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How Can Kenya Boost Agricultural Productivity?

How to boost productivity

Many countries have successfully developed after shifting resources from agriculture to manufacturing. Countries in East Asia and the Pacific witnessed a revolution in the 90’s but Kenya and Africa in general missed out and has overtime lacked progress in agricultural productivity which can be blamed for holding back the region’s overall economic growth.

So what can be done to boost Kenyan agricultural productivity? below are eight factors that are drawn from transforming Kenya’s agriculture to improve competitiveness.

Grow High-yield Crops

Kenya requires increased research into plant breeding, taking into consideration the unique Kenyan soils. If money is put in good use in this segment, according to world bank, 1ksh is capable of yielding Ksh 6 in terms of benefits.

Improve Irrigation

With the growing effects of climate change on weather patterns, more irrigation will be needed. Average yields in irrigated farms are 90% higher than those of nearby rain-fed farms.

Increase the use of Organic fertilizers

As soil fertility deteriorates, organic fertilizer use must increase. Governments need to ensure the right type of fertilizers are available at the right price, and at the right times. Fertilizer education lessens the environmental impact and an analysis of such training programs in East Africa found they boosted average incomes by 61%.

Enhance Regulations, Market Access and Governance

Improving rural infrastructure such as roads is crucial to raising productivity through reductions in shipping costs and the loss of perishable produce. Meanwhile, providing better incentives to farmers, including reductions in food subsidies, could raise agricultural output by nearly 5%. In recent times Kenyan government has had a tussle with maize farmers where the government insisted on buying a 90 Kg bag of maize at Ksh 2300 but the farmers wanted more. Eventually the government increased the amount up to Ksh 2500. Such fights with farmers will only deteriorate and make things worse as farmers will get tired of farming if the market is harsh for them.

State of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Use of IT

Information technology can support better crop, fertilizer and pesticide selection. It also improves land and water management, provides access to weather information, and connects farmers to sources of credit. Simply giving farmers information about crop prices in different markets has increased their bargaining power.

Reform land ownership

Africa has the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (202 million hectares) yet most farms occupy less than 2 hectares. This results from poor land governance and ownership. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary if many African nations are to realize potential productivity gains. In Pastoralists counties such as Kajiado and Narok, land is owned by communities but recently some individuals have been grabbing it and making it theirs with no development. government should come up with policies that can help the common man.

Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Intensify integration into Agricultural Value Chains

Driven partly by the growth of international supermarket chains, Kenyan economy has progressively diversified from traditional cash crops into fruits, vegetables, fish, and flowers. However, lack of access to finance and poor infrastructure have slowed progress. Government support, crucial to coordinate the integration of smallholder farmers into larger cooperatives and groups, may be needed in other areas that aid integration with wider markets.

If the government, NGO’s, all agriculture stakeholders come together and do the above, we might reap as a country and as a continent. At Oxfarm we have been educating the public on the best farming methods and how to access the market, we expect the government to provide a fair and a good working environment for farmers.

 

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How To Make Farming in Kenya Profitable And Productive

Farming in Kenya is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, employing 70% of the population, and contributing half of Kenya’s export earnings and a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Since most Kenyans live in rural areas and practice farming, raising agriculture incomes – a centerpiece of Kenya’s Agenda 4 plan– is critical to reducing poverty, boosting prosperity and creating jobs, especially for women and youth.

The rising population and growth of incomes have increased the demand for food and agro-processed products. This is putting increased pressure on the environment amid frequent and severe climate conditions, made worse by the continued dependence on rain-fed agriculture. Combined with poor agricultural practices, low technological adoption, insecurity over land ownership, poor access to extension services, low quality inputs, and lack of credit, the report notes that the agriculture sector continues to be hindered from realizing its full potential.

Challenges notwithstanding, Farming in Kenya has enormous potential to transform the economy and make farming much more productive and profitable for Kenyan smallholder farmers. In stark opposition to supply-side constraints, demand-side opportunities for agriculture and food for Kenya and its neighbors are the strongest they have ever been. Booming domestic and regional demand for higher-value foods arising from income growth, urbanization, and dietary shifts offer massive opportunities for Kenyan farmers, and for value chains beyond farm production, and better jobs in agriculture. Other areas of potential identified are developments in agricultural technology and ICT, and various successful agribusiness models that could be up scaled.

