Most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya

ByElijah Ludenyi

Jun 26, 2023
Most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:52 pm

Below is a list of most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya.

Hey there, if you’re looking for ways to make some good money from your farm in Kenya, consider growing some high-value vegetables. While staples like maize and beans will always be important for food security, vegetables can provide much higher profits from smaller plots of land.

The demand for fresh produce is skyrocketing in Kenya, especially in cities, as people seek healthier diets and lifestyles. The key is choosing vegetables that provide the biggest bang for your buck based on factors like market prices, climate suitability, and crop yields. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most profitable vegetables you can grow in Kenya that are perfect for smallholder farmers. With the right crop and solid harvest, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your income and providing nutritious food for your community.

Here is a list of most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya

1. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of the most profitable crops you can grow in Kenya. They’re always in demand and you can harvest multiple crops per year.

To get started, you’ll need a controlled environment like a greenhouse or shade house. Mushrooms grow best in humid conditions, so maintaining the right temperature and moisture levels is key.

Spores or spawn are used to inoculate straw or sawdust beds. Once the mycelium colonizes the beds fully, you’ll see mushrooms sprout up, often within weeks.

Harvest mushrooms once the caps start to flatten out but before the gills on the underside turn dark. Twist or cut them at the base.

With the right setup and care, a small crop of mushrooms can generate big returns. And the best part? They’re ready to sell to vendors, restaurants, and consumers right away. Why not give fungi a chance?

2. Kales(Sukuma wiki)

Kales, also known as Sukuma wiki, are one of the most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya. They’re packed with nutrients, grow quickly, and people can’t get enough of them.

  • Kales can be harvested multiple times from the same plant. Just pick the outer leaves, leaving the inner ones to keep growing.
  • They’re easy to grow and don’t require much space. You can plant kales closely together in containers or small plots.
  • There’s high demand for kales in Kenya. They’re a staple in many people’s diets and an important source of nutrients, so they sell fast at local markets.
  • Kales grow year-round in Kenya’s climate, so you can produce continuous harvests. More harvests mean more money in your pocket.

If you’re looking for a crop that’s good for you and your wallet, kales are a perfect choice. In just a small space, you can grow a highly nutritious, quick-growing, and profitable veggie.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya. Their versatility and high demand make them an ideal crop for small-scale farmers. You can sell tomatoes fresh or process them into tomato paste, juice, or canned tomatoes.

Choose disease-resistant varieties that produce high yields, such as Money Maker or Roma VF. Plant seedlings 2-3 feet apart and stake the plants as they grow to support heavy fruit loads. Water and fertilize tomatoes regularly, especially once fruits start to develop.

Tomatoes need warm weather and lots of sun to thrive. Protect seedlings from frost and be on alert for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and hornworms. Pick tomatoes once fully ripe and red for the best flavor. With good care and the right conditions, a single tomato plant can produce 15-30 lbs of fruit in a season.

4. Onions ( Crops that can make you rich in Kenya)

Onions are one of the most profitable crops to grow in Kenya. These bulbous roots are always in high demand and popular with consumers. Onions have a long shelf life, so you can sell them even when the prices are high after harvesting.

The red and yellow varieties tend to fetch higher prices, as they are more pungent and flavorful. Plant the bulbs 6 to 8 inches apart and harvest once the tops turn brown and flop over. Curing the onions—by drying them out for a few weeks—will help develop their flavor and ensure they last for months.

Onions require fertile, well-drained soil and consistent moisture. They also need plenty of nitrogen, especially during bulb formation. By providing the right conditions and nutrients, a quarter acre of onions can yield up to 6 tons, bringing in over Ksh1.5 million per harvest.

5. Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the most profitable Vegetables to grow in Kenya. It has a quick harvest time, so you can get multiple crops in a single growing season. There are many varieties to choose from like romaine, arugula, kale, spinach and swiss chard. Pick a type that grows well in your climate and soil.

Lettuce needs fertile, well-drained soil and plenty of moisture to thrive. Sow seeds directly in your garden 2-3 weeks before the last spring frost. Lettuce seeds germinate best in cool weather, so keep the soil moist while the seedlings are getting established.

Also Checkout: Complete guide on lettuce farming in Kenya

Once the seedlings sprout, thin them so the remaining plants are 6 to 12 inches apart. Lettuce grows quickly, so check on your crop often and harvest the outer leaves once the plant is full size. Continue harvesting the outer leaves every week or two. The plant will continue producing new growth for several weeks.

With the fast-growing varieties, you can sometimes get 3 or more harvests from a single planting. Lettuce is also a great crop for small spaces like containers, raised beds, and window boxes. The key is to provide rich soil, consistent moisture, and cooler temperatures for the best results.

