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How to Choose the right market for your farm produce

market for fresh produce

Small scale farmers in Kenya tend to plant first and look for market afterwards.

It is important to locate the target market and establish the degree of competition before a farmer puts the crop in so that his/her rewards can be fully reaped with the harvest.

Farmers in Kenya ought to decide where they will sell their produce, what the market wants from them and how this fits into their budget.

There are several different pathways fresh produce might follow to the end consumer. It all depends on the choice of market the farmer chooses.

Indirect Selling

If a farmer has a more introvert personality and don’t like dealing with a lot of people, this might be his/her preferred option.

Indirect sales institutions have strict requirements for producers, and may require Global G.A.P. certification, where a farmer must produce according to a strict set of regulations that applies to the pesticides a farmer uses, fertilizer, water quality and labor conditions. There could be a delay in payments when using indirect methods.

How Long Should Your Farming Enterprise Take To Become Profitable?

Wholesale Marketing

With wholesale marketing a farmer is selling all his/her crops to one place, like a store, restaurant, co-op or market. This is one of the fastest ways to sell your harvest, but it won’t bring in the same profits compared to more direct methods.

At terminal wholesale markets in urban areas your agricultural produce is traded to the buyers. These markets have the advantage of high concentration for supply and demand, with larger volumes traded.

It is important to note that wholesale buyers expect high quality, consistency, timely delivery, sorted crops and clean products. This market is more vulnerable to variability.

When a farmer plants seasonal crops, it means a farmer will compete with several other producers in the market, leading to lower prices.

At wholesale markets, a farmer competes with several other farmers and their produce, and the price a farmer gets depends on the current market demand and might vary from day to day.

Processing Markets

Processing is quite costly, and this means most of the processing of fresh produce is done by large companies, since processors need to keep their unit costs low to stay competitive. Expect to sell his/her produce at lower prices.

When a farmer produces for a processing market, a farmer usually has to deliver according to a contract that was set up before planting that specifies the type and amount of vegetables or fruit a farmer produces and deliver.
It is a sure way to sell his/her  produce, with a fixed income at the end of the season and it allows a farmer to plan ahead for the next planting season. Processing plants need large volumes of produce for processing, and usually at a cheaper cost.

Supermarkets and Food Retailers

Food retailers are normally interested in locally produced vegetables, as it promises the freshest product on their shelves, and shows community support.

These markets vary from farm stalls, independent, locally-owned grocery stores to large grocery chains.

Large chain stores have defined methods of buying in their products and have specific requirements. It might be challenging to persuade his local chain store to sell his produce, since purchasing usually requires approval from regional or central management.

The prices are also likely to be linked to regional prices rather than local prices. High quality is expected, and produce might be rejected if it is not up to standard at delivery.

The advantage is that a farmer can sell his produce in bulk, on a weekly basis. Depending on the crops a farmer plant and the size of the farm, a farmer may have to spend extra time and money on cleaning and packaging as well as branding.

When a farmer is selling his produce at a local produce, remember that the name of the brand of the supermarket is also at stake. Therefore, farmer’s produce must be fresh and of good quality.

What are the basic characteristics of a successful farm manager?

Food Service Buyers or Institutions

These include schools, colleges, nursing homes, hospitals or prisons that have to produce food at low cost which translates into low prices for farmer’s produce. These institutions usually have requirements and food safety regulations that must be kept up.

It does provide a farmer with a secure end point for his/her produce.

Restaurant Sales

Most restaurants will pay a premium for quality local products, especially for specialty produce that are not readily available in local supermarkets.

A good personal relationship with the chef is important to ensure they turn to a farmer for their fresh produce need. The chef must be regularly updated with your planting and harvesting schedule, since they run a tight schedule. Quality is of key importance, as well as reliable, timely delivery.
Remember chefs are busy, and try to contact them outside of mealtimes or when they are preparing for meals.

Direct Sales

This is a direct method used to sell your product to customers and can be very time consuming for farmers. If a farmer is a good planner and like to talk to people, this method can work for you. Remember, someone should permanently man the stand, like you, the farmer, a family member or someone hired at extra cost, to do the selling.

There is no middleman involved that eats away at your profits, but there could be a rental cost. This method is more profitable, and a farmer gets paid directly, but takes up more time.

Farmers’ Market or Community Market

Many people go to these markets to get the freshest vegetables available. Ensure the market is popular with locals and located in a busy place. The market must also be clean and well managed.

