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Interested in the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

Orange fruit farming

Kenyan’s potential in fruit production is rather untapped when compared to South American and Asian countries that dominate the export market. It is high time that Kenyans start to look out for ways of exploiting the demand that is growing and the lucrative market for tropical fruits both domestically and internationally.

How huge is the potential for the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.

Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!

Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.

This post explores the tropical fruit business and looks at a couple of successful entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the potentials of the fruit production business in Kenya. In our earlier posts, we have also included very detailed manuals that reveal all the technical details of starting and succeeding in fruit farming.

Why Is The Market Potential For Tropical Fruit farming Huge For Kenya?

Our research has identified three strong reasons why Kenya’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright. Here they are:-

·         Kenya Has A Strong Geographic Advantage

More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.

A very large portion of Africa is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.

As a result, Kenya and Africa at large remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.

Despite our continent’s huge potential for fruit farming business, a lot of fruits grown in Kenyan are consumed locally.

Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.

However, there are signs of positive change as some entrepreneurs are already making the best of this bad situation.

Profitable poultry farming and production in Kenya

·         A Growing Demand For Healthier And Organic Foods

Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.

Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.

The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Kenya. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.

According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for Kenyan tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.

Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

·         A Rapidly Growing Fruit Juice Industry

Recently, Prof Kibwana the Makueni County governor launched a mango processing plant which is meant to buy mangoes from residents of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni to process juice. These are some of the changes that we are talking about. Value addition is taking shape in Kenya and in the near future Kenya will be producing finished products. Another company in Mweiga Nyeri County is producing juice from tree tomato fruits. Tamarillo farm in Nyeri is now processing tree tomato fruits to produce chillie source, jams, and juice.

This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.

This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice making fruit farming business lucrative.

As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Kenya will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the country. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Kenya to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.

If you are confident that the fruit business will work for you, it’s important that you start taking action as soon as possible. Oxfarm is here to help you by providing certified seedlings as well as required information that can help you grow.

 

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Is Agribusiness the way to go in Kenya?

When most people think of agriculture in Kenya, images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm readily come to mind. Many, especially young Kenyans, still think that agribusiness is a poor man’s occupation. Nowadays everybody wants a white-collar office job in the Nairobi. Agribusiness is hardly on anyone’s mind. Here is Oxfarm’s insight on this story!

Did you know that Kenya sits on an agribusiness goldmine but most people just don’t see it? If you’re one of the blind, allow Oxfarm Ag to open your eyes with a few exciting facts you need to know about agribusiness in Kenya and Africa in large.

Did you know that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, recently invested $1 billion in rice production? Every year, Africa spends billions of dollars on rice imports, and Dangote surely wants a juicy slice of the market. Didi you know that President Uhuru and his Deputy are also farmers?

Did you know that since 2009, investors in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of Kenyan land for agricultural purposes? Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign interests for Kenyan land.

Did you know that Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness was around $20 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? Agriculture is taking a huge leap in Kenya and investors want a piece of the action too.

Did you know that Kenya’s agribusiness industry will be worth Ksh 1 trillion by 2030! That’s huge! If this projection by the UN comes true, agribusiness will become the ‘new oil’ in Kenya!

In the light of all these facts, how come the rich and wealthy folks are investing in Kenya’s agribusiness industry while the majority of Kenyans are largely ignorant about the amazing potentials of agriculture on the country?

Below are five reasons why agriculture is the biggest business opportunity right now in Kenya. We will tell you why many of the world’s top business people are investing in agribusiness.

Best Agribusiness For the Youth to Engage in Kenya

Kenya Has Abundant And Cheap Agricultural Land

According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly 50 percent of the world’s fertile, usable and uncultivated agricultural land. The size: over 200 million hectares! This is why the continent is now widely considered to be the future breadbasket of the world. It is this huge abundance of land resources that gives Kenya the strategic potential to grow crops!

Most of Kenya’s agricultural land lies in the tropical belt, which receives a favorable amount of rainfall and sunlight all year round. As a direct consequence, more than 80 percent of food crops consumed across the world can be produced here.

Interestingly, a large proportion of Kenya’s agricultural land is located in the rural areas. That’s why they’re often cheap to buy or lease. On the average, one hectare of land (10,000sqm) can be leased for as low as Ksh10, 000 per year (depending on the location). This makes it one of the best land bargains you can find anywhere in the world!

Existence of Ready Market

Agribusiness is one of the best business opportunities in the world because food never goes out of fashion. People must eat food everyday!

Currently, Kenya’s population is just over 45 million people. At its current growth rate, the country’s population is expected to reach 70 million by 2050. Now and in the future, Kenya will always have a lot of mouths to feed.

Kenya currently spends billions of dollars every year to import maize, sugar, rice,  and all kinds of finished and semi-finished foods which it can produce locally. There is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs who can provide cheaper and locally-grown alternatives to the food that Kenya imports.

It’s not just the food industry that depends on agribusiness. Several other industries, especially the manufacturing and processing industries, depend on agribusiness for a wide range of raw materials. As Kenya’s economies continue to grow, the demand for raw materials will surely increase and create more interesting opportunities for agribusiness on the continent.

