Posted on

10 Biggest Agricultural Venture That Guarantee More Money in Your Pocket

Farming in Kenya is picking up in a high speed and the youths haven’t been left out. If you are thinking of the best ways to make money through venturing in agricultural business, we have researched for you some of the best ideas.

To start with, some of these ventures don’t require much capital and the outcome results are somehow average.

  1. Fish Farming

Commercial fish farming business is a lucrative investment that can spin money at any time of the year continuously. With the implementation of modern techniques and having owned space, an entrepreneur can start this business with moderate capital investment.

  1. Piggery

Having a sufficient landholding an entrepreneur can start a piggery business. Among the various livestock species, piggery is most potential source for meat production and pigs are more efficient feed converters after the broiler. The major facility is pig farming requires a small investment in buildings and equipment.

  1. Vegetable Farming

Spinach, lettuce, pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage, and cucumber et al, are all vegetables that are consumed in every part of the globe and can also be cultivated in every part of the world. This goes to show that there is a very large market for vegetables. So, if you are looking towards starting an agricultural crop cultivation business, then one of your options is to go into vegetable farming.

  1. Mushroom Farming

Mushroom farming is one of the most profitable agricultural business ideas for young entrepreneurs, which has a turnaround period of only three weeks. Yes, you heard that right! And, it has huge profit potential with demand for good quality and organic mushrooms being high among restaurant owners as well as households.

  1. Poultry equipment manufacturing

These are usually skilled artisans who construct various equipment needed on the poultry farm – welders, carpenters, electricians etc. You can learn the various specifications needed for the poultry equipment and you are in business.

  1. Chicken and egg distribution business

This basically involves bridging the gap between poultry farmers and the consumer market. It is very lucrative and requires relatively little money to start-up. You can focus only on chicken, eggs or both. You meet poultry farmers, buy their stock and resell them in the market to wholesalers and retailers. It does not need any special skills, only your marketing abilities and a working vehicle.

  1. Fertilizer Distribution Business

If you like the idea of making a profit by helping people work with the soil, you might enjoy being a part of the fertilizer industry by starting fertilizer distribution business. Entrepreneurs can initiate fertilizer distribution business with a proper selection of products from any location. Find suppliers willing to do business at a suitable price in your area. Obtain quality products at a reasonable price from a reliable source. You can go for import also in the case of bulk purchase. In fertilizer distribution business, the source you choose will depend on your start-up budget.

Also Read: Different Types Of Poultry Farming And Their Products

  1. Soil Testing Lab

Soil Testing is agronomically sound, beneficial and environmentally responsive tool used for monitoring the nutrient as well as making precise fertilizer recommendations for various crops and cropping sequences ensuring no damage to the environment. Establishing a soil testing lab is one of an ideal agriculture business ideas in Kenya.

  1. Fodder Farming for Goats and Cows

Fodder is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as chickens, horses, pigs, cattle and goats. The term refers to food given to animals, rather than the food they forage for themselves.

  1. Agrotourism

You could also offer a whole tourist experience at your farm where people can come visit and maybe even stay as part of a bed and breakfast type of experience.

Also read: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

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

Posted on

What is organic farming and sustainable farming

Organic farming in Kenya is not a new practice and has been practiced over many years. It is a cultivation method which basically aims at growing crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly pollution free environment.

Organic farming is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection.

Organic agriculture is a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological and mechanical methods in exclusion of all synthetic off-farm inputs.

Read: The Demand For Honey Is Big, How About You Think Of Bee Keeping

Sustainable farming

With the increase in population our compulsion would be not only to stabilize agricultural production but to increase it further in sustainable manner. The scientists have realized that the ‘Green Revolution’ with high input use has reached a plateau and is now sustained with diminishing return of falling dividends. Thus, a natural balance needs to be maintained at all cost for existence of life and property. The obvious choice for that would be more relevant in the present era, when these agrochemicals which are produced from fossil fuel and are not renewable and are diminishing in availability. It may also cost heavily on our foreign exchange in future.