6. Coriander( Dania)

Coriander, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is one of the most profitable crops in Kenya that can make you rich. This fragrant herb is used in almost every Kenyan cuisine and in high demand.

Coriander grows fast, matures quickly (in 2-3 months), and can be harvested multiple times. It does not require much space to grow and thrives with little maintenance. You can start harvesting leaves once the plant is 6-8 inches tall. Continuously pruning the leaves encourages new growth and a higher yield.

The essential oils and extracts from coriander also have many medicinal and commercial uses, adding additional income potential. With a little time and effort, coriander can become a steady source of income for small farms in Kenya.

7. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are one of the most profitable crops to grow in Kenya that can make you rich. Their hard, thick skins and shelf stability allow them to be stored for long periods. You can sell pumpkins all year round at a good price, not just in the autumn harvest season.

Popular varieties like Butternut, Kabocha and Cheese pumpkins have a high yield per acre and a long shelf life. Butternut pumpkins, in particular, are high in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants. They are also naturally sweet, so are popular for making soups, stews, curries and desserts.

With irrigation and fertilizer, a single pumpkin plant can produce 3 to 5 large pumpkins weighing 5 to 50 pounds each. An acre of pumpkins can generate 50,000 to 100,000 Ksh in revenue. The key is choosing a variety that produces well in your climate and has a high market demand. If stored properly, pumpkins can last 6 to 12 months, allowing you to sell them when prices are highest.

Pumpkins are relatively low maintenance but require plenty of space, sunlight and water. However, their potential for high profits makes them worth the investment for smallholder farmers and large commercial operations alike.

8. Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the most profitable vegetables you can grow in Kenya. This hardy, leafy crop does well in the cooler climates of Kenya and has a high yield potential. Cabbage can be harvested multiple times, and the dense heads have a long shelf life and ship well, so they store and transport efficiently.

Cabbage prefers well-drained, fertile soil with compost or manure added. Plant seedlings in rows about 2 feet apart. Water cabbage regularly, especially in hot or dry weather. Fertilize the plants every few weeks. Cabbage takes 3 to 4 months to mature from transplant to harvest. Look for solid, dense heads that feel heavy for their size. Use a sharp knife to cut the heads from the stem.

Cabbage has so many uses in cooking and a high demand in local markets. You’ll find ready buyers for both green and red cabbage. Due to its popularity, hardiness, and high yields, cabbage can provide good income and help support your family. Consider growing cabbage as a profitable cash crop on your farm.

9. Spinach

Spinach is one of the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya. This leafy green is packed with nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamins A, C and K. Because of its health benefits, spinach is in high demand and prices remain stable.

You can harvest spinach multiple times from the same plant. Start by sowing spinach seeds directly in your garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost. As the seedlings grow, thin them so the plants are 4 to 6 inches apart. Pick the outer spinach leaves once they reach 3 to 6 inches long. The young and tender leaves are the most flavorful.

With the right care and conditions, a 10×10 foot spinach patch can yield up to 25 pounds of spinach – enough for many salads! And since spinach is a quick crop, you can get multiple harvests in a single growing season. The key is to keep the soil moist and fertilize every few weeks.

If you want to become a spinach supplier, cultivate a large crop and sell to local grocers, food distributors, and restaurants. Or consider value-added products like spinach pasta, dips, or juices. With its versatility, nutrition, and profit potential, spinach deserves a spot in every Kenyan garden.

10. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most profitable crops for smallholder farmers in Kenya. With increasing demand locally and internationally, garlic offers high return on investment. The crop is easy to grow, requires little space and matures fast. You can start harvesting garlic bulbs 6-7 months after planting.

To grow garlic, get quality seed garlic from a reputable supplier. Plant the cloves in well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. Space the cloves about 6 inches apart. Garlic needs plenty of nitrogen, so fertilize the crop regularly. Water the crop regularly, especially in the early stages of growth.

Once the bottom leaves start to turn brown, use a garden fork to gently lift one or two bulbs to check their size. Harvest the bulbs once the leaves turn brown and start to die back. Cure the harvested bulbs for a few weeks before selling or storing. Properly cured bulbs can last for several months when stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.

With increasing demand, garlic offers farmers high returns from both local and export markets. When you grow garlic, you open up opportunities to improve your income and livelihood.

11. Passion Fruits

Passion fruit is one of the most profitable fruits to grow in Kenya. This tropical fruit grows on beautiful flowering vines and produces round, orange fruits with a sweet seedy pulp.

Passion fruit requires warm weather and plenty of sun to thrive. The vines can grow over 20 feet long, so they require sturdy trellises or fences for support. Once established, each vine can produce over 200 fruits in a season. The fruits take 3-5 months to mature after flowering and have a relatively short shelf life, so they are best sold soon after harvesting.

