Spores appear first as white, felt-like patches on the lower surface of the leaves of the apple. Secondary infections commonly appear first on the lower leaf surface, and may be detectable on the upper leaf surface as chlorotic spots. Leaves infected along the leaf margin may become curled, crinkled, or folded longitudinally. As the disease progresses, affected tissues develop the powdery, silver-gray appearance.
Where infestations are low, pruning of the infected terminal shoots is an effective control method. When the rate of infestation is high use foliar fungicides.
It begins as tiny purple flecks or specks on the front of the leaf. The purple flecks rapidly expand into irregularly shaped, often concentric, lesions. In severe infestation the leaves turn yellow and drop off.
Pruning of the affected shoots and planting resistant cultivars of apple.
Also spray effective fungicides e.g. copper based fungicides.
It appears as pale yellow or olive-green spots on the upper surface of leaves. Dark, velvety spots may appear on the lower surface. Severely infected leaves become twisted and puckered. The same symptoms on the leaves appear the same way on fruits
Plant resistant cultivars and proper timing of sprays is needed for fungicides to control disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nyeri county held a workshop on 16th Jan 2019 to shed more light on the status of Avocado farming. The workshop attended by various stakeholders on avocado value chain and also various farmers group leaders who engage on avocado farming from various sub counties in Nyeri County.
Business Innovation Facilities (BIF)
The organizers of the event Business Innovation Facilities (BIF) have been in forefront ensuring that there is market linkage between farmers and marketers/exporters of hass avocado. The project that only started in 2018 has so far been a success. The moderator of the workshop Mr. Peter Mwangi said that there is a need to have a market system approach in dealing with hass avocado farming where the farmer should look at what the market requires and tailor those needs in the production. This involves improving quality and quantity.
Farmers being the core of the workshop were given time to give more insights as to their expectation for the workshop and what needed to be addressed.
Department of Agriculture Nyeri County
Mr Macharia from Nyeri County horticultural department briefed the attendances the status of hass avocado in Nyeri County. Avocado grows in all Nyeri sub counties apart from Kieni which is a bit drier and the farmer is required to have alternate irrigation methods unlike other areas.
During the last long-rain season the county government bought approximate 81,000 seedling for the farmers and are planning to buy more during the coming rainy season on April. The number of hectare covered by avocado has been increasing in Nyeri county.
2013- 213 Ha
2018 – 1106 Ha
Expected: 2019 – 1900 Ha
Nyeri County government is very strict when it comes to hass avocado seedlings. Suppliers have to have fulfilled all the requirements before supplying to them. In a matter of fact one must produce HCD and KEPHIS certification prior to being given supply tender.
Message from FPC Kenya CEO
Otepat okisegere, is the CEO of fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), a leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of fresh produce companies and their partners. He talked in length about the quality assurance and market access and about the regulation of the market. A key note, he spoke about his own concern about why the kenyan produce if fetching half value of what the global market is getting.
The market for hass avocado is closed until first march 2019 while that of fuerte goes up to 1st Feb. 2019. He noted that there is no need in demonizing brokers since they are part of value chain. Small scale farmers should have organized groups for them to be able to handle brokers in an organized way. According to him, the biggest challenge that we will have in three years is not the number of the fruits but the quality of hass avocado fruits. In his argument, this should be checked and regulation imposed especially on planting materials.
Young people have a key role to play in avocado farming; he said from nursery, planting, pruning, harvesting as well as various training to farmers youth have various opportunities they can tap.
He urged marketers and farmers when they enter into contract its obligation of both parties to adhere to the agreements.
The market requires quality consistency and variety. He also added that this year there will be a decline in production by 60% from last year.
Department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county
Mr Kanyi, representing department of chief officer agriculture Nyeri county welcomed the attendee with emphasis of carrying agriculture as a business. “Ensure there is quality, quantity as well as value addition’ said Mr. kanyi.
