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Join the lucrative Business of Kiwi Farming

Introduction

Kiwi are small edible berry of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia. . It has a fibrous, dull greenish -brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds.

Health benefits of consuming kiwis include maintaining healthy skin tone and texture, reducing blood pressure, and preventing heart disease and stroke. It also decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.

Kiwi fruit contains high amount of vitamin C, vitamin E and polyphenols which protect the cardiovascular system.

Kiwi plant has the highest density of any fruit for vitamin C and magnesium limited mineral in the food supply of most affluent countries and a nutrient important for cardiovascular health. Among the top three low-sodium, high-potassium fruits, kiwifruit ranks number one, having more potassium than a banana or citrus fruits.

PEST AND DISEASES CONTROL IN TREE TOMATO (TAMARRILO) FARMING

Care and Maintenance of Kiwi Plant.

Kiwi plants for them to thrive best require the following conditions, fertile well drained soils, provided with wind

pruning kiwi plant

shelter ,adequate water content in the soil, warm temperatures and maximum sunlight.

Kiwi plants after transplanting take an average of 3 to 4 years to mature and produce fruits and have a long lifespan of up to 30 years depending on the care given to the plant.

Kiwifruit vines require vigorous pruning, similar to that of grapevines. Fruit is borne on one-year-old and older canes, but production declines as each cane ages. Canes should be pruned off and replaced after their third year.

Kiwi Fruit Market

kiwi fruits

Kiwi fruits should be graded according their size and weight. Fruits above 80 grams should be graded as grade A. Fruits above 40 to 80 grams should be graded as grade B.

Kiwi fruits have a shelf life of two months. the storage facilities should have high humidity for the fruits to stay long enough.

Grade A fruits fetches 100 Ksh in local market while grade B fruit fetches 80 Ksh.

For Kiwi Seedlings Call 0706222888

 

 

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How to Identify and manage Papaya diseases

Introduction

English: Pawpaw; Swahili: papaya. Pawpaw is a widely cultivated fruit tree in the tropics and subtropics. General Benefits of Pawpaw Ripe papaya is a favorite breakfast and dessert fruit that is available year-round.

It can be used to make fruit salads, refreshing drinks, jam, jelly, marmalade, candies and crystallized fruits. Green fruits are pickled or cooked as a vegetable.

Requirements for papaya growing

  • Papaya is a tropical plant that grows best in warmer climates.
  • They perform best on deep, well drained soils with high organic matter.
  • Most soil types are suitable but avoid heavy clay soils.
  • Good drainage is very important for papaya production to minimize loss of trees to root rots and water-logging.
  • The trees should be planted between 2m apart and regular mulching is recommended.

Diseases Affecting Papaya

Papaya ring spot

papaya ring spot

Symptoms

Leaves develop prominent mosaic and chlorosis on the leaf lamina, and water soaked oily streaks on the petioles and upper part of the trunk.  Severe symptoms often include a distortion of young leaves.

Distinctive ring spot patterns on fruit consisting of concentric rings and spots, or c-shaped markings – these markings persist during ripening and can darken to become orange-brown rings as the fruit matures

Profitable chilli farming in Kenya

Spread

Aphids transmit the virus to papaya in a non persistent manner;

Control

There is no cure for papaya ring spot disease.
On commercial plantations the early detection and prompt removal of infected plants can contain a localized outbreak. However once the disease becomes established, diseased trees and severely affected blocks should be destroyed, as they provide a source of infection for further spread.

Powdery mildew    

powdery mildew in pawpaw

symptoms

Small slightly darkened areas, which later become white powdery spots. These spots enlarge and cover the entire leaf area.

Control

Apply sulfur or copper-based fungicides to prevent infection of susceptible plants. For best results, apply early or at first sign of disease. Spray all plant parts thoroughly and repeat at 7-10 day intervals up to the day of harvest.

