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Time is Ripe for Hass Avocado Farmers in Kenya to Break the World Record

Kenya is the rising star. It has taken 65 years to prove that a man can run a marathon in less than 2 hours. What Eliud kipchoge’s success has proved is that the perpetual and best things in life take time. Farmers should all be willing and patient to go through the process because God makes everything beautiful in the fullness of time.

The biggest advantage with Kenya is that its rich soils combined with climate is suitable for hass avocado growing as the crop requires areas with at least 1,000mm of rainfall.

Currently, Kenyan hass avocados are mainly intended for Europe and have recently gained access to the Asian market, where the sector is growing. The acreage and production are growing and new export markets, especially in Asia, are being opened.

Make Great Fortunes by Growing Grapes.

The most important development on the export market of Kenyan hass avocados is the future trade agreement with China. As soon as this agreement is fully active, 40% of the avocados are expected to go to the Chinese market.

a hass tree with fruits

In 2017, Kenya accounted for 38.9% of Africa’s total avocado exports and for 1.3% of the fruit’s global trade. Kenya is the 7th biggest producer of hass avocados in the world with an average annual production of 191,000 tonnes per year as of 2017, compared to Mexico, the first in the world with, 1.5 million tonnes per year, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Kenya can be the leading producer and export if it can address the challenge of increasing irrigation to ensure better yield and uniformity of avocado fruits, increase avocado acreage under production, and improve the quality of avocado fruits by planting the right variety.

Finally, farmers lets embrace hass avocados planting and with all the records set lets know that we are not limited to attaining the number one slot in the world as our great warrior Eliud Kipchoge did.

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Get the Best Advice on Your Farm from Oxfarm Agronomists

Agronomists are scientists who look for ways to increase soil productivity (in other words, to raise more food on the same amount of soil). They also work to improve the quality of seed and the nutritional value of crops.

Agronomists work to develop methods that will improve the use of soil and increase the production of food and fiber crops.

They conduct research in crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and other areas.

The agronomists provide farmers with agricultural information about how to grow and care for plants and soils in certain environments. Factors such as climate, roots, moisture, weeds, pests, fungi, and erosion can pose significant challenges when farmers attempt to produce a plentiful harvest.

Comparison Between Hass Avocado Farming and Maize Farming

Agronomist findings give farmers crucial information and tips for not only producing crops, but also for conserving our natural environment. Concerns of food and water security, air quality and climate change, soil loss and degradation, health and nutrition, and many others motivate agronomists to continually explore our agricultural resources.

In order to preserve, expand, and reclaim the use of plants and soil for food and fuel, farmers must integrate every new agronomy finding into their approach to tending to their crops. By understanding the importance of agronomy and the agricultural resources around us, we allow plants and soil to reach their full potential and we reap the benefits.

In agronomy, it’s important to understand the properties of the soil and how the soil interacts with the growing crop; what nutrients (fertilizers) the crop needs and when and how to apply these nutrients; the ways that crops grow and develop; how climate and other environmental factors affect the crop at all stages.

For the best agronomic advice contact 0706 222 888.

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Why Every Farmer Should Plant Fruit Trees

As the country gears for reforestation so as the need to plant trees increases and this to farmers means they should plant fruit trees which has many benefits and as we are in tough economic times they can be a source of income. According to the World Bank data, in 2015 Kenya’s forest area was 44,130 km2 or 4,413,000 hectares. Currently, we are losing 50,000 hectares of forest each year through deforestation primarily due to the emergence of an expanding affluent society that wants to dine on steak, drive cars, recline on comfortable seats, live in elegant houses and consume fresh fruits and vegetables. To meet this demand, commercial agriculture for products such as livestock, horticulture, timber and rubber are increasingly encroaching on forest lands.

This translates to a loss of 1.13 percent forest cover annually and amounts to a loss of Sh 1.9 billion every year (Kenya Forestry Services (KFS) – Kenya Open Portal Data). If all factors hold constant, and if we do nothing to reverse it, Kenya shall be a complete desert in 113 years.

Why should we care about a declining forest cover?

Comparison Between Hass Avocado Farming and Maize Farming

One tree can supply oxygen for up to four people on earth per day and absorb more than 21 kg of carbon dioxide per year. Trees serve as natural sponges, collecting rainfall and filtering sediments and other pollutants from the water in the soil before it reaches a water source. It then releases it slowly into streams and rivers.

