Is it worth investing in Bulb Onions?
There are many varieties of onions out there, however, the red creole variety does well in warm climate, is pungent and has good storage. It
takes five months to mature. But is it worth investing one hundred
thousand brown notes an hectare on the variety? Lets find out.
Ideally, 17tons of yield are achievable on one hectare of red creole.
The current average price of onion per the 15kg net is Ksh.750 both in the two major consumer markets; Nairobi and Mombasa. Going by this M-Farm price, a kilogram will trade at Ksh.50.
With a harvest of 17000 kilograms per Hectare, assuming the farmer sells all of his onions, his Red Creole sales books will post a cool 850k. On the cost side it will be Ksh.100k. Factoring the five months wait, each month would be worth 150k. Boy, I am ready to resign, be my own boss and master the production of Alium cepa!
Well, unfortunately, that is not what is happening with the farmers I know.
Onion farmers in Kenya average three tons per hectare. With extra effort and care, it can go up to eight tons per hectare max. This translates to a profit range of between 50k and 400k per season respectively.
Is it worth the sweat? I would say yes but you have to do two things: one, decide to be the best onion farmer that ever lived by looking for information on both the best practices on production, and two, hug your boss goodbye and hit the road looking for market outlets.
One advantage with onions unlike others in the vegetable clan is that onions have a longer shelf life and they'll give you time to look for a buyer. All you need to do is to dry them well after harvesting, store them in a cool dry place preferably on 14 kilogram nets ready for dispatch.