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Reasons/Factors as To Why Your Fruit Tree Aborts

Abortion in plants is premature termination of the development of pollen, gametes, embryos, seeds, fruits, flowers etc. There are several factors which lead to your fruit tree abortion. The most important step you can take to help you identify the cause of the problem is to seek the services of an extension officer especially one with good experience in horticultural crops in your region. Abortion may be due to environmental and cultural factors that can contribute to, or cause, flower bud abortion.

Insufficient light. Flowers require a relatively large supply of energy to develop normally. The energy can come from stored carbohydrates, such as from bulbs and tubers, and light that drive photosynthesis. When the amount of light is not sufficient to support the energy demands of the flowers, they can abort. Pruning is an effective method of increasing light to your plants.

How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

Temperatures. Low temperatures especially in highland areas can slow down pollen germination. Periods of low temperatures and overcast skies can cause flower drops. Fruits planted in highland areas always have a problem with slow flower setting and even flower abortion leading to failure in production of fruits.

Deficiency or excessive nutrients. Calcium is a macro nutrient and boron is a micro nutrient that is both components of cell walls and developing flowers. When deficient in one or both of these elements, flower buds can abort.

Too much compost. High application of compost mulch can also contribute to vegetative growth at the expense of flowering and fruit setting.

Fertilizers.  As it matures, it is important to apply some potassium and calcium.

Pollination. For any fertilization to be successful pollination has to take place. Bees and other nectar foraging insects such as the carpenter bees play an important role in cross-pollination of passion fruit flowers. Due to use of chemical pesticides in many farms, many bees are destroyed by the chemical spraying of such crops, in this case reducing their pollination services.

Water. Inadequate water especially at the crucial flowering stage can lead to flower drops. Lack of water can result in tiny fruits that are not marketable.

Birds and insect pests. Too many birds and insects pests can also cause flower drops in fruit orchard, they therefore be controlled mainly at the flowering stage.

For the best extension services, call 0706222888.

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Why Every Farmer Should Undertake a Soil Test of his/her Farm

Soil analysis results inform the farmer of deficiencies or excesses, if any, of minerals. They also advise on the correct type and amount of fertilizers to apply. They also enlighten on the method and time of application of fertilizer.

The genesis of low yields today in our farms year by year originates to lack of our beloved farmers not having full information on how their soils nutrient value is. To achieve high and quality yields a farmer has to determine the level of nutrients availability, to provide the basis for calculating the required fertilizing of each crop and to evaluate the supply of each nutrient element and determine how to manage the nutrient. High quality soil analysis is basis of planning of fertilizing, and thus the quality of the entire production cycle, which results in a high quality and yield and better farm management.

NOTE; Soil acidity (pH), which rarely affects the growth of most crops directly in the range 5.5-7.5 but can influence the availability of other nutrients.

Soil analysis determines the content of basic plant nutrients; nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5), potassium (K 2 O), pH, humus content, total CaCO3, available lime, organic matter, total sulphur (S), trace elements, and other physical characteristics (capacity, permeability, density, pH – value).

Here are some of the plant nutrient deficiencies;

Plants can also suffer deficiencies where the growing conditions are poor and the plants are unable to take up nutrients present in the soil. Very acid or alkaline conditions, dryness and water logging can all make it difficult for plants to take up soil nutrients.

Pawpaw Farming in Kenya: How to choose the right variety for your area

Nutrient deficiencies cause symptoms such as leaf yellowing or browning, sometimes in distinctive patterns. This may be accompanied by stunted growth and poor flowering or fruiting.

Macro nutrient

 Nitrogen

comparance of a nitrogen deficient plant and a healthy plant

How to identify

Check the field for abnormalities. N deficient crops are stunted and discolored. Specifically:

  • Older leaves or whole plants are yellowish green
  • Old leaves and sometimes all leaves become light green and chlorotic at the tip
  • Entire field may appear yellowish.