Apart from the farmers getting income other benefits of planting fruit trees include;

  • Greater access to fresh, healthy food, which improves the health and well-being of all residents. Fruits have immense health benefits as they contain nutrients required in our bodies for healthy living.
  • Improved air quality, which improves respiratory health for all residents.
  • Reduced flooding and water pollutants due to storm water run-off, which improves water quality.
  • Increased shade and lower air temperatures, which reduce the need for energy-intensive air conditioning.
  • Improved soil quality and decreased erosion.
  • New habitat for birds and bees.
  • Increased biodiversity in our food supply.
  • A multitude of opportunities for experiential learning.

For maximum yields of quality fruit, some maintenance is involved. Pruning is especially important to fruit trees. Crop yield and the health of the tree itself are greatly affected by pruning, but it must be done the right way at the right time. Timing and techniques vary by the type of fruit you’re growing.

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Hass avocado farming comparison to sugarcane farming

Sugarcane farming

It is the world’s largest crop by production quantity. Back after Kenya got independence, in those days, owning a sugar cane plot was a mark of status and a wealth symbol that those who did not have were considered poor and without any future guarantee for wealth.

In an interview with a nation journalist, a farmer had this to say that “Cane for us used to be what cattle is for the Maasai, it did not even matter what was the regular take home for it but when you had it, there was that comfort that you were rich.”

What about today? The sugar industry is in a complete mess. A report by Parliamentary committee on agriculture, livestock and co-operatives found out that the average cost of producing a ton of cane in Kenya amounted to 2300Ksh.

In Kenya an acre produces an average of 25 tons of cane making total production cost at 57,500Ksh. In ten years the cost of production totals 575,000Ksh.

Most millers pay farmers between Sh3, 400 to Sh3, 900 per ton of cane. Calculating that a farmer will be paid 4000Ksh per ton, in ten years the farmer will have got 425,000Ksh in ten years after the deductions of production costs.

Many farmers earn their income only to exhaust it on repayment of debts accrued during the more than 24 months of waiting to harvest the sugarcane.”

Repayment of debts reduces the farmer propensity to buy and/or grow food for their own subsistence, hence the persistent food insecurity and malnutrition.

With signing of the historic African Union free trade agreement, the odds of producing sugarcane in Kenya are simply against the country. There is need to rethink a new path.

sugarcane farming

Hass avocado farming

Grafted Hass avocados trees take close to three to four years to be ready for fruiting and fruits can be harvested to a period of four months. On average, a single tree can yield to a maximum of 500 fruits in a season. The harvesting season for the Hass avocado is between the months of March to June.

The Hass avocado fruit has a life span of over 50 years.

Here is a brief returns an acre planted Hass avocado can offer;

The first two years –growth stage Hass fruits

2nd year (harvest of 50 fruits per tree) – 60k

3rd year (harvest 200-250 fruits) – 240k

4th year –(400 fruits) – 480k
5th year – (800 fruits)- 900k
6th year – (1000 fruits) – 1.08m

7th year –(1100 fruits) – 1.3m
8th year –(more than 1300 fruits) – 1.5m

9th year – (more than 1500 fruits) – 1.8m

10th year – (more than 1750 fruits) – 2m

Total cumulative returns 10 millionKsh

20th year – (3500 fruits) – 4m

Hass fruits have been on an upward trend due to the increase in consumption in European market and the recently opened china market. 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.

Comparison between Hass Avocado and Sugarcane Farming

In general Hass avocado cannot be and will never be compared to sugarcane as an avocado farmer in ten years will have earned handsomely as compared to peanuts earned by the sugarcane farmer.

To summarize all this, planting 20 Hass trees would earn more than planting an acre of sugarcane. OXFARM believes that farmers should have a reason to smile if they embrace on Hass avocado particularly to farmers in Western and Nyanza region.

For certified Hass seedlings contact 0706 222 888.

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Why Farmers Should Embrace Organic Manure

Organic fertilizer is usually made from plant or animal waste or powdered minerals. Examples include manure and compost, as well as bone and cottonseed meal. They are usually sold as “soil conditioners” rather than as fertilizer.

They improve the structure of the soil and increase its ability to hold water and nutrients. Because of the organic matter present in organic fertilizer, soil structure is improved and as a result the soil’s ability to hold onto water and nutrients increases. Over time, organic fertilizers will make your soil–and plants–healthy and strong.

Organic fertilizer is rich in organic matter, which helps microbes thrive. Organic fertilizer contains carbon as part of its chemical makeup; and it is the carbon, along with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that feeds microbes and enables them to make nutrients available for plants in a naturally occurring biological process.

