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The first Nyeri county workshop on hass avocado farming

hass avocado fruit

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
  • 2017- 277Ha
  • 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:

  • Jungle nut
  • Clofts Limited
  • Keitt Complex
  • Bayer
  • Equity Group
  • Acre Africa
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Hass Avocado Farming Training (Open Day) in Tetu Sub county Nyeri

Hass avocado training

HOST – AVOCADO TRAINING

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.

Manure Application

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.

Read Also: Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

Pests and Diseases

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.

 

(Contact Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm on 0706222888)

 

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

 

Photos of the Day

 

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How to Be Smart in The World of Agribusiness

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.

Read Alos: 10 Biggest Agricultural Venture That Guarantee More Money in Your Pocket

The future of jobs in agriculture

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.

Read Also: 5 Things to Consider When Thinking of Starting a Fish Production

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.

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5 Things to Consider When Thinking of Starting a Fish Production

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.

Read Also: how to grow peaches and nectrines

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.

Read Also: 11 Ways to Succeed In Agri-Business Even After Failing Several Times In The Past

Consider marketing your Product

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.

Read Also: The role of an Agronomist

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10 Biggest Agricultural Venture That Guarantee More Money in Your Pocket

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.

  1. Fish Farming

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.

  1. Piggery

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.

  1. Vegetable Farming

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.

  1. Mushroom 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Also Read: Different Types Of Poultry Farming And Their Products

  1. Soil Testing Lab

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Agrotourism

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.

Also read: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

These are just but a few, if you are really interested in agricultural business, there are several others that you can start. Start today and you will never regret.

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11 Ways to Succeed In Agri-Business Even After Failing Several Times In The Past

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.

 Accentuate execution

  • 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.”
  • Read Also: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

Increase margins

    • Control costs. You need to gauge before you can oversee.
    • Buy right.
    • Use best administration practices and innovation.
    • Market as opposed to cost.

Use time efficiently

    • Focus on administration.
    • Hire gifted representatives.
    • Use booking and work process organizers.
    • Develop standard working strategies.

Grow volume and sales

    • Increase efficiency.
    • Generate more volume with less venture.
    • Joint venture for size and volume to gain market access.

Focus on a strategy

    • Practice operational magnificence.
    • Develop client closeness.
    • Focus on item and process advancement.

Create value for your customer

  • Understand your customer and what you can do to create value for him or her.
  • Differentiate on service, such as quality, storage and just-in-time delivery.

Get smart

    • Use consultants.
    • Network with successful farm and non‐farm business managers.
    • Develop management skills

Adopt the thought process of a CEO

    • Manage individuals, cash, connections and procedures.
    • Think all the more deliberately; agriculturists are great operationally.

Contact us for more details!

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The Future of Kenya In Farming Is Not Agriculture But Agribusiness

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.

Related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Use of Technology

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!

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How To Start A Lucrative Fruit and Vegetable Farming Business In Kenya

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.

  1. China is the world’s largest producer of vegetable crops.
  2. fruits and vegetable farming is a great source of employment.
  3. Some fruits like tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid Lycopene. This means that eating them can lower your risk of cancer.
  4. A large amount of the nutrients in potatoes are just below the skin layer.
  5. Most vegetables don’t have to be stored in a fridge, but should be kept dark and dry.
  6. 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.
  7. Fruits and vegetables are nutritious no matter their variant.
  8. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber.
  9. Some fruits and vegetables contain toxins.
  10. Apples give an average human more energy than coffee.
  11. Tomatoes are botanically fruits because they have seeds.
  12. The skins of most fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious, and so, are better than the actual fruit.
  13. 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:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Mangoes
  • Strawberries
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Water Melons
  • Paw Paws

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
  • Topography
  • Demographic
  • Availability of water
  • Soil type

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.

4). Irrigate

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.
  • Theft.

6). Farm Inputs Constraints:

  • High prices of farm inputs.
  • Choice of variety to use.

7). Infrastructural Constraints:

  • Inaccessible roads.
  • Poor market facilities.

8). Marketing Constraints:

  • Price fluctuation.
  • Presence of middlemen.
  • Competition.

 

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.

Book your seedlings today.

 

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Why you Should Consider Farming as a career

Farming is a Career

Most Kenyan youths don’t think farming as a career choice. When I was growing up, I was told I could be anything I wanted: An astronaut, a doctor, a lawyer, or even a law-practicing doctor on the moon. But no one ever mentioned becoming a farmer.

But why? Why is this profession sidelined? It’s a job, after all. It’s a way to make a living. Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit might be interested; anyone who loves animals might want to check out farming; anyone who loves being outside would probably want to be a farmer.