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)
Madam Lucy, representing Kephis Nyeri, Laikipia and Muranga emphasized on ensuring avocado fruits are mature when picked. She also emphasized on the need to carry out pest risk analysis for various farms to ensure our farms are safe. Even export of fresh fruits must be certified by KEPHIS and given a certificate for clearance. KEPHIS has enrolled in a program to train and nature youth on nursery management in various areas.
Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD)
Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD) represented by Mr. Amedeo emphasizing the remarks that there is need to motivate both marketers and farmers to adhere to the set rules and regulations for safety and sustainability of hass avocado business. He acknowledged the presence of an association of all certified nursery operators within Mt Kenya by the name Mt Kenya Nursery and Orchards Operators Association (NOOA) where he also serves as their patron
Some of the stakeholders available included during the workshop were:
Nyeri county department of Agriculture, TEHU (Tetu Huhoini) hass avocado group and Business Innovation Facility (BIF) organized and held an open day for Tetu sub county hass avocado farmers in Kigogini sub location, Tetu location at Mbao’s farm.
Present officers included Nyeri county agriculture Director Ms Mary Njine, agribusiness Nyeri representative Ms Editor, Mr Amedeo from AFA Nyeri, Others in agriculture department include Mr. Rukwaro Kagwaini (Host), Agnes from Aguthi-Gaaki Ward, Mr. Gatere from Wamagana ward, George Muraguri from Nyeri Central (Plants Clinic department), Mr. Mbao from Othaya Sub county etc.
Business Innovation Facilities (BIF) in patnership with Nyeri County want to assist Nyeri avocado farmers to market their fruits. BIF want to link farmers with marketers and at the same time ensuring farmers engage in best practices on avocado farming.
Planting and Management of Hass Avocados
Mr. Chege from BIF insisted on following the right procedures during planting and caring for the trees. He insisted that hygiene while transplanting should be adhered to. Hass avocado should be planted at a spacing of 5m by 5m to a max of 10m by 10m. However, after several years, thinning should be done so as to have at most 120 trees in an acre. Pruning should also be done and the best time to do so is immediately after harvest. “don’t wait for your trees to flower, you will be tempted not to prune” Mr. Chege Reiterated. He also advised Tetu farmers who were very eager to learn to ensure their trees don’t go above 15ft high. This according to him will ensure there is enough sunlight and easy while picking. In addition, a farmer should ensure there are no dry branches as this harbors diseases and other fungal infections.
Mr. Chege noted that trees are just like mothers,” strong mothers will give birth to strong babies, same as these trees”. Its therefore necessary to ensure manure is applied every season. Farmers were cautioned not to apply manure just at the base of the tree since there are no feeder roots there. A farmer should dig a trench around the tree root zone and apply at least three wheelbarrows per tree. The same method should be used in water application (If need be). In case a farmer doesn’t have enough manure, fertilizer can also be applied (not recommended for organic farming). The recommended fertilizer is NPK 17.17.17.
Marketing of Hass Avocado
Another speaker Mr. Denis from BIF cautioned farmers from harvesting their fruits before they are fully mature. He noted that we are favored by the market as our fruits mature differently from major distributors in South America. South American countries such as Mexico, Peru and Brazil produce avocados mainly between Jan and March while tropical areas such as Kenya produce from [may all the way to September.
Mr. Denis told farmers that hass avocado doesn’t have many enemies in terms of diseases. However, farmers were cautioned to ensure there is no weed or any other plants around the trees as the weed can harbor fungal diseases. Dry branches as had said by Mr. Chege also increases the chances of fungal growth. However, in the recent times hass avocados has had new enemies(insects) these insects eat soft leaves lowering the flowering process as well as production. Since most farmers are small scale farmers, it’s not economical to spray the trees and the best way to control such pests is to use fruit fly trap. If you have an acre under hass avocado, you only need 4 traps distributed evenly. The fruit fly according to Denis has a chemical that entices the male insects trapping them hence reducing their production and eventually a farmer has a clear farm free from pests.
