Guide To Starting A Profitable Sugar Beans Farming Business And The Business Plan

Guide To Starting A Profitable Sugar Beans Farming Business And The Business Plan

Sugar beans farming business is common in Zimbabwe attracting 85% of the total farming population. The crop is a very nutritious grain legume which is rich in protein. Its leaves, green pods, young and mature seeds are edible and the crop residues are good feed for livestock or compost manure. The sugar bean crop performs superbly well within its planting season. It can generate a return on investment of about $2,5 -$3 on every dollar invested.

Since 2019, sugar bean production has been on the rise and a total of 12000 metric tones was produced in that year. In 2021 the total sugar bean yield reached an estimated 31 000 metric tones which resemble a two fold increase in output over 2 years. Sugar beans have a ready market largely owing to the fact that it is an important source of vegetable protein. The crop is also used in some manufacturing processes of select products. In recognition of these benefits, the government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of health and child development, has been on a drive to promote sugar beans production and its consumption as a substitute for beef.

Rain fed sugar beans is cultivated during the rainy season and it is encouraged that farmers take the time to inform themselves about the impending weather patterns. Sugar bean farming in Zimbabwe occupy an average area of 32,786 hectares and its subsequent planting often begins in the month of October and extends for five months until the month of March. Smallholder sugar bean farmers are found in all agro-ecological zones.

While sugar bean production is lucrative, its production in Zimbabwe is prone to a number challenges which could hinder optimum yields. Such challenges include insect infestations as well as disease and climate related constraints. As a result, you will require sufficient knowledge regarding the growing, management and marketing of the sugar bean crop. It is therefore the intention of this article to outline some basic steps in stating a sugar beans farming business. For comprehensive analysis of the maize farming industry, consider getting the sugar beans farming business plan package for just US$10 payable via ecocash.

While sugar beans production has improved the financial fortunes of diligent farmers, startups in the venture can take some time to learn more about the basics to growing and managing the crop. In farming, planning is everything, and where you fail to plan you are setting yourself up for imminent failure. Therefore, you should begin by assuring yourself that you will see the business through despite any possible setbacks you might encounter. Afterwards make a solid resolution about the inputs you are going to use in setting up and operating the business.

Sugar bean farming inputs are: land, labor, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Your financial muscle will directly determine the extent to which you will utilize the above mentioned inputs. With regards to labour, the use of hired labour varies by agro-ecological zones as well as with production technology. Hence you will always have to decide on what suites you the most.

Plan Before Starting A Sugar Beans Farming Business

As with any other business, prior market research is critical. You need to conduct a market research so as to ascertain the demand potential of your select market. From this research you will also ascertain the possible selling price of your sugar beans as well as ascertain your target market.

Customers for sugar beans include, but are not limited to, food processors, middlemen spread across vegetable markets, boarding schools and retail outlets. From your diligent planning and research you should be able to know what each subgroup of your customers requires. Any planning process should be captured on paper. You are therefore encouraged that you should conclude your planning process by writing a sugra bean business plan which will act as a guide as you venture into the trend.

Land Required For A Profitable Sugar Beans Farming Business

Sugar beans perform optimally when planted on fertile to moderately fertile land with a gentle slope that prevents water logging. Good sugar bean farming is always determined by good land selection and preparation. When preparing the land ensure that you exercise deep ploughing so as to aid in drainage while ensuring for a fine tilth which will ensure for good germination. Fine tilth also enhances a good seed to soil contact. Sugar bean requires soils with a pH range of 5.3 to 6.5. The crop does not tolerate acidic soils hence soil should always be limed if it is acidic. It is thus important that you take your soil for testing, the results of which will inform you of its properties.

All in all, land should have a good soil structure which allows for the plant to efficiently convert soil nutrients.

Inputs Required For Successful Sugar Bean Faming Business

Sugar bean farming requires a number a critical inputs in which the selecting the most appropriate seed is key. There are many sugar bean seed varieties and each comes with its own set of unique properties. Below is a table with some of most common sugar bean varieties cultivated across Zimbabwe.

VarietyGrain CharacteristicsAttainable Grain Yield (kg/ha)Maturity Period (days)Seed Rate
SC BountySpeckled2000-300075 – 100100kg/ha
CardinalPurple with white spots2500-300075 – 100 100kg/ha
BonusWhite with purple speckles2000-3000 75 – 100 100kg/ha
Speckled IceIce White with red speckles2500-400075 – 11580-100kg/ha
Source: N2Africa booklet

Farmers also need to decide on the fertilization program which is often guided by prior sampling. Generally sugar beans require a basal dressing Compound D (250-300kg/ha), Cereal Blend(200-250 kg/ha, Double D (100-150kg/ha) and Single Super Phosphate250kg/ha). Pesticides are also important so as to ensure that you have a successful sugar bean production cycle. Below are some of the common sugar bean pests and diseases you need to be weary of in your farming venture.