A farmer will compete with other farmers and their displays, so be sure that his/her offer stands out with variety, quality and freshness as well as something extra like a sauce or product made from his/her vegetables.

Note:

  • Display is very important; group all same colored vegetables together. Bright colors like yellow or red will catch the eye of your customer.
  • A farmer can also make up some packages, recipes or staple vegetables in bargain packages.
  • Add a sign with the name of your farm or name of your business, so people can recognize your stand or see the pricing for your products. Be creative.

There you go, before embarking on this noble course of feeding people, ensure you have identified your market and the other things will be easier to do.

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What are the basic characteristics of a successful farm manager?

Most people believe that farming is quite a simple job and for this reason, they often underestimate farmers. However, farming is a very complex activity that demands a lot of hard work and proper management. Everyone can grow crops. Still, not everyone can be a successful farm manager. You could be having all the money, but you can’t run a farm.

You therefore end up employing a manager to manage and carry out duties associated with the day-to-day and long-term management of a farm. It is their responsibility to ensure that the farm runs efficiently and profitably. Their day-to-day activities will depend on the type of farm being managed

Being a successful farm manager means producing optimal yield and quality crops, while at the same time making a profit and managing farm sustainably. This is something every farmer strives to.

Characteristics of a Successful Farm Manager

While striving to achieve successful farm business, many farmers ask themselves are they doing the right thing. In doing so, they often wonder employ managers to manage a farm efficiently. So, what are the most important characteristics of a successful farm manager.

There is no unique formula for success. However, a successful farm manager is a person who meets these three important characteristics:

Organized and skilled in managing farm activities

A successful farmer always knows how many work hours were spent on each farm activity, field and farm season. Depending on the number of work hours, a farm manager can determine whether a certain activity took more time than planned and then track how it affects further production and farm finances.

Tracking work hours also facilitates making decisions regarding future farm activities. Based on data about work hours spent on a certain farm activity, a farmer can organize future activities and plan how much workers or work hours will be needed to manage the following activities.

Being organized and skilled in managing farm activities also includes tracking the efficiency of each worker. While some workers are efficient, others can lack behind. In that case, a farmer is able to pay workers based on their efficiency, which is particularly important for farmers who hire seasonal workers, usually during the harvest.

Besides tracking work hours and the efficiency of each worker, successful farmers also track work cost for each farm activity, field, and season. In doing so, they know how much a certain farm activity costs, which makes future planning and finance management easier.

Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

 Open-minded to new technologies

Traditional farming methods are being overtaken by new technological ways. Today, growing crops is much more than just cultivating the soil. Various farm sensors, drones, advanced tractors with automated steering systems, farm management software, and many other remarkable technologies are changing the way food is produced. Agriculture, known as a traditional and outdated activity, is now modernized and smart.

Every improvement in farm technology is oriented towards farmer’s productivity. Farmers who are open-minded to new technologies, today have the true opportunity to improve their production. In other words, the only thing that stands between a farmer and success is his own will to change his approach and accept modernized and improved agricultural solutions.

Data-driven manager

In order to increase farm productivity and profitability, while at the same time reduce risks and costs, successful farmers make decisions based on data.

Data-driven farm management is the only safe way for resource utilization. For instance, some farmers practice pest protection, fertilization, and many other activities based on their feeling. In doing so, they often spend their resources without knowing whether it’s really necessary, which usually results in higher costs and less efficient farm management. Therefore, tracking the usage of resources per each crop, field, and season, is extremely important to achieve productive and profitable crop production.

Besides that, successful farm managers always know which crops are productive and which lack behind.

Tracking crop productivity, as well as sales and expenses, can reveal valuable information and facilitate making serious decisions which determine the further direction of farm management.

Being a successful farmer requires a lot of hard work and knowledge. In order to manage a farm efficiently, the farmer needs to have a certain level of organization, which is sometimes hard to achieve. For this reason, farmers who are striving to achieve successful crop production and manage a farm efficiently, always make data-driven decision.

Your farm manager is the link between you and success.

