keep bees if you want 100% production in Avocados

When you think of what bees produce, you probably think of honey. But bees also indirectly produce one-third of the common fruits and vegetables we eat, via pollination. Getting good crops of avocados in Kenya is not always easy, and pollination is part of the problem. Avocado growers find it hard to provide a regular supply of fruit because the trees only give a good crop every second year. However, if we all kept bees, avocado production can increase tremendously, below is an explanation on why bees are necessary.

While other fruits have simple ways of flowering and self pollination, avocados are different. Each avocado tree can be covered by almost hundreds of thousands of tiny flowers. Flowering process is complex and generally occurs over a two-day period. Under normal climatic conditions, the flower first opens in the female stage, when the stigma (the female part of the flower) is receptive. The flower closes overnight and on the second day the male stage occurs when the pollen is shed. Overlap between male and female phases may also occur under certain climatic conditions. Due to the difference in timing of the female and male stages, therefore, a means of transferring pollen from an individual flower to another flower (within the same tree or adjacent trees) is required. The avocado flower, therefore, requires a vector to effect pollination, which is a necessary first step in the process of fruit set. A vector is an external agent that is capable of causing the transfer of pollen grains from the anthers (the pollen bearing male part of the flower) to the stigma. Numerous pollen grains need to be deposited onto the individual stigmas for the avocado tree to have the potential for a good crop. The avocado flower is adapted to visitation by most flying insects as is evident by its open morphology and the easy access to the nectar. Therefore, flies, wasps, honey bees, stingless bees, bumblebees and other insects are potential pollinators of the avocado flower. To date, the honey bee has been the only commercially introduced pollinator in avocado orchards.

Why You Should Buy Your Seedling From Certified Nursery Operators

Why you Should Plant Different Cultivars (Hass and Fuerte avocados)

Avocados flowers are pollinated by insects, so growers bring honey bee hives into the orchard in the flowering season. Most avocado orchards have two different cultivars so that, when some trees have flowers at the female stage, other trees have male flowers. This means the bees need to collect pollen from male flowers of one cultivar (called the polleniser) and transfer it to females of another cultivar.

Avocado trees may have hundreds of thousands of flowers, but for some reason, not many of them produce fruit.

Preparation of Bees

For a hive to be able to adequately pollinate fruit blossom, it must be above certain strength in bee numbers. It is fundamentally difficult to build a population of honey bees during cool conditions, particularly if there are no naturally occurring sources of pollen and nectar. Thus to have healthy bees early in the season, for avocados pollination, the preparation and management of bees should be a major priority between march and June.

Attractiveness, Nutritional Value Of Pollen And Nectar

Honey bees visit both female- and male-stage avocado flowers. Usually, they collect nectar from both flower stages and pollen from the male stage. However, they sometimes collect pollen only and will not visit the female flowers. The attractiveness of the avocado flower to honey bees is low, in comparison to the flowers of numerous species that may be in bloom simultaneously, such as various citrus species and species. In many cases, foraging honey bees from hives that were placed in the orchard for pollination
purposes abandon the avocado flowers in favor of competing bloom. It is quite evident, therefore, that the avocado flowers are not as well adapted to supply the honey bees? needs, when compared to the flowers of many other species.

Not Just for Money; Why you Must Plant an Avocado Tree

Availability Of Bees For Pollination

Avocado blossom coincides with a number of nectar-producing flowering eucalyptus species that have the potential to provide alternative economic gains for the beekeeper in the form of honey crops.

Any serious avocado farmer who wants to make good money must  keep bees. The bees not only help in increasing production, sweetness and size of fruits but also produce pure organic honey every three months.

 

 

Ultimate guide for beans farming in Kenya

Beans farming in Kenya is not as common as maize. However, it is one of the common grown crops in Kenya. In fact, it is often inter-cropped with the main crop for maximum absorption of nutrients by both plants. Our guide will help interested parties, both farmers and traders to have a clear mind on beans farming and how they can get money as far as beans are concerned.