The key characteristics of organic farming include

  • Protecting the long-term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms
  • Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological and chemical intervention
  • The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.

Read: How to get more customers for your agricultural products

Posted on

How to get more customers for your agricultural products

Rearing animals, agri-tourism, fiber, yarn, new or cooked food, cultivate related services—the rundown of potential money streams for your farm is just constrained by your interest, time and imagination. Your farm produce marketing plan begins with a basic list of the major products and services at present offer or need to offer later on. An effective plan can help extend your client base and prompt extra income.

Read: Successful fish farming in Kenya

Identify your farm’s market

If asked the question, “Who are you marketing your farm product to?” your first instinct might be to say “Anyone who will buy.” But if you put some thought into it you’ll realize the answer is much more complex. Do women or men buy more frequently from you? Are your customers young, middle-aged or retired? Do they belong to a certain ethnic group? Do your buyers tend to be of a certain income level? Do they live in a particular area or are they geographically dispersed?

If your farm already has customers, think of your best ones. Who are they and how would you describe them? If you’re just starting out and don’t have customers yet, observe your potential competitors and their customer base. By knowing who your customers or prospects are, you can increase the likelihood they will buy from you by tailoring your marketing message to their needs and desires.

Keep in mind that your target demographic might be different for the different products and services you offer. If you have a sheep/goat farm, for instance, your breeding stock buyers may be local farmers, while buyers might be located in a large city a few hours away, and the middle-aged female hand spinners who buy your fleeces might be spread all across the country.

Read: The Demand For Honey Is Big, How About You Think Of Bee Keeping

Set your farm apart

It’s important for any business to establish its unique selling proposition, or USP. A USP is the answer to the question, “Why should someone do business with me instead of my competition?” What unique benefits does your farm offer? Freshness, quality, personal service, rarity … these can all be part of your USP.

A good USP is a clear, simple and concise statement of the benefits you offer. Along with your product line and target demographic, your USP becomes your North Star, always guiding you even when things seem foggy and the future uncertain.

Spend some time creating your USP and write it down in a prominent spot, be it in the gardening shed, barn or office. Your USP should be kept front and center as a constant reminder of your farm’s purpose and direction.

Now that you’ve established what you’re selling, whom you’re selling it to and what makes it different, you’re ready to get down to the nitty-gritty aspects of implementing a marketing plan. Most marketing plans incorporate a variety of components. Among those you will need to consider include a logo, tagline, website, association membership, advertising, events, customer service, timing and budget.

Create a farm logo.

Your farm’s logo can be something as simple as your farm name in a distinctive font, or it can be more intricate and include illustrated elements that pertain to your product or farm name. A logo should project a business image based on your goals and objectives, and elicit a general feeling for your brand. For example, if you have a wildflower farm that caters to a female clientele, you may want your logo to evoke romance, using soft, natural colors (grass green, sunflower yellow, sky blue or pastels) and a more feminine font to achieve this.

While you can create a farm logo on your computer that is suitable for desktop printing, if you plan on expanding your marketing efforts into packaging, professionally printed materials and signage, you might want to enlist the help of a professional graphic designer. Sign makers, embroiderers and commercial printers all have specific requirements for file format and quality that is difficult to achieve with most home or small-business software. A graphic designer can help you achieve a more polished look and will be able to provide you with the specific file formats you’ll need later on.

If you decide to have your logo professionally designed, finding the right designer is important. Do they know your business or businesses similar to yours? Do they have a style you find appealing? If you want illustrated elements in your logo, can they design these for you or are they limited to using readily available clip art?

The designer should provide you with a few versions of your logo including a high-resolution file for print use (300 dpi), a low-resolution file for web use (72 dpi) and some type of vector file format for embroidery use.

Write a tagline

Ideally, your tagline should be tailored so closely to your brand that competitors can’t substitute their names in it.