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Hydroponic production farm tour and training – 17th October 2018

Hydroponic farming

TRAINING SCHEDULE AND WHAT TO EXPECT

What is the meaning of hydroponic
What are some of Importance/advantages of hydroponic over soil culture

 

Introduction to the different Hydroponic Systems which include:

  • Hydroponic Fodder System
  • A-Vertical System
  • Deep Water Culture System (Floating Raft System)
  • Trough (Media Based) System
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System
  • Strawberry Towers

Fodder System

  • Procedure of Growing Hydroponic Fodder
  • Feeding Ratios to different Livestock
  • Structural Considerations

Deep Water Culture System

  • Materials Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Management
  • Spacing Versus Crop Production

A-Vertical System

  • Advantages + Challenges
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Management

Trough System

  • Structural Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Formulation
  • Drip System Maintenance
  • Temperature + Humidity Levels

 

Also Check from our events

NFT System

  • Structural Consideration
  • Crops Suitable for the system
  • Nutrient Solution Formulation
  • Temperature Levels
  • pH and Ec Levels

Strawberry Towers

  • Structural Consideration
  • Nutrient Solution Fertigation Schedule
  • Temperature Levels
  • pH and Ec Levels

Contact us for details, bookings and any clarification
John Kiruthi: 0790-509684
David Gitonga: 0722-481838

 

Check more on hydroponic farming

 

 

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hydroponic farm tour

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How Long Should Your Farming Enterprise Take To Become Profitable?

fruit and vegetable farming

Farming can be successful but for you to be successful, you have to think critically and out of the box. You must think like a modern tech farmer and not as that conservative traditional farmer. You must do away with the traditional methods and think as a business person, the traditional methods no longer work.

Most of the new farmers struggle because they follow passion instead of viewing farming as a business and a carrier. Whatever prevents you from getting into farming and succeeding can be done with. Let’s see what you can do to be successful if farming and how long it will take you.

Best methods to improve your farm profitability

Conduct Market Analysis First

If as a farmer you grow any type of crop without first knowing a specific market, you are bound to fail. Sadly, that’s what most people do. They rush into farming business without validating the market potential of their given crop.

Don’t look at what your neighbors are growing and decide, do your own analysis. Competition kicks in and the only way to stand out, is through lowering your prices. But that’s the best scenario, the worst case scenario would be the marketing dictating what price you get.

No one wants to lose control of how they price their commodities. But that’s what you’ll get when you fail to look for a market upfront. You’ll pay for the mistake by squeezing your margins dry. To be on the safe side, start by approaching all probable market outlets about your farming ideas and then choose an enterprise based on the feedback you receive. That way you’ll be sure that the market really needs what you intend to grow.

Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

Make Sure You Choose The Right Crop

If you want to optimize on your probability, make sure you go for the right crop. Choosing the right crop to plant is the first step to optimizing farm profitability.

In any given market, consumers will demand more than one enterprise. As an entrepreneur under such circumstances, you’re face with a decision on what enterprise to select. My advice is simple, choose the one that has a higher market value.

The reason I say this is because the cost of production is almost the same across various enterprises. For example, whether you need to grow tree tomatoes or hass avocado you’ll require land, same land preparation, and same operation cost. But the difference is determined by how the market values a given crop.

Always Plan in Advance

Planning is important in all fields and those who ignore it do so at their own peril. It’s a fact that all professionals have plans – For instance, doctors follow a treatment plan, airline pilots follow a flight plan, and soldiers follow a military operation plan.

While we can’t guarantee your success – in fact no one can, having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success. The reason why most farming ideas no matter how great never live to see the light of day, is that they neglect this vital step.

Knowing this gives you unfair advantage over the rest of the folks. When you take your time to write a detailed farm plan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to figure what to do next.

And as with any agricultural produce, time is a luxury you cannot afford. Given the perishable nature of most horticultural produce, you’ll be messed up if you lack a plan of action.

Diversify Your farming Enterprises

Don’t try to specialize in farming. There are some other instances where specialization is paramount, but if you want farm profitability badly, you can’t afford to specialize.

You have likely heard the expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

For example, if you’re growing passion fruits for income, it could be a good idea to intercrop them with other vegetables such as, strawberries, onions, and spinach.

These intercropped short-term crops will enable you to earn some income before your main crop.

Stick to Your Plan

Starting a farm of your own is a fantastic way to give yourself some control and possibly earn an extra income at the same time.

Farming is risky, challenging, and not for the fainthearted. Farmers and agripreneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations. One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.

This is all part of the business of agriculture. Now, when you face such situation, the last thing you need to do is switch plans.

While some challenges might require a change of plans, it’s better to stick to your plan and learn from your mistakes. It’s all part of the process that eventually leads to farm profitability.

Invest in Yourself

You need to continually invest in yourself to become better at what you do. Grasp any learning opportunity to help you make better farm decisions.

