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The Future of Kenya In Farming Is Not Agriculture But Agribusiness

Kenya is a farm lover’s dream: abundant uncultivated arable land, tropical climates that permit long growing seasons; a young labor force; and an expanding population that provides a readily available market for produce consumption.

Yet, Kenya is yet to harness these opportunities to ensure sustainable food security and food production. The average age of farmers is about 60 years—in a country where 60% of the population is under 35 years of age. Farmers are also less educated, with younger, more educated Kenyans are leaving rural areas, where farms are located, and moving to cities.

Some of these youngsters are also discouraged by the difficulties of accessing funds or land, the reliance on manual technology in smallholder agriculture, all compounded by the low and volatile profits.

But to remedy these issues, a new report suggests government should change their outlook on agriculture from a subsistence, daily activity into a commercial enterprise. The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) says focusing on the entire value chain of the process—land tenure, farming technology, markets, and pricing—would help transform food systems around the continent. Positioning farming “as a business and entrepreneurial endeavor” would also help draw younger people into the practice, and make them see it as less of a “cool” idea and more as a “career option.”

Agribusiness is one of the few sectors that can create the quantum of jobs needed for Africa’s youth.

This marked transformation could be instituted by boosting productivity within the farms and bolstering the link between the farms and other economic segments. For instance, strengthening land tenure privileges ensures the rights of women and minorities and increases the formality of property rights.

Related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Use of Technology

Technology and mobile phones should also be increasingly adopted as a way to not only to reach farmers, but also as a mechanism for data collection and analysis on soil conditions, fertilizer application, and climate change. Mechanization should also be expanded in order to ease the back-breaking manual labor and increase yields.

And just like in the modern workplace, the report notes that women should be put on an equal footing with men in order to drive agricultural transformation in Kenya. In Kenya, we still have laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance, which still put a barrier against women land ownership—and hinder them from using their plots as collateral for loans.

Oxfarm Organic Ltd deals with tree fruits. For more information visit our offices and we will help you start that orchard you have been longing for. Book Now!

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Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruits

Benefits for you and your family:

  • Fresh and nutritious fruits. Fruits from your own garden are higher in nutrients than the ones that have traveled several thousand miles to get to your grocery store.
  • Having your children assist you in the garden can increase the chance that they will eat more of the fruits and vegetables they have helped to grow.
  • Growing your own fruits can offer you the opportunity to reduce the amount of pesticides that you use in your garden, making them healthier.
  • Growing your own fruits will save your money at the grocery store.
  • Gardening increases physical activity. It is a great way to engage the whole family in physical activity and lets them help to take responsibility for the garden.
  • The fruits grown in your garden will promote health because they are rich in nutrients, especially in phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.
  • Gardening gives you’re a real sense of appreciation when you can see the bounty of your efforts.
  • Growing a garden gives you a new appreciation for nature, when you can have the opportunity to see how things grow.
  • Gardening may stimulate many new interests. You may want to learn more about botany, landscape architecture, photography, nutrition, and farmer’s markets.
  • Gardening gives you the opportunity to give back. If you have an abundant garden, you might give some of your produce to the local soup kitchen or food bank.
  • This can be a great time to create memories with your children, memories that can last a lifetime.
  • Your garden can lead to new skills, and knowledge for you and your family, your child may have a new found interest to become a farmer!

Society and Community

  • Gardens can foster a great sense of community through parent to parent connections, teacher to student or student to student.
  • Schools and community may decide to build a community or school garden. This is a tremendous learning tool for all involved as well a providing a source of nutritious fruits
  • A community/school garden can help to foster and motivate future leaders (e.g., 4-H afterschool programs).
  • Neighborhood Community Gardens beautify landscape, support local farmers, can create a food secure community where residents do not need to rely on vendors to supply fresh produce.

Environment

Tall fruit trees provide shade.

  • You can use less pesticides or use natural pesticides and this will be less contamination to the environment.
  • Produce peels and waste can create a lot of green waste and takes up a lot of space in the garbage can. Recycle them to make your own compost. It is less expensive than buying fertilizers.
  • Turn unsightly lands into attractive landscapes.
  • Get creative. There is a potential to grow an innovative gardens like futuristic horticulture gardens that are very cost-effective and require substantially less space.