Comparison Between Hass Avocado Farming and Maize Farming

They are slow-release fertilizers, it’s very difficult to over fertilize (and harm) your plants. Organic fertilizer release nutrients slowly and usually contain many other trace elements that plants may need and which are not found in most chemical formulation.

There’s little to no risk of toxic buildups of chemicals and salts that can be deadly to plants.

Organic fertilizers are renewable, biodegradable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. It also increases species biodiversity.

Safe and easy to apply. There is no need for expensive protective clothing during applications.

In general organic fertilizer does wonders to both the soil and the plant thus farmers should embrace it.

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Comparison Between Hass Avocado Farming and Maize Farming

Hass Avocado

Grafted avocados trees take close to two to three years to be ready for fruiting and fruits can be harvested to a period of four months. On average, a single tree can yield more than 1500 fruits in a season. The harvesting season for the fruit in this region is between the months of March to June.

Here is a brief returns an acre can offer;

  • The first two years –growth stage
    hass fruits

    • 2nd year (harvest of 50 fruits per tree) – 60k
    • 3rd year (harvest 200-250 fruits) – 240k
    • 4th year –(400 fruits) – 480k
    • 5th year – (800 fruits)- 900k
    • 6th year – (1000 fruits) – 1.08m
    • 7th year –(1100 fruits) – 1.3m
    • 8th year –(more than 1300 fruits) – 1.5m
    • 9th year – (more than 1500 fruits) – 1.8m
    • 10th year – (more than 1750 fruits) – 2m

Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Total cumulative returns Ksh 10 million

  • 20th year – (3500 fruits) – 4m

Maize

maize farming

Maize (zea mays), also known as corn, is actually a cereal grain which is used for many different purposes.

The best farmers in maize production in Uasin Gishu or Kitale produce 30 bags in an acre. Given all conditions constant, selling a bag at 3000ksh in ten years a farmer gets 900,000ksh.

Comparison between Hass Avocado and Maize.

Remember we have not put various costs of production which by a matter of fact when it comes to avocado only the initial costs of seedlings tends to be expensive and you only buy once as when planted its permanent. Maize production costs in a year take more than half of the total earnings.

Marketing of the two is another factor worth noting. Maize marketing is on a struggle and even its prices have shot down year by year whereas hass fruits have been on an upward trend due to the increase in consumption in European market and the recently opened china market. 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.

In general hass avocado cannot be and will never be compared to maize as an avocado farmer in ten years will have earned handsomely as compared to peanuts earned by the maize farmer.

To summarize all this, planting 10 Hass trees would earn more than planting an acre of maize. OXFARM believes that farmers should have a reason to smile if they embrace on Hass avocado particularly to farmers in north rift region.

For certified hass seedlings contact 0706 222 888.

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Pears Farming in Kenya Can Change Fortunes to Our Dear Farmers

Pears are rarely available throughout the year. A pear tree will take approximately three years to produce fruit after planting. They are mostly grown in well-drained loamy or sandy soil with good sun.

Pears are a mild, sweet fruit with a fibrous center. They are rich in antioxidants, bio-flavonoids and dietary fiber, cholesterol and calories. They are delicious fruits that can be grown in a wide range of soils especially cold areas.

Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Pruning is very vital for this tree as it grows bushy, the central leader (the main stem), should be allowed to grow upwards, do not eliminate it. Prune away dead, damaged and diseased branches as well as those that growing in the wrong direction. Pruning allows air and light to penetrate the tree.  Prune my trees when they are not flowering.

The fruits should be hand-picked to avoid any damage; a mature tree can produce up to 180 kilograms. For good fruit quality preventative control of pests and diseases is required. The common diseases and pests include; scab, rust, black spot, fire blight, root rot, powdery mildew, fruit flies, aphids, and red spider mites.

pears fruits

The fruits should be hand-picked to avoid any damage; a mature tree can produce up to 180 kilograms. For good fruit quality preventative control of pests and diseases is required. The common diseases and pests include; scab, rust, black spot, fire blight, root rot, powdery mildew, fruit flies, aphids, and red spider mites.

Production estimates

A farmer with 200 trees will harvest 36000kgs of pears fruit as the plant produces 180kgs in a single season. This translates to making 1,080,000 after selling a kilogram at 30ksh.

