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Two Major structures used in Grafting Fruit Trees

Grafting is a technique that is used to combine two plants to produce the desired rootstock, providing trees with the desired fruit characteristics. Grafted plants develop resistance to soil-borne diseases such as bacterial wilt, southern blight, fusarium wilt, root-knot nematodes, and verticillium wilt. It also enables the plants to withstand harsh climatic conditions and to overcome salinity issues. The grafted part is composed of the scion (the top of the grafted plant) and the rootstock (the bottom part). Grafting success is facilitated by the propagation environment, grafting methods and grafting seasons. Greenhouses and shade net houses are common structures in grafting nurseries.

The power of technology: 4 major advancements in the agricultural sector

Greenhouses

They are categorized into two; high cost and low-cost greenhouses. The high-cost greenhouse comprises of a polythene sheet set on metallic ashes. This type is easy to build and it can withstand strong winds without getting damaged. Greenhouses offer an ideal environment for grafted plants. Temperatures inside the greenhouse are higher than in the outside environment although they can be maintained at the desired level. The humidity in the greenhouses can be raised by sprinkling water even during the cold season. Since they offer a propagated environment, the success rate of the plants is high. The investment capacity determines the type of greenhouses and shade net houses required. It is effective for both small scale and large scale graft plants’ nurseries.

Integrating liquid fertlizers through Fertigation into irrigation systems

Shade net houses

A systematic shade house is required for both small and large scale multiplication of graft plants. Mostly, young graft plants need a regulated environment in partial shade. Shade net houses can be easily built since only wooden poles are used to support the shade net. They allow the circulation of air and are not affected by wind. They offer a controlled environment required for the proper growth of the graft plants.

In a controlled environment, the graft plants take fewer days to sprout. These plants have a high number of leaves and grow at a faster rate. In Greenhouses and shade net houses, the grafts seem to heal quickly. The graft exposure to optimum temperature and humidity results in variations in the number of leaves of the graft plants. High humidity helps in the formation of the callus between the scion and stock and also prevents the scion from drying. Compatibility between the scion and the stock promotes cambium formation and easy union formation.

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Best Irrigation Methods in Different Soils

Types of soils and the best irrigation methods

Irrigation systems such as flood irrigation apply water at a faster rate in different soils which results in wastage of water through run-off and evaporation. The plants cannot fully utilize all the water since it saturates into the soil quickly. The application of large amounts of water can also result in leaching and water-logging. The rate at which water soaks into the soil depends is determined by the type of the soil. It is therefore important to identify the soil type and how it reacts with water before setting up a drip irrigation system. Since water is a scarce but valuable resource, it should be preserved. Water should be applied at different rates depending on the soil type.

In sandy soils, water moves quickly and goes deep into the soil. The wetting pattern is mainly vertical than horizontal in this soil type. When doing irrigation on sandy soils, higher flow drippers which are spaced closely should be used to ensure that plants receive sufficient water.

The greatest challenge facing avocado farming

Since the soil is dense, the rate of water absorption in clay soil is quite slow. To prevent water from pooling on the surface, drippers should be set to apply water at a slow rate. This ensures that water gets to the roots and minimizes water loss. Water should be applied for longer periods to ensure that the plants receive enough water.

In loamy soils, water gets infiltrated into the soil at a slower rate compared to sandy soils but it gets evenly distributed, horizontally and vertically. Mid-ranger drippers and sprinklers can be a good choice for this type of soil.

Why Soil Testing is Important

Soil testing is important when determining the soil type. Regardless of whether you want to irrigate your nurseries, garden, orchard or your lawn, professional soil testing services will be essential to help you know the rate of irrigation and the drip irrigation kit to use.

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The power of technology: 4 major advancements in the agricultural sector

With the latest gadgets and innovations, technology has transformed today’s agriculture. The number of entrepreneurs and investors who are investing their money in agriculture has been rising rapidly. In the future, agriculture will look completely different from what it is today. There have been major advancements in telecommunication, engineering of farm machinery and equipment, and computer software. In Kenya, mobile technology has been used extensively to improve small and large scale farming. It helps in reducing post-harvest and weather-related losses, improving farm operations, comparing different market rates, controlling farm machinery and equipment, monitoring the supplies and in the process making farming more efficient. Some of the major technologies that will take agriculture to another level are sensors, automation and mechanical engineering, and mobile devices.

Mobile devices

Since most farm equipment can be connected to mobile devices most farmers are incorporating mobile devices in their farm operations. There are many apps that perform a wide range of functions such as controlling water meters, checking the weather, collecting field-level information and selling farm products.