If you’ve got a bit of empty space on your farm, growing a fruit tree is a good way to fill it and still get a passive income- beehives are a similar option, but you can surround a grown tree with beehives for kicks.

Investing in more fruit trees will make them more worthwhile, definitely- the combined benefit of many fruits is always going to be more apparently valuable for the time you spend interacting with the tree every few days. Even ignoring the quality level gain of a fruit tree and placing some kegs or preserves jars right next to your trees can boost the profits you’re seeing from your tree without much extra effort, or you could keep them around as a guarantee of some portable energy consumables during a given season.

Start exploring today!! Book seedlings today!

 

 

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

Kenya has a vast abundance of land, resources, and climate variations that allows it to produce different varieties of food and cash crops in its agricultural sector. This industry goes on to employ up to 70% of the Kenyan workforce, while contributing about 80% of the country’s GDP.

In the light of the economic output agriculture contributes to the economies of various African nations, the widespread demand and consumption of fruit and vegetable products in fast growing urban and rural areas has made fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya or Africa a lucrative agribusiness to venture into.

This opportunity is driving knowledgeable farmers living in Kenya to take advantage of the fast-growing market by either expanding their fruit and vegetable farms or to setup fruit and vegetable farms as one of their agribusiness subsidiaries.

What Is Fruit Farming About?

Fruit and vegetable farming is the cultivation of fruits and vegetables for human consumption. They can be grown by planting them in hanging baskets and window boxes or sown into dry or moist ground, and are widely consumed in many places around the world.

Facts and Benefits of Fruit Farming

Fruits and vegetables are one the world’s most popular source of food.

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

Business Opportunities in Fruit and Vegetable Farming

1). A Great Source of Food:

Fruits and vegetables have been feeding both humans and animals as far back as history has recorded. They’re highly nutritious and can serve as emergency meals in situations where cooking certain meals may take a long time to complete.

Some commonly consumed fruits include:

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

2). Consumer Goods:

Asides just serving as a great source of food, fruits and vegetables are also used in the production of consumer goods like hair dye, olive oil, jam, foot rub, and metal polish.

 

Setting Up Your Fruit and Vegetable Farming Business

1). Select the Fruit And/or Vegetable Crop You Intend to Cultivate:

The first step in starting a fruit and vegetable farming business is to decide what type of fruits or vegetables you intend to grow. As earlier stated, there are vast numbers of fruits and vegetables to choose from, and picking the right one or set is critical to growing a successful fruit and vegetable farm.

Some questions to ask yourself in your decision-making process are:

  • How resistant is this crop to pests and diseases?
  • Is there a large demand for this crop?
  • What are the risks of growing this crop?
  • Where and how will the fruits and vegetables be sold?
  • What volume of this crop should I first produce?

When you’ve answered the questions to the best of your knowledge and are satisfied with the preliminary results your fruit or vegetable crop of choice may fetch you, you can go ahead to start a fruit or vegetable farming business in that regard.

2). Choose A Suitable Farmland:

Depending on the type of fruit and/or vegetable crop you’ve decided to plant, you should choose a farmland that’d work perfectly for it. Some factors to consider in choosing a farmland include:

  • Access to sunlight
  • Topography
  • Demographic
  • Availability of water
  • Soil type

Every fruit and/or vegetable crop has the best type of soil or conditions in which it can grow, and your second job as a farmer is to choose the best farmland that’s suitable for the fruits and vegetables you’ve decided to grow.

3). Apply Manure and Start Planting:

Mix a soilless mix and a balanced manure that contains equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with the soil. Soilless mixes are sterile and will help rid the soil of weed and diseases, and provide great drainage for the vegetables.

Next, separate each vegetable per container and plant the seeds at the correct depth. Also ensure there’s enough spacing between the plants.

4). Irrigate

Water the plants carefully, at least once a day to keep the soil moist, and re-fertilize the soil when the plants begin to grow.

