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Inter-cropping and Mulching in Tissue Culture Banana Farming

You can plant short-term crops, annual crops, legumes such as beans, and groundnuts or you can plant vegetables. This is what is referred to as inter-cropping and the crop you plant is referred to as an inter-crop. These can be planted at the same time with the bananas or within days.

Always consider the Spacing

As you plant these crops, make sure the cover crop is not too close to the planting hole where tissue culture banana seedling is. Leave about a foot especially for beans, which can grow from the hole in which it was planted, entangle and suffocate the young banana seedling.

If you want to have longer term intercrops, such as coffee or pineapples, these can be planted either before or after the planting of the tissue culture garden. Whereas it is fine to intercrop bananas with a perennial crop such as coffee or pineapples or cocoa, in case you want to do this, the spacing will need to be increased accordingly from the standard (2.5m-3m).

The spacing must be increased from 3m to between 3.5m-4.5m to allow more light penetration to reach the perennial intercrop (say coffee, cocoa or pineapples) when they have established.
If the distance between different stools is too small or standard (2.5m-3m), when the bananas grow, their leaves will shade off the intercrop and it will suffer from lack of sufficient light to manufacture its own food, and to grow healthy and give good yield.

Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Excellent care

Whereas it is fine to intercrop with a perennial crop, you need to do this only if your primary enterprise is the intercrop rather than bananas.

In case your primary or focus enterprise is bananas, it is advisable that inter-cropping be done  with only short-term crops, and this can be done for two seasons, after which the banana canopy (leaves) will have closed up. After the first year, your efforts should shift to mulching the plantation for better soil nutrition and health.

Like animals, bananas need excellent care if they are to give you good returns—thus, you will need to invest in mulching your plantation—I mean thorough mulching.

Need nutrients

Mulching has several purposes: controls weed growth, protects the soil against heavy rainfall and intensive sunshine, prevents erosion in plantations on steep slopes, provides organic matter to the soil, stimulates root development, improves soil drainage, cools the soil, increases soil porosity (water and air penetration), and supports abundance of beneficial soil organisms such as earth worms and some useful fungi and bacteria, thereby improving overall soil health.

Bananas are heavy feeders and need a lot soil nutrients and water if they are to yield well. Thus, mulching helps in providing these soil nutrient and water requirements.

Due to high cost of buying and transporting mulching materials, it is important to use grass cleared during field preparation; use materials obtained from the intercrop; materials obtained from the plantation itself such as leaves, pseudo stem, corms; use organic matter near the plantation such as chicken droppings, pig and cow dung if you keep some animals.

Also, you can grow grasses such as elephant grass, Guatemala grass, and Kikuyu grass for your own mulch. The grass can both feed your animals as well as provide mulch for your plantation.

Not too close

Irrespective of the good roles of mulching, it is known to facilitate multiplication of pests and spread of some soil born diseases of bananas. It also encourages roots to grow upwards from the soil, resulting in hanging mats, which eventually can topple especially during stormy rains.

The phenomenon of banana plants becoming shallow rooted and hanging near the surface of the ground is called ‘high mats’. The moment it sets in, that marks the end of your enterprise as weevils will attack it too. Thus, never mulch too close to the plant itself when it has already fully established.

A young tissue culture seedling needs mulch around it, but an established banana mat does not, as its roots are already well established. Thus, always keep the mulch, and manure application away from the banana mat by about 2-3ft. The roots of the banana are long and can search for nutrients from a distance, thus do not worry that your plants will not get the nutrients.

Frequently Asked questions about Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Pros and Cons of Inter-cropping

Advantages of inter-cropping

  1. The enterprise starts giving early returns before the bananas start yielding and start giving returns.
    2. Weed control in a newly established plantation is easier as you kill two birds with one stone, that is weed the beans and the banana plantation too.
    3. The soil is protected against soil erosion, cover crop is used.
    4. If a legume such as beans is used, it adds nitrogen to the soil making it more fertile.
    5. If crop residues from the inter-cropping are used to mulch the crop, it improves soil nutrients and adds organic matter.