While you do this, don’t worry about being perfect. If you worry too much about being perfect, you’re never going to get anything done. Get your farm set up as soon as you can, and you can worry about learning the ins and outs of the trade later. Learning events such as field days, open days, and libraries are all good sources of information. ​

Don’t Take too Many Short Cuts

Farming entrepreneurs have a role to play. A role to protect the integrity of the industry and restore faith in the quality food standards. Taking short cuts defeats the whole logic of protecting the industry’s integrity.

Compliance to quality standards and other farm operations is key. Therefore, to safeguard your farm profitability, you need to adhere to those standards.

Keep Clear Book Records

Always ensure you keep current, accurate records. Pay attention to details. Know where your money is generated and spent. Storing receipts in a shoebox and waiting to post figures at the end of the year is not a recommended recordkeeping system.

Good records will help you to measure your cash flow as well as to estimate the profitability of the enterprises. ​

Ensure Food Safety in Mind

Remember that you’re growing food for human consumption. And as such, food safety is key. The only way to ensure that you’re growing safe and high quality produce, is by following the best agricultural practices.

Internationally producers and consumers are embracing the practices and. It’s not just a requirement but an important component in enhancing food safety. Consumers will pay you more when you’re accredited and certified against such standards.

Seek Help

No one is perfect when it comes to farming. Therefore there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. Many people, including oxfarm, are happy to help people out.

Conclusion

Farming takes time, therefore be patient and persistent. Follow the above few tips and you will be surprised how first your farming enterprise will grow.

 

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Goat Farming in Kenya: how to start & make money

goat farming

A lot of people want to venture into agriculture business without passing through much stress. If you are looking for an animal farming business in Kenya which can fetch you good cash without much stress, then take a look at Goat Farming Business in Kenya

If you love goats and you want to enter into the goat rearing business or you are already into this business and looking for new tips on how to improve it , then you’re in the right place .

Goat rearing business is by far among the intensive animal farming business in which a lot of people have embarked on and are testifying of it income return.

Another amazing thing about goat farming is that anyone in any place can setup this business and soon enough, they will start making profit from it.

Do Kenyan people consume goat meat?

Aside from cow meat, goat meat is another type of meat widely loved, by many in Kenya. And the reason is because of its unique taste or aroma. Kenyans love nyama choma especially goat meat.

Apart from these, goat meat is highly nutritious because it has more Lean that is; it has low cholesterol which is very good for people who have a preference for low energy diet and most times Doctors do recommend it to some patients .

So allow me to conclude that many Kenyans eat goat meat every day and this should drive you to the zeal of starting up your own commercial goat farming in Kenya.

Is Goat Farming Business Profitable in Kenya?

If I invest into goat farming, how much will be my income flow be? Are you asking this question?

Let’s make a possible estimation ;

A healthy and well-matured goat could weigh about 35-40 Kg (So, for that Kilos, a goat should cost roughly Ksh 7,000 or even more . And let’s say you have about 100 goats in your goat farm, you would be selling for about Ksh 700,000.

Let’s assume that the cost of feeding and labour is even as high as Ksh 100,000, you could still be making as much as Ksh 600,000 every year.

Incredible! Right? So you see, goat farming is a good investment, though no business makes you rich overnight. There’s always a time of little beginning.

How much capital do I need to setup my goat farming business?

Compared to rearing other livestock, goat farming business requires little or less capital.

You don’t need millions of Shillings to set up a goat farm, unless if you want to make it larger. But nevertheless, you can set up your goat farming business with not so much amount.

Just bear in mind that you are setting up a commercial goat farming. When you’re in the business, as profits flows in, you can then put in more goats.

 

Other byproducts from goat farming in Kenya

As interesting as it might be, the amazing fact about rearing goats is that goat is a multifunctional animal. You don’t only gain from selling your goats as meats, but you can also gain more from some of its byproducts such as milk, fibers, skin, and manure.

I will explain each of this a bit for better understanding.

Goat Milk; though it may not be that popular or widely consumed in Kenya, goat milk can be produced from goat. Goat milk is said to have low cholesterol and it is non-allergic compared to cow milk.

The nutrients in goat milk are said to help in improving appetite and digestive efficiency. It also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties which can be used for the treatment urinogenital diseases of fungal origin. Other dairy products derived from goat aside milk are yoghurt, cheese, and butter.

Fibers; some breed of goats like the Cashmere and Angora can produce high-quality fibers. These can also be sold for maximum profit.