5). Harvest & Market:

After a couple of months, depending on which type of fruit and vegetable farming business you ventured into, the next step is to harvest your crops, keep them in optimal storage locations, and sell them through your supply chain network.

Challenges of Fruit and Vegetable Farming

Some of the challenges of fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya and many parts of Africa include:

1). Lack of experience

2). Land tenure insecurity

3). Low and unstable investment in agricultural research

4). Financial Constraints:

  • High interest rates.
  • Inaccessible credit due to tough conditions.
  • Expensive for manually irrigated and controlled environment.

5). Storage Constraints:

  • Poor storage methods.
  • Lack of post-harvesting preservation skills.
  • Theft.

6). Farm Inputs Constraints:

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

7). Infrastructural Constraints:

  • Inaccessible roads.
  • Poor market facilities.

8). Marketing Constraints:

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

 

Fruit and vegetable farming in Kenya or Africa, is one agricultural sector with a lot of highly profitable sub-sectors. Whether you choose to focus on growing a fruit or vegetable, there’s an abundant market for the products, both locally in the country and for exportation to many parts of the world.

Book your seedlings today.

 

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Why you Should Consider Farming as a career

Farming is a Career

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Content: The role of an Agronomist

But I Don’t Know Anything About Farming!

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

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

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

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

But Farming Is Hard Work!

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

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

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

But Success Isn’t Guaranteed in Farming!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independence and Self-Reliance

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

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

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

There’s risk involved either way.

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

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

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

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

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Sustainable Fruit Production through Organic Farming

What is sustainable Agriculture?

Sustainable farming through organic farming has often been described as a way of growing food in a way that it does not have an adverse effect on the environment, that is healthy for the consumer, the animals and the land on which it is grown/raised, that takes into consideration the health and welfare of the workers, and which supports and gives back to the local community. Sustainable agriculture is not only about conserving, but preserving as well. As a rule of thumb, sustainable agriculture believes what gets taken out of the environment should be put back into the environment.

Fruit production faces a whole range of sustainability issues today, spanning all the economic, environmental, and social dimensions mentioned above. For growers of all crops, economic sustainability must be addressed in the short-term or their operation will fail in an unsubsidized system. The economic issues include rising production costs (e.g. labor) with static or declining prices; retail consolidation leading to more sellers than buyers and less economic power for producers; declining demand for some fruits; global competition and counter seasonal production in opposing hemispheres.

Environmental issues around pesticides, water use and quality, energy, biodiversity, and air (e.g. methyl bromide) all relate to sustainability, but often on a longer time frame than economics. And social sustainability encompasses worker safety and other labor issues, the health-imparting benefits of fruit in the diet, urbanization and land use changes, and food security.

The sustainability issues influencing fruit production will depend on the scale, the marketing channels, and the geographic context of location. A small scale, direct market tree-tomato grower will face different challenges than a large scale export oriented apple producer. Apple producers in Kenya face different challenges than their counterparts in Egypt. Therefore, any discussion of sustainability must take context into account.

Related Content: make money through passion fruit farming

Rise Of Organic farming in Fruit Production

Organic farmingOrganic farming is one approach to increasing sustainability in agriculture that is market-driven and growing rapidly. The origins of organic farming come from a focus on improving organic matter in the soil in order to grow healthy plants that can resist pests and diseases, and that provide maximum health to the people and animals that eat them. One guiding principle is the use of natural materials for crop production and the avoidance of synthetic materials (e.g. fertilizers, pesticides). Another principle is to work with the natural systems and processes as much as possible, concurring with the.

Thus, organic farming shares virtually all the goals articulated by sustainable agriculture proponents. As organic farming expanded in the 1980s, certification programs became necessary to guarantee to the consumer that the product they were buying, and generally paying a higher price for, was indeed produced as they expected. The ‘no chemicals’ or ‘no synthetics’ principles were often the strongest impressions in the consumer mind.

Organic matter, a key consideration in organic agriculture, is arguably the most important aspect of sustainable soil management. Tillage is a practice that can quickly degrade organic matter. Since tree fruit and vine systems are perennial and typically involve little tillage after planting, they can be very conducive to increasing soil organic matter. On the other hand, tree fruit and vine crops typically require a high level of pest management to produce marketable crops.