The greatest challenge facing avocado farming

Smart farming

Combining different technologies, farmers can be able to create smart farming systems. Smart farming utilizes internet-connected tools to leverage and capture data required for decision making.

Sensors

Sensors play an important role in farming such as traceability, helping farmers to get real-time information and data regarding their equipment, livestock, and crops. Furthermore, they promote accuracy since the data undergoes complex diagnosis and analysis before a report is given. Today, sensors are connecting to sophisticated systems that analyze the collected data automatically. To grow high-performance crops, farmers are employing high tech systems. Sensors are also used for comparing weather conditions and testing the soil. Some of the sensors used in agriculture include:

Livestock biometrics: Collars with GPS and biometrics can be used to collect and relay real-time information about the livestock automatically.

Soil and Air sensors: These are sensors that can help farmers to understand water, soil and air conditions of their farms.

Crop sensors: These sensors are used to collect information related to the crops. They can help farmers understand the field conditions before fertilizer application and the amount of fertilizer required in the field. Drones can be utilized to monitor the crops’ health and know the correct remedy to prescribe in case the crops are not healthy. For instance, they can identify if the crops have been infested by pests or powdery mildew and relay the information to the farmers for analysis. During irrigation, sensors can be mounted on the irrigation systems to measure the amount of moisture in the soil which can help the farmer to know when there is enough moisture in the soil. Since the rate of irrigation is different in different crops, the information relayed by these sensors can vary. To assess the performance of the crops, drones can be fitted with sensors and GPS technology.

Equipment telematics: This technology is used for communication or from far. For instance, tractors can be started and given a few minutes to warm up before they start working.

What Are The Benefits of Organic Fruit Farming

Automation & Mechanical Engineering

In the next few years, farm equipment and machinery will be automated. Automation incorporates the use of robotics, micro-robots, computer applications and systems to monitor and maintain the crops. Some of the recent advancements include:

Variable-rate swath control: This is an advancement of geo-location technologies that help farmers to save on fertilizers, seeds, and herbicides by pre-computing the field size, overlapping inputs and automating tasks such as fertilizer application.

Agricultural robots: These days, tractors can be used to apply to be installed with devices that can be used to apply pesticides and liquid fertilizers to crops in the field. Agricultural robots can be programmed to perform tasks such as seeding and harvesting automatically.

 

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What Are The Benefits of Organic Fruit Farming

Today, organic foods are appealing to consumers since they are an ethical choice and healthy. Therefore, organic farming can be a profitable sphere to venture in. Apart from ethics and money. Organic farming practices are friendly to the environment. Organic farming can be considered as a farming method that avoids the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, additives, growth regulators and growth hormones. They rely on animal manures, bio-fertilizers, crop residues, crop rotation, organic wastes, and mechanical cultivation. Biological methods are used for pest and weeds control while still maintaining soil productivity.  Organic farming helps in enhancing biological diversity, soil fertility and this way resulting in sustainability in agriculture.

To maintain soil fertility, crops should be supplied with nutrients using insoluble nutrients like the action of micro-organisms. Legumes can be grown to ensure nitrogen soil self-sufficiency since they facilitate to nitrogen fixation.

Pros of Organic Farming

In fruit farming, organic farming has many benefits such as reducing chemical residual levels and minimizing soil erosion. China giving a nod to Kenyan avocados, that was a big opportunity for Kenyan farmers. However, the export license can end up being canceled if high pesticide levels and the use of unregistered pesticides are detected. Apart from discouraging smart farming practices like crop rotation and growing cover crops, pesticides and synthetic chemicals result in soil, air and water contamination. Continuous use of pesticides allows disease resistance to develop in weeds, plants, bacteria, fungi, and plant-eating-insects.

Soil erosion is a serious issue that should be combated since it affects the land, humans and can greatly cut the fruit supply, especially when the trees are destroyed.

When you treat the soil with harmful pesticides, you destroy it to the point that the soil can no longer thrive on its own. Growing healthy fruits starts with healthy soil. Organic farming means that you will produce healthy fruits.

Organic farming facilitates water conservation and preservation. Some fruit trees such as peaches, pears cannot tolerate drought and hence require a lot of irrigation. Apples require a lot of water during vegetative growth and fruit formation. Most fruits are resistant to rotting hence they can withstand wet soils. Most mature fruits are composed of approximately 70% water. This means that plants require a lot of water during fruit formation. On most occasions, 1% of the water that the trees use is retained in the fruits. Continuous use of fertilizers reduces water retention capability results in poor drainage of the soil. This leads to a lot of irrigation, affected water conservation negatively. When farmers employ organic practices such as mulching, they manage to minimize irrigation and hence conserve water.

