as there is no reliable market on the produce. Sugarcane farmers are also exploited by middlemen since the sugarcane mills have not been in a stable condition lately.
There is urgent need for investment on the agricultural sector in the county which will be an eye opening to the farmers. Most of them no longer give their best in farming as they are used to getting great losses even after putting too much of their efforts and resources on farming.
Investors will be in a position to bring back their hopes on farming and even encourage many more to engage in the practices. Despite the farmer’s efforts to plant coffee, there is no single coffee milling company in the county. Starting one will be a very lucrative business to the investor.
Farmers in the different fields also need to be enlightened on modern farming methods since most of them still practice the traditional ways. Lack of proper education and resources inhibit successful farming despite the availability of huge tracts of land. They need modern farming equipment which they are not in a position to purchase due to the huge expenses. The mechanisms can be leased out to them, where they pay for the equipment then returning after using them.
Article by Vera Shawiza.