Power of Unity
TEHU (Tetu Huhoini) a group of hass avocado farmers in Dedan Kimathi ward was formed with an intention of uniting farmers and removing the middlemen who over years have exploited the farmers. “So, what do you get as a farmer” Mr. Muthami the chairman of TEHU group asked the farmers. He noted that when small farmers join for a common goal and work together, they have a bargaining power and can’t be exploited. In addition, Mr. Muthami insisted that every exporter/investor wants volume. ” There is no investor who will come here for 5 fruits”. He also noted that there is job creation since young men from the region will get pruning and harvesting jobs. In his speech, Mr. Muthami noted that now the president has signed deals with many countries including china on exports such as Hass avocado. However, Muthami noted that, it’s not the president who will export, it’s the individuals who now have that goodwill from the government.
Mr. Muthami noted that, if you as a farmer think that you can go alone, well do so but note that the risks are high. When they were founding TEHU as a group, farmers in the region used to get Ksh 3-5 per fruit but since they formed the group, the prices have changed and this year they recorded prices at an average of Ksh 12 per hass fruit. “Don’t get satisfied, keep fighting for better” Mr. Muthami said. He noted that they will keep fighting and they hope they will get higher prices next year.
Mr. Muthami also noted that they already have more than 10,000 mature trees among their members and by 2020 their target is to have more than 30,000 trees.
Message From Nyeri County Government
Nyeri county was well represented by Mrs. Mary Njine, the Nyeri Director of Agriculture. She noted that although the county had previously embarked on supplying seedlings to farmers, some didn’t sprout while others dried up. According to her, its mainly because the farmers never followed the right procedures. She also said that going forward, the county can’t just supply seedlings because of the laws of acquisition which states that there must be public participation to ensure accountability. Local leadership, i.e., MCA’s, Mp’s and opinion leaders must also be involved and included in such processes.
Mrs. Njine urged farmers to harvest water this short rainy season. She noted that it rains everywhere but the difference will be between those who will harvest and those who will not. However, she cautioned farmers not to just dig trenches but have them inspected by agricultural officers.
Mrs. Njine also urged farmers to register with sub-county agricultural officers and get government subsidized fertilizers.
One Mrs. Ngambi ,a vocal opinion leader in Karaihu-Githakwa asked Mrs. Njane to ensure there is a processing plant in Nyeri County to ensure the farmers sell processed avocado as it would increase the prices and offer more jobs. Mrs. Njine while answering noted that is in pipeline but farmers should ensure they have quantity and volume since a factory process large quantities and can only be in place if it will have economic value.
Message From C.E.O OxfarmAg Ltd
OxfarmAg Ltd was among the exhibitors and stakeholders of the open day where Mr. Dickson Kahuro C.E.O OxfarmAg Ltd also Chairman of Mt Kenya Certified Nursery & Orchards Operators, had a chance of addressing farmers. He noted that there are selfish people and companies who over time now have been going round with false statements that seedling sellers are selling substandard seedlings. While he noted that it might be true, he urged farmers to ensure they buy their seedlings from certified nurseries such as Oxfarm, Aden Nursery, Forest Edge nursery, and Aberdare Technologies Ltd also who were present on the day.
The certifying bodies include, KEPHIS and HCD. Any farmer buying the seedlings should request for a certification from the seller. He also noted that with the current trends, the hass avocado market is growing tremendously and farmers should plant more and form marketing groups so as to have better bargaining powers. He also hailed the support from Nyeri county government, other bodies such as AFA, and the local leadership for continued support to farmers.
OxfarmAg Ltd is an agricultural company which aims at easing the work of a farmers for them to focus on production. The company has fruit tree nurseries and demo in Nyeri (Mkulima Wa Nyeri farm), in Nairobi (Ridgeways farm),Embu and many other nurseries across the country.
Agribusiness can provide jobs for young people and help Kenya achieve development goals. Progress in this arena, however, remains limited.
This future can be realized through making agriculture both profitable and “cool” for young people. If you are a young man living in rural areas you must have experienced several barriers, one of which is lack of information on current agricultural technologies and agri-business. To overcome this barrier, attend training programs that link you to climate-smart agricultural practices and profitable new agribusinesses.