Consumers prefer organically grown fruits not only in Kenya but also in other countries since they are tastier. The quality of the fruits is also different. Organically grown fruits are free from preservatives, harmful chemicals, and artificial flavors. Furthermore, the cost of organic fruit farming is relatively lower compared to non-organically grown ones.

Integrating liquid fertlizers through Fertigation into irrigation systems

Challenges facing Organic Farming

The organic farming industry faces several challenges. For instance, farmers are not aware of the high demand for organic fruits and their market. Also, there is a lack of enforcement o organic farming, lack of certification by agricultural bodies and lack of proper inspection of fruit quality. The inappropriate use of chemical and high maximum residual levels (MRLs)  in the horticultural sector, for example, resulted in the European Union rejecting Kenya’s horticulture produce. This shows the importance of setting standards and certification of organic farming.

The demand for organically produced fruits has been rising not only locally but also in the export market. Some farmers are already amassing high incomes from organic fruits. Unfortunately, the number of organic farmers is still low and hence the demand is yet to be met. In Kenya, there are some supermarkets in Nairobi and other parts of the country which are stocking their shelves with organic foods. Apart from low chemical levels, organic fruits have health benefits to those suffering from serious diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.

If other farmers are amassing wealth from organic farming, why not you? For more information, you can consult Oxfarm.co.ke to get into the organic farming.

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Integrating liquid fertlizers through Fertigation into irrigation systems

Most areas in Kenya do not receive adequate rainfall for growing crops, hence farmers need to get creative. Water is a scarce resource that needs to be preserved. In the process of getting water to the crops, farmers are affected by winds and evapotranspiration. This results in wastage of water, especially in areas where farmers rely on man-made sources or seasonal rivers.  Irrigation systems play a vital role in commercial farming, especially in areas where farmers rely on irrigation to grow their crops and plants. The agricultural sector keeps advancing, coming up with sophisticated irrigation technology that promote agriculture even in dry seasons. Drip irrigation systems have resulted to an increase in the production of fruits and vegetables as more farmers try to tap the high demand in the local and international markets. Apart from irrigation, drip irrigation systems can also be used for fertigation. However, one should be careful when designing an integrated irrigation and fertigation systems.

How to succeed in Drip Irrigation system

Fertigation
Drip Emitters

The success of the system depends on the quality of the equipment. Irrigation systems should be installed in a professional way to minimize malfunctioning in certain parts. Drip irrigation systems help in delivering more water to the plants in a controlled manner, minimizing wastage and saving up to 60% of water consumption compared to sprinkler and flood irrigation systems. Some drip irrigation systems can be automated which can save you manual labor and time. When integrating drip irrigation and fertigation systems, one requires system pumps to control the flow of water and liquid fertilizers, drip tubing for pressurized distributing of water and fertilizers, emitters for distributing water to the farm, fittings, and emission devices. Emission devices are based on the crops grown and the type of soil on your farm. Filters are required to separate solid particles such as sand from the water before delivering it to the farm.

Fertilizers are added to the soil to supplement supply a certain number of nutrients to the crops.  For instance, plants need nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, and magnesium. If these nutrients are not present in the soil, the plants would be forced to only survive on carbon dioxide in the air and hydrogen, oxygen and carbon from the water. Using fertilizers, farmers can boost the health of the plants and in the process increase the overall yield by 30-50%.

Fertigation

Fertigation is the application of irrigation water together with fertilizers. Once they are prepared in stock tanks, the concentrated fertilizer solutions are then injected into the irrigation systems using fertilizer injectors. In Kenya, this is done through drip irrigation systems. With fertilizer injectors, drip irrigation users have an advantage for they can easily apply to their crops. The irrigation system is composed of emitters and tubings which supply water to the plants. Using the same delivery system, fertilizers can be injected and applied to the plants’ root zone where they are needed. When coming up with an integrated irrigation system, farmers should first know the size of the area to be irrigated, the quantity and quality of the available water, the crop water requirements, and the soil type. This will help the farmers to know how to disinfect, filtrate and oxidate the water, and what nutrients should be added for better crop growth. The efficiency of the fertigation program depends on the water management techniques implemented. The crop’s water requirement is based on the type of crop, climatic conditions such as wind, humidity, and temperature, and stage of the crop. To maximize the crop’s health, growth and yields, farmers should take close care to the concentration of liquid fertilizers and the timing of the system. In some units, especially the smaller ones, the injection rate of the fertilizer is proportional to the water discharge rate. Once the system has been run, it cannot be adjusted hence farmers should look keenly at the feed ratio.