Organic growers are greatly restricted in the pest control products they can use. The allowed products are generally less effective and of shorter duration than products that growers following other production approaches can use.

Challenges of Organic farming in Fruit Production

Nutrient Management- Key challenges for organic fruit production include nutrient management, weed control, and control of replant diseases. Organic pear growers in Kenya report a decline in fruit yield and size over time, due to the inability to control perennial weeds and control their competition for slowly available nitrogen. Organic tree fruit growers in Kenya will commonly fumigate the soil prior to replanting an orchard (and restart their certification process) rather than risk the economic devastation from replant disease, for which there are no proven organic controls.

Resistance management- This is another challenge, given the fewer effective tools for pest control. When a new tool comes along, such as spinose, there is a tendency to overuse it and thus increase the likelihood of inducing pest resistance. In many regions, organic fruit producers must spray more frequently, and use more kilograms of pesticide product, often achieving a lower marketable yield. This conflict between the potential for improved environmental sustainability of organic systems and their challenge in maintaining economic sustainability has limited expansion of organic fruit production in certain regions.

The continuing expansion of organic fruit production in semi-arid regions in Kenya reiterates the importance of the biophysical conditions and how well they support sustainability.

For more information about organic farming, contact us or visit our offices. In addition, we have a variety of fruits that do well in your area. We normally deliver our seedlings on a first come service.

Book now.

 

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Take guess-work out of agribusiness by conducting soil test

Why is it important to conduct soil test ?

Soil test is a valuable tool for your farm as it determines the inputs required for efficient and economic production of fruits and vegetables. A proper soil test will help ensure the application of enough fertilizer to meet the requirements of the crop while taking advantage of the nutrients already present in the soil. It will also allow you to determine lime requirements and can be used to diagnose problem areas. It is very important that your sampling technique is correct as the results are only as good as the sample you take. Soil testing is also a requirement for farms that must complete a nutrient management plan.

Getting a soil test is a great way to measure its health and fertility. These tests are generally inexpensive, though well worth any cost when it comes to growing and maintaining healthy plants in the garden. So how often should you do a soil test and what does a soil test show? To answer these questions, it may help to learn more about the soil testing process in general.

Why Test Soil in the Garden?

Soil test Most soil nutrients are readily found in the soil provided that its pH level is within the 6 to 6.5 range. However, when the pH level rises, many nutrients (like phosphorus, iron, etc.) may become less available. When it drops, they may even reach toxic levels, which can adversely affect the plants. Getting a soil test can help take the guesswork out of fixing any of these nutrient issues. There’s no need to spend money on fertilizers that aren’t necessary. There’s no worry of over fertilizing plants either. With a soil test, you’ll have the means for creating a healthy soil environment that will lead to maximum plant growth.

What Does a Soil Test Show?

A soil test can determine the current fertility and health of your soil. By measuring both the pH level and pinpointing nutrient deficiencies, a soil test can provide the information necessary for maintaining the most optimal fertility each year. Most plants, including grasses, flowers, and vegetables, perform best in slightly acidic soil (6.0 to 6.5). Others, like azaleas, gardenias and blueberries, require a somewhat higher acidity in order to thrive. Therefore, having a soil test can make it easier to determine the current acidity so you can make the appropriate adjustments. It will also allow you to fix any deficiencies that may be present.

Related Post: Commercial Kiwifruit farming in Kenya

How Often Do You Do a Soil Test?

Soil samples can be taken at any time of the year, with fall being preferable. They are normally taken annually or simply as needed. While many companies or gardening centers offer soil testing kits, you can usually obtain a soil test at low cost through Oxfarm Organic Ltd. Avoid having the soil tested whenever the soil is wet or when it’s been recently fertilized. To take a sample for testing garden soil, use a small trowel to take thin slices of soil from various areas of the garden (about a cup’s worth each). Allow it to air dry at room temperature and then place it into a clean plastic container. Label the soil area and date for testing. Now that you know the importance of getting a soil test, you can better manage your garden plants by making the appropriate adjustments from your soil test results.