Technology Change and Improved Varieties

Agribusiness in Kenya has suffered through the years because of its poor yields and crude farm practices. Most of the crops cultivated on the country produce very little and are often very prone to pests, diseases and drought. As a result, most Kenyan farmers used to work very hard but have very little to show for all their hard work during harvest time.

However, due to advances in crop/animal science and technology, it is now possible to harvest more food per hectare than ever before in Kenya’s history. There are now improved crop and animal varieties that mature earlier, require less resources, and are less susceptible to pest attacks, diseases and drought. Across Kenya, these improved varieties are increasing yields by as much as 400 percent!

There are now improved and locally-adapted varieties of maize, cassava, millet, rice, sorghum, beans, sweet potato, cowpea, hass avocado, banana, and wheat.

There are also several local and international organization that are focused on supporting Kenyan farmers with improved seedlings and support.

Agribusiness Is Very  Easy to Start

Whether you own one plot of land or 10,000 hectares, agribusiness is one of few business opportunities that allow you to start on any scale, with whatever you have!

Entrepreneurs like Dickson Kahuro started his agribusiness in 2014 in his backyard with just few tree tomato trees. Today, he owns Oxfarm and is a major supplier of hass avocado  and other seedlings.

The opportunity to start small means that people with little capital can become part of Kenya’s multi-billion dollar agribusiness industry. Because of the guaranteed demand for agricultural produce, that small vegetable or poultry farm in your backyard could just become a huge business tomorrow.

Every evidence shows that you don’t have to be a wealthy investor with millions of dollars in the bank or a highly-educated person in order to start a business in agriculture in Kenya. You can start where you are and use what you have, and grow from there. You can start your agribusiness journey in your home backyard or do it on a part-time basis with your day job. It’s very flexible that way!

Here Are The Things To Consider When Establishing Drip Irrigation In Your Farm

Agribusiness Is A Huge Job Creator

Agribusiness is one of the most effective ways to create jobs and empower millions of Kenyans. At present, up to 60% of the labour force in Kenya is employed in the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness remains a top employer of labour in many Kenyan countries.

The value chain in the agribusiness industry, from food production, processing and marketing provide huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

So, if you’re looking to start a business or invest in an industry that makes a significant social impact, provides jobs and creates sustainable wealth, agribusiness is surely the way to go!

Interested in Kenyan Agribusiness?

If you’re excited about the potentials of agribusiness in Kenya and would like to explore it much further, we have just the right resource for you! Just head over to our website and you will learn about several ideas, opportunities and success stories that will surely amaze you.

Kenya is changing. You ought to have this big dream that’s finally changing the world.

 

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How Mono-culture Hurts The Soil And Why We Should Diversify

Mono-culture

Permaculture (the development of agricultural ecosystems meant to be property and self-sufficient) agriculture promotes diversity. It seeks to maximize the amount of productive species of plant among a plot, not solely to supply the farmer  a various and spirited range of crops to harvested for the kitchen, however conjointly,  the eco-system is itself  powerful, with totally different plants playing different functions so all will thrive. Permaculture seeks to avoid any factor – be it a species of insect, a ground cowl plant or associate extreme weather event – turning into too important on a site, to the loss of the other valuable elements of the eco-system. Mono-culture on the other hand is growth of just one crop over and over again.

In contrast, much modern agricultural production is based on the opposite premise – cultivating monocultures. Think of vast fields of wheat or barley, plantations of a single species of fruit tree, or furrowed fields of a single vegetable crop. Modern commercial agriculture often seeks to increase yield – and so profits – by cultivating a single type of plant. The theory is that the farmer need only provide for the needs of a single species, with its individual characteristics, in order to grow a successful crop. And the economy of scale allowed by cultivating a single crop (by, for instance, requiring a single automated harvesting method) boosts profits for the farmer.

Contrary, a lot of current agricultural production is based on the alternative premise – cultivating monocultures. Consider big lands of wheat or barley, plantations of one species of flowering tree, or furrowed  fields of maize. Modern industrial agriculture usually seeks to extend yield – and then profits – by cultivating one kind of plant. The idea is that the farmer want solely give  the requirements of one species, with its individual characteristics, so as to grow a successful  crop. and also the economy of scale allowed by cultivating one crop (by, for example, requiring one automatic harvest method) boosts profits for the farmer.

However, mono-culture agriculture has important negative impacts, impacts that has to be mitigated if the ecological systems of the world aren’t to be irreversibly broken.

Why is Value-added Farming Important for the future of farmers in Kenya?

Mono-culture Eliminates Biological Controls

The lack of diversity in a mono-culture system eliminates all the functions that nature provides to plants and the soil. It means that there is no range of insect species in a location to ensure that a single population does not get too large and damage too many plants. It means that there are no varieties of plant that naturally provide nutrients to the soil, such as nitrogen-fixing legumes, or ground cover crops that can be slashed and left to improve the nutrient content of the topsoil. It means that there are fewer species of microorganism and bacteria on the soil as there are fewer nutrients available for them to survive on, and it undermines the integrity of the soil by not having a variety of plants with different root depths.