To prevent the fertilizing agents from getting back to the water supply, the drip irrigation systems should be fitted with a backflow preventer. Filling a fertilizer injector is done by unscrewing a fill cap, emptying the water in the unit and filling it with the undiluted fertilizer before it is injected into the irrigation water. To prevent clogging in the drip emitters, only water-soluble fertilizers should be used.

Save Every Drop Through Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation impacts the environment positively since it helps in improving crop production, water use efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions brought about by water pumps and reduces soil erosion, which is common in flood irrigation.  Integrating irrigation and fertigation is an important advancement that can benefit both small scale and large scale farmers.  Whether you are growing fruits, horticultural crops, you need a drip irrigation system integrated with a fertigation system to help you. There are many suppliers of these systems and it would be disappointing to buy something that doesn’t work for you. For Irrigation kits and installation contact us.

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The greatest challenge facing avocado farming

Following the increase in demand for avocado in the local and international market, farmers have been generating a lot of income.  Farmers in different parts of the country are tuning in to avocado farming to reap something from the profitable industry. In the export market, avocados are likely to be the game-changer crop, especially Hass avocados which are highly nutritious. In the recent past, Europe has been the most targeted market for Kenyan Avocados. China giving a nod to the Kenyan avocados in April was a major development that would boost the avocado market. The IX World Avocado trade show was well attended with many different stands and interesting speakers. According to recent reports, it is evident that big markets in Europe and China are showing more interest in the avocados. For instance, avocado exports to China and Europe have increased by more than 1000 times and the projection is still growing. The consumption of hass avocados has risen by 150% in Europe in one decade, which shows that there is a development in the avocado farming industry.

Yield Depends on Quality of Seedlings

Hass Avocado seedlings at Oxfarm.co.ke Nursery In Ridgeways Nairobi

However, most farmers tend to copy what their neighbors are doing and end up getting disappointed when the fruits are mature and ready for sale. The farmers are not aware that the yield of the avocado trees depends on the quality of the seedlings, the variety, and proper farming methods. Despite the Chinese and European market being huge, it might not benefit all the farmers if they are not properly trained. This means that it will only benefit a small number of people. Although the industry is profitable, it still suffers several challenges which might affect the sales of Kenyan hass avocados in the international market.

The majority of avocado growers are small scale farmers with different methods of production and therefore the quality of the Kenyan avocados varies. There is also a lack of confidence in the international markets due to the claims that the packaging of Kenyan avocados is not strong enough. Initially, the international market for Kenyan avocados was dominated by French importers who exploited the Kenyan production to meet the rising demand in the European market and paying 20-30% lower than the other importers. The European Union has well-documented standards for avocados that China has also embraced even after giving Kenyan avocados a nod. For instance, the EU and China outline that the fruits should be clean and free from debris. Furthermore, they should be free from pests and diseases, the stalk should be intact and mature to enable them to ripen uniformly at room temperature. Also, they must undergo inspection and certification from KEPHIS. The greatest challenge that might face Kenyan avocados is the ability to adhere to international standards.  To prevent loses, farmers should ensure that they plant high quality and certified seedlings. They should employ professional farming standards to prevent their avocado trees from being affected by pests such as thrips, and moth insects. They are also susceptible to fungal diseases such as anthracnose, root rot, Cercospora, and scab. Anthracnose, Cercospora and Scab can be controlled using copper-based fungicides. Root rot can be prevented by getting high quality, grafted, and treated seedlings.

Demand Continues to Grow

The consumption of avocados locally and international continues to grow every year. Most hotels have avocados in their menus which means that the demand is quite high. To produce quality fruits, it is the high time farmers employ good agricultural practices to ensure that their fruits make a kill both in the local and international markets. Farmers should get the necessary training to produce something that meets international standards. Quality seedlings that are resistant to diseases can be acquired at oxfarm.co.ke. These seedlings also can withstand harsh weather conditions.

 

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Agricultural Company; – Internships (Sales & Marketing, Agricultural field officers, Accountants and Administrators) 10 Positions

We are an Agricultural company looking for interns in the following field,

  • Sales & Marketing,
  • Agricultural field officers,
  • Accountants and
  • Administrators

 

Location; Nairobi (Ridge ways Kiambu road along Kigwa road and in Nyeri  town)

 

OxfarmAg Ltd

Our Vision

Enhanced livelihoods of farmers through sustainable farming practices to enable them focus of production.