Dickson Kahuro an Agronomist and farmer, prioritized the use of technology in his agribusiness when he decided to register his company in 2014.  He designed and developed tools to manage logistics, inventory, cash flow management and also staff management while in office and in the field.

Profitable pig farming in Kenya

Basic Policy Action

For Kenya to maximize its potential and take advantage of the opportunity to become a regional agri-food powerhouse, there are strategic decisions and the needs to be addressed in Kenya, and success stories to draw on. There three main areas for policy action and investment namely;

  • commercialization through value-addition and trade;
  • strengthened public institutions and policy, and
  • enhanced resilience of agriculture production and rural livelihoods.

Strengthening the institutional base of agriculture, removing identified distortions, facilitating trade, and enhancing resilience through climate-smart agriculture and low-cost irrigation systems can help closing the potential-performance divide of Kenyan agriculture. High priority actions should be discussed in multi-stakeholder under national coordination in the Agricultural Ministry.

Kenya’s agriculture sector may not be transformed overnight. But making the right adjustments now will be critical to realize the Vision 2030.”

With access to more finance, more efficient farming and climate-smart practices, Kenya will be able to reach its potential in agricultural returns.

 

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Potato farming tips for beginners in Kenya

Potatoes are one of the staple foods in Kenya and some other African countries just like maize and it yields profits as well, though venturing into potato farming might be easier for those already in agriculture but for beginners it may not be the same because there should be a basic knowledge of what seasons and soil is best for its cultivation, how they are planted and the variety to go for.

Nyandarua County is the leading producer of Irish potato in Kenya. However, in other areas in Kenya, though potato is a high end product, potato farming isn’t practiced as much. According to 2018 statistics on  potato farming, farmers are able to make good money when they decide to produce potato commercially. Last year we witnessed lee production of potatoes which made a bag of 90kg to skyrocket. It is estimated that potatoes business exchange more than ksh. 50 billion in a single year.

Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

The below tips which guide anyone that aspires to go into potato farming with the basic steps he or she requires.

  • In starting this kind of business, you should know that though potatoes can grow well in many soil types that there those considered as the “best soil” type for effective cultivation of potatoes (soils that drains well),so it might be wise to inquire from other local farmers to know what kind you will be going for and the soil that best fits the species of potatoes available in your location. The soil type will also help you in selecting the best farm suitable for its cultivation.
  • Know the right time (season) for the kind of potatoes (sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes etc.,) you want to farm, though potatoes can grow well anytime, to plant it in the right season makes it yields better and also it will help to prevent or minimize the diseases that affect potatoes farming. Potatoes grow well during the rainy season but that doesn’t mean it can’t still grow in other seasons if there is a proper irrigation system available. The irrigation system is mostly used in the northern part of Kenya because of their low rainfall.
  • The startup capital in this kind of farming is really not much as expected once the land has been acquired except you are going into intensive farming that will require lots of farming machinery and equipment for the farming activities. So while going into potatoes farming just as any other kind of agricultural production, make sure you have an adequate amount of money that will sustain you till you start harvesting, and making a profit from the product sales.

Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

  • Prior to the time of planting, make sure that you have already cleared the land and prepare it for the planting season; also make sure that you buy the right potatoes spud or seed potatoes for the kind of potatoes you want to grow. Buying the right seed will help you buy the suitable fertilizer as well as other weed and insect control chemicals needed such as insecticides and herbicides.
  • Knowing about all these, without having a basic knowledge on how potatoes are being cultivated is a big flop because planting wrongly will make all your struggles to be in vain as you will end up gaining eventually nothing. So while you are making all these plans make sure you know how to plant potatoes as they are grown best when in rows, this also includes the inches deep and wide, how to cut off the stems, when it harvest is to be due and lots more.

Potatoes farming yield profit in Kenya much than expected, but every farmer of such food crops should be on the lookout because they are easily affected by pests and other fungal diseases which might reduce its yield, but will the appropriate and basic steps as mentioned above, the profit made after sales will be as many times over than the starting capital.

In potato farming, success is almost guaranteed but you must pay attention and work hard.

