the above picture is Charles the bullet eater farming in Kenya . Considering farming as a business is necessary to improve livelihood as we pointed out in the January issue . Part of farming business is marketing of crop in order to get the highest profit possible. Maize is the most food crop in Kenya , the majority of farmers plant it for home consumption and hope to sell a surplus to earn some cash, every Kenyan eats on average 98 kilogram of maize every year.

A farmer who wants to produce maize for sale needs to consider several important factors when entering into maize production and also when deciding when and how to sell the maize and marketing , first a farmer defines how much land will be available to put into maize . The farmers then needs to calculate how much maize the family will need between the planting seasons. Will the output only feed the family, or can you get more to sell at the market. Once you have come up with a figure, you should plan how much maize you want to sell and where . The maize can be sold directly from the farm to individual buyers or to the middlemen , or it can be taken to the nearest market by the farmers themselves or by farmers organized in a group.

It can also be taken to a buying agency such as the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) . A farmer can Also consider other possibilities such as contract farming. The farmers sign a contract with a buyer or an agency and agrees on the price per bag and how many bags are to be delivered before the production even starts.

This way of marketing is not very common in kenya as yet, buy has the advantage that the price Is fixed regardless of how good or bad the harvest will be. The price per bag needs to be calculated too. Here the farmer should know the price of previous seasons as a starting point. Currently, a bag of maize in Kenya goes for around Kenya shilling 1300



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