Phosphorous

How to identify

phosphorous deficient plant
  • Slow and stunted growth.
  • Leaves may curl
  • Leaves become purplish (or reddish-purple), most often first on their undersides and later on the tops.

Potassium

How to identify

  • On the oldest leaves, yellowing occurs in marginal and interveinal zones.
  • Brown scorching and curling of leaf tips as well as yellowing between leaf veins.
  • Plant growth, root development, and seed and fruit development are usually reduced.
  • Yellow stripes may appear along leaf interveins and lower leaves may bend downward. 

    potassium deficient plants

Magnesium

How to identify

  • Yellowing of the leaf structure found between veins.
  • Older leaves turn yellow at the edge giving a green overhead shape at the Center of the leaf.

Calcium

How to identify

  • New leaves appear distorted or irregularly shaped.
  • Development of necrotic tissue on young leaves.
  • In severe cases root tips may die back.

    calcium deficient plant

Sulfur

How to identify

  • Uniform pale green chlorosis throughout the plant.
  • Youngest leaves may appear pale earlier or more severely than mature leaves.
  • Yellowing of the leaves, but nitrogen deficiencies begin with the older leaves first.

Micro nutrients

Boron

How to identify

  • Thickening of young leaves.
  • The leaves and stem near the shoot tip are brittle and break easily when bent.
  • Young leaves are usually paler than the older leaves.

Manganese

How to identify

  • Leaves become yellow and there is also interveinal chlorosis.
  • Pale grayish green interveinal chlorosis spreads from the tip to the leaf base.
  • Necrotic brown spots develop later and leaf becomes dark brown.
  • Newly emerging leaves are short, narrow, and light green

Copper 

How to identify

  • Dieback of stems and twigs.
  • Yellowing of leaves.
  • Stunted growth and pale green leaves that wither easily.

Iron

How to identify

  • Leaf yellowing first appears on the younger upper leaves in interveinal tissues.
  • Leaves to turn completely yellow or almost white, and then brown as leaves die.

Zinc

How to identify

  • Short internodes and a decrease in leaf size.
  • Delayed maturity

    zinc deficient plants

Benefits of testing farm soil.                     

  • The world population is growing up and thus fertile soils are required to produce more food.
  • Farmers can easily avoid soil degradation.
  • Leads to minimization of fertilizer expenditure.
  • Informs the farmer on the current health status of the soil.

Appropriate time to take the soil sample

Soil samples can be taken any time throughout the year. However, it’s also appropriate to take soil samples after the harvest. This will give you ample time to prepare the land as per the recommendations of the soil sample results before the next planting season. The soil should not be too dry or wet when taking the soil sample in a farm. In orchards where there are permanent crops, soil test should be done after every four years.

OxfarmAg Ltd message to Kenyan farmers;

Smallholder farmers, particularly those in Kenya, often lack access to soil testing laboratories to determine their soil’s fertility and the nutrients required to increase crop productivity. This causes farmers to apply fertilizer that may not meet their soil’s needs. Soil analysis will inform you of your soils’ deficiencies. Soil testing can also help to predict return on investment for Kenyan farmers.

Here at oxfarm we have dedicated staff with a primary goal of providing accurate soil analysis in a timely manner.

Frequent soil testing helps farmers decide whether their current management is robbing future productivity and profits.

Soil testing serves as the best guide available for determining nutrient needs for growing crops. Soil testing also provides a balanced fertility program which is a vital component of sustainable farming programs that are profitable, efficient and environmentally responsible.

We offer soil testing services at highly competitive prices and this will assist a farmer to undertake the correct management practices in his farm.

We offer individual package of soil testing at ksh 2800 per sample exclusive of transport which is charged at ksh 20 per km from Nairobi to the farm and back when coming to collect the soil sample.

Contact us on  0706222888.

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How Best to manage Orchards in Kenya

nursery mkulima wa nyeri farm

Managing fruit orchards is the most complex task a farmer has to undertake if he or she has to get the best results from the plant. Management entails of fertilizing, irrigating, pruning and pests and diseases control.