Varieties of beans grown in Kenya

Beans popularity in Kenya may be due to the fact that bean recipes are numerous and beans are consumed almost with everything and contain quite a considerable amount of protein. Before venturing into beans farming, it is advisable to look at the different varieties available. If a farmer knows the different types of beans he will be able to choose the best based on its performance. Below are the several varieties;

  • Rosecoco beans Kenya
  • Mwezi moja beans
  • Chelalang beans
  • Mwitemania beans

Do your research well as a farmer and identify which variety does well in your area and guarantees high yields.

Yield per Acre of Beans

The hybrid varieties nowadays are very impressive and has a high yield compared to the traditional varieties. Most of the improved varieties produce about 20 pods for each plant, which translate to about 25, 90 kg bags per acre. Notably, this crop is high yielding when all the conditions are optimal.

Dry beans market

Beans are source of proteins which makes Kenya depend highly on them. The market for beans is overwhelming, both locally and international. Depending on quality and type of beans, the prices per 90 kg bag of beans ranges between Ksh 7,000 and Ksh 12,000. Particularly, beans fetch better prices when it is not harvesting period. Some varieties are also more expensive than others. The rose coco and kidney beans, for instance, are a bit pricey compared to the other varieties which are available in large quantities. Beans with a high supply across the country will fetch a lower price compared to those that thrive in specific areas. Irrespective of the type of beans, the market for beans is always there and since it’s a grain, you can store it and sell when the prices are high.

Price of beans in Kenya

Just like any other agricultural product, prices for beans fluctuate depending on a number of factors including demand and supply. The crop will tend to be expensive when they are in high demand, which is often around planting time when farmers need seeds for planting, and also during periods with no new crops. The cost may also depend on the region you are in and when you are buying or selling. So different areas in Kenya register varying prices of beans. Averagely, beans prices in Kenya range from Kshs. 7,000 to Kshs. 12,000 in major towns of

Kenya from low to high seasons. The best thing to do when scouting for better rates is to check the indices often provided by trading companies and the government on the prices of beans in major towns including Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa. It is not suprising that each town could register a different price for the same variety of beans. This is because different factors play out when determining the prices.

Beans production

It is always good to have a projection before embarking on planting the crop. This is where you consider farming as a business and have a clear business plan. You will need to have a structured plan on what to expect through the farming period and how to counter different eventualities. Your projections against the real data will give a vivid picture of whether or not to proceed with the venture. Apart from this, knowing exactly what to do is necessary. Below are some tips that might help you with your business plaa;

  • Know the appropriate beans planting season in Kenya
  • Choose the best beans varieties in your area
  • Consider ideal ecological requirements – This includes temperatures of about 20 to 25 degrees, altitude of between 1,000 m to 2,100 m above sea level, rainfall of between 900 mm to 1,200 mm per year and a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5

Although the market for beans is always there and appealing, beans farming is not an easy task especially if you are to do it commercially. However, it is always possible to register good yields if you do it right and follow the above steps. You also need to have achievable goals.

nursery mkulima wa nyeri farm

Why You Should Buy Your Seedling From Certified Nursery Operators

The fruit tree nursery certification scheme implemented by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture has been promoted to enhance the supply of high quality fruit tree planting materials and reduce the number of dubious seedling market players. Inquire if your seller is a certified nursery operator under KEPHIS.

With the extensive reforestation efforts by the public and private sectors to cope with increasing fruit demands and address shortages of timber supply in Kenya  there is a strong increased in demand for seedlings of fruit and timber tree species.

A major disadvantage of not being a certified nursery operator is the fact that those nursery operators are barred from bidding for county government procurement contracts. Nursery operators in Mt Kenya region have stated that accreditation has resulted in increased sales because they have been able to participate in county government contracts that procure fruit seedlings in mass quantities (especially hass avocados and macadamia). A major advantage in the accreditation process is the prioritization of accredited nurseries in the seedling procurement of the region.