Anthracnose

anthracnose in papaya

Symptoms

Fungal disease caused by the pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.
Small well defined dried pink spots on the surface of ripening fruit. Later, these lesions grow to 5 cm diameter, become rounded, sunken (from 3 to 5 mm deep) and brown to black in color.

Control

Keep ripening fruits from touching the soil.

Preventative fungicides may help control papaya anthracnose. Use a fungicide containing Copper hydroxide or Mancozeb. Spray the orchard with the fungicide every two weeks.

Papaya mosaic

papaya mosaic virus

Symptoms

Top young leaves of the plants are reduced in size and show blister like patches of dark-green tissue, alternating with yellowish-green lamina.

Control

The virus can be spread through human activity, tools and equipment. Frequently wash your hands and disinfect garden tools, stakes, ties, pots, greenhouse benches to reduce the risk of contamination and avoid working in the garden during damp conditions (viruses are easily spread when plants are wet).

Damping off

Symptoms

Disease of young seedlings. Fungus colonizes the seed and hinders germination. Lesions are seen on the stem at or just above soil level. The stem becomes watery and shrinks, followed by death of the plant.

Control

Use a sterile potting mix, rather than soil from your garden while sowing seeds. Plant your seeds at the proper depth and don’t crowd your seedlings.

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Ways to eradicate Pest and diseases in macadamia farming

Oversight.

The macadamia nut tree goes back to Australia and it was introduced in Kenya between 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, macadamia grows in the same climate suitable for growing coffee. The macadamia nut trees remained almost totally unknown in Kenya until after independence in 1964 when a Kenya farming family, Bob Harries and Peter Harries started multiplying the trees in a seedling nursery, planting them on their farms and selling some to other interested farmers.

Basic Requirements

The tree thrives best at 0-2000m attitude and grows to 9-20m a height and 45 cm diameter (dbh-diameter at breast height). The tree also grows best in areas with mean annual temperature of 15-29 Deg C. and mean annual rainfall of 700-2600 mm. It also requires well-drained soil which is fertile red loam or alluvial derived largely from basic igneous rock such as basalt with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Macadamia trees also don’t tolerate water and soil with high salt concentrations. They do well in drained loam and sandy loam with good organic matter content.

Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Here are some of the pest and diseases that affect macadamia trees,

Pests and Rodents.  

Rats

rat chewed macadamia nuts

Rattus rattus damages 5–10% of the developing macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia) nut crop each year. Extensive and persistent snap trapping significantly reduce rat populations and depredations on developing macadamia nuts. Also, many growers apply rodenticides to reduce rat populations in orchards.

Typical nut borer

They make holes by extensive tunneling through husk and shell and are visible when nut is cut open.

Remedy – Use resistance macadamia varieties.

– Application of appropriate insecticide.

Macadamia nut borer

macadamia nut borer

They make holes in husk of the nuts. Infested nuts drop off the tree prematurely.

Remedy – Difficult to control with an insecticide once the larvae have entered the nuts. Appropriate insecticide should be applied if green fallen nuts exhibit damage or live unparasitized eggs are present on the tree.

Diseases

Raceme blight

Causative agent; fungi

Symptoms. Small brown spots on flower petals which spread to flower stalks.

Remedy. Application of copper based fungicides during wet weather.

Phytophthora trunk and stem canker

Causative agent; phytophthora cinnamomi

Symptoms. Stunted and chlorotic young trees. Lesions girdle the stem. In mature trees there is dark discoloration of wood is visible. Dark cankers may extend from trunk at the soil line to the lower branches of the tree.

It spreads by water flash as the fungi survive in plant debris in soil.

Remedy. Plant disease free stock. Soils should be well drained. Apply protective fungicides to tree trunks prior to wet season.

Anthracnose

Causative agent; colletotrichum gloeosporiodes.

anthracnose in macadamia nuts

Symptoms; Black lesions on leaves and fruits. The lesions do not have clear, finite edges and often appear to merge with the green colour of the husk. These lesions can spread onto the nut. Husk rot can cause premature nut drop.