 

 

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Tips on How to Start an Aquaculture Farming in Kenya

Aquaculture business in Kenya and other parts of the world goes beyond the farming of fishes only, it comprises of other marine or aquatic lives which includes but is not limited to shrimps, shellfish, prawns, aquatic plants and lots more.

Though aquaculture farming is most times referred to as fish farming, it is because fishes compose a larger fraction of this kind of farming practice.

Some farmers in Kenya may want to go beyond fishing by incorporating other aquatic lives which includes both salt and fresh water organisms, and some entrepreneurs may also want to start this kind of business but may not know how to about. Don’t worry; these steps will help you on how to start aquaculture farming business in Kenya.

Best Tips of Growing Grapes In Kenya

What are The Requirements Before Starting?

  • Knowledge is Power – Always remember that knowledge is power and is the key to success too, so before going into this kind of farming business make sure you have a basic or an adequate knowledge of what aquaculture is all about, its pros and cons, how to get the fishes and others, so that you don’t start what you can’t finish.
  • Research on what kind of aquatic life will yield you lots of profits by checking the local markets including other local farmers, seafood stores, and others to know what their demand is and what kind of species they want in terms of volume, price and weight, this will make you to know what kind of aquaculture farming you will go into because making a choice blindly will affect your business profit.
  • Capital– You must have known what kind of aquaculture farming you will be going into, try as much as possible to know how much money or capital that you will need in establishing the business, also put into consideration the size of the business operation so that you wouldn’t be estimating too high or too low.
  • Land– Get a suitable land that best fits your practice, and depending on your market research you will know if you are basing on just fish farming or combining it with shrimps, prawns and others as it will help you in getting a sizeable land for the project. Make sure that the location is good and is near to markets and other potential buyers.
  • Know that aquaculture farming is wider than some people think and involves more work, so if have to consider so many things from feeding to labour, water quality and regulation, and other essential things which will make them survive and grow well.
  • License– Many countries requires that the farmer must have a license for such business, so try and find out from your local or county government so that you will be able to meet the necessary requirements for getting a permit or license in this kind of operation without being penalized.
  • It is good to join an association and organization that oversees the affairs of the aquaculturists in Kenya such as Fisheries and Aquaculture Department that will not only help to publicize your business but will provide you with an opportunity to see and interact with other prominent business fellows, and other numerous benefits which you are bound to gain from it.

Starting aquaculture business in Kenya may seem stressful but it is simpler than it looks, all you need is to put the above factors into consideration and then watch things fall into places. And you don’t have to worry about making profits because recently people are now focusing and switching their diets to seafood making the demand to be on the high side.

 

 

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History and Future of Macadamia Nuts Farming in Kenya

The macadamia nut tree goes back to Australia and it was introduced in Kenya between 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, macadamia grows in the same climate suitable for growing coffee. The macadamia nut trees remained almost totally unknown in Kenya until after independence in 1964 when a Kenya farming  family, Bob Harries and Peter Harries started multiplying the trees in a seedling nursery, planting them on their farms and selling some to other interested farmers.

In 1969 -1971 Bob Harries Limited, a company founded by the late Robert Harries initiated a campaign to sensitize the Kenyan Government to commercialize macadamia nut growing and establish processing and marketing the edible nuts. The Kenya Nut Company Limited was formed in 1974. This company was appointed by the Kenya Government to spearhead and invest in the development of the macadamia nut industry in Kenya.

Basic Requirements

The tree thrives best at 0-2000m attitude and grows to 9-20m a height and 45 cm diameter (dbh-diameter at breast height). The tree also grows best in areas with mean annual temperature of 15-29 Deg C. and mean annual rainfall of 700-2600 mm. It also requires well-drained soil which is fertile red loams or alluvia derived largely from basic igneous rock such as basalt with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Macadamia trees also doesn’t tolerate water and soil with high salt concentrations. They are well-drained loams and sandy loams with good organic matter content.

Varieties of Macadamia Grown in Kenya

The most popular varieties grown in Kenya are Macadamia integrifolia and  Macadamia tetraphylla. The Macadamia tetraphylla is more adaptive to cooler climate and has rough-shelled bush nut while the Macadamia integrifolia has smooth nut surface and is adaptive to diverse agro-climatic conditions. In Kenya the two species grafts are used to produce a more improved variety which is now very marketable and in high demand. Macadamia Integrifolia is highly dominant in the commercial clonal production area. Hybridisation occurs freely between Macadamia intergrifoila and Macadamia tetraphylla.