More Synthetic Material Use

Having eliminated the natural checks and balances that a diverse ecosystem provides, mono-culture production has to find ways to replicate some of them in order to protect the crop (and the profits from it). This inevitably means the use of large quantities of synthetic herbicides, insecticides, bactericides and fertilizers.

In attempting to prevent damage to crops by weeds, insects and bacteria; and to provide sufficient nutrients in the soil for the plants to grow, farmers use synthetic chemicals. Not only do these chemicals leave traces on plants that are intended for human consumption and so can enter the food chain, they are also routinely over-used so that a large proportion of the synthetic material remains in the soil, even after the crop has been harvested. Because of its inorganic mature, this material is not processed into organic matter by microorganisms. Rather it leaches through the soil, eventually polluting groundwater supplies, having the knock-on effect of altering ecosystems that may be at great distance from the original location where the chemicals were used. For instance, inorganic fertilizer runoff has contributed greatly to algal blooms in oceans and lakes, the growth of which starves water bodies and the organisms that live in them, of oxygen.

Furthermore, such chemical substances kill indiscriminately, meaning that all manner of wildlife, beneficial insects and native plants are affected by their use, depleting the vibrancy and diversity of neighboring ecosystems as well.

Changing Organism Resistance

Nature is, however, adaptable, and organisms are evolving resistance to these artificial insecticides and herbicides. Of course, the farmers want to continue to protect their crops, so new inorganic methods are continually being developed to combat the ‘threat’. More and more chemicals are being applied to monoculture crops and, in turn, affecting natural ecosystems detrimentally.

Soil Degradation

Besides the negative impact the overuse of chemical fertilizers has on the soil, mono-cultures are detrimental to soil health in other ways. Ground cover crops are eliminated, meaning there is no natural protection for the soil from erosion by wind and rain. No plants provide leaf litter mulch to replenish the topsoil, which would be eroded anyway. All of this combines to continually degrade the soil, often meaning that it becomes useable for agriculture. In some countries this means that forests are then cleared to provide new agricultural land, starting the damaging cycle all over again.

Water Use

With no ground cover plants to help improve moisture retention in the soil, and the tendency for land planted with a mono-culture to lack topsoil, which serves to increase rain runoff, modern mono-culture agriculture requires huge amounts of water to irrigate the crops. This means water is being pumped from lakes, rivers and reservoirs at great rates, depleting this natural resource and affecting those aquatic ecosystems. This is on top of the pollution of water sources by agricultural chemicals.

Why you should venture in Grafted Tree Tomato Trees instead of non-Grafted

Fossil Fuels

Due to their scale, many modern mono-culture farms are more akin to factories than traditional farms. Harvesting is generally performed by machines while, because the crop is intended for sale beyond the local area – sometimes nationally or even internationally – it requires large inputs of energy to sort, pack and transport it. These functions – along with the manufacture of packaging itself – use fossil fuel energy. In combination with the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the industrialized mode of food production is a major contributor to climate change. It is also an incredibly inefficient way of using energy to produce food, taking an estimated 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce just a single calorie of food energy.

At its simplest level, mono-culture agriculture means a system that works against nature. Permaculture, however, seeks to work in harmony with nature. By putting permaculture practices in place, we can help to combat the harmful effects modern mono-culture agriculture has on the planet.

At its simplest level, mono-culture farming suggests a system that works against nature. Permaculture, on the other hand seeks to figure harmonic with nature. By golf stroke permaculture practices, we are able to combat the harmful effects of modern mono-culture agriculture has on the world.

Rift valley farmers in Kenya should start diversifying if the ecosystem of this world will be maintained.

 

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Starting a Fruit Farming Business in Kenya and What It requires

hass avocado fruit farming in Kenya

African countries and particularly Kenya are blessed with a fertile soil which makes it grow diverse ranges of food crops including fruits and vegetables. Starting a fruit farming business is growing day by day in the country as farmers and other entrepreneurs have profited in this business venture.

Fruits are stable commodity which can be found in the local markets just like other food crops and in numerous quality and types which generally has a great health and medicinal benefits, and as well highly sought after, this has made it be one of the lucrative businesses anyone can engage in or use to complement their earnings.

What are the Key Steps of succeeding in Fruit Farming Business?

In fruit business, it doesn’t matter if you are a professional farmer or still a novice, once you follow the guidelines below you will be able to succeed in any fruit farming business you chose.

  • As mentioned earlier, there are many fruits varieties and types in Kenya, there is no way you can farm it all, therefore it is better you know what kind of fruit that you want to venture in, for example, hass avocado, Macadamia, Tree tomato, mangoes, oranges, water melon etc., but not after considering what kind of fruits the local market will need, what kind of fruit can effectively grow in your region considering weather and climate conditions, which one will yield more profits etc., After you have gotten answers to your questions during the course of your market research, then plan on the next thing.
  • For any fruit business that you want to start, make sure that you have an adequate knowledge on how to plant it and its best planting season, how to get the seedlings (always ensure you buy from certified nurseries), care and maintenance processes required, when to add fertilizer, how to know it’s time for harvest est. You can get the proper training by working on such specific fruit farm in order to get the basic knowledge that will help you succeed.