Hides and skin; every breed of goats produce hides and skin, which can serve or use in the production of leather items. But know that the breed which produces high quality hides and skin are the Black Bengal goats or Kalahari Red goats (can be mostly found in Kenya).

They have thick hides and skin which is not only sold in Kenya but also internationally, and because of it extravagantly quality, their skin has a high demand. If you intend to deal with in goat hides and skin, make a market research about it and know who your buyers are.

Manure; Most farmers love and prefer to use organic manure than using artificial fertilizers to grow their crops. Goat’s faeces are high organic manure (fertilizers) that are used for the rapid growth of farm crops. You as a goat seller can make a good income from these.

What weather condition is suitable for rearing goats in Kenya?

Unlike some livestock farming like chickens , Fish and the likes, goat is one animal that is never selective of weather condition. And to top it all, Kenya weather is very suitable for rearing goats in any state.

Now we have discussed the considerable factors, let’s move to the main point; How to start goat farming in Kenya.

Goat farming business plan; a good business should have a business plan. This will assist you to pinpoint things you should do to improve your goat farm. Alongside, you should have record keeping if need maybe, it should document what has been sold, purchased. To know when you are gaining or losing.

The reason why you are rearing goat; when setting up your goat rearing business, you should determine the main reason why you are rearing goat; are you rearing them for meat, for milk, or for their skin?

Make a market research of the one that has a high demand and will also profit you more and go into it.

Land location; when you want to get a land for your goat farming, select a location that is good for pasture or grazing (just as you would do in cattle farming).

Make sure the land is not far from town or market for easy access. If possible, let there be a market near the farm land, so you can have easy access to get any types of equipment you might need.

Housing; when building a pen for your goat, build one that will shed them from rain and the sun. You can put electricity if need may be. The shed should be well fenced to prevent thief and burglaries. Also, the pen should be clean, should be free from dampness and well it should be well ventilated.

The goat pens should also be free from pest and rodents. You should always use fresh hay or straw for bedding. Initiate activities like introducing toys or so your goats can move around. This also helps in making them healthy and active.

Buying your goat breed

After you have set up the housing (goat pens) for keeping your goat, the next step is to purchase your breed. You should purchase high-quality breed.

Dairy Goat Breeds in Kenya

There are many dairy goat breeds in Kenya today. These are the goats reared for milk. You will find farmers with dairy goats in Kenya for sale. You can also check out your local classifieds or online for dairy goats in Kenya for sale. While choosing the Dairy Goat Breeds in Kenya ensure that the breed have high production and quality milk. Here are the popular Dairy Goat Breeds in Kenya.

  • Saanen
  • Toggenburg
  • Barbari
  • Jamunapari

Meat Goat breeds in Kenya

There are many meat goat breeds in Kenya. If you are considering goat rearing for meat, then this is what you should consider. Look for meat goat breeds in Kenya that are highly productive and produce good quality meat. Here are the popular Meat Goat Breeds in Kenya.

  • Boer
  • Mato
  • Black Bengal

If you are purchasing a baby goat, make sure that they are properly vaccinated.

Feeding your goat

You can feed your goat any types of crops, corns, and leaves since goats are ruminant’s animals (though like human, they have their different taste, i.e, certain goat may not eat something other goats eat). However, it is advisable that you should have a grazing place so that the cost of feed can be lowered.

There are also specially formulated feeds you can buy in the market; these feeds can make your goat grow faster and big. The little disadvantage of it is that, these feeds can be costly compares to pastures. Sometimes, most farmers do produce their own feed; you can make yours if you can just make sure the feed has about 11%-18% of protein.

Get the Services of a Veterinary doctor; A lot of you might frown on this; you might be asking if rearing goat is easy, why then do I need the service of a veterinary?

Here is the point, When you are starting up your goat farming business that you should bear in mind that you are setting up a commercial goat farming business. The reason is you will be rearing lots of goats in larger quantity for business.

You don’t want to use your goats for experimenting like those who are rearing two or few goats. With the help of a veterinary, you will know the right nutrient, mineral or medicine that will be administered to your livestock that will maximum your profit and also you can learn new tips from them.

If you want to do it yourself be cautioned that you might lose quite a number of goats in the process.

Goats Maturation; this is the process of goats becoming mature. In goat, puberty age is between six and 12 months (though it can most times vary in breeds. Some breeds maybe more other mat be less. Sometimes, nutrients can also contribute to this. You should note that female goats (doe) go into estrus every 21 days for three to 50 hours.

