Creating a Profit Pool For Farmers

The challenging market trends are forcing farmers to look for new ways to increase their produce volumes and increase profitability. To survive in the export market, farmers must embrace different agri-tech solutions. From precision agriculture to harvesting robots to farm management systems, digital technology is transforming and enhancing today’s agriculture. Previously, cooperatives connected farmers to the market. They bought the produce from the farmers in bulk. Mergers, acquisitions, and poor management have contributed to the decline of cooperatives. The market for fruits such as hass avocados is growing rapidly. The demand for fruits in the local and export market is also increasing.

Agricultural technology aims at solving the key challenges that farmers and exporters face with:

 Low market prices

 Low and poor quality yields

 Variable farm inputs with high prices

 Lack of traceability

 Poor farm management practices

 Lack of an ideal place for farmers to collaborate and share ideas

Software and agricultural systems provide an ideal environment for farmers and exporters from different regions to share ideas and discuss how they can look for better markets. This can improve both the farmers’ and exporters’ efficiency.

Key values of Digital Tools in Agriculture

As more farmers get connected to the internet, more mobile apps, software, and systems are being developed. They are designed to serve different purposes. Some key values of digital tools include:

Creating a central platform for farmers to collaborate

When farmers and exporters use a central platform, they can easily track the daily activities, the performance of the crops, share market information, and analyze the market trends for various crops. 

Simple communication between the farmers and exporters

Sharing important agricultural information and documents at different levels of production can help farmers devise better farm management practices. 

Advisory based on big data and data analysis

Real-time data helps farmers to track the performance of their crops. The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning in agriculture has led to the introduction of sensors, drones, and robots to perform farm management tasks such as harvesting. Sensors, drones, and robots are connected to a system where they send the collected farm data for analysis. Sophisticated data analysis software is used to analyze real-time data and market trends.

Connecting farmers to potential customers

Marketing software and mobile apps can connect farmers to various customers looking for the same produce. Previously, markets for various crops were dominated by brokers who exploited farmers and bought the produce at low prices, especially macadamia nuts. With a large number of potential buyers at a central platform, farmers can sell their produce at the desire prices and get more profits

Tracking crop performance and productivity

Farm management practices are employed to determine the productivity of the crops. Not having an insight into what is required at different growth stages can ruin the entire fruit farming investment.

Farm management solutions provide farmers with full traceability of various agronomy practices that should be employed at different stages.

Having all information at a central platform can help farmers know the pests and diseases that can affect their crops, nutrients required at different growth stages, and how they can enhance their crop production and increase the yields.

Farming more with less: using Innovations to find better answers for farmers

In agriculture, every solution should be tailored to meet a farmer’s needs in a specific group. In the process of understanding a farmer’s needs, it becomes simpler to shape the future of agriculture. Through the digitalization of farmers’ interactions, supply chains, and farming techniques, it’s easy to understand how various components work in different fields. Innovations in technology have helped connect farms digitally and made it possible for them to devise better farm management practices, from planting to harvesting.

Data That Helps Find Better Answers

Within each growing season, farmers collect and analyze a lot of data which include the seedling varieties planted, inputs applied, management practices applied, and yields produced. The rise of data science in agriculture has resulted in the creation of tools that provide farmers with real-time data. Satellites, drones, and remote sensors collect real-time data on the crop’s performance, temperature, nutrient utilization, soil conditions, and weather conditions. Artificial Intelligence tools analyze the data and relay a report and important insights to the farmers, helping them devise better farm management practices and make informed in-field decisions.

Climate FieldView, for instance, is a software that provides farmers with a clear and complete picture of how their farm is performing. Using the platform, farmers can optimize inputs, monitor their field variability, and control pests and diseases on time. These digital tools help farmers to use crop protection tools such as pesticides efficiently and effectively. Digital platforms and tools can also notify farmers when the weather conditions are too windy or too wet to help them devise effective spraying programs. With adequate data about the farm and the weather, farmers can grow more crops while using less water, inputs, land, and energy.