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

  • Start Small: Every farming business needs a land, in this kind of business you can buy or lease a land in Kenya depending on your financial status, but as a beginner, it is better to start small so refrain from acquiring a large piece of land for now until you have successfully passed your experimental stage.
    Starting small will help in the effective management of the fruit crops, and will make you to easily face some challenges which might occur at the course of the farming process and as well learn from your mistakes thereby giving you a better experience that will help you handle large fruit farming operation.
  • When choosing a land for this kind of business, don’t lease a land or buy just for the sake of farming; ensure that you have check the soil type and composition which is one of the main determinants for effective yield and growth. The soil should be composed of humus and other essential minerals which can be determined by conducting or carrying out a soil test, but you can also add more vital nutrients to the soil when preparing the land for cultivation by adding organic manure or fertilizer. Check the pH value as well to make sure that it normal, neither too acidic nor alkaline.
  • Get Certified Seedlings from Oxfarm: Get the best seedlings from other local nursery operators or institutions in Kenya that oversees the affairs of farming and agricultural practice. Getting the right and healthy seedlings will determine what you will gain in return when they fully develop and mature into fruits.
  • Fruit trees are attacked by diseases and pests, therefore you should not wait till it starts before sourcing for one, get the right pest control, fungicides etc., for effective and timely management of your crops when such need arises.
  • Fruits are highly perishable, so while waiting for it to grow, use that opportunity to start sourcing for new and additional customers so that once it is time for harvest you can confidently sell to already available potential customers to avoid it spoiling and making you lose your profits. Plant hass avocado through our Package and we will take care of market.

In Kenya and other parts of the world, fruit business is lucrative as it forms parts of our daily meal. Make sure you know the essential things which will make you succeed and excel more than others just it has been provided for you in this document.

For all types of tree fruit business, don’t fail to contact us.

 

 

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Why is Value-added Farming Important for the future of farmers in Kenya?

Value-added farming

A careful assessment shows that value-added Farming is an important component of sustainable rural development. The future of value-added Farming will depend on the involvement and commitment of farmers and rural residents.  Success is not dependent on any government program.  Although the government  can play an important role, it is only a supplemental role.  The key driver is farmers and rural residents who want to shoulder the responsibility for making it work.

Value-added Farming entails changing a raw agricultural product into something new through packaging, processing, cooling, drying, extracting or any other type of process that differentiates the product from the original raw commodity. Examples of value added agricultural products include yogurt, jam, juice, pumpkin flour, banana flour, crisps, e.t.c. Adding value to agricultural products is a worthwhile endeavor because of the higher returns that come with the investment, the opportunity to open new markets and extend the producer’s marketing season as well as the ability to create new recognition for the farm. Increasingly, value-added products are hitting the local market as producers take advantage of high-demand product niches. This is the key to success in value added Farming—niche markets are where smaller producers can be most successful in creating value and establishing a profitable business.

How to establish the type of irrigation needed in your farm

Challenges of Value-added farming to Kenyans

Tree tomato Juice (Product of Tamarillo farm in Mweiga Nyeri County)

Value added Farming is not without its challenges to farmers. One of the largest hurdles to overcome is that of food business and safety regulations. For example, if you are interested in taking your tree tomatoes and turning them into a high quality jam that you can sell at the local farmers’ market, you must be a licensed. These regulation challenges make it difficult to get started in the value added business, but with a solid business plan in place, producers can be successful in overcoming obstacles to their food business dream.

Another example of a significant challenge for starting a value-added business is putting together your recipes or formulations for the product you are developing. For instance, making soap requires time and effort in finding the right recipe for high-quality soap. You will also want to research the market potential for your product in order to define your customer profile, so that you are not wasting your time in formulating a product that will not sell.

Starting a value-added agricultural business is an exciting opportunity for the small farmer interested in diversifying and exploring new markets, but starting small and finding your niche is key to your long-term success. Evaluate the risks associated with the business and have a solid plan in place to keep you on the right track.

Market opportunities exist for the creation of viable value-added businesses.  The question facing us is whether farmers and rural residents have the skills and commitment to take advantage of good opportunities and build them into viable businesses.  Oxfarm Ag is designed to help you identify and assess these opportunities and build successful businesses especially in the tree fruit business.

One successful farmer and entrepreneur that we have partnered with is Tamarillo farm in Mweiga Nyeri. The company makes jam, juice and chilli sauce from tree tomato fruits. You too can make it, just dream and follow your dreams.

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Have you ever heard of the amazing Stinging Nettle?

Stinging Nettle

You may have by now seen this plant that when touched with bare hands irritates and can cause rushes. To some communities in Kenya, it is a curse but to those who know it, its a blessing as its a source of food and other many benefits. The Agikuyu for instance have for so long been using stinging nettle leaves in cooking their favorite dish (Mukimo). Apart from that, Stinging nettle (Hatha/Thabai), as they call it is used to cure several diseases.

The stinging nettle is a herbaceous flowering plant which is a subspecies of, and belongs to the Urtica genus. The stinging nettle is a small plant and it rarely grows past five feet in height, but is has a huge variety of health benefits. The stinging nettle plant has stinging hairs called trichomes on their leaves and stems, which, when touched by humans, injects chemicals such as histamine into the human body, thus giving it the name ‘stinging nettle’. It is also due to this very reason that this plant also has colloquial names such as burn nettle, burn weed and burn hazel.