Our Mission

We work hard to ensure OxfarmAg becomes the most sort out company in terms of products and service delivery.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Efficiency and Responsiveness
  • Value for the environment and ecosystems
  • Passion
  • Flexible, creative and innovative

 

As an intern at OxfarmAg ltd, you have the opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in the industry, and work on real projects finding real solutions.

 

Volunteer, internship summary

We are looking for enthusiastic interns to join our company that provides agricultural products and services. You will be accountable for the delivery of high-quality professional services to our customers. Our goal is to promote business growth by expanding the company’s clientele.

  • Minimum Qualification: Diploma
  • No Experience

 

Interns; Sales and Marketing

A Sales and Marketing personnel is responsible for researching and developing marketing opportunities, planning and implementing new sales plans.

Responsibilities

  • Promoting the company’s existing brands and introducing new products to the market.
  • Analyzing budgets, preparing annual budget plans, scheduling expenditures, and ensuring that the sales team meets their quotas and goals.
  • Researching and developing marketing opportunities and plans, understanding consumer requirements, identifying market trends, and suggesting system improvements to achieve the company’s marketing goals.
  • Writing informative and effective search engine optimised copy for the website and external blog postings.
  • Using the CRM to maximise online marketing opportunities.
  • Managing the company’s email marketing campaigns.
  • Monitoring return on investment for the different online marketing campaigns.
  • Managing the organisations Social Media accounts ensuring all copy is relevant for the different platforms.
  • Managing the content diary for social media content.
  • Gathering, investigating, and summarizing market data and trends to draft reports.
  • Implementing new sales plans and advertising.
  • Maintaining relationships with important clients by making regular visits, understanding their needs, and anticipating new marketing opportunities.
  • Staying current in the industry by attending educational opportunities, conferences, and workshops, reading publications, and maintaining personal and professional networks.

 

The interns will be required to have a minimum diploma qualification in any related business course.

 

Method of Application

If you think you are the person we are looking for! Send your Cv by 6/11/2019.

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

For any clarification contact us on 0706222888

 

 

Interns; Accountant – assistant

Responsibilities.

  1. Ensure the already developed standard operating accounting procedures are adhered to
  2. Budget preparation and control
  3. Work with the accountant and ensure accurate petty cash management
  4. Bank reconciliation
  5. VAT control and reconciliation
  6. Payroll management
  7. Working with respective project heads to ensure accurate budget implementation
  8. Ensure the organization complies with the legal requirements including the relevant statutory deductions
  9. Prepare timely financial reports, updates, and monitoring of grants
  10. Grant Management and donor support
  11. Provide Financial Management and accounting support for the business operations of the organization
  12. Advise the management and regarding the financial situation and progress of the organization
  13. Preparation and monitoring of budgets together with the relevant project heads
  14. Arranging for external audits and overseeing the implementation of audit observations
  15. Debtors and creditors control
  16. Any other duty incidental to the financial and operational running of the organization

 

The interns will be required to have a minimum diploma qualification in Finance, Commerce and/or Economics or any related field. Interns with CPA (ii) will be an added advantage.

Method of Application

If you think you are the person we are looking for! Send your Cv by 6/11/2019.

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

For any clarification contact us on 0706222888

 

 

Interns; Agricultural field officers

Passion for agriculture, resilience and determination for success is key – the rest we can teach you.

 

Responsibilities of Agricultural officer

  • Training farmers on various aspects of farming and giving the agronomical advice of farming high valued crops.
  • Work closely with our sales team by providing outstanding customer service and support to farmers.
  • You must have a positive attitude, enthusiasm for agriculture and the ability to nurture business relationships within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Coordinate field trials, analyze results and perform other sales support activities as required
  • Directs and coordinates worker activities, such as planting, irrigation, chemical application, harvesting, grading, payroll, and recordkeeping.
  • Analyze market conditions to determine acreage allocations to farmers for specific crops.
  • Record information, such as production, farm management practices, and parent stock, and prepares financial and operational reports.
  • Analyzes soil to determine type and quantity of fertilizer required for maximum production.

 

This role will enable you to develop knowledge of our products and gain experience interacting directly with farmers and other industry players.

 

Method of Application

If you think you are the person we are looking for! Send your Cv by 6/11/2019.