Disadvantages of Inter-cropping

  1. Soil nutrient depletion,
  2. Competition with bananas,
  3. May spread diseases and pests
  4. Damaging and injuring banana roots when digging in the garden, among others

It is, therefore, advisable that you do it only for the first year of plantation establishment, unless the inter-crop is your major enterprise.

For tissue culture banana seedlings contact us.

 

TC seedlings
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How to grow Tissue Culture banana in kenya

Bananas are Kenya’s number one fruits. In some parts of Kenya, banana is a staple food. Of recent, whereas the banana is the favorite food, the crop has been faced by many challenges ranging from diseases and pests. Tissue Culture banana are affected by bacterial wilt disease that is today known to everybody that grows or has ever grown bananas. The weevils are also well known.
For the case of diseases, they are mainly transported from one garden/farm to another through picking young suckers for planting into a new garden.
Whereas you may see the plant and think it is clean or has no disease, because you cannot see the disease-causing agents with your eyes, you will be introducing the disease to your new garden. It is against this background that tissue culture planting materials are becoming the favorite planting materials for farmers who intend to grow bananas commercially.

What is tissue culture?

Tissue culture is the science of multiplying clean disease-free planting materials of different crops and you have many identical copies of the same variety without changing the taste and any other physical attribute of the plant.
This work is done in agricultural laboratories and then the plants are raised in nursery beds where farmers can buy them ready for planting.
When you plant these tissue culture seedlings of bananas, you can be sure that you are starting off with clean seedlings rather than planting what you are not sure about.
Consult any farmer that has grown them before and you will discover that they grow very fast, faster than the suckers which are picked from an old garden, and they yield earlier (between eight and 12 months from planting depending on variety), and that they yield bigger bunches.
Because they are small, tissue culture seedlings are more convenient to transport. They will grow uniformly, and you can plant as many acres of a garden of the same variety unlike the old method of picking suckers from a neighbor’s garden where you may not get enough of the same variety and in most cases, you can pick wrong varieties.

Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Procedure of planting tissue culture banana seedlings

  • Tissue culture banana seedlings are bought when they are ready to be planted in the garden, so you need to have your garden ready by the time you go to pick them from us. After your field is prepared, you dig the holes (1.5-2ft x 1.5-2ft x 1.5-2ft). The deep hole helps reduce formation of high mat and risk of the plants toppling (falling) in the advent of wind.
    Rows should be in straight lines and if on a hill side, planting should be along the contours to minimize soil erosion.
    As you dig the hole, the soil you remove is separated, top soil (black) separate and subsoil (red soil) separate.
  • After that, you put well decomposed manure (three to five kilograms) in each hole and you can add one hoe-full of the red soil and mix properly.
    Do not return too much soil in the hole (so do not refill the hole). When all the holes are ready, and with manure in, you then can pick the plants from the company selling them and transport them straight to your garden.
    If you cannot plant on the same day, you can off load the plants carefully and keep them under shade for planting the next day, but make sure you water them that evening.

Planting Tissue Culture banana

  • Planting should never be done in a field that already has bananas. This to avoid pests and diseases. Planting should therefore be done in a clean field preferably a virgin one where bananas have not been planted in the last 2-3 years.
    The exercise of planting tissue culture banana involves splitting of the polythene paper pot holding each while holding the soil carefully. Then, using your hand or a simple garden tool such as a panga, make a smaller hole in the manure/soil mixture at the bottom of the hole and place the seedling in this small hole.
    Then compact the soil by pressing using your hands to make the plant hold firm in the soil.
  • Water the plant with about half-a litre of water and if possible mulch around the plant with grass inside the big hole (mulching could be done before the plants are brought when you are preparing the holes after putting manure/soil mixture).
    Depending on its size, the seedling will most likely remain deep in the hole but this is okay.
  • The remaining big hole will serve to collect any rain water and other soil nutrients brought by runoff to feed this plant and make it grow healthy. If the season is dry, check on your plants regularly and water them, if necessary.