Nutritional Value of Stinging Nettle

While the name ‘stinging nettle’ often makes it seem like it cannot be consumed, that is not true. This plant actually offers great nutritional value. A single cup of blanched stinging nettles comprises of 37 calories, and 0.1 grams of fat. It has no sodium, fat, cholesterol, or sugar in it, but it provides a substantial amount of carbohydrates and protein. One cup of stinging nettle contains 2.4 grams of protein and 6.6 grams of carbohydrates. Stinging nettles also have minerals such as potassium, iron and silica.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

42 Calories

0.1 g Total Fat

4 mg Sodium

334 mg Potassium

7 g Total Carbohydrate

2.7 g Protein

Vitamins and Minerals

40 % Vitamin A

0.48 Calcium

8 % Iron

5 % Vitamin B-6

40 % Magnesium

What are the Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle?

Helps in detoxification

The stinging nettle has a huge variety of nutrients in it, thus making it an ideal natural detoxifier. It helps cleanse the body of all toxins. It is a diuretic substance, which means that it can not only cleanse toxins from the body, but it can also ensure that any toxins that are being neutralized in the body are eliminated from the body as quickly as possible. Stinging nettles also help stimulate the lymphatic system, thus helping the body to get rid of excess toxins from the kidneys.

Aids in pregnancy

The stinging nettle has often been recommended to women who undergo extremely painful labour. The stinging nettle acts as a coagulant, thus helping prevent excessive bleeding. Additionally, stinging nettle has been proven very effective in helping to stimulate the production of milk in the body of a woman, thus making lactation easier for the mother as well as for the infants.

Hass Avocado Farming Training (Open Day) in Tetu Sub county Nyeri

Improves blood circulation

Stinging nettle has a high content of iron and vitamin C, thus making it ideal for helping stimulate production and growth of red blood cells, which consequently improves blood circulation in the body. The presence of Vitamin C helps increase uptake of iron by the body, and since iron is an essential compound present in hemoglobin, blood circulation is drastically improved. Also, with the increase in RBC count, healing of wounds speed up, and the body receives oxygenation essential for boosting overall energy levels.

Helps improve feminine health

Stinging nettle has often been shown to alleviate painful menstrual symptoms such as cramping and bloating. It also helps decrease premenstrual symptoms. Stinging nettle helps decrease blood flow during menstruation due to its capabilities as an astringent. It is also administered to women undergoing menopause, as it acts as a restorative, and thus smooths the transition process, so the shift in hormones is not as drastic as it otherwise would have been.

Improves kidney and gallbladder health

Stinging nettle is essentially a diuretic, and has nephritic qualities, which means that it can easily break down stones in the gall bladder and the kidneys. This ensures that pain is reduced as much as possible. In case the stones have to be surgically removed, stinging nettle is often used to reduce pain and inflammation. Since it is a diuretic, stinging nettle helps prevent bladder infections and retention of excess fluid in the body.

Has anti-inflammatory properties

Stinging nettle is a rubefacient substance, and a stimulant, which is why it acts as an effective agent against inflammatory conditions such as muscle pain or arthritis. Research has proven that stinging nettle helps effectively treat conditions such as gout. It also helps alleviate muscle pain, and reduces symptoms of arthritis.

Treats respiratory conditions

Stinging nettle helps in the treatment of quite a large number of respiratory conditions such as asthma, hay fever, and other seasonal allergies. If used in combination with certain other extracts, stinging nettle can help in the reduction of allergic reactions in patients suffering from various kinds of allergies.

Keeps the heart healthy

With regular consumption, stinging nettle can successfully lower systolic blood pressure, thus making sure the heart remains healthy and fit for a longer period of time. A decrease in systolic blood pressure means that there is a lesser amount of stress and tension on the cardiovascular system.

Improves health of the prostate

As men age, problems related to prostate enlargement and other diseases of the prostate become widespread. Stinging nettle can help prevent prostate growth due to its chemical composition. In case the disease has set in and cannot be prevented anymore, even in such cases, stinging nettle can reverse the condition effectively, thus treating any and all prostate problems.

Improves gastrointestinal health

Supplements made from the stinging nettle extract are often taken to help reduce nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. Stinging nettle can also help soothe hemorrhoids and ulcers.

Useful for skin care

Stinging nettle has been proven to effectively treat and reduce the appearance of acne. It can also prevent bacterial infections. Due to the fact that it has antioxidant properties, stinging nettle can help speed healing of wounds as well as reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars. It also promotes anti-aging by helping reduce wrinkles and age spots.

Uses of Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a health-boosting herb that has a variety of amines, flavonoids, lignans, minerals, and vitamins A, B2, C and K. It has been used for hundreds of years as an effective treatment for muscle and joint pains, and for the treatment of diseases such as gout and arthritis. Certain extracts of the stinging nettle have been found to be very effective in treating conditions such as diarrhea, edema, and other prostate and urinary disorders. It is often used directly on the hair as an effective treatment against dandruff, as well as to add shine to the hair. The stinging nettle can also be used as a herbal remedy in the treatment of hay fever, as this plant possesses the ability to reduce production of histamine in the body.