Start your tagline brainstorming process by noticing those you see every day on TV, in magazine ads and on the radio. Think about what you want your farm brand to communicate with its tagline. Start putting ideas on paper. Don’t worry about how silly some of the ideas might seem at first, just get them on paper and the right choice will emerge.

Launch a website

There’s no denying it—today’s farmer needs to be technologically savvy, and for most of us, an effective farm marketing plan includes having a website. A website is cost effective and reaches a wide number of customers. Whether you use your site as a static farm brochure to get your name out or actually sell products online, a website can help take your marketing to the next level without a huge investment.

Armed with the photos, text and guidance you provide, a web designer will work to incorporate these elements, along with your logo and tagline, to create a unified site that is consistent with the rest of your farm marketing efforts. Costs will vary depending on the complexity of your needs, whether you are selling products online, the completeness of the information you provide and subsequent revisions.

Join farm associations

Association membership can also be a cost-effective way to market your farm and its products. Membership fees are generally modest, and benefits include newsletter subscriptions and a printed and/or web-based listing in the association’s membership directory

Attend farm-related events

Be it festivals, farmers’ markets, seminars, demonstrations or farm open houses, events provide you with an excellent opportunity to market your products in a hands-on environment. Just as some buyers aren’t comfortable buying from catalogs, some of your customers are likely to want one-on-one contact with you and your products or animals before making a purchase decision.

Having a wide variety of products and presenting them well is important, too. Other events, like open farm days or demonstrations at the local fair can also drum up business for you. Contact your local paper and see if they’d be interested in covering what you’re doing to further increase your exposure.

Begin advertising

Display advertising in a glossy magazine might not be within your budget, but perhaps a small classified ad is. Show programs and newsletters can also provide cost-effective advertising opportunities. Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to catch readers’ attention, so your headline should pique their interest and make them want to read on. Always be sure to include your farm name, your phone number and your website address in any advertising you do. If you have room, also include your logo and tagline.

Provide good customer service.

Many times the best marketing practice is also the cheapest to implement. This is never truer than in the marketing benefit of good customer service. Good customer service doesn’t cost any more to deliver than bad customer service, but bad customer service can literally cost you your business. Whether it is standing behind a sale, answering voicemail and email promptly, or handwriting a thank-you note to put in with an order, small efforts can make a big difference!

Establish a marketing budget and calendar

In your startup years, your farm marketing budget might be 5 to 10 percent of your gross sales figure, but as time goes on and word-of-mouth begins to work for you, your marketing budget might drop to 2 to 3 percent of gross sales. Creating a marketing budget and calendar for your marketing year is a good way to set goals and keep yourself on track.

If your farm business has a natural downtime (as many farms do), this is a great time to plan your marketing. You’ll have fewer distractions, less stress and will be able to come up with more creative ideas than when you’re in the height of your busy season. Marketing isn’t hard to do, it’s just easy to put off doing when it seems like a million tasks are more pressing.

Evaluate your success

The success of your farm marketing plan can be gauged in many different ways. Ask yourself these questions after you’ve given your newly implemented marketing plan time to work.

  • Did I retain more customers?
  • Did I get new customers?
  • Were my existing customers more satisfied?
  • Was my job easier and more fun?
  • Did I sell more?
  • Did I make a larger profit?
  • Did my farm products sell more quickly?
  • Are there some potential customers that might turn into sales in the coming year as a result of this year’s marketing?

After some time, as your farm business develops, you will without a doubt grow your marketing methods, be it sprucing up your product packaging, having handouts professionally printed, conveying official statements, or getting signage made for your farm store or show booth. There will always be a continuing stream of marketing possibilities to consider. Keep an open mind. In the event that there’s something you can’t legitimize fiscally today however think would be an awesome advertising thought, in a year your expanding deals may make it possible.

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

 

Posted on

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Crops Organically

There is nothing like biting into a fresh ripe apple plucked your Shamba. This is just one of the pleasures you can enjoy when you grow your own crops. There was a time when people didn’t give much thought about the foods they buy in the grocery stores. Food safety is one of the main reasons for growing more of our own organic foods, but there are so many other reasons too. Here are the top 10 reasons to grow your own organic crops:

Superior Flavor

There is nothing like biting into a fresh ripe tomato or snacking on string beans plucked from the vine as you putter through the garden.