Remedy. Amistar Top (Syngenta) and Bellis (BASF) will both control the disease. Reduce inoculum by performing good orchard hygiene, for instance remove old nuts from the orchard floor and husks should be composted before using as mulch.

Husk spot

husk spot in macadamia

Chlorotic to yellow flecks on the husks which enlarge and develop tan brown centers’. Lesions may be covered in powdery gray spore masses during wet periods which mature into tough woody spots.

Remedy. Apply copper based fungicides. When planting go for varieties which are not susceptible to the disease.

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Reasons to embrace pomegranate farming in Kenya

pomegranate tree with fruits

Pomegranate tree grows to about five and eight meters tall. A completely established tree bears many round, bright red, purple, or orange-yellow colored fruits depending on the cultivar types. On an average, each fruit measures about 6-10 cm in diameter and weighs about 200 gm. Pomegranate is one of the healthiest fruits on earth. Pomegranate has many incredible health benefits for your body. It is called as a divine fruit because it is the most mentioned fruit in theological books. Pomegranate has anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties and is said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid.

This amazing fruit consists three times as many antioxidants as both wine or green tea. Consuming pomegranate also lowers the risk of all sorts of diseases.

Benefits of pomegranate:

– Fights heart disease and prostate cancer.

– Contains many beneficial nutrients e.g. it is an also good source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin-K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.

– It’s a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 17% per 100 g of the daily requirement. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop ability to combat infectious agents by boosting immunity.

pomegranate juice

– Protects from free radicals. Its rich in antioxidants thus protecting the body from free radicals.

– Reduces weight and controls cholesterol. Regular inclusion of fruits in the diet boosts immunity, improves circulation and offers protection from cancers.

– some of the antioxidants protect against dialysis-related infections, or kidney diseases, as well as cardiovascular complications (think of high blood pressure).

– It protects against dental plaque microorganisms.

Pomegranate seedlings will only cost you Ksh 300 but the returns are uncountable. Visit our offices or contact us today.

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Passion pests and diseases and remedies

The passion fruit vine is a shallow-rooted, woody, perennial, and climbing by means of tendrils. Tropical tendril-bearing vines of the genus Passiflora, having large showy flowers with a fringe-like crown and a conspicuous stalk bearing the stamens and pistil.

Diseases affecting passion

septoria spot in passion

Septoria spot

Causative agent; septoria lycopersia

Symptoms

  • Light brown and slightly round neurotic spots on leaves.
  • Leaves fall prematurely.
  • Lesions on flowers similar to those on leaves.
  • Leaf and fruit abscission, twig wilt and eventual plant death.

Spread

Its spread by splashing rain water, insects and cultivation equipment.

Remedy

Timely application of a systemic fungicide e.g. ransom and exempo curve.

Root and crown rot

Causative agent; phytophthora nicotianae

Symptoms

  • Injured leaf shows a burned appearance.
  • Foliar blight followed by drop of flowers.
  • Mild chlorosis followed by wilting, defoliation and death of leaves.
  • Large grayish green aqueous spots on the fruits.

Remedy

  • Plant passion where there is excellent drainage of soils.
  • Use of effective fungicides.
  • Select root-stocks or tree species that are less susceptible to phytophthora.

Fusarium wilt

Causative agent; fusarium oxysporum

Symptoms

  • Green leaves of young passion fruit plants show a pale green colour and mild die back.
  • Drop of lower leaves, general plant wilting and sudden death
  • In adult plants, the disease causes yellowing of young leaves, followed by plant wilt and death.

Remedies

  • Use mycostop which is a biological fungicide that will safely protect crops against wilt.
  • The farm should be free of weeds as many weed species host the disease pathogen.

http://oxfarm.co.ke/category/tree-fruits/pepino-melon-farming/

Scab

 scab affecting purple passion

Causative agent; Cladosporium

Symptoms

  • Small round spots on the leave initially translucent later become necrotic showing greenish-grey centers.
  • High number of lesions on flower buds.
  • On small fruits, symptoms are slightly sunken with small dark circular spots. On bigger fruits lesions on fruit skin grow and become cork like, prominent and brownish. Lesions do not reach the inner fruit.