Planting population

If you are planting say 1 acre, the recommended number of plants is 450 plants but for a higher plant population and for commercial purposes, you can plant 640 plants per acre.
If you plant 450 plants per acre, the distance between holes is 3 metres by 3 metres. If you choose to plant 640 plants per acre, the plant spacing is 2.5 by 2.5 metres.

If you need Tissue culture banana seedlings, don’t hesitate, contact us today.

 

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Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Its yet another rainy season. Farmers all over Kenya are preparing their land for the coming short rain season. The question we are asking is, are you still going to grow maize and beans or have you thought of another better plant to grow? Hass avocado among other tree fruits has been picking up well in both domestic and export market. There a few Kenyans who will discourage others by telling them how avocado will be out of market and how it takes long to mature.

That is not true, avocado and especially hass avocado is always in demand in oversees country, more specifically in the European countries. Hass avocado is generally liked because;

  • It has a longer shelf life compared to the other varieties
  • Matures faster
  • Can produce more than 1000 fruits from a single tree
  • Its sweater and has a lot of fats
  • Has many health benefits

If you put all the above reasons into consideration, then you will realize that hass avocado farming is here to stay. We all know Africa is best in fruit farming because its strategically located at the equator and its warm enough. Not every country can grow avocados, countries in Europe experience very cold seasons and extreme hot seasons making unsuitable for farming.

It’s not just growing avocados, its growing them in the best way possible. Do your research, invest wisely and we assure you, you won’t regret.

Earn more than 10 million per acre with 40k investment.

Inter-cropping Hass Avocado with Vegetables

You can inter-crop hass avocado trees with fast-maturing crops such as legumes, beans and vegetables. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil, thus, making it rich for the avocados besides helping to utilize the farm to the maximum.

We highly discourage inter-cropping with crops that grow into trees because they will have deep-roots which will compete with those of avocados.

For the best seedlings contact us here and we will get back to you. Our seedbeds are located in Nyeri and Embu and we also have a demo farm coming soon in Nairobi (ridge-ways).

Check out our services and packages here.

 

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Farming Becomes Digital with oxfarm.co.ke

The world is changing at a very high rate and farmers shouldn’t be left behind. Agriculture is the key propeller of Kenyan Economy. With the current world population almost hitting 8 Billion, farming is no longer for personal consumption but a business; people must eat. There several factors that are making digital farming lucrative. Think of it this way, people must eat and as mentioned earlier the population is increasing due to improved medicines, low mortality rates. Another factor is lifestyle diseases, with inorganic food and working in offices all day, a bigger number is becoming sick and the only way is to eat organic healthy foods. No wonder organic farming is highly recommended and organic foods are the most expensive.

So, who can do digital farming?

Anybody can become a digital farmer, regardless of land size. It doesn’t matter the size of land that you have, whether you work in an office or self-employed. All what is required is change of perception and the right attitude. We at Oxfarm can sincerely assure you that you won’t go wrong if you do everything right in farming. However, we have realized that people are tied up in their jobs and careers and that is why we have come up with a helping hand where we can provide all the services required; i.e. from farm inputs, manure, farm machinery, labor, etc..

Although we major in tree fruit farming and export, we have highly trained agronomists such as Dickson (commonly known as Mkulima Wa Nyeri) where we can assist farmers with the necessary information about any kind of farming. At the comfort of your home, office or even your car you can login in into our website and order what you need. We are very responsive, and we always assist in the best way possible.

Many are times where you find that a customer has a chunk of land lying idle, but he doesn’t know what to do with it. He doesn’t know where to start, and not because of capital but merely because he doesn’t know where to start, doesn’t even know how farming is profitable.