Not Just for Money; Why you Must Plant an Avocado Tree

Mt Kenya Nursery operators states that the only disadvantage of being accredited is the pressure on maintaining quality standards. Buyers expect seedlings from accredited nurseries to be of superior health and the most suitable varieties. On the part of buyers this is advantageous because they are able to put pressure on the nursery operators to only produce and sell high quality planting materials. The advantages experienced by nursery operators and the pressures by private buyers on them as well as the governments’ policy to procure seedlings only from accredited nurseries are all factors that persuade the fruit tree nurseries to adhere to the nursery accreditation system.

Opportunities for Certified Nursery operators

Macadamia from Certified Nursery operator
Macadamia seedlings at Oxfarm

There are numerous opportunities for nursery operators who are accredited. One is the fact that their nurseries are posted and advertised by KEPHIS on their records which increases their reach to customers (government and private) who may want to buy seedlings from their nurseries.

Individuals and corporations who come to the KEPHIS for assistance on planting fruit trees are constantly referred to accredited fruit tree nurseries when seeking seedlings to buy, which also enhances the opportunities for accredited nurseries. Other opportunities such as scions and seedlings given for free or sold at minimal cost to nursery operators by government, were also given exclusively to accredited nursery operators.

keep bees if you want 100% production in Avocados

Views of Mt Kenya Nursery Operators

Mt Kenya Accredited nursery operators have the view that the government should enhance  the accreditation scheme through improving the market for their seedlings. One way to achieve this is through educating seedling buyers about the advantages of buying seedlings from accredited nurseries only because of quality assurance.

They also suggest that there be established a model nursery by government alongside KALRO that would promote learning and entice other nursery operators to join the accreditation scheme. Mr Dickson Kahuro, Mt Kenya nursery Operators chairman suggests that since they help in increasing forest cover and fighting non communicable diseases through fruit planting, there be increased support such as handing out planting materials, fertilizers and pesticides for free as ways to persuade nurseries to subject themselves for accreditation.

Not Just for Money; Why you Must Plant Hass Avocado

Kenya is a democratic country of hardship and hunger, where politicians decide if the people get food. Politicians do not seem to care about research or making agriculture better. How can hass avocado be the promise of the future for Kenya?

Having more nutrition than any other fruit in the New World, hass avocado is considered to be the most important contribution to human diet in the New World. Avocados have the highest energy value of any fruit. It also is rich in proteins and fat, and yet low in carbohydrates. Holding many valuable vitamins and minerals, hass avocado is the fruit of promise in Kenya.

Kenya is very abundant in many agricultural resources. Kenya’s most important economic impact is agriculture, which provides about two-thirds of the population with work in Kenya. Almost 40% percent of Kenya’s exports are agriculture related. Population is governed by the national government of Kenya who makes policies, resources allocations, and food and price policies. Constitutionally, the counties are responsible for agriculture. Goats and sheep also have large populations in Kenya. Increasing dramatically from the past, dairy and poultry markets now make higher returns than crop farming. Over the last four decades, significant progress in agriculture has been made in Kenya.

keep bees if you want 100% production in Avocados

Benefits of Hass Avocado

Hass Avocado is useful in many different ways beneficial to the Kenyans. It has high nutritional density, is a source of protein, fiber, major antioxidants, stroke prevention, and is used as a baby food. The hass avocado contains about twice of our daily needs for vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene as its calorie proportion. Rich in copper and iron, two mineral constituents of antioxidant enzymes, avocados again prove their nutritional quality. Potassium is also high in avocados, as it is has one of the highest potassium rates in tropical and non-tropical fruits and vegetables.

A benefit of potassium is a 40% reduction in stroke risk with 400 mg of potassium, supplied in less than one-half of an avocado. Hass avocado is associated with lower blood pressure because it is high in monounsaturated fat. All amino acids are found in the avocado however not in ideal portions.