Many of the varieties of fruits and vegetables sold in grocery stores are adapted for commercial farming. Through selecting and breeding specific traits, these strains are developed to produce more per plant, be ready for harvesting all at once, have a longer shelf life, be uniform size and shape, ship without bruising, and often times finish ripening on trucks during shipping. Even when you purchase organic vegetables, this breeding can compromise flavor. The taste and texture of a grocery store tomato cannot compare to one that is freshly picked from a plant growing in your own garden.

Read: How To Establish An Arrow Root Farm

More Variety

Growing from quality transplants from your local nursery or starting your own seedlings under lights allows you to select from so many different varieties that offer greater flavor and texture than what is available in the grocery stores. You can choose from hundreds of varieties based on flavor, shape, and color. When you grow your own, you can select varieties that are adapted to your growing area or mature in a short period.

No Chemicals

You control the growing environment of your garden. There is no need for chemicals and pesticides in your backyard garden. If you have problems with disease or pests, there is usually an organic remedy to solve it. In worst-case scenarios, you simply chalk that particular crop up to a loss, pull the plants, and plant something else in its place.

These are some of the easiest garden vegetables to grow in your own backyard garden without using pesticides.

Food Safety

Growing and harvesting food from your backyard garden ensures you know where your food came from. I cringe every single time I hear about a food-borne illness on the news and there have been many since my eye-opening experience back in 2006.

Healthier Eating

Tending to your garden and growing your own food will teach you to eat in season when flavors and nutrients are at peak. When you have a lot of harvests to use up, you tend to eat more vegetables and think of creative ways to prepare them so nothing goes to waste. Since they are harvested fresh, the natural flavors of the vegetables shine and do not need additional oils, salt, or other additives to make them taste good.

Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally in the garden and are consumed within days of harvest have more nutrients than store-bought vegetables. Most of the vegetables that line the grocery store produce section are picked early, shipped to warehouses, distributed to the stores, and stay in storage or on the shelf for a while until you purchase them. Over time, the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables declines. Not only do freshly picked fruits and vegetables taste better, but they also have a higher nutritional value.

Read: Success on bee keeping this is what you need to know

Outdoor Exercise

During the growing season, gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine regularly. There are a lot of different movements in gardening that require strength or stretching. Digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks are excellent forms of low-impact exercise.

Did you know that 45 minutes of farming burns the same amount of calories as running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes? Regular physical activity can help you feel better and improve your well-being because it relieves stress, boosts energy and releases tension.

Reduction in Food Waste

None of the fruits and vegetables harvested on our property go to waste. We make every effort to eat or preserve all the food harvested from the garden. Whatever scraps or trimmings we don’t consume is either fed to our hens or added to the compost bin to be returned to the garden again as nutrients. We also give away excess harvests if we are unable to use it.

Saves Money at the Grocery Store

Many will challenge that gardening saves money. When the garden bug hits, it is easy to find yourself purchasing cute pots, plant stakes, and gardening gadgets on the market. If you stick to the basics, gardening really doesn’t cost much in supplies in comparison to the amount of food it produces.

Even if you grow a small garden for fresh eating, you will save money. For example, a package of organic kale greens cost at least Ksh10 at my local grocery store and is usually only enough for a few servings. If you grow your own from a package of good-quality organic seeds, it costs half that and produces for a longer period of time yielding about 6 Kilos of greens.

Food Security

The World Health Organization states that food security is achieved when “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”

Growing your own food garden contributes to your food security by providing direct access to food that can be harvested, prepared and fed to your family daily during the growing season. If you learn how to preserve your harvest, you will be able to stock your Pantry and feed your family even when the growing season is over.