Reasons Why You Should Start an Agribusiness in Kenya Today

Side-Effects & Allergies of Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle does not generally have any side effects if taken in doses directed by the doctor. It is very important to administer caution while handling the plant, because touching it bare handed can cause allergic rashes and reactions.

Cultivation of Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle has its origins in the cold regions of Asia and Northern Europe. Today, however, this plant grows all over the world. The stinging nettle need soil rich in nitrogen for its growth, and can mostly be found in areas that are not very well tended to, such as gardens, lawns and other areas such as construction sites. This plant can also be found in areas with moderate forest coverage, as well as open meadows. Stinging Nettle just grow wildly !

CAUTION:  Stinging nettles should be planted away in obscure corners where innocent visitors are not likely to be stung, Always watch children to make sure they stay in the safe zone.

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How can farmers In Kenya Increase Their Profit Margin?

Tomato Farmers in Kenya

Farming is not just farming but a business as well. We have realized that increasing profit margin from farming uses similar strategies as other industries across the country. Farmers look to maximize labor, reduce spending and maximize revenue so the business can retain as much profit as possible. Short of simply raising prices, there are a number of strategies farmers can employ to increase profit margin without sacrificing the quality of products brought to the market.

Selling to Local Businesses

Selling to local community markets and grocery stores can help a farmer decrease transportation costs for products and increase profit margin. A farmer selling farm produce to local grocery stores and markets doesn’t have to hire transportation to reach delivery destinations that are far, which cuts down on fuel costs and strain on delivery equipment. A farmer also reduces payroll by having shorter delivery routes for drivers. Local grocery stores prize produce from local growers because of the increasing number of consumers looking to reduce carbon footprint through the purchase of locally grown products.

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Investing in Alternative Energy

Investing in alternative energy solutions, including solar power, can allow a farmer to reduce energy costs and increase profit. Solar power can provide a cheaper form of energy to power farm equipment than conventionally generated electricity.

Crop Rotation Habits

Proper crop rotation strategies can help reduce a farmer’s fertilizer costs, enrich the soil, and increase take-home earnings. For example, planting beans when maize isn’t in season increases nitrogen content in the soil. These strategies can also help kill off harmful insects and retard the growth of harmful bacteria. Integrated Pest Management,  can help a farmer operating on a small or large scale to bring a greater percentage of produce and other food products to market. The increased yield, combined with healthier soil, allows a farmer to retain a greater percentage of his revenue as profit.

Improving Farm Equipment

Purchasing more efficient farm equipment, including tractors, harvesters and grain separators, can help reduce a farmer’s equipment costs in the long run and lead to increased profits. A farmer incurs increased costs up front to purchase more energy-efficient equipment, but the savings the farmer receives in reduced fuel and maintenance costs over time can outpace those up-front expenditures. Purchasing new capital assets expected to earn income for the farm also allows a farmer to recoup these expenditures over a number of years through depreciation. This ensures the farmer has eligible tax deductions over the useful lives of these items.

Farmers Should Boost irrigation

With the growing effects of climate change on weather patterns, more irrigation will be needed. Average yields in irrigated farms are 90% higher than those of nearby rain-fed farms.

Increase the use of fertilizers

As soil fertility deteriorates, fertilizer use must increase. Kenyan National in collaboration with local governments need to ensure the right type of fertilizers are available at the right price, and at the right times. Fertilizer education lessens the environmental impact and an analysis of such training programs in Kenya found they boosted average incomes by 61%.

Improve market access, regulations, and governance

Improving rural infrastructure such as roads is crucial to raising productivity through reductions in shipping costs and the loss of perishable produce. Meanwhile, providing better incentives to farmers, including reductions in food subsidies, could raise agricultural output by nearly 5%.

Make better use of information technology

Information technology can support better crop, fertilizer and pesticide selection. It also improves land and water management, provides access to weather information, and connects farmers to sources of credit. Simply giving farmers information about crop prices in different markets has increased their bargaining power.

 

For more information, keep visiting our website.

 

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Are you eating your way to death? Here are fruits that Prevent Cancer

The saying that we are what we eat is so very true. Recognizing and adopting healthy and balanced eating patterns and foods is one of the first steps to ensuring you maintain good health. The other is eating foods that you know can help prevent cancer and fight your risks of getting other diseases.

In Kenya, Cancer is quickly becoming one of the worst burden, where around 60 people die daily and nearly 30,000 cases of cancer are diagonized daily.

Cancer is caused by many factors. However, research has shown that making sure you include certain foods regularly in your diet can go a long way towards preventing from developing. The naturally occurring chemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers in many different foods can help your body fight the growth of cancer cells. Below are several fruits and other foods that can help you prevent this menace.