In Kenya the bulk of selections being currently grown is from such hybrids such as KIAMBU 3, KIAMBU 9 and 5, MURANGA 12 and 20, KIRINYAGA 1 and EMBU 1. More selections are being developed from the research programs in K.A.R.LO. Thika. In Kenya, it grows in high potential areas of Eastern, Central and Rift valley provinces.

Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Propagation

Macadamias are easily grown from seed, but the seedlings may take 8 to 12 years to bear a crop and the quality of the nuts is unpredictable. The wood of macadamia is hard, thus, requiring

the propagator to have experience to make it successfully. It’s important to note that seeds of Macadamia tetraphylla are collected and seedlings raised from them since it’s recommended as a rootstock due to its resistant to different rootstock diseases. The best seeds for propagation are mature seeds which are not more than 4 months old. The best pretreatment is nicking or soaking in cold water overnight before sowing in a seedbed or in pots/polythene tubes. If sown in a seed bed then transplant the sprouted seedlings from the seedbed to polythene bags when they are 2 cm in height. These seedlings are good as rootstocks if one is to graft. Grafting is the only option to obtain good varieties of fruit in a short period. The rootstock to be used for grafting should be usually seedlings of 9-12 months old with at least a diameter of 1-1.3 cm. The scion wood is girdled (remove a narrow section of bark on about 80% of the circumference of the twig) about 6 to 8 weeks before grating to promote accumulation of carbohydrates. The recommended graft method is a top-wedge grafting or chip budding. Softwood cutting and air-layering is also possible as propagation method. The scion wood can be either, but M. integrifolia is preferred for the best nuts production while the recommended rootstock is M. tetraphylla for its resistant to diseases. It’s important to note that M. tetraphylla is resistant to both macadamia trunk canker and anthracnose, grafting cultivars of M. integrifoila onto root-stock of M. tetraphylla minimizes these problems.

Spacing

The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however if they are been planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.

Production of Macadamia in Kenya

Macadamia is pollinated by insects, as most cultivars are at least partly self-incompatible, planting pollinator trees and introducing bees are both important for good fruit set. After flowering the nuts takes about 6-8 months to mature. Some grafted varieties of macadamias begin bearing within 2 years-3 years.

A young tree raised from a seedling without grafting takes at least 7 years to fruit, while the grafted trees takes 2-3 years to start bearing fruits. The nuts turn brown when mature and one harvest by shaking the tree branches where by all mature fruits or nuts fall down. Sort out the mature nuts from the few immature which may fall down. One can also pick from the tree.

A good tree can yield 45-90 kg nuts on average per year. Harvesting is usually by manual collection of the nuts from the ground or Picking from the crown-picking the fruits which have cracked or turned brown. The husks are removed and the nuts are dried within 24 hours of harvest. Failure to do so initiates undesirable physiological activity which causes fermentation and spoilage. For the production of edible nuts it is important to dry the nuts from an initial moisture content of 45% to between 5% – 1.5%.

Market analysis of macadamia nuts in Kenya

The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 2 million trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 200,000 small scale farmers with an

average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 10,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 4000 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 1 billion per year.

Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea. Japan and the United States are the 2 largest markets, together accounting for almost 84 percent of Kenya’s total exports Macadamia.

Nutritional Value of Kenyan Macadamia nuts

It has tough thick shell which encloses a cream-colored oil-rich nut. The macadamia nuts are rich in oil (60-72%), Proteins and Carbohydrates. It is also a good source of Vitamin B1, B2, E, Fibre, Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium and Niacin. The nuts can be eaten raw or used to make edible oils or confectionery or baking Macadamia is a good source of calcium. phosphorus, iron, vitamins B and niacin.

Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

Economic importance of Macadamia nuts

The importance of macadamia nut as a tree for inclusion inagro-forestry products lies in the fact that the tree can be interplanted with other cash crops and once established, it needs minimal care in comparison to other tropical tree crops such as the cashew nuts which is confined to the coastal region only.

The macadamia tree has a wider ecological suitability. The main uses for macadamia nut still remain as the kernel which is eaten as a dessert nut, in raw or roasted form, but also for making confectionery products. Soaps and cosmetics industries use the oil as a raw material. The oil press cake can be used as a livestock feed additive, the shells can be used to make charcoal while the wood also has the potential for production of hard timbers for the furniture or building.