Sense of Pride

Planting a seed, watching it sprout and grow to produce food for you, and your family is one of the most gratifying feelings. Sure, many of us work hard to earn a living and provide for our family, but the close association of this simple effort and direct reward is fulfilling.

I love the feeling of pride as I look over a meal I prepared with vegetables from my garden. I revel in the sensation of accomplishment as I stock with potatoes, onions, garlic, other storage crops.

Also Read: 7 Requirements Of Successful Bee Farming, Number 3 Is The Most Important

 

Posted on

The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

The initial cost of buying certified fruit seedlings can discourage many farmers. Farm generated fruit seedlings is usually a lot cheaper than purchasing seedlings from an external source. So if a farmer’s primary concern is about cost per unit of farm-saved seedlings versus cost per unit of certified seedlings, the equation is simple. Farmers may even say “we’ve always used farm-saved fruit seedlings.” Why invest in something new? But farmers who think a little more recognize that it’s not enough to merely consider the price difference. Farm fruit seedlings requires proper quality testing, cleaning and even treating. Taking these factors into account, the cost savings aren’t quite as attractive. In fact, certified fruit seedlings is a very different product from farm fruit seedlings, and it offers unmatched benefits.

Ask farmers who rely on certified fruit seedlings what the most important benefits are, and they’ll say the quality and stability of their yields. For decades, seedlings companies like Oxfarm Organic Ltd have been investing in improving seeds through smart breeding, grafting and trait technology. Traits are the genetic characteristics that help crops grow to their full potential, thrive in different environments, defend themselves against insects, nematodes and diseases, and withstand all that nature may throw at them. Thanks to the research and development that has gone into fruit seedlings development and new genetics, certified seedlings holds improved traits such as better quality and quantity of yields, pest resistance and drought tolerance. The genetic purity and assured quality of certified fruit seedlings reduce the risk of adverse climate conditions, pests or diseases that can reduce the next season’s yields.

Related Post: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

The Benefits of Certified Fruit Seedlings

Certified seedling is clean. It’s grown and processed under the strictest possible production conditions to minimize the risk of infiltration by weeds or other undesirable plants. Certified seedlings also give a farmer pure variety. Strict quality management systems are employed to maximize purity and ensure a farmer receives the specific variety he wants. Another advantage these quality management systems offer is traceability. With food safety and traceability becoming increasingly important criteria in agriculture, farmers growing crops from certified seedlings can be sure of its origins.

The advances in seedlings technology that have gone into certified seedlings also bring decisive benefits in overcoming the challenge of feeding the growing global population. This technology has increased productivity, enabling farmers worldwide to grow more food on available agricultural land. With urbanization eating away at farming acreage, it’s vital to maximize yields per hectare.

For more information, Visit our offices or contact us and get your seedlings.

[pg_sas_shop products_per_page=’5′]

Posted on

Why You Should Farm Organically?

As our knowledge of the harmful effects of agricultural chemicals grows, more and more farmers and consumers are rediscovering their organic history, returning to the methods of old, such as plucking insect pests and weeds by hand and hoe, and amending soil with natural fertilizers—compost. The joy in growing your own food is the joy in savoring its delicious flavor and in providing good food for others to enjoy. Discover how to rebuild your garden with an organic foundation and produce the vegetables, fruits and herbs that will nourish your family and the families of those who purchase your produce.

The general principles of organic production, include the following:

  • protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health
  • maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
  • maintain biological diversity within the system
  • recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise
  • provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock
  • prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production
  • rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems

Organic farming promotes the use of crop rotations and cover crops, and encourages balanced host/predator relationships. Organic residues and nutrients produced on the farm are recycled back to the soil. Cover crops and composted manure are used to maintain soil organic matter and fertility. Preventative insect and disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics and resistant varieties. Integrated pest and weed management, and soil conservation systems are valuable tools on an organic farm

Organic farming presents many challenges. Some crops are more challenging than others to grow organically; however, nearly every commodity can be produced organically.

Related content: Pomegranate fruit Farming: Find Out About Diseases in Pomegranate

Why Farm Organically?