Hass avocado being used in baby foods has many benefits including containing more potassium than 45 other fruits, juices or vegetables. They are also one of the only fruits or vegetables, which contain monounsaturated fats, essential for a baby’s development. Another benefit is avocados have been shown to maintain good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol. One half of a Hass avocado contains about 80 grams of edible fruit has a significant percentage of the daily nutritional needs of children ages 7 to 10. The Hass and Fuerte avocado varieties are promising in Kenya.

Ways To Propagate, Transplant, Manage And Harvest Moringa

Moringa is a money making tree, in our post we will tell you more on how to propagate and grow Moringa.

Propagation Through Seeds;

  • Fill in seedlings bags with light soil mixture.
  • Plant two or three seeds in each bag. (The seeds should have been soaked overnight.)
  • Keep moist but not too wet. Germination will occur within two weeks.
  • Remove extra seedlings, leaving one in the bag.

Seedlings can be transplanted after four to six months when they reach  2-3ft tall.

Transplanting; 

  • Dig the hole 1ft wide and 1 ft depth.
  • Mix compost or manure with the top soil and fill back the hole with the mixture. Manure should be 1 or 2 shovelfuls.
  • Make a hole in the pit to accept all soil in the bag. Keep the soil around the seedling intact.
  • Water lightly for the first few days.

NB; SPACING OF Moringa depends on the intended purpose of production.

For seed production 2m by 2m; 1000 trees an acre, and 1m by 1m; 4000 trees an acre, for leaf production.

Management of Moringa

Moringa tree grows quickly and so must be pruned aggressively to encourage lateral growth and increased production.

  • When the tree is at 1m cut to height of 0.5m.
  • When the tree is at 1.5m cut to height of 1m.
  • When the tree is at 2m cut to height of 1.5.
  • When the tree is at 2.5m cut to a height of 2m.

Harvesting;

-Flowers will appear around 4-9 months.

-Seed pods will mature in around 12 months.

-When harvesting leaves or seed pods prune trees to a height of 2 meters.

-leaves can be harvested once the plant reaches a height of 1.5metres.

-Harvesting rows at different times will ensure there will be always leaves ready to harvest as they are needed.

-During the rainy season harvest of leaves can be done in a week time but during the dry spell you can harvest after two weeks.

Seeds fetch 250ksh per kg while a kg of moringa leaf powder fetches at 300ksh

Photos of Moringa leaf powder and Moringa seeds.

 

 

Facts about Moringa (Oleifera)

Moringa  also known as drumstick, Ben oil tree, horseradish or the miracle tree etc. is a fast growing, drought resistance tree, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. It’s widely cultivated for its young seed pods and leaves used as vegetables and for traditional herbal medicine. It’s also used for water purification.

Key Nutrients of Moringa;

  1. Proteins
  2. Iron
  3. Magnesium
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Riboflavin (B2)
  6. Vitamin B6
  7. Vitamin A etc.

Facts about Moringa

Oleifera pods
  • It contains 30 times more magnesium than eggs
  • It contains 17 times more calcium than milk
  • It contains 15 times potassium than bananas
  • It contains 12 times vitamins C than oranges
  • It contains 10 times vitamin A than carrots

Edible parts of the plant

They include;

  1. Leaves- They are dried and ground into moringa leaf powder. The dried leaf powder can be added to dishes, drinks and soups to increase the nutritional value of a meal.
  2. Pods
  3. Roots
  4. Bark
  5. Flowers
  6. Seeds
  7. Fruits

Health Benefits of Moringa.