At this stage, some enough natural mating can begin. But since the advance of technology, some modern farmers practices artificial insemination. It is said that it allocates straight forward entrance to a wide variety of bloodlines.

Marketing your goats; before you fully start your own goat farming, you should make a market research to know how much others are selling in the market so you’ll have a better understanding of goat business in your area and so that you won’t sell your goat below the market price.

Some common disease to look out for when rearing your goat;

Tapeworm; you will notice symptoms like; Diarrhea, constipation, some part of tapeworm may be seen in the faeces.

Tuberculosis; you will notice difficulty in respiration, coughing, Irregular low-grade fever of long period, loss of body weight and anemia.

Salmonella infection; noticeable symptoms are like loss of weight and low milk production. This disease is mostly caused by using or giving the dirty or contaminated drinking water.

Rinderpest; the symptoms are Ulcerative lesions will appear inside the lower lip and on the gums. There will also be a mild thermal reaction and diarrhea.

Nitrate/nitrite Poisoning; noticeable symptoms include; urine tested positive for nitrate/nitrite, respiratory difficulty staggering gait, the goat blood becomes chocolate brown in color. Most times death might occur.

This diseases listed above are just a few to mention, there are still many of them. These are the more reason why appointing a veterinary is highly recommend.

If your goat farming business is well managed by a good veterinary, your goats will grow healthy and you will gain more than lose.

On November this year we have the biggest farm tour that will focus on goat farming. Don’t miss make a date with us and you will learn more.

Read this for details.

DAIRY GOAT – Farm tour & training 10th November 2018

 

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DAIRY GOAT – Farm tour & training 10th November 2018

Our November farm tour and training will focus on DAIRY GOAT FARMING as business in Kenya. The training will be held at Shamba Dairies – one of the leading and well managed dairy goat farm in Kenya.

The farm located in the heart of Kangema town is the home of 40lts of dairy goat milk per day, with the champion goat producing 5litres of milk per day – a feature many dairy goat farmers in Kenya dream off.

The farm has three breeds of goats namely Alpine, Toggenbergs and Saanens.

Shamba dairies is among the few farms in Kenya that completes the entire value chain, It has a small yoghurt processing unit fully dedicated to goats’ milk yoghurt production.

Feeding, which they mostly grow on the farm includes proteins such as desmodium, lucerne, calliandra, green leaves, which is constantly in their cages.

This tour and training offers those with an interest and new entrants to goat farming an opportunity to learn the success behind Shamba Dairies.

 

Read Also: How to make Silage for your Dairy Cows in Kenya

 

The event is organized by Farmers Trend in collaboration with Oxfarm Organic. We are dedicated in promoting agri-tourism in Kenya, showcasing the success of this modern farms that started from a humble background.

 

Contact us for details, bookings and any clarification
John Kiruthi: 0790-509684
David Gitonga: 0722-481838

 

See more details on the poster below

 

 

About Dairy goat farming :

 

 

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Uhuru to Sign Hass Avocado deal In China Next Month

Uhuru to sign hass avocado deal with China

Avocado farming and especially the hass variety has taken shape in Kenya and our leaders have seen the opportunity and have been in the forefront in ensuring Kenyan farmers access better markets.

In this regard, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month for the first Shanghai Import Expo. In  his visit, president Uhuru is expected to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts.

On Thursday as he held Cabinet meeting, president Uhuru briefed his cabinet on his intentions. China is one of the recent countries to embrace hass avocado fruits, and being the most populated country, the demand is rising and if President Uhuru can secure a deal, then brighter days for hass avocado farmers are coming.

The President said he will lead a strong delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China for the first Shanghai Import Expo. A number of trade deals will be negotiated and sealed, he said.

Among the deals the president is expected to seal is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China. This will open doors for the exportation of more than 40 per cent of Kenya’s fresh produce to the expansive Chinese market.

President Uhuru in his statement said the agreement will also include exportation of stevia – a sweetener grown in the Rift Valley.

What are the best organic methods of controlling pests in Kenya?

Signing Of Hass Avocado and Other fruits Deal

During the Shanghai visit, the Head of State is also expected to sign an MoU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group. It will be mandated to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China.

On Tuesday 17th October, Uhuru banned Chinese fish, saying it is killing the local market. He spoke at the Strathmore University during the 2018 SMEs conference. “I have been told about the imported fish from China. It is not possible that we import Chinese fish when our local traders are here,” he said.