Spread

The fungus is spread through infected seedlings, by wind and sprinkler water.

Remedy

  • Choose resistant varieties when possible.
  • Rake under trees and destroy infected leaves to reduce the number of fungal spores available to start the disease cycle over again.
  • Water in the evening or early morning hours (avoid overhead irrigation) to give the leaves time to dry out before infection can occur.
  • Spread a 3- to 6-inch layer of compost under trees, keeping it away from the trunk, to cover soil and prevent splash dispersal of the fungal spores.

Anthracnose

Causative agent; Colletotrichum brevisporum

Symptoms

  • Results in leaf and twig wilt and leaf loss.
  • Can also cause rotten passion fruit, recognized initially by oily-looking spots.
  • The spots have a cork-like surface and may display dark lesions and a slimy orange mass that becomes soft and sunken as the fruit continues to rot.

Spread

The fungus is spread mainly by raindrops, infected seeds, seedlings and cuttings.

Remedies

Woodiness virus

Symptoms

  • light or dark green mosaic pattern often with light yellow discoloration.
  • Infected fruits appear small and shapeless with hardy peel and small juice area. Sometimes the disease makes the affected fruit crack.

Remedies

  • Ensure that you use sickness-free planting material from credible sources.
  • Use yellow passion fruit as root-stocks for purple passion fruit. Yellow passion is resistant to the sickness.
  • Uproot sick vines and destroy by burning.
  • Keep the field free of weeds.
  • During pruning, make the pruning tool germ-free every time you move to the next plant by dipping it into a disinfectant, e.g. bleach.

Pests affecting passion fruits.

The pests of passion fruit are mites, fruit flies, thrips, aphids, anthribid beetles, and mealy bugs. The major pests are broad mites, carmine spider mites; red and black flat mites, barnacle scales, and fruit flies.

Here is a summary of some common pests in passion fruit farming.

  1. Mearly bugs

Stationary oval shaped pinkish in colour and covered with waxy thread.

Prune and destroy affected parts at the initial stage of infestation.

Use an effective insecticide, e.g. prosper.

  1. Red spider mites

They occur on the lower surface of the leaf. Keep the field free of weeds as they habour these pests.

Spray effective insecticide.

  1. Aphids

These are green sap sucking insects which transmit virus e.g. woodiness virus. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

  1. Thrips

Attacked plant parts shrivel, flowers and young fruits fall prematurely. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

others

  

nematodes affecting passion roots

Nematodes

Are soil inhabitants causing formation of galls or knots on roots, yellowing of leaves, stunting and eventual wilting of the affected plants.

For effective control of nematodes use of yellow passion which is tolerant to nematode for root-stocks.

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Diseases and Pests That Affect Oranges

Oranges are round citrus fruits with finely-textured skins that are, of course, orange in color just like their pulpy flesh; the skin can vary in thickness from very thin to very thick. Oranges usually range from approximately two to three inches in diameter.

Diseases in Oranges

  1. greasy spot in oranges

    Greasy spot.

It’s a fungal disease.

Symptoms

Yellowish-brownish blister spots on leaves, often on the underside of the leaf.

Spots develop into oily looking blisters.

Control

Timely application of copper based fungicide.

  1. Sooty mold.

sooty mold in citrus

It’s a fungal disease.

Symptoms

Leaves becomes black

This is as a result of honeydew secretions from insects such as white-flies, aphids and mealy bugs.

Control

Use an effective insecticide and also spray copper based fungicide and where there is severe infestation spray again after 14 days.

  1. Citrus canker

It’s a bacterial infection.

Symptoms

Yellow halo-like lesions or scabs on the fruit, leaves and twigs.

Severe infections can cause leaf loss, blemished fruit, fruit drop and die back.

Spread

It spreads easily and quickly on air currents, insects, and birds and on humans by means of clothing and infected implements.