Products That Reduce the Impact on the Environment

The environment needs to be preserved and farmers understand that quite well. Extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers can harm the soil and the environment. Farmers should consider planting crop varieties that require fewer pesticides. In fruit farming, planting cover crops and implementing sustainable farming practices should be employed to help in keeping carbon in the soil. Enhanced pest and weed control mechanisms have also helped in minimizing carbon emissions from farm machinery and crop protection products.

An Even More Precise Innovations

Precision agriculture is a farming method that uses fewer resources to produce more food. For instance, drip irrigation systems are connected to fertigation systems to form an efficient and more effective system for applying water, pesticides, and water-soluble fertilizers to crops. With digital innovations, these systems are connected to a computer system that analyses real-time data collected by drones and sensors and turns on the irrigation and fertigation systems. This increases production while using fewer resources. If looking for high-quality drip irrigation and fertigation systems, Oxfarm Ltd is the place you should look for.

Progress For The Next Generation

Innovations in modern agriculture make it possible to grow high-quality food with fewer resources on a smaller piece of land. Technologies have reduced the effects of agriculture on the environment and increased the farms’ productivity. If we use collective ingenuity to search for answers, progress in the agricultural sector will be achieved. Data science, biotechnology, chemistry, breeding, and biologics are helping in providing tailored solutions.

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From 30th November – 5th December

Fruit farming should be done in agribusiness way, its a profitable venture that relies on natural processes. To achieve success, farmers should aim at employing unique farm management practices. Each practice can bring overwhelming results.


These farm practices range from land preparation, planting, tree management during the vegetative growth stage, harvesting, marketing, and packaging.
To get higher profits, farmers should put the maintenance costs to a minimum.


We do sell fruit seedlings at very competitive prices book yours today and get them delivered country wide at zero cost.

    Hass avocados @150
    Grafted tree tomato @100
    Fuerte avocado @150
    Passion plants grafted @70
    Yellow passion @50
    Mangoes @150
    Oranges @150
    Tangerines @150
    Guavas @100
    Pawpaw @60
    Apples @350
    Macadamia @350
    Lemons @100
    Lime @150
    Pomegranates @300
    Pears @300
    Plums @350
    Kiwi @400
    Grapes table/wine @300
    Upland Arrow roots suckers @100
    Pixie orange seedlings @250
    Coffee (Ruiru11) @60
    Custard apple @100
    Pepino Melon @100
    Tissue culture banana @180
    Plantain banana @500
    Strawberry @50

Talk to our regional sales executive and book yours today.

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Western region

Engage Nebat on 0706222888 WhatsApp link —-> HERE
Email – oxfarmkisumu@oxfarm.co.ke

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Engage Cliff 0769623300 WhatsApp link —> HERE
Email – oxfarmagnairobi@oxfarm.co.ke .

Visit us at Ridge ways Along Kigwa road Nairobi

Nakuru region

Engange Asman – 0740000044 WhatsApp link —-> HERE
Email – oxfarmnakuru@oxfarm.co.ke.

Visit us Near White house Nakuru

Eldoret region

Engage Dancan – 0710588060 WhatsApp Link —-> HERE
Email – oxfarmeldoret@oxfarm.co.ke .

Visit us near rupa mall on the highway opp total petrol station Eldoret.

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A Blueprint For Success: Using Digital Tools in Entrepreneurship

Just like in other countries, Mozambique has also felt the impact of the novel coronavirus. It has been a difficult moment in most parts and many entrepreneurs such as Catarina Bie have struggled to keep their businesses running. Catarina’s shop in Maputo, Mozambique was on the verge of getting closed. Most of her customers disappeared when COVID-19 erupted. Things got worse to appoint that she was almost about to close her business – a decision that could have had a long-term impact on her family’s future. Fortunately, she got involved in digital technologies which introduced her to better approaches that helped her keep her business running.