Fertilizing

Nutrition is a factor to the yields or the production of a plant. Fertilizers are used to promote rapid tree growth. Do not apply fertilizer until the trees produce their first leaf flush. Amend your nutrition applications to suit local situations.

The 3 macro-nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – are generally reflected in a fertilizing formula’s ratio. The numbers in the ratio correspond to the amounts of nutrient represented in the fertilizer content.

Fertilizer is good for plants. However, too much of the wrong nutrient can have adverse effects and too much fertilizer can burn roots and shoots. Reading the fertilizer content will give you a clue to how much of each macro-nutrient is contained in the formula as well as any other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium.

The analysis or grade on a fertilizer label gives the ratio of each macronutrient in the product, represented by a 3-number ratio (NPK). This is important to note if you are trying to feed a leafy plant or promote blooming. The 3-number ratio can interpret how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in order as they appear in the ratio.

Nitrogen, the first number, directs leafy growth, while phosphorus contributes to bud set and rooting. Potassium is essential for overall plant health and increases its defenses to unfavorable conditions and disease. So a 10-5-5 is a fertilizer high in nitrogen, while a 5-10-5 would be a bloom enhancer.

Soils with high organic content, where compost or other amendments have been worked in, need less frequent applications of fertilizer, as they have natural sources of nutrients available to plant roots.

Keep fertilizers at least 20 cm away from the trunk to avoid tissue burn. Apply the fertilizer evenly under the canopy and out to a point 30 cm past the drip line or edge of the canopy. Water in well or apply during rain.

Timing of fertilizer application has a significant effect on crop yields. Proper timing of the fertilizer application increases yields, reduces nutrient losses, increases nutrient use efficiency and prevents damage to the environment.

Applying fertilizers at the wrong timing might result in nutrient losses, waste of fertilizer and even damage to the crop.

PEST AND DISEASES CONTROL IN TREE TOMATO (TAMARRILO) FARMING

Irrigation

papaya-drip-irrigation

Supplementary watering during the first few years will assist tree establishment. The timing and quantity of water applied varies with tree size, soil, weather and time of year.

Irrigating your orchards has numerous benefits which include saving your water e.g. drip and sprinkle irrigation and time. By having an automated system to distribute your water supply, you do not have to be physically present for the water system to be effective. The automatic shut off will keep your water usage to a minimum, and lower your costs since less water will be used.

Irrigating your orchards preserves soil nutrients. Using an irrigation system will preserve your soil structure and keep your plants absorbing nutrients, not the runoff water.

Irrigation helps in improving plant growth. Plants will grow faster and greener when watered with smaller amounts of water over a longer period, which is exactly what irrigation systems are designed to do. Installing an irrigation system will improve your plant growth significantly.

It reduces weed growth. Only areas that truly need water will receive it, thus limiting your potential weed growth. Drip irrigation systems are particularly efficient at this: the system directs water specifically to each plant’s roots, rather than sprinkling over the entire garden.

Pruning

one year hass avocado tree

Pruning is cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth.

The practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants. In general, the smaller the branch that is cut, the easier it is for a woody plant to compartmentalize the wound and thus limit the potential for pathogen intrusion and decay. It is therefore preferable to make any necessary formative structural pruning cuts to young plants, rather than removing large, poorly placed branches from mature plants.

Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed without a reason. Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches, to improve form, and to reduce risk. Trees may also be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape below. In most cases, mature trees are pruned as corrective or preventive measures, as routine thinning does not necessarily improve the health of a tree.

In general, you only need a few basic Pruning tools. For the health of your trees and shrubs, it’s important to keep the blades clean and sharp.