  1. Rich source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Has vitamin A, C and E, Calcium, Potassium and Protein.
  2. Anti Cancer agent. Fights free radicals; leaves extracts have higher antioxidant activity, free radical scavenging capacity and higher inhibition of lipid, protein and DNA oxidation.It also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, polyphenols and ascorbic acid in the leaves, flowers and seeds. It reduces cancer cell growth and promotes cell death in several cancers.
  3. Contains anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.Inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and obesity. It reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body. Lowers inflammation in the cells.
  1. Helps reduce some diabetes symptoms. It’s effective at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress in diabetic patients.
  2. Protects the cardiovascular system. It prevents plaque formation in the arteries and reduces cholesterol levels.
  3. Supports brain health. Supports brain health and cognitive function because of its antioxidant and neuro enhancer activities. Its high content of vitamin E and C fights oxidation that’s leads to neuron degeneration improving brain function
  4. Protects the liver. Has high concentration of polyphenols and thus protects liver against oxidation, toxicity and damage. Can reduce liver damage, fibrosis and reverse oxidation in the liver. Moringa oil can restore liver enzymes to normal levels, reducing oxidative stress and increases protein content in the liver.
  5. Contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s effective against types of fungi that cause infections on skin and strains of bacteria that are responsible for blood and urinary tract infections and digestive problems.
  6. Enhances wound healing. Has blood clotting properties
  7. Could protect against arsenic toxicity.

How to use Moringa;

Add moringa powder to your smoothie or drink it as a tea.

-has mild flavor.

-Stay clear of seed extract consumption, as they have shown a level of toxicity in immune cells.

-Has laxative effects if taken in large quantities.

-it should be ½ to 1 teaspoonful per day.

 

For more information about Moringa and other tree fruits feel free to contact us.

Trends that Will Shape Agribusiness In Kenya in 2019

Agriculture as we all know is the backbone of Kenyan Economy. Kenya has a population of about 50 million where according to 2009 census 80% are farmers. However, in the recent years, rural-urban migration has been very high where young people move to cities in such of better opportunities. This has left a gap in agriculture. Oxfarm Ag Ltd has identified several trends that will shape agribusiness not just in Kenya but worldwide.

Attracting Young People Into agribusiness

One of the biggest factors that will determine how well agribusiness industry will cope with and adopt the newest Ag-Tech applications related to food production, will be young farmers. The industry is facing a problem with ensuring effective food production due to the fact, that most farms are run by older demographics that can range from 40 years old and above. If this persists happening and if we will not be able to figure out methods of raising the interest of farming and agriculture to young people, the pace at which new technology will be adopted will be hindered, as well as the progress of finding new solutions to current problems in the industry will be slowed down tremendously as well.

Marketing Process Of Hass Avocado In Kenya

Drip irrigation

Given the recent drought conditions which cost Kenyan  farmers billions of shillings in losses, there’s a lot of investment in the development of advanced drip irrigation technology, which allows farmers to limit wastage by efficiently delivering the exact amount of water to the soil, needed by their crops to grow.

Big data

In order to improve operational efficiency and yield prediction, the agricultural industry is increasingly using data analytics. Farmers are now able to implement complex systems that assist them with equipment management. This is also combined with data on weather patterns and soil conditions as well as crops to be planted, to develop a formula to determine the best time and place to plant and harvest. Big data is also useful for forecasting demand for crops, yield on crops, as well as potential land size and usage of land.

Vertical farming

This modern form of farming, used to produce food in a smaller controlled environment through vertically stacked layers to save on water and fertilizer, is no longer just a noisy word, but a reality. A number of farmers in Kenya are already successfully using this technology as part of their farming practices.

Mobile applications (apps) 

Smart phones are no longer just used for multimedia purposes and accessing information through the internet. Farmers are now actively using apps to monitor their crops via GPS, calculate feed, save water, get access to networks and markets, etc. Mobile apps have become a major disruptor in the agricultural industry. Developers globally are working around the clock to introduce app innovations that were once unimaginable.

Want To Become A Serious Farmer? Do These Things!

 Future Trends We Can Expect In Agribusiness

The introduction of new technologies and the potential they can provide to farmers across the globe (e.g. using Biotech to alter crop health, utilizing Digital Twin to predict optimal weather conditions for crop growth etc.) will become dependent on our ability to introduce younger generations to start a career in farming and agribusiness. In order to achieve this, we need to put the focus on financing and funding the younger generation in terms of financially encouraging them to start their own sustainable farming businesses and help them get a meaningful start that will contribute to efficient future food production.