A Shift to Digital

Millions of small businesses globally like Catarina’s have experienced challenges as COVID-9 cases increased. With social distancing and travel restrictions, it was hard to do business. Every industry was affected from agriculture to retail and supply chain to tourism. To keep the sales flowing and operations running, businesses turned online and mobile platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp became the new marketing hubs. In the agriculture sector, shifting to digital tools not only maintained the sales, locally and internationally, but has also enhanced crop productivity.

A Blueprint for Success

However, some groups find it difficult transitioning from traditional methods to digital formats.  To overcome these challenges, there are a few factors that should be put into consideration. They include:

  • Understand your needs as an entrepreneur and familiarize with various technologies in your field: These days, most entrepreneurs have smartphones which means they are connected to the internet. With adequate knowledge, they can turn their smartphones in to a marketing hub through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Before investing in technology, start-up and well-established businesses should first understand their needs and weigh different technologies that they can use to improve their services and operations.
  • Choose the delivery methods and the most suitable technologies: To keep the entrepreneurs engaged, an interactive structure such as a WhatsApp or Facebook group is important. This can provide an ideal ground for various businesses to share ideas and market their product. After weighing down different technologies, the next step is to select the most suitable technologies to integrate into the business. Embracing marketing platforms such as social media platforms can be a blueprint for success.
  • Measure the effectiveness with regular feedback from various groups: If you are using marketing platforms and your products are ordered online, you should measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and technologies using the generated returns and feedback from the customers. You can even create a WhatsApp or Facebook group to interact with regular customers.

Catarina invested a part of her savings in the business. She bought a few chairs to attract and accommodate more customers outside. Catarina says that she could have thought it’s possible to make her small business profitable during the pandemic. The new technological approaches helped her reach customers despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “Social media has helped me improve my business skills,” she cites. She can now afford a smile as she looks at a group of people settling down in one of her new outdoor tables and order a meal.

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We are hiring; digital marketing Manager

We at OxfarmAg Ltd., the leading company in agribusiness field, We are hiring an experienced Digital Marketing to help us keep growing. If you’re dedicated and ambitious, OxfarmAg Ltd is an excellent place to grow your career.

Responsibilities

  • Analyze digital data to draw key recommendations around website optimization
  • Conduct social media audits to ensure best practices are being used
  • Coordinate with sales team to create marketing campaigns
  • Prepare emails to send out to customers
  • Monitor key online marketing metrics to track success
  • Ensure that the brand message is consistent

Qualifications for Digital Marketing

  • Past Experience in Digital Marketing\
  • Experience executing paid social media campaigns
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business
  • Knowledge of video and picture editing software such as Adobe
  • Must be able to juggle multiple projects at the same time
  • Incredible attention to detail
  • Full understanding of all social media platforms
  • Problem solving skills
  • Knowledge of content management systems

How to apply

  • All applications are online.
  • Interested and qualified candidates to send the CVs to

ask@oxfarm.co.ke

  • Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

NOTE; Include your past work through links.

farm management systems

5 ways in which farm management systems solve problems in the fruit farming supply chain

Managing a farmer’s supply chain is sometimes complicated. They are susceptible to many issues such as squeezing margins, fruit availability, vendor pricing, market accessibility, and fruit quality. Farm management systems are essential tools in farms and food processing industries.

In the food and beverage sector, the percentage of availability of fruits to the consumers and factories is still low. For instance, despite the increasing number of wineries in Kenya and Europe, we still can’t sustain the lucrative grape market. The demand curve for wine and table grapes have been going upwards throughout. After the opening of the Chinese and Mauritius’ market for avocados, the supply is still low despite the rising population and more consumption of the fruit. Buyers have one complaint in common; obtaining the desired quantity and quantity is an issue.

What Does This Mean?

The agriculture supply chains are quite complicated. Processing companies order specific fruits to farmers either to make value-added products such as macadamia in making cosmetics and chocolate using macadamia, wine using grapes, and juices using fruits such as oranges. When the fruits get to the warehouse, however, the processors are unable to process the entire product.