I just want to put it out there: If you want to become a farmer, you can. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you have high school or college aged children who “don’t know what they want to be when they grow up,” consider suggesting that they investigate becoming a farmer. It’s no different than considering being a doctor, an astronaut, a banker, a teacher, a writer, a model, or a retail store manager.

If no one has suggested that you consider farming as a career, then let me be the first.

Today’s teenagers, my contemporaries (the folks in their 20s), and people in their 30s and 40s should really think about it.

Related Content: The role of an Agronomist

But I Don’t Know Anything About Farming!

AgribusinessThat’s okay! You didn’t know how to read until someone taught you, right? And you didn’t know how to drive until you learned.

I almost hate to say this, because it does sort of take some of the romanticism out of farming, but there really are no skills associated with farming that the average person can’t learn and even master. Even if you’re not very mechanically inclined, it’s all just nuts and bolts. Even if you’ve never grown anything, it’s just about supplying the plants with what they need to grow properly, and paying attention to them, and learning when it’s time to harvest. Working with livestock animals is no different. What does someone who has never owned a dog do when they decide to get a dog? Research! Books! The internet! Maybe they even go take a class at their local pet store or community college about how to take care of a dog.

My suggestion to anyone interested in learning how to farm would be to try to find a small family-farm where you can volunteer, or even take an internship. Look at it like going to college. Go to farmer’s markets and meet people who are already farming. Talk to them – they would probably love to talk to you. I literally have yet to meet anyone who operates a farm and doesn’t want to talk about it and share what they do. Come to us we will talk to you.

Small-scale farming may be the one business where the more people there are doing it, the better off everyone in the business will be. My point is that the information is all out there, and if you’re motivated you can get it. You do not need to be the son or daughter, or even grandchild of a farmer to become one yourself.

But Farming Is Hard Work!

This is true. But so is sitting at a computer all day, or running after toddlers in the daycare that you manage, or being an important (but very stressed out) financial analyst for a big company. In general, work is hard. That’s why we call it work. It doesn’t really matter what kind of work it is.

The benefits of working in farming versus working in, say, an office, are so numerous that I should probably just write another article on the topic. But to name a few, here goes:

  • Exercise! Stop paying for that gym membership and buying workout videos. As a farmer, you’ll get plenty of exercise and you’ll naturally get into and stay in shape.
  • Sunshine! Forget the tanning booth and get a “farmer’s tan!” Okay, maybe that’s not so glamorous, but being out in the sun gets you some Vitamin D, and it’s good for the spirit, too.
  • Eat better! Vegetables are much more fun to eat when you’ve grown them yourself. Raise your own beef, pork, chicken, lamb or some other kind of meat, and you will get to decide what the animal will eat and what kind of life it will have before it goes to the butcher. It’s trite, but it’s true: You are what you eat.
  • Live in the seasons! You should get to experience more than one season through the year, and if you work in a “climate controlled” environment I think you’ll appreciate what I’m saying. Life is fuller when you get to be too hot and sweaty, when you get to be cold, when you get to watch the subtle change in green from summer to autumn, when you become aware of the approaching spring because the air quality changes, when you can “smell” winter coming. The natural world is so much more complex than I think we will ever understand, much less appreciate.

But Success Isn’t Guaranteed in Farming!

Nothing is certain. And bad things can happen to any business; small farms are certainly not excluded from this rule.

If the uncertainty of success in a small farming business venture is what really turns you off, then I would encourage you to consider some other profession.

Let’s take banking, for instance. You might get a job with a well-known, successful bank. You might move up the ranks and end up with a job making $170,000 per year. You might work for this bank until you’re 40 or 50.

And this bank might fail. It might merge with another bank and lay you off. The Powers That Be might decide that your position is no longer essential to business functions.

There is no guarantee of success in any career. At least if you’re a farmer, you will have a more direct effect on the chances for success. And if something goes horribly wrong, you will be the one to decide how to react to it.

If the storm comes and you can weather it, you can succeed. There’s no gain without risk, no winning without trying, and no success without some failure intermixed.

Related content: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

Independence and Self-Reliance

If I’m not mistaken everyone has this “dream” that has to do with becoming an independent, self-reliant person; someone who takes care of themselves and their own. Maybe that way of thinking doesn’t even apply anymore, but I think there is real value in choosing a profession that will allow you to eventually become an independent person.

The way I see it, I have two options in terms of careers (and so does everyone else):

  1. I can work for someone else, doing something that they have deemed to be important to the function of their business (the government included), and in exchange for my work they will pay me money that I can live off of.
  2. I can start my own business and work for myself, doing something that I’m interested in, and I will earn money that I will allocate to myself, and I will reinvest my earnings in the business

There’s risk involved either way.

