What is Wakulima Hub?
We are focused on growing local businesses and farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to deliver positive economic impacts and create jobs, benefitting all stakeholders including governments and multi-national corporations who want to use their local buying power as a force for good.
We have partnered with BIDCO AFRICA to support sunflower and soyabeans farmers in Kenya by providing training and technical support, as well as a ready market for their produce.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can a farmer join the sunflower farming project?
The farmer can join the sunflower project by visiting the farmer registration page.
2. What are the conditions for eligibility?
Eligible farmers joining the Invest In Africa Sunflower project will be required to:
- a) Be a Kenyan citizen youth, women farmers encouraged to register
- b) Own or have leased at least one acre of land within the Kenyan borders.
- c) Be ready and willing to utilize your resources to plant, manage and harvest the sunflower.
3. What is the contract duration?
Invest In Africa offers a contract that is renewable for each season (3 seasons/year).
4. What are the estimated returns for sunflower farming?
One acre of land a farmer can yield a harvest between 1000-1200 Kilograms of seed that is sold between Kes 30- 35/Kg depending on the quality of the produce.
5. What is the farming cycle for the sunflower?
The cycle for sunflower farming from planting to harvesting is 80-120 days.
6. Where can sunflower be grown?
Sunflower grows on any altitude ranging from 0-2600m above sea level. In Kenya sunflower is typically grown in the regions such as Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Meru, Kajiado and parts of North Rift and the Coastal Region. Sunflower will grow well where maize and beans are grown. The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.5.
7. What is the cost of planting the sunflower?
To plant sunflower you will need to plant 3 Kgs of sunflower seeds per acre. A 1kg pack of Sunflower seeds costs KES 200-300/KG based on the seed type. For this project we recommend planting Kenya Fedha or H8998. A farmer will also need 6 labourers to support at the Land preparation, planting, weeding and Harvesting stages. The farmer will also need to purchase to purchase NPK fertilizer to apply at planting at the rate of 50 kg per acre.
8. Where can a farmer get inputs (seeds and fertilizer)?
Sunflowers seeds are available at Kenya Seed Company or from your local agro-vet. You have to ensure that the seeds purchased are certified. Seeds from Kenya Seed are highly recommended as they are certified quality seeds. IIA will link you to the input Supplier.
9. What support will farmers joining this project be provided?
Technical support, visit to demo farms, agronomy support etc. Invest In Africa will provide the content support via guides and other materials. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic farm visits may not be feasible.
10. How are Sunflowers Harvested?
The flower should be left to dry on or off the stem until the point when the back of the head turns brown, the foliage turns yellow, the petals die down, and the seeds look plump and somewhat loose. With sharp scissors or pruners, cut the head off the plant (about 6 inches below the flower head). You will recieve contacts to an available agronomist who will support you.
11. Is cross-pollination with Sunflower Mandatory?
A sunflower can self-pollinate and you can decide to have bees within your farm which creates inreased revenue. Invest In Africa will support you by linking you to input suppliers, tehcnical support and a ready market for the honey through a Partnership.
12. What are the returns for the honey project?
For one acre of land a farmer can have a minimum of 10 bee hives. Each hive produces between 8-10 kgs per harvest (Honey is harvested 3 times a year). The farmer can sell the harvested honey at a guaranteed rate of Kes 500/KG.
13. How long is the Honey project cycle?
Honey can be harvested 3 times a year (Every 3-4 months).
14. What are the requirements for the Honey project cycle?
To join the honey project you will need to purchase a hive which is sold at KES 4,800 per hive and your farm needs to be close to a water body (within a radius of 20-30 KM). The rate indicated is for our partner in this project.You will also need to purchase a harvest kit at KES 8,500 and at least one laborer.
15. What training is offered in technical assistance?
Training is offered by Invest In Africa partners and focuses on best practice land preparation, planting, plant management, pest control, harvesting, packaging and climate smart agriculture.
16. What about loan facilities?
Invest In Africa currently does not provide any loan facilities, however, we have partnered with various financial institutions that are willing and able to provide loan facilities to the farmers.
17. Are you working with aggregators?
The cycle for sunflower farming from planting to harvesting is 3 – 4 months and can be planted 3 times a year.
18. Does IIA have any other ready buyers?
Yes. Apart from the sunflower ready buyer, Invest In Africa has a ready buyer for the honey.
19. What are the implications of dropping of the contract?
Dropping the contract means forefeiting the benefits provided in the project such as the ready market that Invest In Africa has been able to secure on the farmer’s behalf which is risky. Dropping of the contract will mean that the farmer will not have access to the trainings and content from agronomists working with Invest In Africa in this project and also the farmer will not have access other linkage opportunities facilitated by Invest In Africa.
20. How long does it take to process the payment?
Farmers will be paid exactly 16 days after delivery of produce