There are some questions which when posed to an executive at a fruit processing company they will barely be capable of providing a detailed answer. Maybe they won’t even have an answer for that. They include:

  1. How many fruits will the farmer produce?
  2. Is the farmer using the most efficient farming techniques to enhance fruit quality?
  3. Can the farmer sustain the customer?
  4. Are the set targets achieved and realistic?
  5. What are food processing companies doing to ensure that the farmer produces the desired quantity?
  6. How do farmers cope with price changes?
  7. Is the farmer doing fruit farming as an agribusiness and are they making a significant profit?
  8. What should farmers do to enhance the productivity of their trees?

Processing companies are one of the largest consumers of fruits such as grapes and macadamia and hence have a couple of farmers/producers in their value chain. This means there are a lot of questions on how they handle their supply chains.

What can Processing Companies do to Answer These Questions?

The most efficient way of answering these questions is by acquiring real-time data from the farmers or producers. This will help them to come up with efficient plans especially in meeting targets, sales, marketing, and strategies.

With the rapid advancements in technology, many companies in agriculture are embracing these innovations into their supply chains. Implementing farm management systems is one of the most effective ways of solving the problems that farmers and fruit processing factories face. Farmers and buyers can use the same system but with different features.

5 Ways in Which Farm Management Systems Solve Problems in the Fruit Farming Supply Chain

Cost-saving

When doing farming as an agribusiness, monitoring a farmer’s accounts in one system is a good way of improving traceability, farming techniques employed, and supply chain management. Performing all management tasks in one place can help the farmer cut costs of orchard management, agronomy support, and marketing.

Reducing risk

Providing real-time data helps processing companies and consumers to know the employed farming practices, the fruit quality, and produce that they can deliver. The rising concern on extensive use of pesticides is sparkling fear to consumers, especially in the export market. A platform with real-time data on pesticide use assures consumers and processors that the fruits are safe.

Traceability

Farm management systems provide an insight into how fruit processors and farmers are adhering to the set industry standards. 

Quality

Fruit quality is essential element the agriculture subsector. No buyer is willing to invest in low-quality fruits. Having a user-friendly dashboard can help farmers know the best farming practices they should employ to enhance production and fruit quality. At the same time, it can help buyers fruit quality before approaching the farmer.

Transferring knowledge

Having many farmers and buyers in a centralized system provides an ideal ground for farmers to share information on how they can enhance productivity and have higher bargaining power.  

When venturing into fruit farming, looking for help is essential. Whenever you are looking for agronomy support or want to kickstart your venture with high-quality seedlings, Oxfarm Ag Ltd will always assist you. Since every industry is embracing innovations in technology, we at Oxfarm would be happy to see you apply these advancements in your orchard.

Top 5 sustainable farming and environmental-friendly practices

Large-scale agriculture has caused massive destruction to the environment. With the rising awareness of environmental harm, most farmers are shifting to eco-friendly practices. Intense carbon outputs, extensive pesticide use, and massive deforestation to create room for farming have fueled the negative impacts of climate change. This has forced policymakers to advocate for sustainable and environmental-friendly practices to overcome the adverse effects. Currently, the demands of fruits have been increasing in the local and export market. To promote green environments, fruit farming can be a good measure to counter climate change and environmental pollution. Some top sustainable and eco-friendly practices include:

Permaculture

This incorporates growing fruits and cover crops in a way similar to how plants grow in natural environments. It involves extensive application of smart farming to enhance production efficiency and minimize wastage of resources. Permaculture includes growing cover crops such as grain and vegetables without tillage, planting fruit seedlings such as grapevines and strawberry on raised beds, and creating swales to hold water. 

Aquaponics & Hydroponics

These are innovative farming practices that incorporate planting fruits and vegetables without any soil. Plants are provided with water-soluble nutrients that are carried by water. Hydroponics contain sophisticated systems, especially in commercial fruit and vegetable farming. Once they are dissolved in the water, mineral solutions are absorbed by the plants’ roots and taken up to all the tissues. For effectiveness, hydroponic systems are integrated with aquaponics systems. Fish produce waste which provides nutrients that are required to enhance plant growth. He plants purify the water which then gets back to the aquaponics systems and the cycle begins again. This farming technique is efficient when growing vegetables and fruits such as strawberry. The method is not efficient for woody plants such as avocado and citrus.