  • Apiculture: Macadamia pollen is very attractive to bees, providing necessary forage for honey production.
  • Fuel:Macadamia shells may be used as fuel, generating sufficient energy to dry wet, in-shell nuts.
  • Tannin or dyestuff: The hulls, the green covering of the nuts, contain approximately 14% of substances suitable for tanning leather.
  • Lipids: Macadamia is the richest oil-yielding nut known. The kernel contains more than 75% oil, suitable for human consumption.
  • Essential oil: The characteristic, subtle macadamia flavour is probably due to volatile compounds, the major ones being similar to those in other roasted nuts Services
  • Shade or shelter: M. integrifolia/ tetraphylla makes an excellent evergreen shade and shelter due to its thick crown of leaves.
  • Soil improver: The decomposed husk is commonly used in potting soil.
  • Ornamental: As well as being an evergreen nut-bearing tree, M. integrifolia/ tetraphylla has good symmetrical shape and when in full bloom is covered with creamy-white and pinkish flowers. These make it a popular ornamental tree.
  • Intercropping: Inter-row cropping can be practised with trees such as citrus or coffee or maize.
  • Health aspect: Macadamia fats helps lower cholesterol and Improves blood circulation they provide antioxidants that prevent arteriosclosis

Way forward for Macadamia nuts Farming in Kenya

  1. The most effective grafting method need to be researched on, to increase the production of grafted or high quality seedlings
  2. Continued work needs to be done in cultivation practices and methods of propagation.

For any question regarding macadamia farming in Kenya, give us a call or pay us a visit. In addition, do your own research and compare notes, this is just to help you.

 

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The first Nyeri county workshop on hass avocado farming

hass avocado fruit

Nyeri  county held a workshop on 16th Jan 2019 to shed more light on the status of Avocado farming. The workshop attended by various stakeholders on avocado value chain and also various farmers group leaders who engage on avocado farming from various sub counties in Nyeri County.

Business Innovation Facilities (BIF)

The organizers of the event Business Innovation Facilities (BIF) have been in forefront ensuring that there is market linkage between farmers and marketers/exporters of hass avocado. The project that only started in 2018 has so far been a success. The moderator of the workshop Mr. Peter Mwangi said that there is a need to have a market system approach in dealing with hass avocado farming where the farmer should look at what the market requires and tailor those needs in the production. This involves improving quality and quantity.

Farmers being the core of the workshop were given time to give more insights as to their expectation for the workshop and what needed to be addressed.

 

Department of Agriculture Nyeri County

Mr Macharia from Nyeri County horticultural department briefed the attendances the status of hass avocado in Nyeri  County. Avocado grows in all Nyeri  sub counties apart from Kieni which is a bit drier and the farmer is required to have alternate irrigation methods unlike other areas.

During the last long-rain season the county government bought approximate 81,000 seedling for the farmers and are planning to buy more during the coming rainy season on April. The number of hectare covered by avocado has been increasing in Nyeri county.

  • 2013- 213 Ha
  • 2017- 277Ha
  • 2018 – 1106 Ha
  • Expected: 2019 – 1900 Ha

Nyeri County government is very strict when it comes to hass avocado seedlings. Suppliers have to have fulfilled all the requirements before supplying to them. In a matter of fact one must produce HCD and KEPHIS certification prior to being given supply tender.

 

Message from FPC Kenya CEO

Otepat okisegere, is the CEO of fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), a leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of fresh produce companies and their partners. He talked in length about the quality assurance and market access and about the regulation of the market.  A key note, he spoke about his own concern about why the kenyan produce if fetching half value of what the global market is getting.

The market for hass avocado is closed until first march 2019 while that of fuerte goes up to 1st Feb. 2019. He noted that there is no need in demonizing brokers since they are part of value chain. Small scale farmers should have organized groups for them to be able to handle brokers in an organized way. According to him, the biggest challenge that we will have in three years is not the number of the fruits but the quality of hass avocado fruits. In his argument, this should be checked and regulation imposed especially on planting materials.

Young people have a key role to play in avocado farming; he said from nursery, planting, pruning, harvesting as well as various training to farmers youth have various opportunities they can tap.

