Fri. Sep 25th, 2020

Supporting Farmers

How timber farming is minting millionaires annually –

6 min read
timber farming guide


It is no secret the importance of having trees in the environment right?

We are guaranteed a fresh and healthier lifestyle just by building our homes close to forested areas. Well as common knowledge trees provide a source of income to many households either directly or indirectly.

In this article MkulimaTODAY covers the basics of starting out in timber farming and the estimated startup costs.

Tree farming and not planting has grown rapidly and significantly in the past few years in the country as a result of the real estate boom increasing demand in the country.



As the saying goes the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. Well you are in luck and can venture into farming head fast and still harvest as your heart desires. Today you and I will be walking through the production of timber.

We all do understands  that land is an appreciating asset that moves up with every ticking of the clock, and understand the devastating effects of global warming.

If you had trees on your parcel of land at the moment (today) the value of the land and that of the trees would be an easy source of income as this is one of the forms of saving since the venture is your living bank.

Also read:

How to start out in capsicum farming

Timber is a product that is in great demand both in the construction and artisan industries in the country among other industries.


Spacing is a key factor for the good growth of the trees, easy maintenance and harvesting.

You need to ensure the spacing between the trees is 4×8 0r 2.5×2.5 (all in meters).

Anyone can venture into tree farming as the returns are greater than any other agribusiness venture you have ever thought of.

You can sell the land as from   Kenya shillings 320,000 depending on the location of your farm when the trees are at the age of 3 years.


After planting the maintenance of the farm is key for the success of the venture.

Remember to keep pruning the trees regularly a factor that many farmers ignore leading to poor growth of the trees and reduction in quality during harvesting.

Pruning ensure the trees grow straight and longer resulting in timber with few bends and of a better market value.

Remember to include fire lines around the farm at least on a yearly basis to ensure you don’t register losses to the investments in the case of a fire.Image result for timber farming

This should be done immediately after the end of the rainy seasons. You have to consider the size of your farm when planning for the fire lines.

To add value to the trees avoid the entry of livestock into the farm as they stamp the soil making it hard .This makes it difficult for the roots to penetrate resulting in slow growth.

Study has revealed that as from the year 2010 the demand of timber products has sky rocketed and will keep growing even more to the year 2035 as a result of increased urbanization and development of several African countries.

The trees takes 7 years until harvesting and can be harvested to the tune of 12years for the fast maturing variety.

The local types take between 12-25 years to mature for harvesting. Make sure you speak to an expert before starting out in timber farming so that you get the best trees for your locality and with the best yields.

Like all agricultural ventures tree farming requires discipline and patience for you to see any returns on your farming ventures.

You can sell both the land and the trees if you can’t wait for the maturity of the trees giving you a ready source of income when need be.

From a large tree you can get quality timber and sell at Kenya shillings 320 and Kenya shillings 240 for roofing .The estimated price gets you 60 pieces and 30 for larger pieces.


The growing of timber in Kenya is done by the government and private individuals like yourself. Corporates that add value to the harvested trees by sorting buy directly from small scale farmers and the government but they also have large parcels of land under tree cover to meet their production demand.

The government owns and manages forests under the watchful eyes of the Kenya forest service’s rangers in partnership with KEFRI (Kenya Forest Research Institute) that advices on the types of tree to be planted.

You as a private citizens can purchase or lease land to grow trees for sale. Businesses /investors are also allowed to own land under forest cover for their own needs.

Timber is sold at various prices regarding size and quality. This makes  milling and timber  yard  business a lucrative venture minting fresh millionaires annually.Image result for timber farming

You can either sell your trees or harvest and process then sell ready made timber(doing value addition to your tree harvest) and earn even more.

The benefit of owning a farm under tree cover is that you don’t have to wait for the tree to mature.You can start selling trees at the age of 3 years old.

There is also a possibility of earning more by selling the land plus the trees. This will give you the ability to demand more value for your farm and in the process earning from the maturing trees.

Benefits of trees

Used in the making of paper

Sales of timber

Making of furniture

Benefits of timber farming

Low operating costs only slashing the branches about 4000 annually.

Needs of the trees as they grow

Value of the trees increases

High return on investments

Low startup costs

Value of the farm appreciates rapidly with trees planted.

Production costs

This are farm estimates and can vary from place to place

Preparation           4000

Seedlings               4000

Planting                 4000

Pruning                  2000

Fire lines                2000

Maintenance        4000

Total                      20,000

Duration                7-12 years

The above estimates are for a 1 acre farm with 600 mature trees.

The total profit after sales is Kenya shillings 192,000.

Having an agribusiness problem? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture story that you want to share I would like to hear from you? Send me the TIPS at

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