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

For any clarification contact us on 0706222888

 

 

Administrators

Responsibilities

  1. Promote the company and all its products to our customers through different communication channels like using the phone and social media platforms.
  2. Enhance the company’s reputation by providing professional, prompt and effective assistance to customers.
  3. Handling and resolving customers’ issues promptly through call, email, and approved social media platforms while maintaining the set quality standards of customer service delivery.
  4. Understanding customer needs and providing efficient feedback to a Supervisor.
  5. Make follow-ups from the relevant person to ensure that escalated customer issues are resolved in a timely manner.
  6. Listening to the customers’ needs and assisting them in making a well-informed decision
  7. Perform any other assigned duties.
  8. Educate and inform customers on the company’s marketing strategies and ongoing promotion

 

Method of Application

If you think you are the person we are looking for! Send your Cv by 6/11/2019.

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

For any clarification contact us on 0706222888

 

 

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Customer Service Representative – 1 Position; Agricultural company

Agricultural Company; Customer Service Representative – 1 Position (MUST be Fluent in English and Swahili)

  •  Nairobi- (Ridge ways Kiambu Road)

Job Summary

We are looking for an enthusiastic Customer Care Representatives to join our company that provides agricultural products and services. You will be accountable for the delivery of high-quality professional services to our customers. Our goal is to promote business growth by expanding the company’s clientele.

  • Minimum Qualification: Diploma
  • Experience Level: Entry level
  • Experience Length: 1 year

 

Job Description

OxfarmAg Ltd is an award winning company comprising of young energetic youths who are ready to take agriculture to a whole new level. We work hard to make OxfarmAg ltd the most sort out by farmers for our products and service delivery.

The work to be done include training farmers on various aspects of farming and giving the agronomical advice, farming of high valued crops and vegetables, holding shows and events to show case various modern farming techniques.

 

Qualifications

  • Proven experience in Agricultural field,
  • An expert in delivering an excellent customer experience.
  • Knowledgeable on online marketing trends and applications.
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • He/She should manage multiple tasks simultaneously and able to work under pressure.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Must have strong work ethics and willingness to learn in all aspects of the position.
  • Should possess good personal integrity, with a high sense of responsibility and accountability.
  • Should be a team player and very flexible to work in a dynamic and often hectic environment.
  • Proficient in Swahili and English

 

Responsibilities

  1. Promote the company and all its products to our customers through different communication channels like using the phone and social media platforms.
  2. Enhance the company’s reputation by providing professional, prompt and effective assistance to customers.
  3. Handling and resolving customers’ issues promptly through call, email, and approved social media platforms while maintaining the set quality standards of customer service delivery.
  4. Understanding customer needs and providing efficient feedback to a Supervisor.
  5. Make follow-ups from the relevant person to ensure that escalated customer issues are resolved in a timely manner.
  6. Listening to the customers’ needs and assisting them in making a well-informed decision
  7. Perform any other assigned duties.
  8. Educate and inform customers on the company’s marketing strategies and ongoing promotion

 

Method of Application

If you think you are the person we are looking for! Send your Cv by 6/11/2019.

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

For any clarification contact us on 0706222888

 

 

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Hass Avocado is a Canopy Of Life: A Testimony Of TEHU Self Help Group

Hass Avocado Is The Canopy Of Life: A Testimony Of TEHU Self Help Group

 

They say when people come together they can conquer the world and there is power in numbers. Mr. Paul Muthami Tumuti a writer and a farmer who is the chairman of TEHU self-help group had a vision for the group and the entire Kenya. According to Mr. Muthami “Avocado is the canopy of life”, this is what we are going to show you in this article.

Mr. Muthami who is an alumni of Kimathi Institute which has now changed to Dedan Kimathi University of Technology studied building but decided to do farming as a part timer.

Every day is a learning day and life is an experience. Few farmers had Hass avocado trees in TETU and market was a challenge. Brokers and Cartels always come in sheep skin but inside they are leopards. They will tell farmers how the market has shifted and they should sell their produce to them since they are connected and have ready market.

In 2016, with just 22 members, TEHU (Tetu and Huhoini) Fruits and Vegetables self-help group was formed and registered with assistance of agricultural department. The main purpose of forming the group was most farmers had few mature trees and the only way of having a bargaining power was to be in a group. TEHU was registered from members of several sub-locations that are karaihu, Kigogoini, Gatumbiro, Kiriti, e.t.c.

In 2016, the group sold 52,000 pieces of hass avocado from various farmers to one of the biggest exporters in Kenya. Their anticipation was 10 Ksh per fruit but they only managed to sell at 5.19 Ksh per fruit. They were very demoralized and almost gave up. However, they knew there was hope because previously their fruits were being bought for less than Ksh 2-4.