Uhuru attended the China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Summit in August. He held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping focusing on trade, infrastructure, investments, education and technology. The President witnessed the signing of an Economic and Investment Cooperation Agreement between China and Kenya. Uhuru’s delegation engaged in discussions on financing for Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

The discussions also covered the financing for the Western Bypass in Nairobi. The talks also centred on Kenya’s shift from pure debt financing to embrace Private Public Partnerships.

China has remained the biggest lender to Kenyan economy with some quarters saying the loans might plunge the country into a debt trap. (courtesy of Star)

This is the biggest opportunity we have as a nation. Hass avocado farmers have a chance now to get the best prices for their fruits. Last year, Kakuzi Ltd an agricultural company bought hass avocado fruits from farmers at a record high of up to Ksh 35 per fruit. This year we expect the prices to go higher.

Contact us for quality certified seedlings.

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Macadamia nuts help release stress and it will strengthen your hair

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts have many health benefits which are worth planting for. Macadamia nuts take care of your heart or they can keep you upbeat all day. These nuts are fruits of the macadamia tree which is native to Australia. They are commercially very important. Macadamia belongs to Proteaceae family of plants and it can reach as high as 40 feet but the grafted hybrid variety is shorter. Its leaves are elliptical and are usually arranged in whorls of 3 – 6.  Its flowers are slender, and are about 10 inches long.

Macadamia nuts are extremely hard and woody. They have a pointed apex and have 1 or 2 seeds. If you take macadamia nuts in excess amounts, then they can cause skin allergies like rashes and other allergies like coughing. If you bought macadamia nuts that are salted, then they can elevate your blood pressure. This is a reason why you should eat unsalted natural variety. In addition, macadamia nuts are good source of fiber but if you take them in excess amounts, then they can cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating, diarrhea and gas.

Macadamia nuts health benefits

Strengthens hair

Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid. They can help to treat hair and it can strengthen the hair roots. When you are massaging your hair regularly with macadamia nut oil, then it can make it shiny, stimulates hair growth and it can rebuild hair elasticity. This oil can also prevent the hair breakage by penetrating the scalp and it can improve the strength of the hair follicles. Also it can control the frizz. It will hydrate your hair as well.

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Macadamia nuts Improve skin health

Macadamia nuts have essentially fatty acids which are playing an important role in the skin health. It has palmitoleic acid which can hydrate the skin, support the health of cell membranes and promotes skin healing. You should apply macadamia oil to your skin because it can render a youthful glow. It is thick, but it gets absorbed by your skin very easily. It is important to know that there is some amount of palmitoleic acid which is naturally happening on our skin and as we are getting older, it diminishes. When you apply macadamia nut oil on your skin, then it can replenish your skin with this essential acid. Also this acid can delay the skin aging. It will prevent the early onset of the signs of aging like age spots and wrinkles.

Macadamia nuts can help Relieve stress

There are some studies in which are shown that macadamia nuts can help to relieve the oxidative stress in people. They are rich in antioxidants which can help to beat the stress as well. Antioxidants fight against the free radicals and if you have high levels of free radicals in your body, then it can lead to oxidative stress and an increased risk of disease. Also these nuts have high – quality protein but it is in small amounts. There are some studies in which are said that when we consume a handful of macadamia nuts due to their high – quality protein content, they can keep the blood sugar levels in check and they can provide a steady flow of enhanced energy and mood.

Boost metabolism

Macadamia nuts have monounsaturated fatty acids which can accelerate fat metabolism. When you are consuming 3 nuts, then they can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.

 Offers energy boost

Macadamia nuts have complex carbs and they can spike your energy levels. It is known that fats sustain the energy.

Macadamia nuts Aid in anemia treatment

These nuts have some amount of iron which can help to treat the anemia and it can prevent this disease. But you should include other foods that are rich iron such as spinach. Also when you are including Vitamin C in your diet, then it can improve your iron absorption and this can help to prevent anemia.

Now if you area farmer in Kenya and you want a tree that can give you money, think Macadamia. As we have seen the above benefits, macadamia nuts are highly sourced all over the world.

 

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Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass avocado has continued to be number one success story in Kenya.

Both local and foreign investors have been putting up avocado factories in the country and have therefore improved prospects among local farmers.

Each year, more than 1500 avocado containers are shipped to Europe and the Middle East. New markets in Asia- specifically Russia and China are opening up opportunities for farmers and exporters, according to key industry players.

This has boosted the country’s profile as a top avocado producer among their other producing nations of Mexico, Chile, Peru and South Africa.