  • Hand pruners are the basic tool for most jobs and can cut branches up to 3/4″ in diameter. Choose either bypass pruners, which cut with a clean, scissors action, or anvil pruners, which have a blade that presses against a bar.
  • Loppers resemble hand pruners with long handles. They’re useful for reaching down into tangled shrubs or overhead to just-out-of-reach limbs. They can cut limbs up to 1-1/2″ in diameter, depending on the model.
  • Pruning saws have special blades that cut on the pull stroke and self-clean to prevent binding in fresh, sap-filled wood. Choose a handheld saw for work at ground level or invest in a pole-mounted saw for overhead cuts.
  • Hedge shears have long, scissors blades for trimming hedges. They’ll cut twigs up to 1/2″ in diameter.

Pruning your orchards involves only two kinds of cuts: heading and thinning. Heading cuts remove shoots or branches back to stubs, buds or smaller lateral branches. These cuts usually cause the plant to respond vigorously with bushy new growth. Shearing a hedge, deadheading flowering plants and pinching out the tips of plants to encourage branching are all examples of heading cuts.

A thinning cut removes a branch back to its origin or to a lateral branch that’s at least one-third of the removed-limb’s diameter. Thinning cuts leave the pruned plant with a natural appearance.

When you cut a twig or branch back to the trunk or to a lateral branch, it’s important cut at just the right place. Look for a raised bump or rings around the base of the twig or branch and take care to cut just outside it, leaving the ring intact. It’s called the branch collar, and this is where the scar tissue forms to heal the wound.

Pest and Diseases Control

While tree fruit may be as different as apples and oranges, controlling the pests and diseases that can influence productivity is as standard as they come.  The key to a healthy orchard is a well run, well-rounded Integrated Pest Management program (IPM). IPMs will reduce pesticide usage and environmental contamination, help establish proper timing of control measures, decrease resistance to current pesticides, protect against excessive crop loss, and help implement the newest farming technologies.

Avoid orchards sites that are on or near abandoned orchards. This will reduce the chance of existing pests and diseases infecting the new site.

Cover crops should be planted a year before planting and mulched into the soil. This will improve organic matter content, suppress replant disease, weeds, and reduce nematodes. Cover crops are also used by existing orchards to increase soil nutrients when adding new acreage, build soil structure, and provide erosion control.

Consider soil drainage as well, since good drainage will prevent root diseases that can massacre rootstock.

Once the orchards gets established, weekly monitoring during the growing season is the best way to control pest issues. Setting up traps and checking them weekly will provide an idea of what, if any, pest issues are present.

Keeping the floor of the orchard clear of weeds and fallen fruit will keep away larger pests such as deer, mice, and voles, and also their attract natural predators.

Careful monitoring of weather conditions and covering crops before and during rain can keep the fungus under control and limit fungicide sprays.

Organic products such as sulfur, insecticidal soap, diatomaceous earth, and non-botanic oils can safely control insect populations as well as some diseases.

No matter what type of orchard – apple, orange, pear, peach, etc – management of pests is important and necessary. Basic IPM strategies will keep your trees healthy and fruitful for years to come.

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Why You Should Buy Your Seedling From Certified Nursery Operators

nursery mkulima wa nyeri farm

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

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

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

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

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

Opportunities for Certified Nursery operators

Macadamia from Certified Nursery operator
Macadamia seedlings at Oxfarm

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

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

keep bees if you want 100% production in Avocados

Views of Mt Kenya Nursery Operators

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

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

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Ways To Propagate, Transplant, Manage And Harvest Moringa

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

Propagation Through Seeds;

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

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

Transplanting; 

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

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

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

Management of Moringa

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

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

Harvesting;

-Flowers will appear around 4-9 months.

-Seed pods will mature in around 12 months.

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

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

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

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

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

Photos of Moringa leaf powder and Moringa seeds.

 

 

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Facts about Moringa (Oleifera)

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

Key Nutrients of Moringa;

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

Facts about Moringa

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

Edible parts of the plant

They include;

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

Health Benefits of Moringa.

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

How to use Moringa;

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

-has mild flavor.

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

-Has laxative effects if taken in large quantities.

-it should be ½ to 1 teaspoonful per day.