He urged marketers and farmers when they enter into contract its obligation of both parties to adhere to the agreements.

The market requires quality consistency and variety. He also added that this year there will be a decline in production by 60% from last year.

 

Department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county

Mr Kanyi, representing department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county welcomed the attendee with emphasis of carrying agriculture as a business.  “Ensure there is quality, quantity as well as value addition’ said Mr. kanyi.

 

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)

Madam Lucy, representing Kephis Nyeri, Laikipia and Muranga emphasized on ensuring avocado fruits are mature when picked. She also emphasized on the need to carry out pest risk analysis for various farms to ensure our farms are safe. Even export of fresh fruits must be certified by KEPHIS and given a certificate for clearance. KEPHIS has enrolled in a program to train and nature youth on nursery management in various areas.

 

Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD)

Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD) represented by Mr. Amedeo emphasizing the remarks that there is need to motivate both marketers and farmers to adhere to the set rules and regulations for safety and sustainability of hass avocado business. He acknowledged the presence of an association of all certified nursery operators within Mt Kenya by the name Mt Kenya Nursery and Orchards Operators Association (NOOA) where he also serves as their patron

Some of the stakeholders available included during the workshop were:

  • Jungle nut
  • Clofts Limited
  • Keitt Complex
  • Bayer
  • Equity Group
  • Acre Africa
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How to start Kienyeji chicken farming for eggs/chicks production

Many farmers in Kenya have overlooked the potentials in Kienyeji chickens. Starting a Kienyeji chicken farming is a good, cheap means to boost eggs and chicks production. This guide will help you with starting a Kienyeji chicken farm, either for meat, eggs or chick production.

Introduction to Poultry Production

Poultry contributes to improved human nutrition and food security by being a leading source of high quality protein in form of eggs and meat. It acts as a key supplement to revenue from crops and other livestock enterprises, thus avoiding over dependency on traditional commodities with inconsistent prices. It has a high potential to generate foreign exchange earnings through export of poultry products to neighboring countries. Poultry is highly prized in many social-cultural functions such as dowry and festivities.

The poultry industry is rapidly growing. The industry is characterized by widely diverse methods of production which include the following: village flocks, small-scale commercial flocks and large-scale commercial farms.

Constraints in poultry production include:

  • Production related constraints
    • inadequate access to improved breed
    • Access and affordability of feed
    • Disease control
  • Lack of knowledge and skills
  • Inadequate capital at all levels and marketing.

Systems of Management in Poultry Production

  • Free range
  • Semi-intensive
  • Intensive

Housing

  • Housing space should be 2 metres by 3 metres or be a traditional brooding basket. The traditional brooding basket can be used as a brooder basket for chicks, either inside or outside the house.
  • House should be raised to protect birds from predators.
  • Perches should be provided in the house for chicken to roost on at night.
  • The house should be well ventilated.
  • Preferably have cemented floor for ease of cleaning and disinfecting
  • Be rat-proof
  • Using plenty of litter after cleaning the poultry house
  • Keeping the right number of birds in poultry houses
  • Separating chicks from old birds

Management of chicks

  • Before chicks arrive at home; make sure that;
    • A brooder is in place
    • Paraffin lamps/electric bulbs/charcoal stove is available
    • Litter for the floor is available
    • 1m2 will accommodate 20 chicks up to 4 weeks old.
  • Temperature control: 35C for day-old chicks, 24-27C for 1 week. Reduce heat as they grow especially at night.

Physical features of a good Kienyeji layer chicken

  • Bright red comb and wattles
  • Alert eyes
  • Width between pelvic bones should measure at least 2 fingers
  • The beak and claws should look bleached
  • The cloaca should be moist

Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

Advantages in choosing Kienyeji chickens for farming

  • They are self-sustaining i.e. can raise their own replacement stock
  • They are hardy birds that can survive hard conditions
  • Management requirements are not critical as those of commercial exotic breeds
  • They are immune to some diseases and parasites
  • Their products fetch more money than those from exotic birds

Limitations in choosing Kienyeji chickens for farming

  • They have low growth rate
  • They produce fewer small sized eggs and comparatively little meat
  • People keep them without commercial purposes
  • They have been neglected by breeders/scientists despite their potential