The main reasons farmers state for wanting to farm organically are their concerns for the environment and about working with agricultural chemicals in conventional farming systems. There is also an issue with the amount of energy used in agriculture, since many farm chemicals require energy intensive manufacturing processes that rely heavily on fossil fuels. Organic farmers find their method of farming to be profitable and personally rewarding.

Related Content: How To Become A Successful Grape Farmer in Kenya

Why Buy Organic?

Consumers purchase organic foods for many different reasons. Many want to buy food products that are free of chemical pesticides or grown without conventional fertilizers. Some simply like to try new and different products. Product taste, concerns for the environment and the desire to avoid foods from genetically engineered organisms are among the many other reasons some consumers prefer to buy organic food products.

Organic farming can be a viable alternative production method for farmers, but there are many challenges. One key to success is being open to alternative organic approaches to solving production problems. Determine the cause of the problem, and assess strategies to avoid or reduce the long term problem rather than a short term fix for it.

For more information, kindly visit our offices or call us. Also book your seedlings early enough for the next rainy season!!

[pg_sas_shop products_per_page=’5′]

Posted on

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

Before planting your first fruit tree, you should conduct your own research regarding production, marketing, and financing the enterprise.

When considering tree fruit production, careful planning and research is critical to your success. There are many considerations you should address and some of these may be a few months in advance of planting your first tree.

Your first consideration should be your marketing plan. How do you intend to sell your fruit? You may be considering wholesale markets however; do you have enough acreage to produce the volume to be profitable? If you plan to retail your production, who and where are your customers? With the increasing popularity of hard cider operations, this may be an option.

Book your seedlings Earlier

You will probably need to order trees two months in advance. Before ordering trees you should decide if you will be planting apples, tree-tomato, avocado, macadamia, pawpaw, oranges, lemons, pears, or stone fruit (cherry, peach, nectarine, apricot, plum, ). Also before ordering, you need to decide the cultivars, rootstock, and tree density. You should talk to your potential markets to determine what cultivars are popular now and what may be popular in the future (We can help you with that).

Related Content: Best Tips of Growing Grapes In Kenya

Related Content: Earn Ksh500,000 Per Acre/ Year by Growing Pawpaw

When deciding on apple cultivars you will need to choose at least two cultivars for pollination. Some cultivars require three different pollens to produce fruit. You may also choose to use another type of tree such as crab apples to pollinate your cultivars. Consult your nursery to determine which cultivars work well together.

The topography of your land may dictate tree density. Steeper slopes may mean more space between rows but between tree spacing may remain as planned. Keep in mind that you will be operating equipment in the orchard at least weekly. Also, higher density orchards require more management than lower density orchards. High density orchards also require irrigation and a support system.

A high density (900 trees per acre), fresh fruit orchard may cost 150,000 per acre to establish while a medium density (150 tree per acre, e.g Avocado) may cost 45000 per acre to establish. The smaller trees will produce a crop earlier than medium sized trees so your management skills may impact your decision.

Labor is another consideration when deciding on an orchard. Will you need more than family labor and, if so, what is the source of the additional labor?

It will be several years before you begin to see a return on your investment so plan accordingly. Also, consult your accountant as trees cannot be deprecated for several years after planting. Production expenses are deductible but the trees are not.

After considering all of your options and conducting hours of research you should be able to make an informed decision.

If you really need to start an orchard and you are stuck halfway, don’t lose hope, visit our offices or give us a call and we will guide you through.

For those who have already decided, this is the time to book your seedlings.

 

 

 

Posted on

Amazing Health Benefits of Plums

Plum Fruits are amazing for human body, mainly for preventing cancer. You call it plum when it is fresh, and you call it prune when it is dried, but both of them are full of nutrients. So no matter which type that you eat, you can still reap the benefits. They are packed with an immense range of phenols and flavonoids, which offer an impressive range of health benefits. Listed below are few of the health benefits of plum fruit

Cardiovascular Health

Regular consumption of plums is quite beneficial for maintaining cardiovascular health. Research has proven that the regular intake of dried plums helps in promoting fluidity of blood in the arteries. This protective effect aids in the prevention of various cardiac complaints, including the development of atherosclerosis and the reduction in chances for heart attacks and strokes.

