How I make Ksh 1.2 million monthly by selling sugarcane in Nairobi


I think you have seen people selling sugarcane in the streets of Nairobi and wondered how much money they make. Well, one of the entrepreneurs who has been in business for 13 years reveals how he makes over Ksh 1.2 million per month.

“I started this business in 2011 when I realized that there is a gap. I have 5 acres of sugarcane plantation in Kisii, this is what I started with. When starting, I didn’t exactly know how to do it. My first trip to Nairobi was at a loss, I had spent Ksh 20,000 on transport. I had used a truck which had transported goods to Kisii and was returning empty, they offered to carry the sugarcane for Ksh 20,000. On reaching Nairobi, I decided to take it to Muthurwa market. I was shocked that in Muthurwa, you cannot sell anything without involving brokers. I sold the sugarcane for Ksh 45,000 but brokers took Ksh 7,000. I had spent Ksh 5000 on labour and other expenses amounting to over Ksh 3,000. I ended up making Ksh 2,000 as profit. It’s the money I used as transport back to the village.

I didn’t give up. I planned my second trip after 3 months of doing my research in Nairobi. I identified a number of people who were selling sugarcane in the streets. I also identified hotels and other joints where sugarcane juice was being sold. I requested to be their supplier.

The second trip earned me a profit of Ksh 25,000. I routinely sold the sugarcane until I purchased my pickup. It costed me Ksh 1.8 million to purchase one. I took a loan of Ksh 1.4 million from a bank and topped up the rest using my profits.

By 2020 I had started buying sugarcane from Keumbu market in Kisii to top up with sugarcane from my plantation.

People love sugarcane from Kisii because it’s so sweet. I don’t struggle to sell it because I have a ready market.

I have been doing the business for 13 years now. By January 2024 I was making Ksh 1.2 million per month. One of the reasons I have grown fast is because some of those supplying sugarcane have died, others quit the business.

Currently, I have 3 pickups,one form transporting from Kisii to Nairobi and two for supplying within Nairobi.I plan to expand the business to Mombasa and Kisumu where demand is high.

One challenge I face is police who demand for bribe every time I transport the sugarcane.I have to spend up to Ksh 10,000 on the way.But generally,the business is profitable with few challenges.


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