Take the guesswork out of fertilizing by testing garden soil today. Contact our offices for more details.

 

 

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Agri-business in Kenya: Fighting Poverty and Hunger

Kenya is witnessing a quiet revolution which holds out real hope of banishing poverty and hunger and driving economic growth through Agri-business.

This transformation is not in sectors like oil and gas, minerals or tourism, which grab global headlines, but in Agri-Business, which remains the backbone of the continent’s economy.

Agri-Business Is the Major Sector in Kenya

Despite the rapid growth in the services sector, Agri-Business still accounts for more than a third of its GDP. Kenya is urbanizing rapidly, but Agri-Business still employs two-thirds of the workforce. Evidence has shown that growth in Agri-Business is up to 11 times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector. If we want to end poverty and hunger in Kenya by 2030, Agri-Business needs to be right at the heart of the strategy.

Kenyan Agri-Business and small-scale farmers have too often been forgotten. The result is that Africa, despite the hard work of its farmers, does not grow enough to feed its own people. One in four of the continent’s population is undernourished, a huge barrier to better health and development. There is a direct economic cost, too, with $35bn spent on importing food annually – a figure which could almost triple by 2025 unless Africa increases agricultural productivity.

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

How to Fight Hunger and Poverty Through Agri-Business

Agri-business is the only way of maximizing profits
A passion fruit Farm in North Rift

First, over the last decade, Agri-Business has received growing attention from governments and investors. For example, through African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) – a forum which Koffi Annan helped launch a decade ago – $30bn worth of political, financial and policy pledges were made; the largest-ever commitment to the continent’s Agri-Business. This was a turning point. Now, Africa is taking steps to turn these pledges into results. At 2016 AGRF in early September, there were signing of many agro-business deals amounting to more than $6bn.

Second, smallholder agri-business farmers are becoming recognized for the small businesses they are. Initiatives like the Farm to Market Alliance, which help smallholder farmers secure long-term buyers for their produce, are gaining momentum. This gives them the confidence to invest and grow their businesses knowing they have a market when they harvest.

Third, Africa is changing the way it works together. New partnerships are emerging, like the recently launched, multimillion-dollar Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA). It aims to increasing incomes and improve the food security of 30 million smallholder farm households across Africa by 2021. It is the first time Africa has seen some of the largest funders of agricultural development pooling their resources and efforts towards a common goal. This represents a new way of doing business. Though supporting small-scale farmers, Africa can free itself from hunger.

Fourth, with climate change threatening food production as never, Africa is prioritizing efforts to help farmers adapt. By embracing, for example, solutions such as drought and heat-tolerant crops, modern weather information systems, and efficient irrigation systems, farmers can cope with the changing weather conditions.

Fifth, Africa is putting a much bigger emphasis on the quality of its diets, rather than just focusing on quantity. In sub-Saharan Africa, millions lack the nutrients needed for proper health and development. One of the ways we are tackling malnutrition is by making crops more nutritious.

Africa Taking Control Through Agri-Business

These signs of progress rarely make the global headlines, but they are slowly and surely transforming economies and improving lives of millions across the continent. Africa is taking control of its own agricultural transformation. This is essential if the continent is to ensure African farmers and companies enjoy the full benefits of its growing food market, which is projected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

In the end, this progress will only continue if Africa focus on Agri-Business as its path to prosperity, monitor its progress and hold itself to account.

We shall reap what we sow. By supporting Kenya’s smallholder farmers, we can build a Kenya free from hunger. We can build an Africa free from poverty. We can build an Africa proud to be economically strong and able to feed itself. That is the bountiful harvest that together we can and must achieve.

For better fruit farming methods and seedlings, call us today or visit our offices.

By Koffi Annan

 

 

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Fruit grafting provides better varieties

Fruit grafting provides better varieties

Keen gardeners could already be at home with a farming technique referred to as grafting. For hundreds of years, orchardists, rosarians, nursery homeowners and different growers have used this method to form plants with improved malady resistance and strength, increased yields and distinctive physical forms, and to form fruit trees that bear multiple varieties on a similar tree.

