To all our Esteemed customers, we appreciate you so much. Happy customer service week.
Huduma day previously known as Moi day is fast approaching, what’s more enticing than looking forward to a special long weekend?
OxfarmAg presents to you a Huduma day package,
– 20 Golden Hass avocado
– 15 purple passion
– 10 Tree tomato
– 2 guavas
All these at Kshs. 5,000 only…
And because it Huduma day we will give you free;
2 Washington Oranges
3 Sweet yellow passions
Plus Free transport
Call us on 0706222888
Whatsapp link https://wa.me/254706222888
It’s usually the case where exotic fruits are alluring to consumers in an abundant amount. However, can they be profitable to farmers? Can they bring out higher profits in agriculture, especially in Kenya? Dragon Fruit farming has been seen as an attractive investment opportunity since it’s a high income generating crop that requires very little work once established. Here are the 3 main reasons why farmers should venture into dragon fruit farming;
1) Easy to plant and maintain
Dragon fruit plants grow rapidly reaching their full height of 2-3 meters within three years. The dragon fruit has adapted to survive under harsh conditions, making them ideal for subsistence farming in the tropics where the soil is less fertile and therefore requires little care once established.
They have spines on their leaves which protect them from predators. They are also drought-resistant, but they do need sufficient water at some point during the year if continuously bearing fruits. If there is no irrigation source near your farm then you can plan for rain harvesting structures to cater to this water need. Farmers can easily get an abundant yield from this plant, which is another reason why it is a good investment.
2) Low input and high returns
Many farmers have been able to get a good return from exporting fruit because of the demand in many countries around the world. The fruit has become increasingly popular and is increasing in value in the local and export markets. So far, there is a low supply and a high demand for dragon fruits. This makes it ideal for small-scale investors who might not be able to invest large amounts of capital but want to benefit from agricultural exports. To maximize profits, farmers should process the fruit, using it to add value to various products such as energy bars, ice cream, yogurt, juices, pastries, and jelly.
A single fruit weighs between 600 grams and 1.2kg. A kilo of a dragon fruit retails for between Kshs. 750 and Kshs. 1000 making it one of the most expensive fruits. It’s so expensive because of its supply and demand factors, whereby consumers are willing to pay more just to get it even if they do not know what it tastes like.
3) High nutritional value hence a high demand
The fruit is a mix of crunchy and juicy textures. It contains high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, or iron which are important for good health. The fruit also contains fiber that helps the body to absorb essential nutrients from food as well as regulate bowel function. This means that the farmers will benefit from their investment because they can easily sell these fruits without needing any processing expertise, thus creating a higher return on investment.
Recommendation for farmers
The above reasons are the main drivers which make dragon fruit lucrative to local farmers. Because of its high demand in the market, one can easily get good returns on investment. However, there are some challenges which most farmers face like how to produce quality fruit for export and the best farm practices to apply when growing this crop.
We recommend that you should make use of local dragon fruit seedlings or rooted cuttings instead of using seeds since buying is more economical than getting the plant from an open field where it might have been exposed to diseases like bacterial wilt. Also, research on areas with suitable weather conditions before venturing into cultivation especially in terms of temperature and rainfall patterns.
Make sure you have a market for the produce before going into production since it takes up to 5 months from planting to harvesting. Ensure your farm is protected from birds and pests which can eat ripen fruits. Seek advice from established farmers who harvest regularly or experienced extension officers and know how to deal with any pest or disease that might affect your crop.
Farmers should do proper planning such as demand forecast, site selection and equipment purchase.
All of us need some extra cash. Working with nature will help build a healthy lifestyle for yourself while getting paid on top of that. Farming enables you to have your produce, spend time outdoors enjoying the scenery and fresh air, and meet new people in your community.
Why fruits farming?
Fruit growing have following economic and nutritional advantages. High productivity: High yield per unit area: From a unit area of land more yield is realized from fruit crops than any of the agronomic crops. The average yields of Papaya, Banana and Grapes are 10 to 15 times more than that of agronomic crops.