Using Renewable Energy Resources

Sustainable farming involves the application of eco-friendly sources of energy such as solar power, wind power, or hydropower. In drier regions such as Moyale, Kitui, and Mandera, irrigation has to be done during the dry season to keep the plants growing. Solar panels can be used for power-pumping and fertigation systems. Hydroelectric power can be used to run farm machinery. Utilizing natural sources of energy to run farm equipment can help cut down the orchard management costs.

Crop Rotation

Planting one crop at the same place for a long time increases the chances of vegetable and plant diseases. Crop rotation and crop diversification can be used to minimize the chances of diseases such as bacterial wilt and rust. This practice can reduce fertilizer and chemical use.

Fruit farming

Agroforestry is one of the most efficient ways of promoting sustainable farming. Sustainable agriculture incorporates the application of syntropic agroforestry, regenerative farming, and forest gardens. Fruit farming is one of the most profitable agribusinesses. With the increasing awareness of green environments, planting profitable trees is the best way to promote agroforestry. This is a win-win situation for both the farmer and the environment. Growing fruit trees reduces carbon levels and enhances biodiversity. To the farmer, fruit trees can be a good source of income, especially when done as an agribusiness.

Sustainable farming is a key factor in minimizing climate change. Sustainability should be ensured to promote environmental protection and at the same time increasing production capabilities. Grow crops passion and practice smart passion farming in well-managed agroforestry systems. Promote biodiversity and invest in fruit farming. For high-quality seedlings, contact Oxfarm Ag Ltd and kickstart your farming agribusiness.

Demand and Supply

How Demand and Supply Affect Profitability in Fruit Farming

Fruit farming industry is highly competitive as every farmer chases his opportunity to succeed. Farmers not only strive to produce high yields and high-quality fruits but also to sell their fruits at competitive prices and acquire higher profits. Most farmers face a challenge surviving on the local and export market due to factors of demand and supply.

When done as an agribusiness, fruit farming is a profitable venture that relies on natural processes. To achieve success, farmers should aim at employing unique farm management practices. Each practice can bring overwhelming results. These farm practices range from land preparation, planting, tree management during the vegetative growth stage, harvesting, marketing, and packaging. To get higher profits, farmers try to put the maintenance costs to a minimum.

What Should you Know Before Deciding on the Fruit to Plant?

Crop requirements – different fruits have varying requirements. For instance, strawberries, passion, and grapevines are more delicate and susceptible to damage compared to citrus and crop such macadamia. This means that more care is required by these plants. Different requirements illustrate that varying finances are required to manage these crops. Farmers should invest in crops that fit their financial possibilities.

Market – the demand for fruits varies depending on either on the season, nutritional value, and consumption. Markets for most agricultural produce are seasonal and only make good money when the demand is high and the supply is low.

Durability – Some crops such as strawberries and bananas are perishable and cannot be stored for longer periods. If farmers are not ready to adapt to fluctuations in the demand for perishable fruits, they should consider investing in fruits that can be stored for a certain period such as macadamia.

How does demand relate to supply in Fruit Farming?

 Demand describes the number of goods that a customer is willing to buy at a certain price at a given period. Supply means the amount of goods a farmer is ready to offer on the market at a given price and period. The relation between supply and demand determines the prices of fruits in the market. There are two concepts fruit farmers should know:

The Demand and Supply Determine the Market Price for Fruits

When farmers set high prices for a certain fruit, the demand and supply reduce. When they set low prices, the consumption increases hence an increase in demand and supply.

The market price determines the supply and demand for fruits

When the market price is high, the interest of farmers to invest in a certain crop will be high. What will happen later? Flooding in the market when the fruits mature in the same period leading to a sharp fall in prices. When the market price is low, the demand and supply will increase as the interest of consumers rises. At this time, few producers will show interest in the crop and hence the chances of selling at competitive prices when the crop matures are high. When the prices are low, farmers make less profit and at times are forced to sell at distress prices.