How to Improving the production of Kienyeji chickens

Control of parasites and diseases

  • External parasites that affect Kienyeji chicken include: poultry body louse, stick tight flea, poultry lice, ticks, feather mites and leg mites.
  • Control can be done using commercial/synthetic or herbal insecticide.
  • Herbal preparations are cheaper for Kienyeji chicken but a lot of research is still needed in this area to establish proper dosage.
  • Internal parasites include worms and coccidia.
  • Worms can be eliminated using a potent dewormer preferably given as a tablet because these chickens have low water consumption.
  • Deworming should be done at least every month.
  • Commercial coccidiostats can be used alternately with herbal preparation. These must be given to birds on 8th, 9th, and 10th days of age. Repeat as directed by veterinarian.
  • In early days, vitamins-mineral mixtures should be given to chicks to minimize losses.
  • Vaccination of birds especially against New Castle Disease. Target first vaccination at the beginning of the dry seasons, repeat after one month and every four months thereafter.

Interested in the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

 Feeding Kienyeji Chickens

  • Farmers can mix their own feeds using the abundant carbohydrate and protein feed available in their area.
  • Feeding should be accompanied by green feeds and fruits such as pawpaw.
  • Only palatable green feeds should be given to birds.

The following should be done in rearing Kienyeji chickens:

  • Vaccination against Newcastle disease
  • De-worming
  • Remove mites and lice manually or better still using medicated powder
  • Provide water as much as possible
  • May supplement free range with other feeds e.g. maize bran and concentrates
  • Avoid buying chicken in dry seasons because diseases, especially Newcastle, are more rampant in dry seasons
  • Avoid buying birds when there is a disease outbreak
  • Buy birds of almost the same age i.e. 2-3 months are more ideal. Avoid buying old birds
  • Plan for synchronised mating and therefore synchronized reproduction and production to ease management

Precautions to take during egg storage

  • Do not store eggs in a kitchen where it is hot. Heat may partially incubate the egg and kill the embryos in them
  • Do not store them on top of a cupboard because heat from roof may incubate them.
  • Keep eggs in a cool secure place.

Incubation by mother hens

  • Usually one hen starts incubating by staying overnight on the boiled egg
  • Leave this hen on the boiled egg for 10 days while it is waiting for other birds
  • After the 10 days, give all the birds that would have started incubating (within the 10 days) 17 selected but recently laid eggs
  • Leave the birds that refuse to incubate alone
  • If you want to eat or sell, eat/sell those which were laid first (old ones).
  • Avoid giving these eggs to birds for incubation: very small, round eggs, very dirty, cracked eggs, extremely pointed eggs, very big eggs, very old eggs.
  • When done this way, all birds will hatch on the same day. An egg takes 21 days, 6 hrs to hatch.

 General Disease Control Practices

The following can only be used as guidelines for disease control, for proper disease diagnosis and treatment, consult the veterinarian.

  • Don’t overcrowd brooders
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Feed must be of good quality
  • Give clean water ad-lib
  • Don’t mix young and older birds
  • Clean poultry house
  • Dispose of dead birds quickly and isolate sick ones
  • Provide disinfectant at entrance to house

Antibiotics should never be used to replace good management and should be used on prescription by a veterinarian.

Signs of ill health

  • Dullness
  • Reduced feed intake
  • Reduced water intake
  • Low egg production
  • Reduced growth rate
  • Rough coat

Record keeping

Records to keep include:

  • Production data such as number of eggs produced, number of egg hatched
  • Quantity of feed eaten
  • Health interventions e.g. treatment
  • Deaths
  • Sales and purchases

 

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Interested in the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

Orange fruit farming

Kenyan’s potential in fruit production is rather untapped when compared to South American and Asian countries that dominate the export market. It is high time that Kenyans start to look out for ways of exploiting the demand that is growing and the lucrative market for tropical fruits both domestically and internationally.

How huge is the potential for the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.

Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!

Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.

This post explores the tropical fruit business and looks at a couple of successful entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the potentials of the fruit production business in Kenya. In our earlier posts, we have also included very detailed manuals that reveal all the technical details of starting and succeeding in fruit farming.

Why Is The Market Potential For Tropical Fruit farming Huge For Kenya?