Tomato

You can eat tomatoes in salads, make soup, sauces and many other dishes. Stay well away from eating the stems and leaves, but the flesh is also a moderate source of Vitamin C. Some studies suggest lycopene, an oxidant in tomatoes, has anticancer properties

Strawberries

Good news for summer strawberry lovers, strawberries contain the phytochemicals that are considered to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a great sauce of Vitamin C and manganese

Apples Helps Prevent Cancer

For the best benefits of the anti-cancer phytochemicals in apples, eat their peel (but not their seeds). Apples also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are good sources of Vitamin C and fibe

Pumpkin and Water-melons

The carotenoids in various types of pumpkin and squash include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All good antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Pumpkins and watermelons are also high in Vitamins A and C.

Onions

The humble onion is thought to have many anti-cancer compounds. These include organosulfur compounds, quercetin and anthocyanins thought to lower the risk of many types of cancer. Different varieties such as spring onions, shallots, brown/yellow and red onions have different strengths

Lemons

Lemons and other citrus fruits contain the phytochemicals d-limonene and terpenes, thought to help halt the growth of cancer cells. Juice them and use the peel for added nutritional benefits. They are also rich in Vitamin C

Pineapples

The Bromelain enzyme found in pineapples, for instance, is capable of breaking up the protective layer in tumors. It is found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. It can also promote DNA repair and normal growth of cells. Hence, apart from its cancer-killing properties, it makes normal cells healthier and stronger

Grapes

Grapes prevent cancerClinical cancer research has also shown evidence that grape seed extract can kill three-fourths of leukemia cells by triggering a protein called JNK, which encourages apoptosis in cancer cells. The antioxidant Resveratrol, found in grape seeds, can also influence natural death of cancer cells in the:

  • Lungs
  • Bowel
  • Skin
  • Breast
  • Stomach
  • Prostate.

Grape seed extract and Resveratrol, in fact, have been incorporated in many health supplements because of their therapeutic properties.

Bananas

Some compounds in bananas have been found to be effective in preventing further production of leukemia and liver cancer cells. High consumption of bananas was also linked to a decrease in the risk of:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Oral cancer.

They are also rich in potassium, which is good for the muscles and heart

Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is rich in tannins and flavonoids, both antioxidants which have drawn attention for their healing properties. Preliminary research suggests pomegranate extract can help prevent cancer and the growth of:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer

Kiwi fruit prevent cancer

Kiwi is well-known for its high vitamin C content, boasting even more than oranges. It is also a powerful antioxidant, as Vitamin C prevents free radical damage. Kiwi consists of flavonoids and carotenoids that protect DNA from the damage or oxidative stress that is cancer. Being packed with vitamins, kiwi is a strong immune booster. It proves its effectiveness in healing different cancers like:

  • Liver cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer

Kiwi extracts prevent cancer cell proliferation, and its active photochemical, catechin, helps in the prevention of cancer and reduces the toxicity of anti-cancer agents.

The question Kenyans will ask is where they can buy the fruits. We all know how some fruits such as pomegranate, grapes, kiwi, strawberry and apples are expensive. Don’t worry, you can have all these fruits in your backyard. Contact us today and we will make this happen.

 

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Think Big and Diversify into Macadamia and Hass avocado Farming: DP Ruto

Ruto Talks about Diversification

Maize farmers in the North Rift have been lamenting over maize prices which has never been stable. Last year the National Cereals and Produce Board bought maize from farmers at Ksh 3600. However, this year the cabinet has recommended Ksh 2300. This has caused uproar in the north lift as Mp’s Alfred Keter and his counterparts Joshua Kuttuny and Silas Tiren have been in the forefront in condemning the prices. Regarding this issue, DP Ruto has hit back at the politicians who according to him, thinks too small and are opposed to calls of diversification to other types of crops other than maize.

DP RUTO ON DIVERSIFICATION

“I heard some people say the other day that they are not interested in diversification because you cannot put avocados in a store or you cannot feed avocados on initiates,” he said.

“People are producing for markets to export while others are thinking of how to produce to go and put in a store. That is how low some people think in our country.”

In a scathing attack on the DP, the rebel Jubilee legislators alleged the DP has bought a 500-acre piece of land in Congo and that he was positioning himself as the principal maize supplier by discouraging the region from maize farming.

“You can’t be telling us to diversify in avocados, plant macadamia but you are not telling us what happened to maize,” Keter said.

The MPs did not, however, back their allegations with any evidence.

They claimed Ruto was behind the prices which they termed too low.

“We want to tell the DP that we know the problems and cartels frustrating farmers are directly linked to him and his office and that is why we want all leaders probed,” Keter said.

But Ruto says that the government has signed many export treaties and it is time the region stopped overdependence on subsistence maize production.

“The President was in China for the China Expo and the primary thing he went to do is ensure we open the Chinese market to Kenyan exports,” Ruto said.

He said the answer to achieving double-digit growth of the GDP and manufacturing growth of up to 15 per cent lies in the country’s export strategy.

The Dp said the government is keen on increasing potato production five-fold and expanding rice production by 300 per cent.

Ruto said the government is focused on diversification to achieve the Big Four Agenda.

He said the MPs need to be encouraged to see the bigger picture and the economic potential that diversified farming will bring the region and the country at large.

He said Kenya can now access the Chinese export market through exports.