Common Sugar Bean Diseases

Angular Leaf Spot

This is a fungal disease which causes round lesions on plant primary leaves. This disease is usually observed when plants begin to flower that’s when the lesions appear. These lesions start of grey in colour and they later become dark in appearance as they increase in size.

Bean Common Mosaic

This is a virus transmitted through aphids and the virus survives in seeds. The disease causes the stunting of plants and reduces flowering and ultimately the overall crop yield. The disease causes the development of a light green-yellow and dark green mosaic pattern on the leaves. If left uncontrolled, leaves start to develop blisters and later distorts with a downward curling and rolling of leaves.

Rhizoctonia Root Rot

This is a fungal disease which causes linear or circular reddish/brown sunken lesions. The lesions increase in size and encircle the stem consequently retarding normal plant growth. The fungal disease can cause seedling death, stem cankers, root and stem rot.

Common Pests

In Zimbabwe, sugar beans is commonly affected by pests such as Blister beetle, aphids, bean stem maggot, red spider mite, rootknot nematode and cutworms. It is encouraged to consistently check the field for possible pest damages on plants. Pests have the ability to damage the entire crop hence you cannot afford to take chances when it comes to ensuring for a pest free crop.


Pests are commonly controlled by spraying with insectcides, while larger insects can be hand picked. It is recommended that you wear gloves when picking blister beetles because the insect releases a toxic substance that burns the skin. Below are some pesticides you can consider to use depending on the pest attacking your crop. However, before you decide on the pesticide to use always consult an agronomist first for specific diagnosis.

Product NameActive Ingredient  Use rate (L/ha)Sprayer load QuantityTarget Pests
  Malathion  Malathion    Aphids, spider mites, cucumber beetles, leaf hoppers 
  Dursban  Chlorpyrifos  1.1 l/ha  50-75 / 20 l  Diamond back moth, cutworms, bollworms, grass hoppers 
  Diazinon  Diazinon  2.5 l/ha  30 ml / 100 l  Bean flies, bean caterpillars, bean stem maggot 
  Decis FW   Deltamethrin    Red spider mite

Labour And Farming Equipment

Sugar bean production comes with tasks that will require that you hire both labour and machinery. You will need machinery and the respective equipment for such things as deep ploughing, chemical application, fertiliser spreading, ridging and irrigation. In most instances farmers opt to hire some of the heavy machinery which is often used only when preparing the land. Buying such machinery may come as an unnecessary expense. You may also decide on securing an irrigation equipment and a well suiting, secure power source. Some will opt for pumps and standby generators for use when there is a power outage.

As with the heavy machinery, you also need to hire temporary farming labour. You will need temporary farm workers for such duties as inoculating been seeds, sprouting, fertiliser application(top dressing), reredging as well as persticiding and herbiciding. For this remember, well paid workers always perform to the best of the their abilities hence you should pay your workers based on the number of days they would have worked on your farm. Depending on the scale of your sugar bean farming, you will need to have a farm supervisor, farm manager, administration and logistics staff.

Know Your Market

As has been mentioned earlier on, there is a growing demand for sugar beans. This partly stems from government`s efforts to promote the consumption of vegetable protein as well as the subsequent growth of the food processing industry. Demand for sugar beans stands at 500 MT per year and some of the top consumers are restuarents, schools, hotels and event companies among many others.

The Sugar Beans Farming Business Plan

Our sugar beans business plan is tailor made for individuals seeking detailed and most recent information about sugar beans farming in Zimbabwe. You can purchase the sugar beans farming business plan for just US$10 payable via Ecocash. You can either get it as a pre-written document or request for a customised version of the business plan at an extra charge. The customised business plan requires that you furnish us with your specific details and area of interest. Our sugar beans business plan is bankable and contains information on how to successfully manage your production cycles, and prepare for future possible risks associated with the business.

With our business plan, you will ultimately find it easy to plan and budget for your sugar beans farming business. It will help you better navigate the sugar beans value chain so you may be able to strategically position your farming business for improved profitability. As the old saying goes, failing to plan equates to planning to fail. With our sugar beans production business plan, you will be fully informed of what is needed to successfully operate a sugar beans agribusiness.

The Business Plan Contents

Our business plan contains following subsections as listed below and more:

  • Operational Requirements
  • Planning For Sustainable Farming
  • Target Market Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Advertising & Promotion Plans
  • Competition Analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • PSTEL Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • Financial Statements

Purchasing The Sugar Beans Farming Business Plan

You can get a soft copy package of the maize farming business plan for just US$10 payable via Ecocash. The business plan package contains 5 files listed below:

1. Sugar beans Farming Business Plan Comprehensive Version – PDF

2. Sugar beans Farming Business Plan Comprehensive Version – WORD

3. Sugar beans Farming Business Plan Short Bank/Grant Application Version – WORD

4. Sugar beans Farming Business Plan Financial Statements – EXCEL

5. A Business Model Design Template – WORD

You will receive the business plan package via email and/or WhatsApp. To make the purchase, contact us first via Call/WhatsApp: +263782 594 434. WhatsApp Link: [Mobile users Only]

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