Pollination is the highest agricultural contributor to yields worldwide,
contributing far beyond any other agricultural management practice. Thus, bees
and other pollinators make important contributions to agriculture. Pollinators
affect 35 percent of global agricultural land, supporting the production of 87
of the leading food crops worldwide. Plus, pollination-dependent crops are five
times more valuable than those that do not need pollination. OxfarmAg Ltd gives free beehives for any packages purchased. http://oxfarm.co.ke/product-category/oxfarm-packages/
Tips that can help you achieve optimal results while doing fruit farming as a side hustle
Fruit farming as a side hustle is such an amazing part-time job that can give you enough income. You just need to follow the tips below:
- Analyze the climate in the region and ensure that it favors the crop you want to grow
- Ensure that soils are fertile
- Study how different fruits perform in the region
- Decide on the crops that are most suitable for your soils
- Purchase certified high-quality seedlings from certified nurseries
- Let the experts do the planting for you (OxfarmAg Ltd will help you kick start your fruit farming agribusiness and provide you with timely agronomy support)
- Start small since this field requires patience and adequate knowledge about planting crops before entering into business. Furthermore, starting with a larger area will only increase expenses without bringing more revenue because of bigger maintenance costs for equipment and other supplies.
- Invest in innovative solutions – To minimize the time required on the farm, you should adopt innovative tools such as automated irrigation and fertilization systems, precision agriculture, and sensor technology.
- Expand gradually by investing in high-yielding fruit trees first until you reach the point where your earning exceeds your investment then keep growing from there or expand another acre if possible but remember that expansion should be done once every two years.
- Invest in technology, fruit farming is much easier to do as compared to other side hustles. It takes a few months before you can harvest and sell them so there’s no long waiting period as opposed to starting your own business right now. You just have to prepare the soil, water plants once in a while, and tie branches using twigs for support, especially if you are investing in strawberries or grapes, employ proper management practices, embrace innovative strategies, and enjoy the profitability of fruit farming.
Weeds can be a hazard to strawberry production in many ways. They compete with strawberry plants for moisture, nutrients, and light. Strawberry plants are dependent on open space for good light penetration, good water drainage to prevent crown rot, and room for the plants to grow. To achieve this, it is necessary to control weed growth.
Strawberries are planted in raised beds to keep the fruit off the soil. As the berries grow, their foliage can touch the ground, making them more susceptible to weed invasions. To prevent weed growth in strawberries, you must take proactive measures before they even sprout their first leaf.
Watch for different weed varieties
Preventing weed growth in strawberries is crucial for strawberry fields, but some weeds are undesirable even if they’re easy to deal with. For example, wild morning glories spread rapidly by vines that grow into strawberry plant crowns and choke them out. In cases like this where a particular species of weed is particularly aggressive, it may make sense to try a different method of control on those plants rather than going through the whole field and risking damage from other varieties of weeds at the same time.
If you use herbicides, make sure you apply them at the right time and in the correct manner. If they’re applied too early or late, they won’t work as well. Throughout the growing season, strawberry plants will be especially vulnerable to weed growth if their leaves are nipped by frosts or damaged by hail storms. When this happens, weeds can grow into a thick patchwork that creates a monoculture of unwanted vegetation within a field of strawberries that would otherwise be producing high yields.
Weed seeds can be present in virtually any type of soil, so growers need to conduct a preliminary inspection of an area before planting strawberries there. One method is called “walkover scouting” where pairs of people walk through strawberry fields with wide spacing between each other and use their feet to feel for weeds that may have already sprouted or ones that are about to come up. If you find any seedlings, try using one of the weed control methods below:
- Pull out weeds by hand while the soil is still moist
- Use pre-emergent herbicide to kill any weed seeds before they sprout
Applying a pre-emergent herbicide after planting will not prevent weeds from invading strawberries, but it can kill any new arrivals. When applying this type of chemical, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for use near strawberries. Once weeds reach about 3 inches in height, you can pull them up and remove them from the field, or cut them with a mower and leave the vegetation on top of the ground where it’ll eventually break down to a manageable size.