 

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

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Value Addition In Agricultural Commodities And Why Every Farmer Should Do It

Generally, value addition is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. Many raw commodities have fundamental value in their original state. For example, maize grown, harvested and stored on a farm and then fed to livestock on that farm has value. In fact, value usually is added by feeding it to an animal, which transforms the maize into animal protein or meat. The value of a changed product is added value, such as processing wheat into flour. It is important to identify the value-added activities that will support the necessary investment in research, processing and marketing. The application of biotechnology, the engineering of food from raw products to the consumers and the restructuring of the distribution system to and from the producer all provide opportunities for adding value.

Economically a commodity is added value by changing its current place, time, and from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace. A better meaning would be like processing wheat into flour and eventually into more desired products by customers such as bread, cakes. Those involved in value addition should think of themselves as members of a food chain that processes and markets products to consumers.

In Kenya, the majority of agricultural commodities are marketed in their raw forms, hence losing the opportunities for higher earnings and generating employment.

The main constraints that face Kenya’s agro processing industry include among others, the high operational costs mainly due to the high prices of imported fuel and spare parts, unavailability of appropriate processing machines and spare parts, and the limited knowledge in operation of the machines.

However, despite these constraints, agro processing has a tremendous potential for increasing income through value addition and increasing shelf life and access to food security through the establishment of small scale agro processing enterprises and rural based industries.

Once these commercial agro industries are efficiently run and are responsive to the ever-changing market demands, this will be a precursor for overall economic growth of the country.

Meaning of Value addition

For farmers in Kenya, value addition has a particular importance in that it offers a strategy for transforming an unprofitable enterprise into a profitable one. In fact, there are very few items that a Kenyan small holder farmer can produce and sell profitably at the first level (that is, on the open wholesale market).

Therefore, a value-addition strategy is critical to the long-term survival of most small farms in Kenya.

A good example is say, a coffee farmer who simply grows and harvest coffee cherries, and then sell them “as is” to a local processor. Here, they usually sell at a price below the cost of production. This marketing strategy may be viable in the short run, because it may cover the cash costs involved in producing the crops.

This is, however, a poor strategy because it usually does not cover the total costs of production, and, therefore, the coffee enterprises will not be sustainable.

Value addition strategies could also be easily drawn from the production of tropical fruits, vegetables, livestock, grains and other commodities.

Many small holder farmers should be encouraged to increase their profitability by vertically integrating their operations rather than simply expanding horizontally to increase their volume of production.

Here, they are adding value to their crops by taking their product one or more steps up the vertical ladder of processing and marketing rather than staying at the same level and trying to increase quantity.

Agribusiness support agencies should be seen to support the promotion of rural agro industries. This is mainly crucial because of the following reasons;

  • Agro –industrial products, unlike the basic commodities, do not exhibit a long-term real-price decline so they are more effective in increasing local incomes.
  • Value addition activities in the rural areas tend to increase local employment and income and usually have a positive impact on the local economy mainly due to forward and backward linkages.
  • Product differentiation as a value addition strategy is easier for goods that have been processed, transformed, packaged and labeled.
  • The agro-industrial products where value has been added tend to enjoy a higher profit margin than basic commodities.

In conclusion, for those in agribusiness, as markets become more competitive, it is important for mainly small holder farmers and other value chain actors to seek ways of taking advantage of the value adding opportunities to be able to increase the incomes of the rural producers.

Deliberate efforts should be put in place in establishing market research teams to help in investigating both fresh and processed markets.