Youth can be involved in a number of agricultural activities, including production, post-harvest handling, distribution and marketing of agricultural products. Removing barriers to start-up capital will allow young people to innovate and expand current agri-businesses. By so doing Kenya an the world in general can solve the issues of poverty and hunger.
The majority of Kenya’s smallholder farmers rely on traditional weather knowledge for agricultural activities. This knowledge, however, cannot keep pace with rapid weather changes affecting precipitation patterns and temperatures. Without access to accurate and accessible weather information, farmers, especially the youth, face declining agricultural productivity and increased hunger. As a smart agribusiness investor, start by accessing modern weather and climate data. Profitable agri-businesses under a changing climate can create decent and competitive employment opportunities for the youth.
Technology and the internet are probably the first things that come to mind when you think about the future of work for young people; not agriculture or farming. This makes historic sense, as agriculture sheds labor when countries develop. And the traditional ways of producing food do not look particularly cool. Yet, technology and the internet are also opening up opportunities for agriculture, and urbanization and changing diets are calling for new ways to process, market and consume our foods.
While the majority of youth expresses to see its future outside agriculture, many good job opportunities on and off the farm remain in agriculture. The challenge is to make the agricultural sector and its up and downstream activities competitive through innovation, public investment in supportive rural public goods and services, and secondary town development to make them sufficiently attractive to young and older farmers alike. This remains a largely unfinished agenda, one which is equally important to reach the twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
Kenya’s youth need new climate-smart agricultural technologies (high yielding and more resilient food crops, irrigation and machinery). The youth also need energy, communication and transport infrastructure that links them to lucrative regional and global food markets. Finally, the youth need gender responsive policies that will enable women and girls to access climate services, credit, agricultural inputs and equipment and insurance.
Are a you a youth in Kenya and would like to venture in Fish farming? Great! Now could be a great time for you to enter the aquaculture industry, it is a profitable business. Fish have high market value and demand in Kenya, as well as a promising future as a source of income around the world.
A suitable location
First, you need to consider your location. It’s important to determine whether you are in a suitable area for fish farming and are in compliance with your state and local laws.
Take space into consideration. You will need space for your office, storage of inventory, your staff and a place to store your equipment.
If you feel that the location where you live is suitable or you could acquire suitable land for farming nearby, that’s great. You’ve checked the first criteria off your list!
knowledge from Experts
Once you have found a suitable location for your business, you need to start soaking up as much knowledge about fish farming as you can before you actually start investing money in your business.
For learning about fish farming, you may visit several fish farms in your area or find online resources. There are several websites that can help you gather more knowledge about aquaculture. Go through some of the fish farming sites and learn about the pros and cons of the fish farming business.
Consider a Business Plan
Before starting any business, you need to have a business strategy outlined. Your business plan should contain all necessary information about the structure of your company, your expenses, expected investment and anticipated return on your investment.
Take some time to consider all the possible expenses and be sure to include everything you’ll need to start your business in your plan.
Determine what you will need; how many staff, what equipment and supplies, your overheads, funds and assets. You will need your business plan to register your company as a corporation or proprietorship. It will also help you to attract investors and partners, apply for bank loans and government grants, as well as create a solid plan for you to follow as closely as you can.
It might be a good idea to consult a business consultant or attorney to help you with your necessary permits and paperwork. These experts will make it easier for you to form a company and comply with all the legal requirements.
How to get funding
If you want to start a small scale or midsized business, you must have some funds saved up as your startup capital. If you don’t have enough experience in the industry, you should consider starting small and asking one of your friends with a little more experience to become your partner.
There are many benefits of a partnership business. You can gather funds much quicker that way. You also share liabilities. If you don’t have enough money, you may apply for a business loan. Even if you don’t have good credit or if you don’t qualify for a traditional business loan, there are other ways to gather funds for your business.
Here are some alternate ways you could get funding:
Borrow against your property: If you have property or valuables, you could borrow money against them. “Some banks offer home equity lines of credit that let you borrow up to as much as 75% of the appraised value of your land.