Let’s take this example, Kenya has at least 45 million people. Assume that each consumes around ¼ kilo of maize flour every day (one meal-ugali/githeri) that translates to 11.5 tonnes a day of ugali which is equivalent to 11.5 tonnes of maize daily. Do you think Kenya will ever satisfy that demand? However, that’s just an assumption but close to what happens daily in terms of maize consumption. Now, do your own math and determine how many liters of milk is consumed daily, how many tons of Wheat flour, etc.. That tells you that demand for agricultural products will always rise as long as population increases.

Another factor still caused by population increase is sub-division of land, you find that our ancestral land has been subdivided in many parts of the country that it can’t be sub-divided any further. What happens is that people stop farming and only construct shelters…the question we beg to ask is, who feeds them?

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

Oxfarm Products and Services

Following the examples, we have explained above, it has come to our attention that many people with land are the only option that Kenya has. We have therefore brought digital farming to you, whereby we will do almost everything for you (at a cost of course). Here are our services and packages. We also sell all farm inputs under one roof, making it easier for you. If you have ever thought of farming, anything, come to us.

Nowadays technology has improved almost everything and just with a smartphone, you can get everything wherever you are. Why not farming? Contact us and we will guide you and or market your products.

 

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What are the most profitable fruits/crops to grow in Kenya Today?

1.      Hass Avocado fruits

Kenya is one of the few countries that enjoys equatorial climate. Most counties in Kenya receive a minimum of two rainy season. Hass Avocado fruits are highly adapted to different rainfall conditions; however, the rain should be an average of 1,000–1,600mm per annum and well-distributed throughout the year.

Avocado farming in Kenya presents a good opportunity not only for farmers, but a growing population of young people to venture into. The Kenyan market both domestic and export is growing but limited by the production capacity of the current farmers. The most popular variety for the export market is the HASS avocado.

In Kenya, avocado is one of the most consumed fruits that is readily available in the market all year round. Going by the latest HCDA statistics, avocado has a fair share among the leading export crops and Kenya stands out as a major player in the avocado export market. Locally avocado is sold at the market place from between Kshs10 to KSh 50 depending on the size and quality. Avocado trees are very productive and can fruit all year round. At maximum production, a single mature tree can produce 70 to 100 kg of fruits per year. Kenya has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of countries interested in Kenya avocados, these counties are, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Iran, Libya, and Egypt among others.

This year, Hass avocados is traing between 10 and 15 Ksh at your farm gate. During this rainy season, plant hass avocados, contact us for delivery.

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

2.      Passion fruit

If you are looking for a high-value crop that can produce an income in the first year, take a look at passion fruit farming. Passion fruit farming has nearly unlimited possibilities from extended life span exceeding three years after establishment to ability to intercrop.

It doesn’t cost much to start growing passions for profit either — just a few shillings for seedlings and supplies. Demand for passion fruits is set to rise even more, due to changing consumer preferences as Kenyans move from carbonated soft drinks to fresh juices.

Furthermore, brands like Coca-cola, Afia juices, Del-Monte are already sourcing various fruits from farmers to tap fresh fruits processing segments. Despite all the interest by fresh drink processors, the supply of this fruit is scarce. This presents an opportunity for you as a farmer.

The crop produces high yields under proper care, for instance, a yield of 50,000kg of passion fruit per hectare has been reported in Kenya. The average price of one kilo of passion fruits is Sh50 in various market centres in the country. However, you can can still sell at a higher price through direct marketing. From one hectare, it’s possible to earn over Sh2,000,000; an earning that exceeds many other farming enterprises.

Furthermore, the maturity and ripening of the fruits, does not happen at the same time some take three days others one week while others two weeks. This is an advantage, as it will allow you to harvest weekly, and have time to market the produce. Starting as a small grower you will find lots of eager buyers at you neighbourhoods and supermarkets.

3.      Mushrooms

Mushroom production of late has captured the attention of the Kenya’s farming community with most mushroom farmers boasting amazing profits. Mushroom are land and rainfall independent hence making them the better option for those looking to maximize revenue from their land usage. For those without space to garden, growing mushrooms for profit can produce a great return in a small space.

Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, make sense, as they can be grown indoors without soil. They only require a house and your attention. Mud thatched houses can create the right climate for mushroom growing. The demand in Kenya is unsatisfied with data indicating that we are only producing 500 tonnes of these mushrooms against an annual demand of 1,200 tonnes.

Mushrooms can be grown using various substrates from agricultural wastes such as cereal straws such as maize stalks, bean stalk, wheat straw Coffee pulp, coffee husks, paper waste, papyrus, water hyacinth, banana fronds etc. Cotton husks, maize cobs, banana leaves, papyrus, grass straw, paper wastes, sugarcane bagasse and hay. Spawns ‘seeds’ can be easily obtained from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Science and Technology (JKUAT).

what you should do to stop your chickens from fighting and pecking

4.      Macadamia Nuts

According to a research conducted by Oxfarm Ag Ltd, an acre of land will hold 100 Macadamia trees. This could earn a farmer, going by the present government set minimal returns of Ksh70 per kilogram of nuts, up to Ksh1,470,000 per acre if a farmer harvest 80Kg per tree, depending on farming practices and favorable climate. At the primary harvest, that comes 2 years after transplantation of seedlings, a farmer will fetch between 30kg and 50kg, reckoning on the range and the attention given to the trees. Production will increase with each harvest.

Due to high competition for the macadamia nuts by process and selling companies; most companies supply improved costs to farmers. This year, some firms offered the maximum amount as Ksh200 per kilogram of nuts, however external market factors forced the costs to drop to a mean of Ksh130 per kilogram.

Macadamia nuts will grow in most areas of the country, however production can vary depending on the number of precipitation, where farmers don’t have any access to irrigation water.

It is vital to consult experts on best varieties for given regions. The well-liked selection is Murang’a 20. It’s hardy and adapts well to completely different climates, with improved production throughout the year. Different varieties manufacture doubly a year.

If you would like money from your land, plant Macadamia nuts (its my best). Contact us for delivery.

There are other crops you can grow but we have highlighted a few that we think guarantee money in your pocket.

 

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what you should do to stop your chickens from fighting and pecking

Every farmer looks forward for a healthy flock, however at times farmers have had an experience where their birds fight and peck at each other. Below are a few things you can do to stop it from happening. Keeping a peaceful flock requires interpreting behaviors to decipher what chickens are communicating. When chickens are spending more time in the pen, boredom can bring out changes in behavior, such as pecking.

Chickens are naturally inquisitive, but they don’t have arms and hands to inspect things. They use their beaks to explore instead. Pecking is a natural chicken behavior that allows them to check out their surroundings, including their flock mates.

Though hen pecking is a natural occurrence, the nature of this behavior can change when birds spend more time inside.

Understanding the difference between curious and aggressive hen pecking is key to knowing when there is a problem. Not all pecking is bad. When it is gentle, this behavior is fun to watch. If pecking becomes aggressive, it can be problematic to other birds in the flock.

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

How do you stop Chickens from Pecking at Each Other?

Explore on the reason as to why they are Pecking

If the hen pecking behavior becomes aggressive, first is to determine if something is causing birds to act out. Start by asking yourself these questions;

  • Are the hens too crowded?
  • Do they ever run out of chicken feed or water?
  • Are they too hot or cold?
  • Is there a predator in the area?
  • Is there something outside of the coop that is causing them to be stressed?.

After the stressor has been identified, the next step is easy: remove the problem and the behavior may go away or diminish.To maintain this newfound peace, make sure your birds have a minimum of 4 square feet indoors and 10 square feet outdoors per bird. Adequate feeder and waterer space is also critical. If a new hen is added to the flock, there may be a period of uneasiness.

Note, there will always be some dominance in the flock as part of the pecking order. There are typically one or two boss hens who rule the roost. Once the pecking order is determined, the birds usually live together peacefully.