The value added products can be those that are traditional or those that already exist in the rural areas, or can also be new products, which can be processed using new, low cost technologies

Advantages of Value Addition in Kenya

  • Increased profit – any value addition increases financial value to the product and has the effect of improving the income of a farmer.
  • Value addition gives a farmer a chance to focus on the consumer
  • The producer/farmer can get a share of the marketing bill which is the difference between the farm gate value and the retail value and it is growing bigger day by day.
  • Enhanced shelve life – this is a benefit any farmer would want. the longer the product can stay without getting spoilt, the more guarantee one has of a product selling at their preferred price and time. for instance raw milk doesn’t last for long but when processed into ghee, yogurt and other products can last longer.
  • Improved bargaining power
  • Creation of a brand – if a product goes to the market being identified to you or your farm, then your future is defined.
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How is The Future of Agriculture and Agribusiness

Agribusiness in Kenya

The importance of agriculture to the Kenyan economy cannot be underestimated. It is well documented that agriculture is key to economic growth and contributes to socio-economic development of the country. The sector accounts for around 25 percent of the country’s GDP and contributes over 70 percent of the national export earnings.

Agribusiness sector is undergoing sort of a technology revolution period. Many  people are working towards streamlining the process for agricultural business. We need to cap the losses this industry suffers due to poor management and illicit commission agents. Because the future of the Kenyan Agribusiness sector depends on farmers and traders. Seeing as how farmers are ending their lives or succumbing to debts, we need solutions which will ensure the future of the sector. Its worrying seeing our counterparts from north lift always complaining about maize prices. Although we have been telling them to diversify, they need to feel that their land will continue giving them value.

The Future of Farming is  Agribusiness and farming Smart

The area of land available for agriculture in Kenya and the entire world has decreased. If Kenya for example wants to expand or maintain its current food output it needs to increase its productivity – without imposing an additional burden on the environment. More with less, welcome to the world of Smart Farming

What is Smart Farming?

Smart Farming is a farming management concept using modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products. Farmers in the 21st century have access to GPS, soil scanning, data management, and Internet of Things technologies. By precisely measuring variations within a field and adapting the strategy accordingly, farmers can greatly increase the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, and use them more selectively. Similarly, using Smart Farming techniques, farmers can better monitor the needs of individual animals and adjust their nutrition correspondingly, thereby preventing disease and enhancing herd health.

Goat Farming in Kenya: how to start & make money

What are the requirements for Smart Farming?

Knowledge and capital are essential for any innovation. New farming technologies require more and more professional skills. A farmer today is not only a person with a passion for agriculture, he or she is also a teacher, a doctor, a politician, a lawyer (to find their way through a growing maze of regulations) and a part-time accountant (making a living from selling agricultural produce requires bookkeeping skills and an in-depth knowledge of market chains and price volatility).

Furthermore, Smart Farming requires capital. Thankfully, there are a wide range of options available. From using low capital investment smart phone applications that track your livestock to a capital-intensive automated combine. In principle, implementing Smart Farming technologies can be easily up scaled.

Blogs and companies such as Oxfarm provides farmers with information and helpful insights that farmers can rely on.

 

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Why you Should Trust Oxfarm Ag Ltd

At oxfarm ag ltd, we like doing the best for our customers and making farmers get value of their investment is our business. in this short article you will get to know why you can trust our products and services.

    • You can choose from hundreds of agricultural products/services, all from the highly rated brand name for instance, Machinery, farming equipment, irrigation kits e.t.c
    • We are accredited by certifying bodies such as HCDA and KEPHIS (our tree fruit seedlings are the best)
    • There are no Agriculture companies “pulling our strings.” Our fierce independence means you’ll get the best values when we partner with you.
    • Oxfarm Ag officers are experts at matching you up with farming information that makes the most sense for your unique situation. (We’ll never recommend a farming project that we don’t think is the best option available for you).
    • People have been investing their money and land with us since 2015.
    • Nearly 1,000 customers have already put their trust in us, buying millions in seedlings and packages.
    • Want to speak with us outside of regular “business hours”? We’re open long hours and Saturdays so we’re here when you need us.

So again, why trust Oxfarm Ag Ltd? Well, here’s what we tell people.

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

You Should Buy Agricultural Products and Services from Whoever Gives you the Best Advice

At the end of the day, you should buy from the person you believe cares about you and gives you the attention and quality guidance you’re looking for: and that person is no other than oxfarm Ag Ltd.