Keep Weeds Manageable Using Mulch
You can also prevent weed growth in strawberries by utilizing mulch around the plants, but this may not be an option for organic growers because of the risks associated with using artificial chemicals. Strawberries have shallow roots that benefit from being kept warm and moist. In addition to weeds, straw mulch helps reduce evaporation as well as regulate soil temperature, which is why it’s been used since ancient times. There are many ways you can manage strawberry beds using mulch:
- Straw bale gardening – Grow strawberries between rows of straw bales and keep them off the ground where they won’t come into contact with weed seeds or soil
- Weed fabric – Use a type of impermeable weed fabric that prevents seeds from poking through the ground and growing
- Mulch mat – Take sheets of black plastic and cover the rows in between strawberry plants, then push straw mulch over the edges to prevent it from blowing away or seeping into the soil
If you’re Growing Strawberries organically…
Regular herbicides should never be used on organic strawberry crops. Instead, try tying up weeds with something like baling twine so you can trim them off once they die out. Be sure not to leave any living vegetation in your strawberry field because it could eventually begin to regrow and spread its seed throughout your crop, making it harder to keep weeds at bay.
Regardless of how you choose to combat weedy invaders, remember that weeding and killing weeds should be done early and often for best results. The most important time to keep weeds out of strawberry beds is between March and May, when weeds are at their prime and strawberries are just starting to emerge from the ground. Keeps a close eye on any new growth for hampering weeds so they can’t take hold in your crop, thus limiting the damage they could potentially cause during future growing seasons.
The Hass Avocado
The Hass avocado is the most popular variety in the world, it originated in La Habra Heights in California in the 1920s and it was patented by Rudolph Hass in 1935, the trees are upright with high vigor which indicates that they will grow tall and require pruning.
The Hass avocado leaves do not produce aniseed smell when crushed; neither do new shoots produce red flecking on wood. The fruits are oval and medium shaped, the flesh recovery stands at 70%. The fruit skin changes color from green to purplish-black when mature and black when ripe, mature fruits weigh between 180 to 350 g. The hass avocado’s maturity is mid-season to late season, it also has one of the longest harvesting seasons and an outstanding shelf-life and good shipping characteristics.
Optimal Ecological Requirement
|Altitude||Altitude range between 1200-2500 meters above the sea|
|Rainfall||Well distributed rainfall range of not less than 1000mm|
|Growing Temperature||Optimum growing temperature range of 20℃ to 25℃|
|Soil||Deep, well drained fertile sandy or alluvial loam soil with pH ranging from 5.5-6.5|
Trees should be planted at the beginning of the seasonal rainfall and as soon as the rain has deeply penetrated the ground. Trees planted at this time of the year have a full growing period ahead to establish themselves before the next dry season.
Site selection and Ploughing
In selecting planting site, a well-drained site is given top priority since avocado is highly affected by water logging and phytophthora root rot disease. Ensure there are no clay layers within a depth of 2ft. Hollowing is avoided where water accumulates even for short period, soil should be ploughed sufficiently to eliminate debris and clods, plough to a fine tilth. Avoid field operations when it is wet to avoid soil compaction and hard pans which affect proper root development. Soil analysis should be done at least 6 months before planting, to allow time for required fertilizers be applied and soil be conditioned ready for planting.
Planting and bringing the tree to bearing
The following aspects need to be considered when planting a new orchard
- Soil type
- Availability of irrigation water
- Management skills
- Cultivar to be planted
Spacing of Hass avocado can vary from 5m by 5m to 9m by 5m. To facilitate movement of orchard equipment between the trees for spraying and harvesting, a rectangular system should be applied.
The tree rows should be planted as close as possible in an east-west direction for maximum sunlight on both sides of the trees. The tree drip area should be kept clean of any growing crop but should be mulched.
Ensure that at the time of planting the soil is clean of weeds in the planting rows, the irrigation has been installed and is in a working condition and enough stakes are available for supporting the trees directly after planting.
Trees are kept upright and out of direct sunlight until they are physically planted. Planting holes can be dug with a hoe and spade and needs to be 2ft by 2ft by 2ft.
Bag is carefully cut open along one side without disturbing the root system. Loose soil is piled into planting hole so that the soil level of the avocado tree will be 1/3 above the ground. The tree is then kept upright and the hole is filled with soil and firmly pressed down, fill to the soil level of the planting bag.
Mulching is done around the tree to prevent drying out of the soil and keep the root system cool and active.
Supporting should be done using 1.8 to 2.0m treated poles/bamboo sticks, planted +/- 50mm away from the main stem of the tree. Fastening the trees against the pole should not be too tightly done rather loosely. Care should be taken to ensure the stake is not placed within the root zone.