Sell your valuables: Look around and see if you have any belongings that you could sell to get some startup cash, like your old car, your old computer or furniture that you don’t need.
Ask your friends and relatives: You might have a rich friend or a relative, like a rich uncle, who wouldn’t mind investing in your business or lending you the money to get started.
Look for microloans: Microloans are available through a variety of sources. They could be through community sources, personal loans or through online sources. The terms of microloans, interests rates and eligibility varies from lender to lender.
Government Funding: See if you can qualify for a small business loan from the government; you have a variety of options.
Your marketing success will largely depend on how active you are in informing others about your new venture. Your connections with local businesses will be the most effective marketing tool for you at the beginning.
There are many ways to advertise your farm with very little cost.
You can use the internet, social media platforms and other forms of media such as the newspaper, your local radio station, your city papers, bulletin boards and handmade signs and flyers to get customers to visit your farm.
You can also use your farm as a storefront. If you are on a busy road, add some signage telling passers-by about your fish and encourage them to stop and buy some. We hope this article will help you to gather all the resources you need to start your own business in aquaculture. Now there is nothing that’s stopping you from becoming a business owner.
Farming in Kenya is picking up in a high speed and the youths haven’t been left out. If you are thinking of the best ways to make money through venturing in agricultural business, we have researched for you some of the best ideas.
To start with, some of these ventures don’t require much capital and the outcome results are somehow average.
Commercial fish farming business is a lucrative investment that can spin money at any time of the year continuously. With the implementation of modern techniques and having owned space, an entrepreneur can start this business with moderate capital investment.
Having a sufficient landholding an entrepreneur can start a piggery business. Among the various livestock species, piggery is most potential source for meat production and pigs are more efficient feed converters after the broiler. The major facility is pig farming requires a small investment in buildings and equipment.
Spinach, lettuce, pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage, and cucumber et al, are all vegetables that are consumed in every part of the globe and can also be cultivated in every part of the world. This goes to show that there is a very large market for vegetables. So, if you are looking towards starting an agricultural crop cultivation business, then one of your options is to go into vegetable farming.
Mushroom farming is one of the most profitable agricultural business ideas for young entrepreneurs, which has a turnaround period of only three weeks. Yes, you heard that right! And, it has huge profit potential with demand for good quality and organic mushrooms being high among restaurant owners as well as households.
Poultry equipment manufacturing
These are usually skilled artisans who construct various equipment needed on the poultry farm – welders, carpenters, electricians etc. You can learn the various specifications needed for the poultry equipment and you are in business.
Chicken and egg distribution business
This basically involves bridging the gap between poultry farmers and the consumer market. It is very lucrative and requires relatively little money to start-up. You can focus only on chicken, eggs or both. You meet poultry farmers, buy their stock and resell them in the market to wholesalers and retailers. It does not need any special skills, only your marketing abilities and a working vehicle.
Fertilizer Distribution Business
If you like the idea of making a profit by helping people work with the soil, you might enjoy being a part of the fertilizer industry by starting fertilizer distribution business. Entrepreneurs can initiate fertilizer distribution business with a proper selection of products from any location. Find suppliers willing to do business at a suitable price in your area. Obtain quality products at a reasonable price from a reliable source. You can go for import also in the case of bulk purchase. In fertilizer distribution business, the source you choose will depend on your start-up budget.
Soil Testing is agronomically sound, beneficial and environmentally responsive tool used for monitoring the nutrient as well as making precise fertilizer recommendations for various crops and cropping sequences ensuring no damage to the environment. Establishing a soil testing lab is one of an ideal agriculture business ideas in Kenya.
Fodder Farming for Goats and Cows
Fodder is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as chickens, horses, pigs, cattle and goats. The term refers to food given to animals, rather than the food they forage for themselves.
You could also offer a whole tourist experience at your farm where people can come visit and maybe even stay as part of a bed and breakfast type of experience.
In the long run, the key to success in an Agri-business is being a low-cost producer. The following are the main pointers for success in turbulent times:
Oversee working danger
Keep money expenses and land leases in accordance with incomes.