Sustainable Farming Methods A Substitute For Pesticides

Ensure Cleanliness and Hygiene

The next step to prevent feather picking is to keep birds clean. Chickens take a different type of bath then you might expect. They often dig a shallow hole, loosen up all the dirt and then cover themselves in it. This process is called a dust bath. Dust bathing is an instinct that helps keep birds clean. Follow these steps to make dust baths;

  • Find a container at least 12” deep, 15” wide and 24” long;
  • Combine an equal blend of sand, wood ash, and natural soil;
  • Watch your birds roll around in the bath and clean themselves.”

Dust baths can also prevent external parasites such as mites and lice. If external parasites are an issue, supplement your birds’ dust bath with a cup or two of food-grade diatomaceous earth. If you add diatomaceous earth, be sure to mix it in well. Diatomaceous earth can be harmful if inhaled in large amounts. By mixing the diatomaceous earth into the dust bath, it has less probability to become airborne while still helping prevent external parasites.

Offer an alternative place for birds to peck

Next, provide your birds with something to keep their minds busy. Perhaps the most fun of it all is to find toys for chickens that bring out their natural instincts. Interactive objects can make the chicken coop more complex and exciting. Logs, sturdy branches or chicken swings are a few flock favorites. These ‘toys’ provide unique retreats for hens who may be lower in the pecking order.

Farming is fun and cool if done with the right mind and attitude. Always contact us whenever you need ideas on crop or livestock farming and we will advise.

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Sustainable Farming Methods A Substitute For Pesticides

Emerging reports show that Kenyan farmers are over-relying on crop protection products that have continuously hindered soils functions and ecosystems. Instead farmers should adopt better alternative farming practices, according to FAO and ITPS, 2017 report.

Producing more food from the same or less land, while at the same time seeing the available crop protection options diminish due to regulation and resistance remains a key challenge for food producers.

Effective disease control remains central to profitable farming and to minimize the cost / tonne of production through increased yields. Varietal choice and the use of inherent disease resistance should be a primary consideration when deciding on cropping plans. Seed treatments help manage the threat posed by seed or soil-borne pests and diseases, and play an increasingly important role, for example in managing viruses transmitted by aphids.

How to Grow Fruits and Veggies for Export Market

PPPs are pesticide products used to prevent, destroy or control any pest that can cause harm during the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products, according to the FAO Report. According to experts, research is needed in addressing the issue of PPPs in Africa as African soils have low levels of organic matter.

According to report, PPPs have become widely used in farming and many other settings such as urban gardens and parks, with their sales projected to increase annually by almost six percent, and reaching US$68.5 billion by 2017. But the report adds that the use of PPP could be reduced through soil-specific measures such as the reduction of runoff by improving soil structure or preserving plant residues and measures such as vegetated buffer strips or constructed wetlands. The report indicate that crop rotations which include phases such as pastures that require little or no PPP application also reduce overall usage.

The report was based on a review conducted by the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) of scientific papers and reports with a focus on assessments of impacts of plant protection products on soil organisms.

Daniel Pennock, chairman of the ITPS of the FAO, tells indicates that sustainable soil management is of significance but only if the implemented practices reduce the amount of PPPs applied to soils while maintaining plant production levels.

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

More research required on Crop Protection

African governments, institutions, and policymakers should create initiatives and capacity building programs to help identify research gaps in pesticides use and impacts. For instance, a well-designed scientific research on PPP in representative African soils should be carried out to address pesticide fate in African farming systems.

More importantly, studies on integrated pest management appropriate for African conditions should be supported and completed so that environmentally sound and socially acceptable method of pest control can be developed, which may or may not have a place for PPP.

Research on PPP and integrated pest management are of direct benefit to farmers if crop losses due to pests can be minimized and higher yields of crops are produced.

 

 

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Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

mkulima wa nyeri logo

Mkulima wa Nyeri farm is a department under OxfarmAg ltd founded to provide the seedlings, learning experiences and fresh fruits for eating. The farm was founded by Dickson Kahuro Wambugu (Mkulima wa Nyeri) after graduating from Moi University in 2015 where he studied Agricultural Economics and Resource Management.  With a passion for farming he started by growing grafted tree tomato and pepper to get exposure as to what agricultural venture practically tastes like.