How do you Find a Balance Between Demand and Supply?

Demand and supply will always fall and rise until market equilibrium is achieved. For instance, if tangerine prices are too high, most consumers will shift to other fruits retailing at affordable prices. This will force the farmer to lower the prices until the demand for tangerines increases. When the demand and supply are balanced, the market is considered to be at equilibrium.

Farmers make more profits in markets that are not controlled. This is because the demand and supply dictate the market prices for fruits. Fruit farmers should regularly monitor demand and supply curves and turn the information into profit. Adequate information will help them regulate the entire market competition. For instance, if the supply of avocados to China is high, the prices will be low and hence they can shift to markets in Europe and Mauritius where there are less competition and better prices.

Fruits supply chain

A critical Issue in the Fruits Supply Chain Management

The food and beverage industry has been growing rapidly as fruit and vegetable processing increases. As more processing plants are being set up, the global demand for fruits is expected to rise by more than 10% in the next 5 years. Fruits are extensively used in making products such as juices, jam, tomato sauce, cosmetics, and beverages such as wine.

The key issue, however, is how food supply chains are going to be managed by processing companies and farmers. How are the two groups going to maximize on quality and production of fruits and end products?

Sustainability when Outsourcing Agricultural Products

Managing supply chains is a difficult task from a business perspective. Challenges such as poor production and product quality are common when poor management techniques are employed. This results to food waste and losses. Some critical issues on quality and production management include: 

Harvesting Fruits too early or too late

Fruits should be harvested at the right time when they mature. However, some farmers tend to harvest fruits before they mature which is a common issue especially in the macadamia subsector. Most immature fruits end up being rejected by buyers. Also, some farmers harvest their fruits later on after maturity. What happens when they do this? Fruits such as watermelon, citrus, and pomegranates start splitting while other fruits become overripe and they start rotting.

Irregular shape and size of Fruits

Fertilization, manuring, and pest control management techniques employed determines the shape and size of fruits. Over-fertilization can make the fruits to be extremely large. Most customers will find this abnormal and only a small number will purchase the fruits. Poor management such as under-fertilization, pest control, and manuring will make the fruits have an irregular shape and small size. Buyer s also won’t be willing to buy that. This means the farmer will be forced to dispose a large chunk of the fruits meaning more losses.

Differences in knowledge and a dispersed supplier network

Crop production requires attention and clpose supervision especially when growing a fruit that you are growing for the first time or using new technologies. The fact that suppliers are in different geographical locations makes the agricultural supply chains complicated. The supplier network is made up of farmers with advanced knowledge and non-skilled ones. If the farmers are not careful, these suppliers can end up affecting their entire season.

Poor crop management

Poor disease and pest control, ineffective weed control, and failure to apply manure and fertilizers results to extremely low yields and poor product quality. Also, poor choice of seedlings can also result to poor performance, low yields, and a longer maturity of the fruit tree.

Maintain high product quality

High-quality products will always attract the attention of many buyers. To avoid losses, farmers have a role to play to maintain their market share in the local and export markets. To help farmers manage the fruit quality, sourcing companies should:

Have a common place to interact with farmers

With the advancements in technology, software have been developed which provide an ideal ground for farmers to interact. This can help in nurturing the relationship between farmers and buyers, companies, agronomists.

Equip farmers with management practices that they can utilize

Agronomy support is always important in fruit farming to help farmers employ proper orchard management techniques. Educating farmers will help them avoid unproductive practices and show them the methods they can use to improve productivity in their farms.

Present their requirements in clear terms

The export market is highly demanding and is quite keen when it comes to quality. Exporters should present the product requirements in understandable terms to help farmers know where they need to improve and how they can maximize on the product quality.