Recognize proceeded with slenderer net revenues and edge chance.
Take favorable position of forward estimating and harvest protection to oversee hazard.
Oversee cash and capital
Protect your working capital. Expand your terms for things bought on 10-and 20-year terms. “Right now, is an ideal opportunity to renegotiate that land on a 20-year contract,”.
Lock in the present moderately low financing costs on capital costs.
Do less things better. Distinguish territories that lose cash.
Use standard working strategies (SOPs). “Each assembling plant utilizes SOPs, and you are a biologic maker,”
Optimize data administration.
Simplify tasks and computerize where conceivable.
Pay attention to details.
Increase asset utilization (asset turnover)
Observe 24-hour-per-day administrators. Trucking, numerous processing plants and the aircraft business do this to build returns on resources. For instance, utilize autosteer.
Lease instead of purchase. Here and now working leases increment resource turnover.
Use joint wander and shared apparatus to strengthen creation.
Think as far as “gains and turns,” the key budgetary measurements known by each apparatus merchant and handyman shop proprietor. Expressed in an unexpected way, they are working overall revenues on deals and resource turnover.
Outsource or custom farm. “You as of now outsource your duties and lawful work,”. “Perceive where you catch an incentive by enlisting things done.”
Kenya is a farm lover’s dream: abundant uncultivated arable land, tropical climates that permit long growing seasons; a young labor force; and an expanding population that provides a readily available market for produce consumption.
Yet, Kenya is yet to harness these opportunities to ensure sustainable food security and food production. The average age of farmers is about 60 years—in a country where 60% of the population is under 35 years of age. Farmers are also less educated, with younger, more educated Kenyans are leaving rural areas, where farms are located, and moving to cities.
Some of these youngsters are also discouraged by the difficulties of accessing funds or land, the reliance on manual technology in smallholder agriculture, all compounded by the low and volatile profits.
But to remedy these issues, a new report suggests government should change their outlook on agriculture from a subsistence, daily activity into a commercial enterprise. The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) says focusing on the entire value chain of the process—land tenure, farming technology, markets, and pricing—would help transform food systems around the continent. Positioning farming “as a business and entrepreneurial endeavor” would also help draw younger people into the practice, and make them see it as less of a “cool” idea and more as a “career option.”
Agribusiness is one of the few sectors that can create the quantum of jobs needed for Africa’s youth.
This marked transformation could be instituted by boosting productivity within the farms and bolstering the link between the farms and other economic segments. For instance, strengthening land tenure privileges ensures the rights of women and minorities and increases the formality of property rights.
Technology and mobile phones should also be increasingly adopted as a way to not only to reach farmers, but also as a mechanism for data collection and analysis on soil conditions, fertilizer application, and climate change. Mechanization should also be expanded in order to ease the back-breaking manual labor and increase yields.
And just like in the modern workplace, the report notes that women should be put on an equal footing with men in order to drive agricultural transformation in Kenya. In Kenya, we still have laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance, which still put a barrier against women land ownership—and hinder them from using their plots as collateral for loans.
Oxfarm Organic Ltd deals with tree fruits. For more information visit our offices and we will help you start that orchard you have been longing for. Book Now!
Kenya has a vast abundance of land, resources, and climate variations that allows it to produce different varieties of food and cash crops in its agricultural sector. This industry goes on to employ up to 70% of the Kenyan workforce, while contributing about 80% of the country’s GDP.
In the light of the economic output agriculture contributes to the economies of various African nations, the widespread demand and consumption of fruit and vegetable products in fast growing urban and rural areas has made fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya or Africa a lucrative agribusiness to venture into.
This opportunity is driving knowledgeable farmers living in Kenya to take advantage of the fast-growing market by either expanding their fruit and vegetable farms or to setup fruit and vegetable farms as one of their agribusiness subsidiaries.
What Is Fruit Farming About?
Fruit and vegetable farming is the cultivation of fruits and vegetables for human consumption. They can be grown by planting them in hanging baskets and window boxes or sown into dry or moist ground, and are widely consumed in many places around the world.