With increasing demand locally and globally, passion fruit can be very lucrative. A single acre of passion fruit can yield over 15,000 fruits, generating an income of Ksh500,000-1,000,000 per harvest. The tasty juice and pulp are used in drinks, desserts, and cosmetics, while the dried seeds have nutritional benefits too.

To get started, you’ll need good quality seedlings, proper pruning and pest control, irrigation, and rich, well-drained soil with compost or manure. With the right care and conditions, passion fruit farming can be a very profitable crop for smallholder farmers in Kenya.

12. Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a tropical fruit that is popular in Asia and Central America. Dragon fruit plants can be very profitable to grow in Kenya due to increasing demand and limited supply. The cactus-like epiphytic plants are relatively low-maintenance but require warm weather and lots of sunlight. The oblong pink fruit has a sweet seedy pulp and an edible nutritious skin. High in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, dragon fruit can fetch a good price, especially when exported. The versatile fruit is used in juices, wine, jam, and skincare products. If you have the right climate and want to diversify your farm, dragon fruit could make you rich.

13. Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most profitable crops you can grow in Kenya. The sweet red berries are always in high demand and fetch very high prices, especially if sold directly to consumers at local markets or through roadside stands.

Strawberries require well-drained, fertile soil with a slightly acidic pH between 5.5 to 6.8. They need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce maximum yields. Strawberries can be grown year-round in Kenya, but the dry seasons from December to February and June to August are best for harvest.

With the proper care and conditions, a single strawberry plant can produce up to one kilogram of berries in a season. If you have enough space for at least 200-500 plants, you’ll be well on your way to growing a very profitable strawberry farm. The key is to choose a variety suitable for your climate and to provide the plants with the right amount of water, nutrients, and pest management. When done right, growing strawberries can be your ticket to sweet success!

14. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are one of the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya. They grow on vines and require warm weather, fertilized soil and plenty of water. Some tips for growing cucumbers:

  • Plant cucumber seeds in spring after the last frost. Cucumbers need 70-80 days of warm weather to mature.
  • Space the plants 3 to 4 feet apart. Cucumber vines can grow 6 to 8 feet long, so give them plenty of room.
  • Water the cucumbers regularly, especially as the fruits start to develop. Cucumbers are 95% water, so they need at least an inch of water per week.
  • Once the seedlings sprout, fertilize them every few weeks. A balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is best.
  • Prune the side shoots for easier picking and better growth. Also pinch off any diseased or damaged leaves.
  • Harvest cucumbers once they’re 6 to 8 inches long and still green. Check daily and pick often for the best quality.

With the right care and conditions, a single cucumber plant can produce 15-20 cucumbers in a season. Cucumbers are also easy to sell, as they’re a staple ingredient in Kenyan cooking and pickling. Growing cucumbers can provide income and help support your family.

15. Green beans

Green beans, also known as snap or string beans, are one of the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya. They are easy to cultivate and harvest, and in high demand. Green beans contain fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals.

To maximize your profits, choose a high-yielding bush bean variety and practice crop rotation. Provide trellises or stakes for the vining varieties. Plant during the dry season and irrigate regularly. Harvest the beans while still tender and young. Market the beans fresh at local outlets like open air markets, supermarkets, and restaurants. You can also preserve them by canning or pickling.

With the right care and strategy, green beans can generate good returns for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Their versatility, nutrition, and popularity make them an ideal crop for both domestic consumption and export.

FAQs: Your Questions on Profitable Farming in Kenya Answered

Will I need a lot of land to farm profitably?

Not necessarily. While more land means more crops and higher yields, you can still farm profitably on a small plot. The key is choosing high-value crops, using intensive farming methods, and maximizing your limited space. Some options:

  • Grow crops with a high return per acre like tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli or strawberries.
  • Use vertical space for vining crops such as beans, cucumbers and peppers.
  • Practice intercropping by growing compatible crops together. For example, plant quick-maturing radishes or lettuce with slower carrots or cabbage.
  • Make use of containers, raised beds and hydroponics which can produce good harvests even with minimal space.
  • Focus on high quality and aim to supply niche markets like organic produce which command premium prices.

With the right techniques and crops, a small farm can still turn a good profit. Size isn’t everything when it comes to successful farming in Kenya.


So there you have it, the top 5 most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya that can make you good money. Any of these options would be an excellent choice if you’re looking to start a profitable farming business. While the initial investment and workload may seem daunting, the potential payoff down the road could be life-changing. Imagine being able to provide for your family, send your kids to good schools, and gain financial freedom all from growing vegetables. The opportunities in agriculture are real if you’re willing to put in the work. Why not give it a shot – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Start small, learn as you go, and watch your profits grow over the seasons. Before you know it, you’ll be the most successful vegetable farmer in Kenya. Now go get your hands dirty and start planting. The money and success are out there waiting for you.