Though there are many sorts of graft, in its simplest kind, graft attaches the shoot system (the scion) of 1 plant to the basis system (the rootstock) of a separate plant. The 2 are grafted along in a very straightforward procedure, and once the graft union has cured, the 2 plants grow joined.

Fruit grafting permits growers to mix the positive attributes of 2 varieties into one fruit tree. In most cases, the descendant and rootstock should be from a similar species (or, sometimes, a similar family) so as for them to be compatible and for the graft union to require. But, you’ll graft associate apricot with a fruit tree because they are within the same stone-fruit family.

Related Content: apple farming in Kenya: mitigating risks

How Fruit Grafting is Done

Avocado Fruit grafting

The technique of fruit grafting permits farmers to possess dwarf fruit trees (the dwarfing attribute is carried within the rootstock), apples that bear 5 varieties on a similar tree, and a “fruit cocktail tree” that grows many styles of fruit, every on its own branch.

The rootstock chosen for graft is usually chosen for the intensity or malady resistance of that individual selection. The shoot system, or scion, is chosen for flower color, fruit production or distinctive growth kind.

Grafting is kind of common among fruit and decorative trees, particularly those with distinctive or specialized forms. As an example, several weeping trees are created by graft a nodding shoot system onto a straight-trunked form of a similar plant, and a few maples is also grafted onto totally different rootstocks to enhance their winter strength.

One slightly newer means the technique of graft has found its means into our gardens is thru vegetables. Some seed catalogs carry grafted tomatoes, peppers, melons and different vegetables. Although these plants are commercially fully grown in different components of the globe for several years, they are just finding a direct the us.

Grafted fruits are created by choosing a great-tasting, heavy-yielding selection and graft it to a rootstock with improved malady and gadfly resistance, early maturity, drought tolerance, and/or vigorous growth. the thought is that these grafted plants can perform higher and turn out sooner than those fruits that are un-grafted.

Keep in mind, though, that graft is helpful just for the generation of plants on that it had been performed. The enhancements created through graft aren’t carried to ensuing generation via saved seeds or perhaps by taking cuttings of the plant. graft cannot lead to improved issue like purposeful plant breeding can; it’s just a noteworthy thanks to mix the positive attributes of 2 plants into one.

If you need any help towards in sourcing grafted seedlings, planting instructions and other technical advice, Visit our offices or contact us.

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You Love Bananas? Scientists Say You Should Prepare to Live Without Them

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

The banana has become central to so many breakfasts.

It’s also often seen at lunches.

And who could forget Tiger Woods in his heyday scoffing bananas on the golf course for energy?

Bananas are substantial. They’re supposed to be good for you, even if some nutritionists think they’re something of a sugar-bomb.

Now there’s a problem. Bananas are dying.

As the Washington Post reports, a banana-attacking fungus called Fusarium Wilt has been assaulting the bananas with which you’re most familiar.

They’re called Cavendish bananas.

And across Southeast Asia and Australia, Fusarium Wilt has been wafting its murderous way along, taking bite after deadly bite.

Worse, experts say that it’s now been spotted in Africa and the Middle East.

Even worse than that, it seems only a matter of time before it ends up in Latin America, the biggest source of bananas for the U.S.

The thing about Fusarium Wilt is that it appears somewhat impervious to pesticides. It’s so insidious that, just like the bad guy at the end of movies, it can pretend to be dead and then suddenly get up and start killing again.

Naturally, scientists are getting together and trying to create genetically modified versions of the Cavendish that can defy Fusarium Wilt’s venom.

It’s easy to panic. Our whole world is set up that way these days.

Indeed, the Post offers these shuddering words: “Scientists say we could be looking at a future where bananas all but disappear from store shelves.”

There is, though, a healthy irony in all this. It seems that the banana industry has shown very little interest in sponsoring research of any kind. Which means there are very few scientists working to fight against the banana’s extinction.

For we ordinary humans, though, what could we replace the banana with?

It seems to have taken up such a central place in our lives. It’s brightly colored, not messy, full of potassium and pleasantly filling.

What are we going to do? Start eating edamame for breakfast? Or pomegranates?

These really are parlous times. 

 

First appeared on Inc magazine

 

 

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