To get certified pears seedlings contact 0706 222 888

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The Marvelous Pixie Tree

Sweet, seedless, easy to peel, and small. It stores very well and retains excellent flavor for a remarkably long time. The yellow-orange coloured fruit has a rough texture

The tree is a vigorous grower with an upright growth habit. The flavor is mild and sweet.

The dwarf fruit tree can handle frosts. When planting one should ensure that the soil is of good drainage with a PH of 6.6 to 7.3. Watering should be frequent. Many citrus trees grow 20 or 30 feet tall, but breeding and grafting practices have led to small varieties. The pixie mandarin grows to just 5 to 6 feet tall and has a spread of 4 to 6 feet.

How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

The tree matures at around 2 to 3 years.

Pixies have a lower acid content than many other citrus varieties making them the ideal fruit for people who are sensitive to acidic foods.

A medium sized tangerine is cholesterol- and fat-free and has on average approximately 50 calories. Tangerines are an excellent source of potassium (approx. 180mg), fiber (approx. 12 percent of the daily recommended allowance) and are of course packed with vitamin C as well as some calcium and iron.

Here are the amazing benefits of eating pixie fruits

  • They help in keeping the skin look young.
  • They help in reducing of body weight.
  • They help in better absorption of other nutrients in the body.
  • They are packed with potassium which reduce the risk of stroke as well as reduce heart diseases.
  • They help with shortening of colds.
  • They are good source of fiber.

For certified pixie seedlings contact 0706 222 888 or email us at info@oxfarm.co.ke

 

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A Simple Guide on Growing of Lemons

Lemon plant is a small evergreen tree with yellow fruits which are high in vitamin C, fiber and various beneficial plant compounds. The lemon juice is used to make cocktails, soft drinks and lemonade.

Lemon have numerous health benefits which include,

  • Supports heart health
  • Improves digestive health
  • Reduces cancer risk
  • Protects against anemia
  • Prevents kidney stones
  • Helps in controlling body weight

How to plant and care a lemon seedling

  1. While planting dig a hole 2ft by 2ft, mix the top soil with half bucket manure. Fertilizing should be done after the first flush of leaves. Apply N.PK, two table spoonful and this should be repeated after each and every three months and as the tree nears flowering stage, apply fertilizer with micro elements to enhance good fruit growth.
  2. Ensure your seedling gets enough water. Water twice a week.
  3. Weeding should be thorough, as weeds compete for nutrients with the lemon tree and they harbor pests which eventually attacks lemon tree.
  4. Pruning should be done yearly by removing the dead, broken and diseased branches.

Passion Fruit Farming In Kenya on the rise Again

Lemon trees generally produce their first crop of fruit at around 3 years of age.

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Be a Millionaire by Growing Pink Lady Apple

Pink lady was originally bred by John Cripps. A round to asymmetrical shape with vivid green skin covered in a pinkish blush that becomes a deeper shade of red where the apple is exposed to more sun. They are earliest to blossom and last to be harvested among other varieties of apples.

Reasons to embrace pomegranate farming in Kenya

Pink Lady apples had elevated levels of flavonoids, which are natural compounds, also called antioxidants. It can improve clinical indications of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and its response to stress. Other health benefits include;

  • Reducing the risk of diabetes. Apples help regulate blood sugar. It contains compounds that help by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
  • Preventing constipation. Fresh apples are high in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and roughage.
  • Fighting bad breath. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
  • Preventing asthma attacks. Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids. Both are antioxidant.
  • Reducing the risk of stroke. Intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
  • Combating fatigue. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.

How To Plant, Care and Maintain Pink Lady Apple

 

The pink lady is propagated by grafting.

  1. While planting dig a hole 2ft by 2ft, mix the top soil with half bucket manure. Fertilizing should be done after the first flush of leaves. Apply N.PK, two table spoonful and this should be repeated after each and every three months but as the tree nears flowering, apply fertilizer with micro elements to enhance good fruit growth.
  2. Ensure your seedling gets enough water. Water twice a week.
  3. Weeding should be thorough, as weeds compete for nutrients with the pink lady tree and they harbor pests which eventually attacks apple tree.
  4. Pruning should be done yearly  by removing the dead, broken and diseased branches.

Pink lady apple production.

pink lady fruits

An acre supports 200 plants of these apples. A mature pink lady apple produces an average of 400 fruits. A farmer should harvest about 80000 fruits in an acre. This translates to 1,600,000ksh as one fruit fetches 20ksh. Go for pink lady and you will never be disappointed.