Avocados have large soft leaved and evaporate a lot of water in warm weather, so they need regular watering in case of insufficient rainfall especially during flowering and fruit setting. The amount of water required for an avocado plant in a week is about 70 Litres on average.
When to irrigate
When signs of stress from lack of water begin to show, it’s the most efficient way to water. The following signs are indication of water stress;
- Footprints or tire tracks that remain in the grass long after being made.
- Many leaf blades folded in half.
- If a soil sample sought from a profile 1-2 ft. deep is not pliable and shreds into soil droplets upon dropping to the ground.
- Premature fruit drop and /or flaccid fruits on trees.
Rate of evaporation and the soil moisture content can also be used to know when irrigation should be done. In this case, moisture indicators known as irrometers are used to measure the soil moisture content. They should be placed at a distance of 30cm (12 inches) and 60cm (24 inches) from the top soil, since that is the root zone for an avocado plant.
Efficiency of water application
- Efficient watering does not saturate the soil and does not allow water to run off.
- Extremes in watering frequency and amount should be avoided since they lead to water runs off and wastage.
- Light frequency on the other hand, is inefficient and encourages shallow/restricted root systems.
- 2-3 irrigation rounds per week in the peak irrigation periods is typically ideal. In case of rainfall, irrigation should be suspended depending on rainfall amounts.
Timing of irrigation
The best time to irrigate is in the early morning hours and/or late evening to avoid water wastage through evaporation if done during the day.
Avocados require 8000-9000m3 per Ha for the whole year including rain water supply. The moisture requirement varies in amount depending on the prevailing physiological stage. These stages include; flowering, fruit set, fruit drop, fruit sizing and fruit quality.
You got to love this,
This coming rainy season, OxfarmAg Limited is rolling out a hass avocado package plan amounting to Kshs.40,500 where we targeting 99 Farmers for 99 Acres with 99 FREE Beehives.
What is in the package? (40,500/- per Acre)
Our package comes with;
- 150 certified Hass avocado seedlings
- Agronomist support.
- Soil treatment using the organic manure for the 150 seedlings
- Labor (digging holes and planting)
- Free consultation
- Free Beehive per acre
- Market connection
- Transport (20/- per Km to & from any of our nearest branch)
- Agronomist farm pre-visit expense (allowance + transport)
- Soil Test (2,800 per sample)
Kenya is ranked 8th producer of Hass avocado globally with the production and ability to export 30 tonnes to Canada, Europe, UAE and China. With the rising demand Kenyan farmers are looking forward to expand their export market to South Korea, which is highly ranked in regards to the consumption of the fruit. In the export market each fruit retails between Kshs.10-20 but still not possible to satisfy the incoming demand.
Should one just purchase fruit tree seedlings and just plant? The answer is no, a good farmer knows what to plant at a particular season. A good farmer also knows why he/she is planting certain fruits and who his/her targets are. A good farmer also knows when to do the planting so that he/she can get the desired yield.
With short rains around the corner, it is crucial to purchase seedlings now so that by the time it is raining the fruit trees are already on the planted.
Why is it important to plant before it starts raining? Fruit tree seedlings always have sensitive root structure. Agronomists always recommended to never take the seedling from a favorable environment to a non-favorable environment.
Did you know planting before the full onset of the rains always comes with more pros than cons?
First, as a farmer you will have easy task in land preparation and also easy task during the planting.
Secondly, this helps you as the farmer to ensure full maximization of the rains from day one till the day when the last drop will be dropping.
Lastly, Planting the fruit trees before onset of rains aids with the proper root establishment in the soil so that in the event the rains happen to come in excess levels, then the plants have higher chances of evading root rot which is a serious disease common in water logged soils.
Engage our various regional sales managers.
0706222888 Whatsapp link https://wa.me/c/254706222888
Visit us at Ridgeways along Kigwa road. 0769623300 or Whatsapp https://wa.me/c/254769623300
Visit us at our farm around white house. 0740000044/ 0758944535 or Whatsapp https://wa.me/c/254740000044
Mt Kenya region
Visit Mkulima wa Nyeri farm at Tetu, Githakwa. 0742194880 or Whatsapp https://wa.me/c/254742194880
Visit us around rupa mall area, Contacts 0710588060 / 0757800641 or Whatsapp https://wa.me/c/254710588060
Eastern and Coast Region
0769623300 / 0740000044 WhatsApp link https://wa.me/c/254706222888
Tree tomatoes prefer subtropical climate. For vigorous growth, they require well-drained fertile soil which is rich in organic matter. The soil must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging.