In 2017 more members joined and they had 17 new members making a total of 35 members. According to the chairman, they were frustrated by the strict conditions given by the exporter and they decided to sell at the farm gate. This time they managed to get a supplier. They sold a total of 78,000 hass avocados fruits at 8.50 Ksh. This was more of a break through. The farmers were excited since they were paid promptly and at the farm gate.

In 2018, the group was becoming bigger, from 35 members to 110. This time the group expanded from Tetu and Huhoini to other areas such as Thegenge, Nyeri Municipality, Mweiga, and Giakanja.e.t.c. The dream was coming to a reality and now the target was an exporter. So the group management together with members called a meeting to deliberate on the terms to be given to the buyers of the fruits.

 

Avocado Training in Meru, OxfarmAg educating farmers group

 

 

Terms to the buyer

 

  • They should verify the quality and quantity of the fruits
  • They should negotiate and agree on the best price.
  • Exporter/interested party have to deposit a good sum of money in TEHU’s bank account as a down payment.
  • Supervision both from the exporter and TEHU has to be present during harvesting.

 

In 2018 the group received more than 10 interested parties who wanted to buy the fruits from members. Each buyer was to come up with best price they can buy the fruits and also best terms. The management tasked by the group was meant to select the best of the parties,

The group members sold the fruits to one of the exporting companies at Ksh 12 per fruits gate price.

In 2019, Things were bigger and better, the members rose from 110 to 300 of which 150 members had mature fruits for sale. This time members came all the way from marwa, and Othaya. After doing the vetting of various interested parties, one exporter who won to buy the fruits bought 450,000 pieces of hass avocado at Ksh 16 and 200,000 Fuertes avocados at Ksh 6- Ksh 8. While the members were selling at Ksh 16, the non-members were selling theirs at Ksh 8. That is 100% difference; do you now believe there is power in numbers?

TEHU has created for the local young people who during harvesting are highly engaged. Its only in 2016 they had professional pickers but there after the group decided to engage the local young people.

 

Some conditions for Becoming a Member of the group.

 

TEHU doesn’t discriminate any farmer, whether you are a farmer with a single tree or a farmer like Mr. Kabue from Githakwa with 300 trees. So what do you need to become a member?

  • Registration and membership fee of Ksh 1000
  • Fruit should be grown organically, (no synthetic fertilizers). Most exporters want organic products. ( Use traps instead of chemicals to control pests)
  • Members should undergo trainings
  • Members should wait for the fruits to mature fully and wait for TEHU management to give out  directives

The group management meets at least once in a month to deliberate on issues affecting the group or emerging news. On the other hand, members meet at least twice a year.

 

Benefits of being in the group to the farmer

 

After having an interview with TEHU self help group chairman Mr. Muthami, we visited a member of Tehu, Mr Kabui, a farmer of Hass avocado  who hass  300 trees and here is a summary of the advantages associated with joining TEHU.

  • Group creates social relations that enable individuals to achieve goals that they may not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves.
  • Enable farmers to improve on fruits quality due to trainings.
  • Help farmers benefit from economies of scale by lowering their costs of acquiring inputs or hiring services such as pickers and transport.
  • It also empowers their members economically and socially by involving them in decision-making processes that create additional rural employment opportunities, or enable them to become more resilient to economic and environmental shocks.
  • They have an easy reach to resources as group members can apply for loans on bank they operate on due to the security they have on the fruits.
  • They have an easy reach to donors such as DANIDA as it has offered to construct a cold room for the group.
  • They attract good hass Avocado prices as they have quantities that can interest exporters thus eliminating the broker and having a direct exporter of their produce.

 

 

Inspection and counting of hass avocado fruits from the farm

 

How Is the Avocado Market?

 

According to Mr. Muthami, even if we uprooted all the other trees in Kenya and plant avocados, we wouldn’t meet the global demand of avocado. Currently avocado fruit is the most sort after because of its healthy benefits. Mexico produces more than 40% of the total global production of hass avocado. Combined with other Latin American nations they produce more than 80%.

Their avocado fruits hit the market between March and June. This is a great advantage to Kenya and other tropical countries in Africa since our avocados and especially the highlands mature at around June-September. ” If only we farmers can be patient enough and sell in August…” poses Mr. Muthami. By around that time, there are few fruits in Europe and Middle East which means, by the law of demand and supply, assuming the demand is constant, the price will definitely go higher.

