A survey done in Kenya reveals that the Agricultural sector employs over 40% of the total population and more than 70% of the rural populace. If this is any reflection of many African countries, agriculture is a haven for investors who can take time to find the most lucrative cash crops, no matter where they are in Africa.

This is no news to anyone who has noted the agricultural sector’s huge transformation in Africa in recent years. Traditionally, farms were oriented to food items to feed the population. In recent years, we have diversified to farm luxury crops that buyers are willing to pay a premium to enjoy.

Here is our list of high-revenue earners for 2023.


Dragon fruit 

This fruit kicks off our high revenue earners 2023 list for being a literal cash cow for investors with a big appetite. The Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit native to Central America and Mexico. It belongs to the cactus family and is grown through seedlings at a space of 2m by 2m. It is a relatively new cash crop in East Africa, and few people know about it. Before many people find out and influence the market prices, you may as well take the lion’s share.

Let’s calculate the potential profit margins.

In Kenya, dragon fruit farmers have testified to earn about Ksh 24 million ($164,700) per acre per year. Let’s do the simple math of how to earn this amount yearly.

You will get a seedling at an average of Ksh 350. An acre can accommodate 1,000 posts used to support the plant. Each post holds two vines. A vine produces an average of 30 fruits weighing 0.5kg each, translating to 30,000 kg annually. A kilo of dragon fruit retails at approximately Ksh 800. That’s how you can fetch Ksh 24 million in one year for every acre of land you can manage.


Passion fruit 

I don’t know about you, but I’m yet to find one person who does not like this fruit. And if you do, refer them to us for a recommendation on the varieties to try. Either way, the fruit fails to attract passionate investors to learn about it and reap the financial rewards of farming it on a large scale.

A single plant produces fruits for up to three years. This means that a hectare can yield 50,000 kg of passion fruits. If a KG of the fruit fetches Ksh 50, you can earn over Ksh 2 million per hectare. To make it more lucrative, you should avoid middlemen and sell directly to supermarkets, companies, or export it, dealing with international rates.



If you are looking for a crop with good profit margins, which can use little space and whose demand is insatiable…then the strawberry is your best candidate.

The fruit can comfortably make you Ksh 40,000 ($270) monthly, cultivating on an eighth acre. Farmers we engaged claimed to harvest 30 – 50kgs weekly on an eighth acre. With a kilo going for between Ksh 200 – 480, then you can calculate your earnings for an acre or more.

The strawberry takes 70 days to mature and can be grown in containers or in your home garden as you consider scaling.

It has multiple uses for individual and commercial purposes, like producing perfumes, yoghurts, jams and ice cream. This promises an ever-ready market for your produce.



With the right farm practices, 1 acre of onions should give you 20,000 kgs or more. The least you can fetch for an onion in an East African country like Kenya is Ksh 20 per kg. That sums up to about Ksh 400,000 ($2700) twice or thrice yearly. The price is also predicted to go up because, during the COVID-19 period in 2020, the crop fetched prices so low that many farmers chose to abandon it.

The cost of production usually goes to an average of Ksh120,000 ($800) per acre. This guarantees returns even at the lowest market prices. Now, picture this: How much will you earn if you harvest 20 tons when the price is at Ksh 80 per kg? That is a whooping Ksh 1.6 M ($110,000), twice or thrice yearly.



The last cash crop on this list is probably one you never expected, but mangoes have generated consistent profits for a few farmers who approach mango farming as a business. Mangoes flood the market for a season and thus sell cheaply in many African countries. The vice versa is also true that the demand grows in the off-season, thus fetching high prices.

The few farmers who have mastered the business of mango farming are no longer planting ordinary mangoes whose fruits have more fibre than edible flesh. They have unique, high-quality varieties. These fruits have high eating quality, mature after other ordinary types are finished and have an exceptionally higher profit.

Moreover, the mangoes can be processed through simple dehydration methods and packed in air-tight bags. This process preserves the fruit, making it possible to sell them off the supermarket shelves for a very long time, selling at a premium.


Do you know of any other crop we’ve missed that should be in this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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