It appears to me that life is fraught with uncertainty, and maybe I’m a bit of a control-freak but I’d rather be as independent as possible than rely on someone else to make sure that I can put food on my table and a roof over my head.

I don’t think there’s a profession out there that allows for more independence than farming. First, you produce your own food, then you produce excess food, and you sell that food to others.

It’s the profession I’m headed for, anyway. Thanks for reading this article – truth is, I wrote it for myself as much as for anyone else

To start with, consider fruit farming. Contact us today for booking.

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Agribusiness between Kenya and Israel

In agriculture, Agribusiness is that the business of agricultural production. It includes crop production (farming and agreement farming), seed offer, agrichemicals, farm machinery, distribution, processing, marketing, and retail sales. Agribusiness is that the sleeping big that would rework Kenyan rural economy and build jobs for the youths within the agricultural service industries.

According to Dr Wagura (2013), a Senior Lecturer at Strathmore University college of Business, agriculture in Israel is an extremely established trade. Israel could be a major exporter of garden-fresh turn out and a world-leader in agricultural technologies even though the geography of Israel isn’t so advantageous to agriculture. Over half the land is desert, and therefore the climate and lack of water resources don’t favor farming, even so it’s place its land to use through modern high-tech farming, agro-tourism attraction and variety of a lot of elastic activities. Several surprise however Arid and Semi- arid land provides sustenance to its inhabitants among them thriving agricultural communities. Extension services play a key role wherever limitations are reborn into assets of these days.

Israel is homespun to 2 unreproducible kinds of agricultural communities, kibbutz and moshav. The kibbutz, a collective community during which the suggests that of production are communally in hand and financial gain is equally distributed and therefore the moshav, a co-operative village wherever every family maintains its own family and works its own land, whereas buying and selling are conducted hand and glove.

Kenya will learn from this cooperative manner of farming by having our small-scale farmers into farmers teams and revive the marketing cooperatives. This needs an amendment in farmers’ price system that, operating as a team provide results in higher returns in agricultural settings within the long run.

Another key advantage of having farmers in teams is that the plan of coordinated farm management. This implies the cluster will enter into contracts with potential patrons for his or her turn out, then they provide their turn out throughout the year. This may guarantee higher costs, stable financial gain and reduction of rural poorness. Additionally, the perennial headache of brokers United Nations agency takes advantage of poor farmers are a factor of the past.

There could be a pressing need for farmer to note that farming is a business that requires correct designing, study of the provision chain and answer key queries on the way to increase their yields and come back. The thought of understanding the market before moving into the sector to supply ought to be emphasized since it’s simple to supply than to form cash within the Kenyan farming system that has nice potential within the native market (40millions stomachs to feed) and export market that demands prime quality.

Agro-tourism enterprise

The distinctive facet of Israel’s agricultural sector is the adaptation of Agro-Tourism. They have interaction within the following: Olive pageant, Wine routes, Cheese Production, Desert agriculture and Dead Sea-Agricultural Oasis.

Agro tourism enterprise is basically where agriculture and agribusiness enterprise interconnect, as farms invite the public onto their lands to expertise the out of town, the leisure stride, and therefore the healthy yield that’s solely thinkable once it’s recent picked at the crowning of perfection. Kenya has wealthy types of the crops fully grown in various regions that the bulk of tourists would be willing to expertise, testing and having nice stories to tell their families and friends once they return to their countries. This is often a really great way of the agricultural farmers creating extra money that must be explored through their cooperative or farmers teams.

Key for achievement

The Israel farming miracle has been achieved by the shut collaboration among the analysis (Academic), farmer and extension (government). The ministry of agriculture plays a key role in guaranteeing economical extension services with formidable targets that alter the sharing of information between the farmer, researchers and extremely qualified extension officers. Extension officers helps farmers overcome any issue by helping farmers to become conscious of the technologies below analysis, involve them throughout the varieties development. Since the farmer is concerned within the new technology development, they build trust on the result of the technology and this allows speedy adoption by the farmers. Extension services in Kenya remains a key challenge in identification, development and dissemination of agricultural technologies.

The Fundamental realization that would alter Kenya to not solely use agriculture for farming functions however conjointly for commercial enterprise is to alter shut cooperation and interaction between farmers, Research, extension and technology.

Here we look at what our country has that would be of nice prominence. One in all our options is that the North Kenya province. Even if the Kenyan government and improvement partners in this province are sponsoring farming education to cut back food-aid dependency and promote self-direction through agriculture it may conjointly embrace the tourism trade.

At Oxfarm we are very delighted to inform you more about agribusiness and more specifically about fruit farming. Kindly visit our offices.