“We now have signed the phytosanitary agreement that will now make it possible for Kenyans to export macadamia, avocados, horticulture, tea, coffee and pyrethrum to the Chinese market,” Ruto said.

He urged counties to exploit the rising export market space by repositioning their production strategies to feed the export market.

“That will be the turning point for our economic fortunes as a country,” Ruto said.

Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

So, what are the advantages of diversification?

If diversification into hass avocado and macadamia is done, you’re likely to grasp a range of benefits which you don’t often find in a traditional farm:

  • Increased revenue – by taking on new activities you and your family are likely to enjoy an increased farm income and a better quality of life.
  • Adaptability – branching out encourages you to be willing to change and look out for other opportunities. By adding a new activity you will learn what works for you and your farm and be better able to make further changes in the future and respond to new opportunities as they arise.
  • Security – by moving into new activities farms can provide you and your family members with a long term future and greater stability. By branching out you will increase the number of sources of revenue for your farm ensuring that you are less susceptible to any one income source letting you down.
  • Tradition – diversifying can provide you and your family with a means of carrying on your farming tradition. While the focus of diversifying may be on increasing income and securing a future it can provide the means of subsidising and continuing the traditional activities that are valued and enjoyed.
  • Develop new skills – running a new venture will provide the opportunity to increase your skills and expand your network of business contacts. From management to marketing and finance to customer service diversifying will develop your business flair.

Being realistic in your budgeting is critical as a common pitfall is to over estimate income and to under estimate the costs of running the business.

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Let us not over-rely on just one type of crop. We urge farmers to start thinking about the future and outside the box. If you are a coffee farmer, why don’t you inter-crop with macadamia, there is no harm in so doing. If you are a tea farmer, plant hass avocados at the edges of your farm.

The other farmers such as maize farmers, I urge you to have a section where you can plant other crops and fruits. Most successful farmers are those who have done diversification.

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Thinking Of Farming Business? Think Mushroom Farming

As you might have noticed, we have been organizing mushroom farming training tours now and then. This has been inspired by the changing eating patterns of Kenyans and the need for more agribusiness ideas.

As young agriprenuers, we can firmly tell you that mushroom farming is the best agribusiness to think of especially if you are young and with inadequate farming space.

The fungi crop has numerous nutritional and medicinal benefits,  the demand for mushrooms is huge unexplored and unexploited, and the market offers unprecedented access to wealth and financial freedom. The Capital and daily expenditure are also affordable compared to other conventional crops.

Mushrooms contain more protein than fish or chicken, all Vitamins except A and D. Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus Zinc and Iron. They also contain a number of medicinal benefits, including lowering high blood pressure/hypertension, strengthening of weak bones, teeth and nails due to their high content in calcium. Mushrooms also heal impotency, improve cerebral development in children between the ages of 0 and 3, boost immunity, detoxify the body therefore preventing terminal diseases like colon cancer and improve fertility.

Nevertheless, it is the financial benefits of growing mushrooms that are breathtaking. For instance, a kilo of Oyster Mushrooms cost Ksh 800. In a small room of 5 meters by 5 meters, a small scale farmer can easily harvest a produce of 10 kilos of mushrooms weekly, which adds up to Ksh8,000 and Ksh32,000 monthly. Very few crops can fetch you this much.

In the same house of 5 by 5 meters, production can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. Therefore, bringing in an income of Ksh64,000, Ksh96,000 and Ksh128,000 respectively. From what is known by many mushrooms continuously sprout for a period of 3 months from the time the harvesting begins.

However, the most productive months are the first two. Unlike conventional crops, mushrooms are planted in fresh pasteurized organic substances known as substrate. These can be one or a combination of the following, Sugar Cane baggasse, Maize Stovers cut in minute pieces, Wheat Straw, Ground Nut Shells, crushed Maize cobs, Rice Husks and Molasses.

The pasteurization of these substances is carried out through boiling of steaming the substrate. Pasteurization eliminates all harmful organisms that deter mushroom production, while maintaining the nutritional content. After the substrate cools down, it is then mixed with mushroom seed called Spawn in a process called inoculation.

The planted substrate is then packed in several transparent polythene bags after holes are created in them. The polythene bags are then hung up in the mushroom house. A month and a half after the planting process, mushrooms begin sprouting.

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Where Does One Get Mushroom Market In Kenya?

When on thinks of farming, what comes of our minds, is where will I get market for my produce?

Traditionally, hotels offer a simple market that constantly demand mushrooms. For a first-time supplier, hotels often demand packaged samples of the product. After the first impression, they then require the signing of an agreement that bounds the client to reliably supply them with their required amount of mushrooms.

The number of hotels that demand mushrooms are staggering, 800 beach hotels along the coast of Kenya, hotels in all the major cities and towns. Several Pizza outlets around the country and several restaurants and hospitals.

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Then there are the unlimited individual customers in the social media that offer a consistent and reliable clientele. The beauty of the social media is simple, a supplier can repeatedly post pictures of the packaged mushroom product on the most popular farmers groups in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and What’s app. Together with the Nutritional and Medicinal benefits and the contacts.

Keep checking for our next training on how to go about mushroom farming in Kenya. We always say that farmers come first, we lead while others follow.