Also Read: How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

Prevent Cancer

Several researches have proven that the plum extracts have been proven beneficial in the treatment of cancer. Research has shown that the component epicatechin, present in plums, helps in preventing the growth and proliferation of malignant cancer cells and encourages apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, including chlorogenic acid and neo-chlorogenic acid which have a restorative effect on breast cancer cells, without harming the normal healthy cells of the body.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Regular Consumption of dried plums exerts anabolic and anti-resorptive actions, which aid in maintaining healthy bones. Plums consist of Flavonoids such as caffeic acid and rutin which helps in preventing the deterioration of bone tissues and prevent diseases such as osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Polyphenols, along with the potassium content present in dried plums, encourage the formation of bones, enhances bone density and prevents bone loss caused by ovarian hormone deficiency. Research has proven that regular consumption of dried plums helps in the restoration of bone density that has already been lost due to aging.

Boost Immunity

Plums consist of Vitamin C which is proven beneficial in strengthening the immune defense of the body. It helps to promote the body’s resistance against various infections and inflammations. Research has shown that oriental plums have immune-stimulatory constituents that encourage the production of nitric oxide in the body, obstruct the metastasis of tumor cells, and are valuable in preventing various diseases.

 Skin Care

Plum consists of huge amount of vitamin C, along with other antioxidants, which help to maintain healthy, radiant and youthful skin. Regular consumption of plums helps in reducing dark spots and wrinkles due to the presence of anti-aging nutrients. Plum extracts are used in various skin care products such as face wash and packs.

Control Diabetes

Plums use anti-hyperglycemic effects and help in combating diabetes. Research has shown that the consumption of plum extracts aids in the reduction of blood glucose and levels of triglyceride in the body. Flavonoids present in plums exert protective effects against insulin resistance and help to enhance insulin sensitivity in the body

Regulate Cholesterol Levels

Dried plums or prunes are quite helpful in preventing hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. Research has proven the effectiveness of prunes over grape-juice in maintaining healthy levels of plasma and liver cholesterol. Fiber content present in it also adds to the protective effect of the heart by reducing LDL cholesterol and helping to elevate the levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)

Cure Influenza

Japanese plums are effective against the infection caused by influenza A virus. Research has shown that concentrated juice of Japanese plums contains lectin-like molecules which help in inhibiting and treating the infections caused by human influenza A virus.

Improve Cognitive Health

Researches have shown that the flavonoids present in plum juice are effective in providing protection against age-related cognitive impairment. Beneficial phytonutrients present in plums help in reducing the inflammation in the neurological areas to improve learning and memory functions. Regular consumption of plums also helps in preventing age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Removes Dandruff

Vitamin C in the plum can help you get rid of dandruff. Hair follicles often get clogged due to dandruff and flaky skin. This damages the follicles and inhibits the hair growth, if not treated in time. Plums can help fight the bacteria on the scalp and soothe the skin to ward off dandruff. This will get rid of the follicles debris and encourage new hair growth.

 

Posted on

Why Record Keeping is Important in Fruit Farming

 

Production record-keeping is an important task for any fruit or crop farm, whether small, medium or large.

Currently, government agencies, lenders, and insurance companies are requiring better and more accurate records. Not only bushels per acre, income and expenses, but also weather records are becoming increasingly necessary.

An important tool for any Fruit or crop production farming operation, regardless of size, is having and maintaining a recordkeeping system for crop production. A common question that often gets asked is why should I keep production records? There are several reasons as follows: keeping records meets the requirements of various farming regulations; complete and accurate records help demonstrate your protection of soil, water and other environmental resources; records will help you analyze the performance of your farm’s cropping system; records may provide liability protection in the event of a complaint or lawsuit concerning your farming operation; and complete records demonstrate conformance with regulations.