 

Mushroom Production Farm Tour And Training

The mushroom training will be at one of largest producers of mushrooms in Kenya. Producing button mushroom oyster mushroom and portobello mushroom.

This is what the training on Mushroom farming will cover.

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

 

Event date: 22nd June 2019

CHARGES PER HEAD

  • 3,000/= Inclusive of transport, Lunch and writing materials.
  • Payable to Farmer Trend mpesa till number 201677
  • send confirmation to 0706222888

 

 

 

You Tube – Our OxfarmAg Ltd CEO Mr Dickson Kahuro touring one of our demo farm

Our OxfarmAg Ltd CEO Mr Dickson Kahuro touring one of our demo farm which also host our Certified fruit tree nursery in Nyeri Tetu Githakwa. As oxfarm we strive to give our customers best services and products with aim of ensuring profitable agribusiness and sustainability.

open the video HERE

 

 

We at OxfarmAg Ltd, do propagation and selling of quality certified fruit tree seedlings to farmers at friendly prices.

Our seedlings nurseries are Certified by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service – KEPHIS and are registered by Horticultural Crop Directorate – HCD

We have planting services through oxfarm packages where we assist farmers in establishment of various fruit tree orchards.

For easy access of our services and seedlings, we established demo farms where you can learn more about fruit tree farming. You can visit our demo farm at ridge ways Kiambu road or in Nyeri.

Our quality certified fruit tree seedlings include;
Prices of seedlings are in Ksh.

Hass avocados @150
Grafted tree tomato @100
Fuerte avocado @150
Passion plants grafted @70
Yellow passion @40
Mangoes @150
Oranges @150
Tangerines @150
Guavas @100
Pawpaw @60
Apples @350
Macadamia @350
Lemons @100
Pomegranates @300
Pears @300
Plums @350
Kiwi @400
Grapes table/wine @300
Upland Arrow roots suckers @100
Pixie orange seedlings @250

Plant fruit tree seedlings this coming rainy season. Contact us to order seedlings and to get direction to our demo farms.

0706222888/
0723662773
Our WhatsApp link https://wa.me/254706222888

We do deliveries countrywide.
Access our online shop http://oxfarm.co.ke/product-category/tree-fruits-seedlings/

 

here are some photos of our demo farm at ridge ways

Apple seedlings
fuerte and hass seedlings
grapes seedlings
grapes seedlings
guava seedlings
guava seedlings
guava seedlings
guava seedlings
Harvesting of pepino fruits - Dickson Kahuro
Harvesting of pepino fruits – Dickson Kahuro
hass avocado seedlings
hass avocado seedlings
hass avocado seedlings
hass avocado seedlings
lemon seedlings
lemon seedlings
macadamia nuts
macadamia nuts
macadamia seedlings
macadamia seedlings
macadamia seedlings
macadamia seedlings
macadamia seedlings
macadamia seedlings
mango seedlings
mango seedlings
nursery mkulima wa nyeri farm
Nursery at mkulima wa Nyeri farm
mango grafted seedlings
oranges grafted seedlings

Tissue culture banana
Tissue culture banana
Tissue culture banana
Tissue culture banana
tomoko seedlings
tomoko seedlings
Tree tomato grafted seedlings
yellow passion seedlings
yellow passion seedlings

 

dairy goat farming

DAIRY GOAT – Farm tour & training 13th April 2019

How To run a modern Dairy goat Farm – Second Edition

After a successful farm tour organized for learning about how to run a dairy goat agribusiness on 10th November 2018, we have organized yet another one on the same venue due to many request we are getting.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Contact us for details, bookings and any clarification
Oxfarm – 0706222888

 

See more details on the poster below

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAIRY GOAT FARMING FROM THIS VIDEO.

 

 

Some Photos of the farm