It’s through this exposure that he got the idea of supplying seedlings after getting many farmers in need of information with huge demand of quality certified seedlings.

Youth And Agriculture

Many Kenyan youth just like Mkulima wa Nyeri find themselves in a dare situation after graduation, with few prospects of formal employment. But even though agriculture has been a mainstay of Kenya’s economy for as long as the country has existed, unlike Mkulima Wa Nyeri, very few youths consider turning to agriculture as a source of livelihood.

The key challenge, therefore, is how to get our youth into an industry as old as civilization itself, a sector so critical that recently President Uhuru Kenyatta pronounced agriculture and food security as one of the four pillars of his platform to continuing Kenya’s emergence as a middle-income country.

The solution to this challenge lies in our appreciation of a few salient facts. Most notable is that over 60 per cent of Kenya’s estimated population of 48 million are below the age of 30. Of this considerable cohort, an overwhelming majority are either unemployed or underemployed, and this despite being well-educated.

Quite a few, perceived or real, discourage the youth from getting involved in farming. The main challenges among many is capital and market access restrictions.

Given that agriculture is a devolved function, it is obvious that while the central government can only do so much to make agriculture attractive to and viable for the youth, counties have a major role to play. Nyeri County Under H.E Gov, Mutahi Kahiga is not left behind and it has been at the forefront in promoting the youth in agriculture and farming in General.

In a highly contested competition in farming organized by Ministry of Agriculture at National Level, under the youth category, Mkulima Wa Nyeri emerged as winners in the entire county. Mkulima wa Nyeri farm in Tetu Nyeri was named as the best managed Farm under youth Category.

According to Mkulima Wa Nyeri, every young person aspires to see themselves break even and turn into millionaires one day. However, the millionaire status is one that often proves too elusive to many. Otherwise, it is possible for anyone to invest, work smart and turn their ventures into a money mill.

 

Adding Value to Agriculture Through Grafting

Mkulima Wa Nyeri a trained Agronomist, after planting ungrafted tree-tomato felt the heat after all his crops under one acre were damaged by nematodes. He later decided to try the grafted variety after deliberating with some few local farmers who had been doing it but under small scale basis. After intensive research, Mkulima Wa Nyeri realized that when tree tomato was grafted with Muthakwa (bug weed), it does very well as Muthakwa is resistant to many problems that affect Tree-Tomato as shown in the table below.

 

Grafted Vs Un-Grafted Tree Tomato
Grafted Tree-Tomato Ungrafted Tree-Tomato
  • Resistant to Nematodes
  • Prone to Nematodes
  • Extended Economic lifespan of more than 6 years
  • Shorter Economic lifespan of one years
  • Has a Tap-root
  • Has Fibrous roots
  • Larger fruit
  • Smaller fruit
  • Drought Resistant
  • Affected by Drought
  • Disease Resistant
  • Highly affected by diseases

 

Cost and Returns Of Grafted Tree Tomato Under Mkulima Wa Nyeri

With a good spacing one acre can accommodate 1500 plants

ITEM DESCRIPTION UNIT PRICE (ksh) TOTAL (ksh)
MANURE ONE BUCKET PER HOLE @30 45000
SEEDLINGS TREE TOMATO 1500

 

@100

 

150000
DIGGING OF HOLES, TRANSPORT OF MANURE TO THE FARM, MIXING AND PLANTING. @30 45000
FERTILIZER DAP 75KG

CAN 200 KG

70 PER KG

70

5250

14000

PESTCIDES ENTIRE GROWTH SEASON 30000
FUNGICIDES 30000
LABOUR, WEEDING, PLUNNING ONE FARM MANAGER FOR 9 MONTHS @7000 PER MONTH 63,000
IRRIGATION WATER COST.  VARY FROM AREA TO AREA 50000
 MISLENEOUS  20000
 

TOTAL COST

 

450,000

Cost per plant 450,000/1500=ksh 300/plant

Expected Returns From An Acre Grafted Tree Tomato

For a well-managed grafted tree tomato, it can produce 25-40 kg of fruits per plant per year. It can produce the fruits throughout the year and it has a life span of more than six years. The grafted red Oratia tree tomato variety matures in 8 months to one year after transplanting depending on area.