The Recordkeeping System for fruit Production is designed for recording pesticide applications, nutrient applications, manure applications, animal burial and composting, irrigation, employee training, and pesticide drift management plans.

Also Read: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

Lenders and Insurance Need your records

From the business aspect of the operation, record keeping is needed for future analysis of production methods, cropping history, and decision making. Record keeping provides valuable information concerning what worked and what did not and possibly, the reasons why something did not turn out as planned. As we all know, the best production methods and hybrids can fail due to weather conditions. Keeping daily records of precipitation and high and low temperatures is easy to accomplish and you can have a fairly accurate weather station. A high/low thermometer, rain gauge, something to record them on, and about ten minutes a day is all that is needed.

One set of accurate records should be enough to satisfy all your needs. If you keep good records of production, expenses, income, and weather, you should have all the required information for any purpose, from crop insurance to lenders to your own needs. You should be able to make informed conclusions regarding the past and to plan for the future.

Good records lead to better decisions and hopefully higher returns.

For more information on recordkeeping for fruit or crop production, contact Oxfarm Organic Ltd, Extension horticulture educators for tree fruit Production.

Also Read: how to grow peaches and nectrines

 

 

Posted on

Drip irrigation in fruits

Drip irrigation is a micro irrigation method in which the rate of water application is very low and without any pressure. i.e., drop by drop.  Drip irrigation is based on the basic concept of irrigation only the roots zone of crop, rather than the entire land surface on which the crop is grown. Water flows from the emission points through the soil by capillarity and gravity. The soil moisture content of the crop root zone is maintained at near optimum level to facilitate optimum crop growth and production.

Drip irrigation is useful for fruit crops Banana, Grapes, Citrus, Pomegranate, Papaya, Pineapple, Watermelon, Sweet lime, Mango.

Advantages of Drip Irrigation in Fruits

  • Increased yield
  • Early maturity
  • Water saving
  • Fertilizer saving
  • Increased fertilizer use efficiency by crop
  • Energy saving
  • Labor saving
  • Marginal land & undulated land can be irrigated
  • Use of saline water is possible for irrigation
  • Reduced weed growth
  • Less problem of disease and pest
  • Easy intercultural operations

Also Read: Growing Pawpaw in Kenya: Everything you need to Know

Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation

  • High cost: drip irrigation systems are expensive because of their requirements of large quantity of piping & filtration equipment to clean the water.
  • Expense: Initial cost can be more than overhead systems.
  • Waste: The sun can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life. Longevity is variable.
  • Clogging: If the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging.
  • Drip tape causes extra cleanup costs after harvest. You’ll need to plan for drip tape winding, disposal, recycling or reuse.

This method is not suitable for closely planted crops such as wheat

Components of Drip Irrigation System

  • Pumping set: To create a pressure about 2.5 Kg/sq. cm to regulate the amount of water to be supplied.
  • Filter: To filter the water in Order to remove the suspended impurities from water.
  • Main lines: It is a Distribution system in drip irrigation. Rigid PVC and high-density polyethylene pipes are used as main pipes to minimized corrosion and clogging.
  • Pipes of 65 mm diameter and with pressure rating of 4 to 10 kg/sq. cm
  • Sub Main: It is usually connected to the main lines through a control valve assembly. The function of its to distributes water uniformly to a number laterals.
  • Drippers/emitters: It is fitted to a drip irrigation lateral and intended to emit water in the form of drops or continuous flow at emitter rates not exceeding 15 liters/hr.
  • Drippers function as energy dissipated, reducing the inlet pressure head in the lateral, which generally range from 0.3 to 1.5 atmosphere.

Also Read: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

Drip irrigation system is an economical and very efficient system of irrigating for fruit crops, vegetables, row crops etc. Drip irrigated crops use less water compared to overhead irrigated crops. Drip irrigation increase yield.

For more information call or visit our offices. Book your seedlings today!!!