News and knowhow for farmers

Farmers target flood resistant crops for quick cash

While the ongoing heavy rains may be not be well received by most, owing to the floods that have been associated with it in the past, farmers can take advantage of the many waters it will bring to make some quick harvests.

Popular perennial crops like maize, beans and millet, will certainly not be the sensible option to go  for during the approaching rains, because of their low tolerance to flooding, but there are many  high value crops that can bring farmers good tidings when the rains end, while boosting food security in the country.

Farmbiz Africa sought the opinions of experts on the kinds of crops  farmers can plant over the heavy rains and we came up with an interesting list.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes perform well in cool but frost-free growing seasons of 75 to 135 days. The ideal growing temperature for these tubers is 45°; hot weather reduces the number of tubers per plant. One acre of sweet potatoes can yield upto 10,000 kg of sweet potatoes, if proper husbandry is implemented. With one kilogram of sweet
potatoes costing Sh120 in Kenyan supermarkets, a farmer can make up to Sh1m from a sweet potato harvest after the end of the rains.

Arrow Root

Another crop that can withstand heavy rains, and strong winds, is the arrow root. The tuber crop requires moisturized soils throughout its growth and can take up to eight months to mature. While other crops can only be harvested once to avoid damage, this crop can be harvested for up to three months.  

One acre of arrowroot can yield upto six tons of tubers. With the retail price for a kilogram of arrow root being an average of KSh150 in Nairobi, and its demand being at an all-time peak, farmers can easily make revenues of Sh900,000 from one acre of land during heavy rains.


Although pumpkins seeds require warm soils during planting, they need plenty of water during the growing phase, which typically averages 110 days. One acre of pumpkin can yield 1000 marketable pumpkins, which will earn
the farmer Sh350,000 if each is sold at Sh350. Pumpkin leaves are also a popular vegetable in Kenya.

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