If you get the best advice and guidance from us, we hope you’ll trust us to handle your request. Of course, we believe that no one does it better than we do.

If you want to experience the Oxfarm Ag difference, just reach out to us and get your quote. You can call us at the numbers on our website.

We’d love the opportunity to earn your trust, and it would be our privilege to work with you. Visit us today at Ridgeways Nairobi along Kiambu Road.

 

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What Is The Future Of Organic Farming

Agribusiness in Kenya

Organic farming has been an important part of agriculture across the globe for some time now. The sustainable farming method of growing and producing food stuffs and vegetables without using any chemicals has always garnered both appreciation and interest from many people.

These days, people from all walks of life are more than ready to invest in healthy and chemical free produce that can benefit their overall health in the long run, and are doing their bit to promote healthy living within the society.

In Kenya, where the agriculture industry is the biggest in terms of human resource and total farming area, organic farming has been the most natural method of growing crops using natural fertilizers and manures like cow dung and organic compost.

Following the green revolution and introduction of modern technology during the early 1960s in this sector, the Kenyan agriculture industry managed to transform for the better. It gradually witnessed a shift from traditional farming methods to introduction of synthetic fertilizers in an effort to safeguard and guarantee the safety of crops from various pests, diseases, and crop destroying insects.

These policies and initiatives ensured faster production of crops and accelerated the development of modern farming methods. Nevertheless, the usage of various chemicals & pesticides during different stages of farming and packaging made such products highly contaminated by the time it reached end consumers; and posed great danger to their overall well-being.

What Hinders Growth of Organic Farming in Kenya

Despite the above highlighted positive facts, many agronomists are unconvinced about sustainability of growth and future of the Kenyan organic farming industry mostly due to lack of awareness about this sector, and consequent lack of branding and promotion for higher realization.

Furthermore, the study also stated that while the national government has taken some effort to create awareness about organic farming, this space requires the intervention of the county governments as well. More than anything else, they can help in encouraging farmers to focus more on organic farming practices and minimize utilization of chemicals and pesticides.

Marketing Process Of Hass Avocado In Kenya

What Customers Don’t know About Fruits and Vegetables

  • 99.9 per cent of consumers are not aware about the source of produce, like fruits, vegetables, & greens that they buy and consume.
  • Most consumers do not make any efforts to know or find out about the source of farm produce.

Current Market Situation in the Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Most organic stores in Kenya are similar to retail shops that includes buyers & sellers. Since the organic produce sellers do not grow the produce sold through such stores, even they are not the most reliable source when it comes to seeking information about organic produce. The main reason for this lies in the fact that such store owners usually do not have control over the consistency in quality, color, texture, and / or finish of the final product.

  • Additionally, some of these organic stores in Kenya are about the hype, and rarely about the quality of the produce being sold.

Going by such facts, it is evident why creating more awareness about organic farming in Kenya has become a matter of extreme importance these days. However, things have certainly begun to look bright on this front, at least in some counties in Kenya.

State of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Emergence of New Players in The Kenyan Organic Farming Space

Over the past couple of years, it has been observed that the organic farming sector in Kenya is entering a transformation stage due to an increase of new ventures that have begun to disrupt the market with their one-of-a-kind offerings. In an effort to promote a healthier lifestyle, these players are playing a pivotal role by providing consumers with naturally grown wholesome organic produce.

Future of Organic Farming in Kenya

Kenya currently holds a prominent position among countries that actively practice organic agriculture globally. However, with only a mere 0.4 per cent of total agricultural land area designated for organic cultivation, it is evident that this industry still has a long way to go in terms of growth.

Moreover, since the organic food segment is still at a nascent stage in Kenya, both the government and other private players will have to develop a strong policy framework that can benefit all involved. For now, it can be safely concluded that the organic farming industry in Kenya holds immense potential to grow, provided it receives steady investment, and benefits from both existing and new initiatives, which can further its growth.