Trees are not exciting, but they can be a great source of long-term investment. We should all invest in businesses that will help us secure our financial future. This is because time flies and soon you will be doing one of the following:
- Paying your kids’ school fees The cost of school fees goes up each year, and this can be a financial nightmare if you have many kids and you have not prepared yourself. Kindergarten school fees are not usually that much, but once you start paying high school and university fees, then that’s when the sweating starts.
- Retirement: You need to put aside money that will take care of you when you retire. If you find yourself without backup money during retirement, then you will start asking for help from your kids, who are also struggling in their young lives. Invest now and relax tomorrow.
There are various ways we can invest and save up money for tomorrow. This is normally done through pension schemes, SACCOs, insurance, and trust funds.
If you happen to be in possession of a piece of land, however, you can focus on growing trees as a source of income.
Here are some of the trees you can grow to help secure your future alongside other investments you have done.
Avocados, also known as “green gold,” are crops whose profitability is here to stay. Avocados love warm climates, and Kenya and other parts of Africa that have such favorable conditions can benefit from this wonderful crop. Avocados have huge potential due to their international demand. It is exported to Europe, China, and the USA, among other countries. Everyone loves eating avocados. It’s put on bread and vegetables and acts as a food accompaniment. Avocado oil can also be extracted from avocado fruits and used for cooking and cosmetic purposes.
Grafted avocado trees start bearing fruit in between 2-3 years. Let’s put it at 3 years. The Hass avocado variety is currently the most popular avocado fruit on the market. It has a bumpy green surface or skin and turns a dark purplish-black when it becomes ripe.
Once your crop reaches 7 years old, you can get up to 100 kg of fruit per tree. Buyers will come rushing to your farm once your fruits are ready. They will buy 1 kg of fruit at Ksh 100 per kilo. These prices change from time to time, of course. The more trees you have, the better.
Eucalyptus trees, also called Blue Gums, can be found in most parts of Kenya. They have been around for quite some time, and most of us take these trees for granted. Eucalyptus trees are fast, straight-growing trees that can reach a height of up to 50 m and have a trunk diameter at a breast height of 2 m.
Tree prices have been increasing over the years, and the current price for a 10-year-old tree stands between Ksh 4,000 and Ksh 8,000. Prices also depend on the size of your tree. These prices will continue to increase as trees become scarcer in Kenya. One acre can take 1200 plants grown at a spacing of 2m x 2m.
Cypress is the single most important wood needed when you are building a house. Most houses use cypress wood for roofing and ceiling placement. Those on a budget try and wiggle the use of eucalyptus trees, but cypress remains king when it comes to roofing. This is because the cypress wood remains straight when cut. This makes it suitable for roofing. But how much does it cost?
Cypress trees are expensive. They are currently sold in the timberyard at Ksh 35 per foot, while Eucalyptus trees are Ksh 27 per foot. Cypress can be cut for wood when it reaches 10 years old. You can sell a tree at Ksh 10,000.
Have you ever seen macadamia nuts in supermarkets? Those come from these trees. Macadamia nuts are in high demand in the market. It takes 7 years for you to start harvesting your nuts. This is one of the reasons why there is a high demand for the fruit.
Most people are not ready to wait for 7 years to get a return on their investment. This creates a low supply and high demand scenario in the market. One macadamia tree can give you up to 80 kg of nuts per tree. This is the yield from the improved variety. Local varieties will give you 30 kilos. You should consult before buying seedlings to get the best type of variety for your region. A kg of macadamia nuts goes for Ksh 200 per kg.
Grafted Mango Trees
Mangoes are everywhere these days. They have become an increasingly important fruit to Kenyans, with the average Kenyan consuming an estimated 12 kg per year.
There is a massive and increasing regional and global demand for mango juice and other processed products such as:
- Dried mango confectionery products.
- Green mango in brine.
- Vinegar for processing.
- Jams, preserves.
- Mango seed oil for cosmetics.
Did you know that Kenya is among the world’s highest mango producers? Kenya is the third-largest mango producer in Africa, We can therefore exploit our country’s favorable agro-climatic conditions and grow mango trees and secure favorable incomes.
Mangoes are best adapted to warm tropical climates. Mangoes require a dry period at the flowering stage and sufficient heat during ripening. This means your region should have moderate rain followed by a dry season.
These areas are Mombasa, Lamu, Garisa, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, lower parts of Kiambu, Thika, Matuu, Muranga, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Mwea, and Maranjau.
Grafted mango trees take 3 years to bear fruit. The break-even point comes after 5 years. A single tree can give you up to 1000 fruits, which you can sell at Ksh 10 per fruit. Some of the mango varieties on the market are Kent, Tommy, Vandyke, and Apple. The Apple Mango is the most popular mango variety in Kenya.
Growing trees takes time. You can make money from trees, but you need patience for your investment to mature.
The start-up costs of growing trees are high, but if you create a step-by-step planting plan, then all will be well. You can start small and grow.
The market is hungry for fruits and trees. These are investments that will never let you down.
Do you have capital and land? Then go ahead and start growing trees. If you grow them today and wait for a few more years, then you will have great success financially. This will help you pay your bills and cushion you through hard times.
Which other type of trees or topic would you like me to research? Please leave a comment below.
- “Mango Production,” SHEP PLUS Model Farmer Groups.
- “Mango Production Investment Case,” Kenya Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Alliance (KAAA).
- “Eucalyptus Growing in Kenya,” Kenya Forest Service.
- “Avocado Production,” SHEP PLUS Model Farmer Groups.
- “Value chain analysis for Macadamia Nuts from Kenya,” CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- “Cypress Trees” – Wikipedia