Ensure there is traceability and transparency to help farmers understand the performance of the export markets

A digital solution to enhance product quality

These days, farmers are migrating to digital agriculture. A cloud-based platform can be an ideal solution to improve production and product quality. An integrated management platform can help farmers have a common place to:

  • Market their produce – With a large number of potential customers in a single platform, buyers can select the most appropriate buyer for their produce.
  • Interact with other farmers, buyers, agronomists, and farm input suppliers – real-time communication in a common place can be an important environment for farmers to share or look for information. Also, farmers can know the best places to purchase seedlings and farm inputs.
  • Monitor performanceoxfarm online platform helps farmers monitor production crop traceability, and product quality. They can also monitor the performance of their crops and weather patterns. This will also help them know the best pest and disease control method to apply. While still communicating with other farmers, farmers can learn how they can ensure higher yields and high quality fruits.
Fruit appearance matters

Can Fruit Appearance Affect Farmer’s Profitability?

Purchasing food either in supermarkets, food stores or local groceries is always in the daily activity list. When walking through stores, it’s easy to spot fresh fruits and vegetables. However, you may have wondered how the fruits are produced and all of them e.g. apples the same as the ones in the grocery or food store. Well, fruits have a different appearance (shape, size and colour). Not all apples are red and of the same size and not all bananas are yellow. Fruit appearance vary in varieties, each having its own unique characteristics and that’s where their beauty originates from. 

The export market is highly demanding when it comes to fruit quality. There are strict measures to ensure that farmers produce high-quality fruits. Same requirements are also in the local market especially in supermarkets and hotels. When fruit farmers fail to meet the required quality, groceries are forced to discard the fruits and end up not buying the produce again. Farmers end up selling at distress prices and are left with a large bunch of fruits. What’s the final result? The food becomes waste and the farmer makes losses and ends up regretting why they invested in fruit farming.

Can fruit appearance affect farmer’s profitability?

Fruit appearance is one of the factors that can determine whether a customer purchases the fruit or not. The colour of fruits is mainly determined by the ecological conditions and management techniques applied. Ecological conditions have a great impact in fruit appearance. For instance, in grape farming, sunlight determines the colour concentrations. When the vineyards receive direct and concentrated sunlight, the grapes develop thicker skin which enhances colour concentrations, flavour profiles, and makes them have stronger tannins. If properly taken care of, grapes with good colour concentrations will always have a higher demand and buyers will always compete for the fruits in the orchard.

When fruits such as apples, mangoes, bananas, or avocados are stored for longer periods, they tend to lose their colour and attractive appearance. When fruits stay for longer periods in the farm upon maturity, they start losing their appearance. Also, when fruits are attacked by pests and diseases, their quality and appearance deteriorates. Such fruits can barely attract any buyers and only a small amount makes it to the market. What does this mean? The farmer can only sell at low prices hence low profits. Few customers are willing to buy less attractive fruits.

How to maintain and enhance fruit appearance and quality

Soil Testing and Agronomy support

Agronomists play an important role in your fruit farming venture. They help you identify your weaknesses, areas you need to improve on, monitor the performance of the trees and conduct soil testing to determine the nutrients absent and need to be supplemented in the soil. They also help you know the pest and disease control mechanism that you should employ. Consulting the experts such as Oxfarm Ag Ltd can help you improve the fruit appearance and quality and enable you to succeed in fruit farming.

Regular weeding

Weeds compete with fruit trees in an orchard for nutrients and water. They also encourage pest infestation and disease development. Orchards should hence be weed-free. Planting cover crops such as legumes and mulching is encouraged to minimize the growth of weeds.

Timely control of pest and diseases

Pests and diseases great affect fruit appearance and quality. For instance, pests such as mites can cause black spots brown spots on avocado fruits while thrips can cause leathery scars. Diseases such as sunblotch can cause discoloration of fruits which in turn affects the fruit appearance.  Regular scouting is recommended to help farmers identify and control pests and diseases in a timely manner.

Consistent application of manure and fertilizers

Fruit trees are heavy feeders and require consistent application of nutrients. Manure should be applied regularly to enhance the growth of plants. Fertilizers should also be applied to supplement nutrients and boost fruit quality.

Oxfarm offers Agronomy support as well as sale of highly certified seedlings.