Our research has identified three strong reasons why Kenya’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright. Here they are:-

·         Kenya Has A Strong Geographic Advantage

More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.

A very large portion of Africa is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.

As a result, Kenya and Africa at large remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.

Despite our continent’s huge potential for fruit farming business, a lot of fruits grown in Kenyan are consumed locally.

Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.

However, there are signs of positive change as some entrepreneurs are already making the best of this bad situation.

Profitable poultry farming and production in Kenya

·         A Growing Demand For Healthier And Organic Foods

Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.

Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.

The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Kenya. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.

According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for Kenyan tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.

Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

·         A Rapidly Growing Fruit Juice Industry

Recently, Prof Kibwana the Makueni County governor launched a mango processing plant which is meant to buy mangoes from residents of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni to process juice. These are some of the changes that we are talking about. Value addition is taking shape in Kenya and in the near future Kenya will be producing finished products. Another company in Mweiga Nyeri County is producing juice from tree tomato fruits. Tamarillo farm in Nyeri is now processing tree tomato fruits to produce chillie source, jams, and juice.

This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.

This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice making fruit farming business lucrative.

As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Kenya will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the country. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Kenya to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.

If you are confident that the fruit business will work for you, it’s important that you start taking action as soon as possible. Oxfarm is here to help you by providing certified seedlings as well as required information that can help you grow.

 

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State of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass Avocado farming

The agricultural sector in Kenya is a booming one with myriad rich opportunities. Even the government has acknowledged it by trying to improve things in the sector and thus shift focus from Maize farming. The agricultural business has little or no risk involved. Plant rearing and animal rearing are the major areas in the agriculture that has lots of benefit. The list of crops and trees that can be cultivated for sale is a massive one. Hass avocado is high on that list after banana and mangoes. The hass avocado farming has attractive financial significance from its sweet fruits. So engaging in hass avocado farming in Kenya presents several employment and business advantages.

Get started on that piece of land just sitting there or invest in some plots of land which you can get at cheap prices in remote places. A plot of land can take 150 hass avocado stands with each stand producing up to 1000 fruits of hass avocado. It costs about 40,000 (see our package) to plant an acre of hass avocado  and each fruit can be sold for Ksh 15. Properly planted and cultivated trees can start yielding within 2 years, although in little quantities, but after a few more years, it will begin producing in large quantities.

To have a productive business of hass avocado farming in Kenya, certain things need to be taken serious. One of those is treatment of the trees to fortify them against bugs, sicknesses, infections and other nuisances.

Basic Requirements for Hass avocado farming In Kenya

Amazing benefits of Nduma (Arrow roots) That you Never Knew

Climate condition and location for growing hass avocados: Kenya’s tropical climate is ideal for growing hass avocados.

Soil Condition: while hass avocados can grow in assorted soils like sandy, topsoil, red sand or clayey soils, the best choice however is loamy soil. Whatever soil is used, it must contain soil properties favorable to hass avocado cultivation with soil pH of 6.0 to 7.5.

Water System: Your hass avocado plants need lots of water when young. Having an irrigation system for it is therefore necessary. During dry season your trees should be watered every 2 days.

 

 

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7th Mushroom Training – Bannie-El Mushroom Farm in Limuru – 16th Feb 20192019

mushroom farming

To learn more on Mushroom farming we have organized the 7th mushroom training and farm tour at  Bannie-El Mushroom Farm in Limuru.

In broad, the mushroom training will cover the below details:-

  • Cost of production
  • Structure design
  • Preparing compost
  • Substrate preparation and mixing ratios
  • Sterilization/pasteurization (decontamination) of substrate
  • Inoculation (spawning) and conditions
  • Incubation
  • Maintaining conditions
  • Soil casing
  • Management
  • Fruiting process
  • Harvesting
  • Storage
  • Marketing
  • Challenges in production and marketing
  • Cooking preparation recipe

CHARGES PER HEAD

  • 3,000/= Exclusive of transport
  • Payable to Farmer Trend mpesa till number 201677

check more about the farm HERE

CONTACTS: 0790-509684

Mushroom training

 

 

Last event on Mushroom Farming organized by Farm Expose

mushroom farming mushroom farming mushroom farming mushroom farmers Farm Expose Team Hay for mushroom farming Farmers in Field trainning on Mushroom Mushroom house