In recent years, the World Economic Forum has recognized Kenya’s avocado success story. Kenya has about 10000ha under the crop with more than 70 per cent of total avocado production coming from smallholder farmers. Increased investment by the county governments has come as a boon to many farmers who previously had to suffer low prices from ravenous brokers-fleecing farmers of their incomes. Contract farming has also encouraged farmers to improve their farming and replace old less productive trees with modern varieties.

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Diversification Through Hass Avocado Farming

Farmers and especially in central Kenya where land has been subdivided many times becoming too small for commercial purposes have been force to diversify their thin king and they have over the recent years adopted hass avocado farming and macadamia farming.

With an acre of land carrying 150 avocado trees, and a single tree producing over 1000 fruits on maturity each retailing at an average of Ksh 10, a farmer is assured of 1.5 million from a single acre.

Production usually starts two and a half years after planting. Hass avocado and Fuerte varieties are the most sought-after. The latter is said to be a good pollinator popular with exporters while the former is more popular in Europe.

Countries that buy avocados from Kenya include United Arab Emirates, the UK, Egypt, The Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Spain, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong.

The government under CS Agriculture Mr Kiunjuri plans to expand to emerging markets such as Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

What are you waiting for, we have told you before and we will continue emphasizing that hass avocado farming is the way to go.

Contact us for more details.

 

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What are the best organic methods of controlling pests in Kenya?

organic pestcides use

Random use of pesticide is still rampant in Kenya despite the obvious risks it poses to the environment and human health.

The use of chemicals is partly because of ought to feed the escalating international population and development of resistance by pests.

IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is a good substitute to chemical use, it involves selection and use of a combination of methods and materials to optimize production without harming the environment.

Although IPM is crop specific, effective implementation of IPM requires policy guidelines. Some cultural practices with general IPM application include crop rotation, intercropping, planting/harvesting timing, use of fertilizers and organic pesticides, plus plot location selection, among others.

Intercropping

Intercropping has been used successfully to control the maize and sorghum plant pest striga and the maize stem borer through push and pull technology. In the pull technology, a strip of napier grass is planted around the cereal field.

When the moth that produces the larva (stem borer) attacks the field, it first comes into contact and is attracted to napier through some chemical substances produced by the grass.

It lays eggs on it and when the eggs hatch into larvae, which bore into the napier grass stems, the plant produces a sticky substance that traps them to death.

When desmodium is planted in between the rows of cereals, it produces a ground cover which prevents growth of striga.

Further it produces chemicals that trigger germination of striga and when this happens in the cereal off season, the germinated striga dies as it has to attach to maize, sorghum or millet roots to survive.

In the push technology, desmodium produces chemical substances (kairomones) that push away stem borers. In addition to pest control and use as an animal feed, desmodium is a legume that fixes nitrogen enriching the soil and increasing its productivity with minimal use of inorganic fertilizers.

Minimize use of Pesticides through Crop  Rotation

Crop rotation can be used to control pests that attack unrelated plant species. An example is bacteria wilt in Irish potatoes, which can be curbed by rotating with maize in a ratio 1:3.

The potato is grown once in every three seasons eliminating bacteria in the soil

Timing the Planting

Research has shown that early (April) timing of the wheat planting season helps to control the Russian wheat aphid density levels with the late planted (June) crop showing high levels of infestation.

Location of the Crop

Some farmers have discovered that planting crops on low lying plots predisposes vulnerable crops to disease transmission through floodwater.

They have, therefore, made it a habit to plant crops in areas where flood water is not common or they dig trenches that redirect the flood waters from their crops. This has been applied in control of bacterial wilt in potatoes.

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Organic Fertilizers

Animal and farm yard manure; agricultural waste from livestock and crop processing plants; organic municipal solid waste can all be used to produce organic manure through composting and the biogas technologies.

The composting method decomposes the organic material in the presence of oxygen (aerobically) while the biogas method does the same in the absence of oxygen (anaerobically).

In both reactions, heat is produced which results in inactivation or killing of the common pests that would otherwise affect crops.

Unlike inorganic pesticides, organic ones have the ability to disintegrate in the environment and thus their toxicity is neutralized. Pyrethrum is one plant that produces organic pesticides.

Studies in Embu show that on average, farmers who implemented the above methods had approximately 54.5 per cent reduction in magnitude of mango rejection than those who didn’t.

Further, the participants spent approximately 46.3 per cent less on insecticide per acre than the non-participants and on average received approximately 22.4 per cent more net income than the non-participants.

(Courtesy of Seeds of Gold)