Facts and Benefits of Fruit Farming
Fruits and vegetables are one the world’s most popular source of food.
China is the world’s largest producer of vegetable crops.
fruits and vegetable farming is a great source of employment.
Some fruits like tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid Lycopene. This means that eating them can lower your risk of cancer.
A large amount of the nutrients in potatoes are just below the skin layer.
Most vegetables don’t have to be stored in a fridge, but should be kept dark and dry.
The Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and beta-carotene.
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious no matter their variant.
Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber.
Some fruits and vegetables contain toxins.
Apples give an average human more energy than coffee.
Tomatoes are botanically fruits because they have seeds.
The skins of most fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious, and so, are better than the actual fruit.
Orange peels are healthy because they contain a lot of fiber.
Business Opportunities in Fruit and Vegetable Farming
1). A Great Source of Food:
Fruits and vegetables have been feeding both humans and animals as far back as history has recorded. They’re highly nutritious and can serve as emergency meals in situations where cooking certain meals may take a long time to complete.
Some commonly consumed fruits include:
2). Consumer Goods:
Asides just serving as a great source of food, fruits and vegetables are also used in the production of consumer goods like hair dye, olive oil, jam, foot rub, and metal polish.
Setting Up Your Fruit and Vegetable Farming Business
1). Select the Fruit And/or Vegetable Crop You Intend to Cultivate:
The first step in starting a fruit and vegetable farming business is to decide what type of fruits or vegetables you intend to grow. As earlier stated, there are vast numbers of fruits and vegetables to choose from, and picking the right one or set is critical to growing a successful fruit and vegetable farm.
Some questions to ask yourself in your decision-making process are:
How resistant is this crop to pests and diseases?
Is there a large demand for this crop?
What are the risks of growing this crop?
Where and how will the fruits and vegetables be sold?
What volume of this crop should I first produce?
When you’ve answered the questions to the best of your knowledge and are satisfied with the preliminary results your fruit or vegetable crop of choice may fetch you, you can go ahead to start a fruit or vegetable farming business in that regard.
2). Choose A Suitable Farmland:
Depending on the type of fruit and/or vegetable crop you’ve decided to plant, you should choose a farmland that’d work perfectly for it. Some factors to consider in choosing a farmland include:
Access to sunlight
Availability of water
Every fruit and/or vegetable crop has the best type of soil or conditions in which it can grow, and your second job as a farmer is to choose the best farmland that’s suitable for the fruits and vegetables you’ve decided to grow.
3). Apply Manure and Start Planting:
Mix a soilless mix and a balanced manure that contains equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with the soil. Soilless mixes are sterile and will help rid the soil of weed and diseases, and provide great drainage for the vegetables.
Next, separate each vegetable per container and plant the seeds at the correct depth. Also ensure there’s enough spacing between the plants.
Water the plants carefully, at least once a day to keep the soil moist, and re-fertilize the soil when the plants begin to grow.
5). Harvest & Market:
After a couple of months, depending on which type of fruit and vegetable farming business you ventured into, the next step is to harvest your crops, keep them in optimal storage locations, and sell them through your supply chain network.
Challenges of Fruit and Vegetable Farming
Some of the challenges of fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya and many parts of Africa include:
1). Lack of experience
2). Land tenure insecurity
3). Low and unstable investment in agricultural research
4). Financial Constraints:
High interest rates.
Inaccessible credit due to tough conditions.
Expensive for manually irrigated and controlled environment.
5). Storage Constraints:
Poor storage methods.
Lack of post-harvesting preservation skills.
6). Farm Inputs Constraints:
High prices of farm inputs.
Choice of variety to use.
7). Infrastructural Constraints:
Poor market facilities.
8). Marketing Constraints:
Presence of middlemen.
Fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya or Africa, is one agricultural sector with a lot of highly profitable sub-sectors. Whether you choose to focus on growing a fruit or vegetable, there’s an abundant market for the products, both locally in the country and for exportation to many parts of the world.