“The consumer wants the product but most don’t have the conditions to grow them. Avocado oil is very expensive and it’s very hard to find it in local market. For economic returns and food security the farmers have to be into groups. Most farmers are frustrated by market when they do it individually. The more you narrow the chain of brokers the more you earn. Use good agricultural practices and channel your energy in good use” Added Mr. Muthami.

 

What Ministry Of Trade Should Know

County governments and national government can play a vital role in ensuring youths and farmers form groups that can help them market their produce be it fruits or veggies. Nyeri alone produces more than 10 million hass avocado but are disorganized and sell to brokers at less than Ksh 8.

Imagine, TEHU due to their bargaining power sold their fruits at Ksh 16, while most individual farmers at Ksh 8. This means more revenue is lost in Nyeri county alone. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya in terms of GDP. It then means that if the relevant parties can come together and ensure farmers are organized, they can offer employment.

There are many beneficiaries;

  • Farmers
  • Exporters
  • County and national governments
  • Employment to the local young people

 

TEHU testimony should be used as an inspiration to many young people.

 

 

 

 

Where is the Future of Young People in farming?

Young people can form groups and grow crops together. Quantity is the biggest challenge, but if young people have good will, have trusts among them they can do wonders.

The world we are living in has many challenges, after completing education, most youths end up in towns, tarmacking looking for white color jobs but the money is with masses and coming together. We keep on complaining how there no jobs in Kenya, the time is now, and we must come together and fight together.

 

…………………………………………..end……………………………………………………………………..

 

Writers’ Point of view

TEHU coming together is a success story that ought to reach the entire world. Its part of a comprehensive and sustainable plan advocating the long term vision of the hass avocado farmers. It will benefit farmers and the entire village’s community since it advocates better farming practices at a minimized cost and will thus increase the avocado production leading to more profits for farmers.

I trust that this article would inspire many more hass avocado farmers and help them in creating both employment revenue for themselves. I also take this opportunity to congratulate all the TEHU members who have been working tirelessly for achieving their objective. You are True Heroes!

As OxfarmAg Ltd company we are involved in training and organization of farmers groups interested on avocado farming.

If you would like to book us email us ask@oxfarm.co.ke

 

 

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Tea Farmers; It’s Time To End The Bonus Slavery

Tea was first introduced in Kenya from India by a colonial settler G.W Caine in 1903. Tea is mainly grown in several districts which include Kericho, Bomet, Nandi, Kiambu, Thika, Maragua, Muranga, Sotik, Kisii, Nyamira, Nyambene, Meru, Nyeri, Kerinyaga, Embu, Kakamega, Nakuru and Trans-nzoia.

 

Bonus pay for 2018 – 2019 tea leaves

 

The decrease in the annual bonus is being attributed to overproduction, socio-economic and political factors in international markets.

Other contributing factors to the decline in tea prices and returns include the levying of VAT on direct sales by local exporters, levying of VAT on buyer inter-trading, lack of adequate consumer-driven research, development and promotional activities.

Turbulence in the international markets such as economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the US and high inflation rates in Egypt also negatively impact tea market.

Why Every Fruit Farmer Should Have a Bee Hive

Last year, the exchange rate dropped 1.6 per cent as the shilling strengthened against the dollar. Tea is traded in the US dollar, which is then converted to Kenyan shilling.

The growers express their displeasure each and every year but no change is effected on the tea bonus but instead it gets lower and lower thus making tea farmers poorer and poorer.

hass avocado

An acre tea farm on average produces 2500kg an year. This translates to a farmer getting 75,000ksh as bonus if the rate is given at 30ksh. Given the workload done to achieve the target of 2500kg is enormous as almost each and every week the farmer needs to pluck the tea leaves. On average a farmer gets 6,250ksh per month if the bonus is to be divided by 12 months. The other monthly payment per kg which the farmer gets paid covers for labour costs plus the inputs costs of fertilizer. Isn’t this slavery really tea farmers and should this be enough reason to embrace change?

Hass avocado is ideally suited for tea growing zones. An acre of Hass can fetch more than a 1,000,000 ksh under good management skills. Hass avocado variety is the most common for exporters as it has a massive market in Europe as compared to other varieties. The best way to eliminate this suffering from our dear farmers is to intercrop the already established tea with Hass avocado and eventually after three years the trees will have taken over the tea plantation.

 

HERE IS THE ESTIMATE RETURN FROM AN ACRE UNDER HASS AVOCADO

The first two years –growth stage
• 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 Ksh 10 million

 

Average production and prices hass avocado farming.

 

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