Return from the first year of harvesting.

No of plants Quantity in kg (ksh) Price per kg (ksh)

Average price

Total for one year (ksh)
1500 25 80 3 millions
1500 40 80 4.8 millions

Average expected return from a tree 3500000/1500= Ksh 2300 during the first year of harvesting.

YEAR OF PRODUCTION

No of plants

Quantity in kg (ksh)

Price per kg (ksh)

Average price

Total average for one year (ksh)

2nd

1500

35

80

4 million

3rd

1500

35

80

4 million

4th

1500

35

80

4 million

5th

1500

35

80

4 million

NOTE:

Due to its ability to be resistant to most soil pest and diseases grafted tree tomato trees has a lifespan of more than 5 years. The profits above are from the first year of harvesting. Full productivity starts from the second year. With good management tree tomato fruits can produce fruits throughout the year ensuring stable consistent monthly income for 5 years. Tree tomato is normally harvested after every 2 weeks.

The cost of farming tree tomato may vary from individual because of variables resources like manure, labor and water. It’s always advisable to plant during the rainy season in case there is limited irrigation water. Plants also require a lot of water during fruiting. An acre can accommodate 1500 plants at a standard spacing of 5ft by 5ft.

Tree tomato farming requires intensive management due to continuous splaying against pest and diseases, irrigation, and feeding.

Oxfarm Partnership with Tamarillo Farm Kenya Ltd

We have partnered with a value adding company Tamarillo Farm Kenya Ltd. We are in need of huge supply of tree tomato fruits every week which can only be sustained by serious farmers under contract agreement. We have products like Tamarillo Juice, Tamarillo Jam, Chili etc. which have got huge market demand.

If you have large quantity of fruits, kindly contact us.

 

FOR CERTIFIED QUALITY SEEDLINGS CONTACT US ON

0706 222 888 / 0723 662 773

 

External Services Offered By Mkulima Wa Nyeri

Mkulima Wa Nyeri farm under the company OxfarmAg Ltd, offers different services to help young people and established farmers accomplish their goals. OxfarmAg Limited an agricultural company and Mkulima Wa Nyeri assist farmers in many ways. They have introduced several Packages under different tree fruits where they embark on planting and monitoring the farm for the farmers. For example, you can have your tree-tomato farm established at the comfort of your office. All what you need to have is a shamba, manure and money to fund the project; Oxfarm will do the rest.

The package entails;

  • Farm visit to conduct feasibility study
  • Soil testing and interpretation
  • Digging of holes
  • Manure application and mixing
  • Planting
  • Monitoring for three months
  • Marketing

At Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm in Nyeri, you can learn different things at a small fee; you will be trained on;

  • Seedbed and nursery management
  • Hass Avocado Propagation
  • Organic Farming
  • Tree-tomato Propagation
  • Tree-tomato caring and management
  • Farm management
  • Book keeping in the Farm, e.t.c

Make every rain drop count, plant a tree-fruit today and help us conserve the environment, earn a living as well as feed the nation. Most farmers have booked their seedlings and so should you. Let nothing come between you and farming if you are the one! Farming only requires passion and a dream, a dream that out of farming you can actually earn a living and become a millionaire, as Dickson (Mkulima Wa Nyeri) keep on Saying “future billionaires will be farmers”.

 

Contact Mkulima wa Nyeri on 0723 662 773

FOR FIELD VISITATION, CONSULTATION AND SEEDLINGS

 

You can fill the below form to contact you later

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