Tree tomatoes grow naturally on soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5 and do not tolerate tightly compacted soil. Although they can be planted under irrigation, rainfall between 600 and 4000 millimeters is suitable. The crop cannot survive in areas with prolonged drought and must have ample water during the dry season. Application of mulch retains moisture in a tree tomato plantation and also reduces weed growth.
Annual temperatures between 15 and 20 °C are ideal for tree tomato production. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. Tree tomatoes grow well in altitude of between 1,500m to 3,000M above sea level.
Engage and visit us as we share more knowledge on Fruit farming.
The History of Mango Fruit
The history of the mango tree can be traced back to the Bronze Age, or almost 4,000 years ago. Originally, a native of southern Asia, especially eastern India, the mango tree was introduced to Southeast Asian countries by Buddhist monks. Later, it was brought to Africa by the Portuguese, from where the mango tree spread across the world.
The English word ‘mango’ is an adaption of the Malayalam name for the fruit, which is ‘maanga‘. A member of the Anacardiaceae, or the cashew family, the scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica.
What are the medicinal benefits of mango leaves?
Now that you know the health benefits of eating mango, let’s look at some of the medicinal uses of mango leaves:
- Decreases blood pressure: Extract of mango tree leaves has antihypertensive properties. As a result, having tea made with mango leaves a few times a day helps in decreasing blood pressure.
- Helps in controlling diabetes: Tender mango leaves which are pink or purple in color are rich in tannins and anthocyanins. Juice of these mango leaves taken on an empty stomach in the morning helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
- Treats oral problems: Clean a few old/mature mango leaves and boil them in water until the water turns slightly yellow. Add some salt to this water and rinse the mouth with it.
- Eliminates free radicals: Mango tree leaves contain antioxidants and vitamin C. Consuming mango leaf extract can help eliminate free radicals and protect the body from oxidative damage.
- Cleanses the stomach: Soak a few mango leaves in warm water and leave them overnight. Consuming this water on an empty stomach in the morning helps in cleansing the stomach and flushing out toxins from the body.
Other health benefits include;
- Prevents anemia: Mango is rich in iron. Also, the vitamin C present in mango increases the absorption of iron.
- Improves digestion: Being rich in fiber and polyphenols, mango aids in decreasing constipation and inflammation of the bowels.
- Helps gain weight: Consuming mango with milk helps in nourishing the body and gaining weight.
- Boosts immunity: Apart from vitamin C, mango also contains folate, zinc and vitamin B6. All these contribute greatly towards strengthening the immune system
- Improves eyesight: Presence of an abundance of carotenoids which help in improving eyesight.
- Keeps heart healthy: Mango is a good source of selenium and B6, both of which promote heart health.
What are the useful parts of the mango tree?
- Mango bark: Consuming the powder of dried mango bark provides relief from diarrhea.
- Mango gum: The gum obtained from the bark of the mango tree can be applied on cracked feet and areas affected by scabies.
- Mango sap: The juice that oozes from the branch after plucking a mango can be applied on bee stings to relieve pain.
- Mango seed: Obtained from mango seed, mango butter can be applied on the skin to soothe sunburns, remove and prevent stretch marks, heal scars and reduce wrinkles. It can also be used as a hair moisturizer. Mango seed extract has proved helpful in losing weight and decreasing obesity.
Engage and visit us as we share more knowledge on Fruit farming.
Plantain, a major group of banana varieties (genus Musa) that are staple foods in many tropical areas. The edible fruit of plantain bananas has more starch than the common dessert banana and is not eaten raw.
Because plantains have the most starch before they ripen, they are usually cooked green, either boiled or fried, in savory dishes. The ripe fruits are mildly sweet and are often cooked with coconut juice or sugar as flavoring.
Plantains may also be dried for later use in cooking or ground for use as a meal, which can be further refined to a flour.Plantains are usually ready for harvest anywhere from 14 to 20 months depending on the climate and other factors.
Flowering usually happens within 10-15 months, while an additional 4-8 months is needed for fruit it develop and ripen.
Engage and visit us as we share more knowledge on plantain banana farming.