Control

Use copper based fungicide as a preventative measure. Destroy already infected trees to contain the spread of bacteria.

PEST AND DISEASES CONTROL IN TREE TOMATO (TAMARRILO) FARMING

  1. Root rot

It is caused by the soil-inhabiting fungus from the phytophthora species.

 Symptoms

Dark brownish patches of harden bark on the trunk of the tree.

The infected area is then left as a dark sunken canker.

Control

Remove all leaves and damaged fruit when it falls to the ground.

Prune off all lower branches off the tree so that the tree branches are more than 2 feet from the ground.

Spray the tree with an effective fungicide.

Pests Affecting Oranges

  1. Aphids

aphids on oranges

They sack the sap out of the leaf.

There is yellowing and the twisting of the leaves, which gives the appearance of deformed leaves. As the severity of the aphid infestation increases, leaf drop and twig and branch die back.

Control

For effective control of aphids use an insecticide e.g. prosper and make sure the underside of the leaf is sprayed thoroughly.

  1. Red mites

They are extremely tiny pest and red or purple in color. These mites infest leaves and fruit. Intense infestations during hot, dry weather can cause leaf drop.

Control

Spray an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

  1. Citrus leaf miner

They feed within the leaves creating distinctive silvery tunnels or ‘mines’.           

Damage is usually worst when there is new flushing particularly on young trees below three years old.

Control 

Spray an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pest and Diseases Affecting Hass Avocado

The Hass avocado variety is the most popular Kenya Avocado for export because it enjoys a good market in Europe as compared to the other varieties. Hass is originally from Guatemala and one of its most prominent features is that it turns dark purple when ripe.

Basic control measures of keeping your hass avocado free from pest and diseases

  1. Planting the grafted species, (hass variety). Grafting greatly improves plant resistances to diseases.
  2. Weed control. Weeds are harmful in many ways. They harbour insect, pests and diseases:- Weeds either give shelter to various insects, pests and diseases or serve as alternate hosts.
  3. It helps to remove moisture reducing the chance of fungal infections and other air-borne diseases. The moisture is removed as the sun penetration will have increased when the fruit tree is pruned.

Pest affecting Hass avocados tree

Tree borers

They are a group of insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where the young larvae eat their way through tissues.

Tree borer insects cause affected parts of trees to slowly weaken as their chewing severs vital transport tissues. Over time, they may girdle trees or weaken branches to the point that they break under pressure.

Thrips

a thrip on avocado fruit

Thrips cause leathery scars on fruits. Organic mulch is recommended to discourage the survival of these pests. Pyrethrin can be used to eliminate thrips.

Caterpillars

They damage fruit flower and leaves. Check on folded leaves as caterpillars tend to thrive there. They are eliminated by using a natural pesticide like pyrethrin or a systematic insecticide.

Diseases affecting Hass avocado trees

  1. Fungal diseases

Anthracnose

 Causative agent – Colletotrichum or Gloeosporium

Symptoms-Spots form on leaves, beginning as yellow, then brown discolorations that coalesce into large dead areas. Necrosis occurs across or between leaf veins, on leaf margins, and most often at leaf tips. Before harvest, brown to black lesions less than 0.2 inch (5 mm) in diameter develop around lenticels on infected fruit. These small discolorations can be overlooked while fruit are still on the tree, and lesions usually do not enlarge until fruit ripens after harvest. After harvest, lesions become blacker, larger, and increasingly sunken. Lesions eventually spread over the entire fruit surface and throughout pulp.

Remedy– removing all dead fruits, leaves and branches at the end of the year and cleaning up any debris or dropped fruits that might accumulate underneath. Prune your trees so the insides are more open and allow the wind to penetrate, reducing life-giving humidity in the canopy. Spraying the tree with copper fungicide every two weeks after blossom drop will ensure that your fruit is protected throughout its development.

Avocado root rot

Casuative agent– phytophthora cinnamomi.

Symptoms– light green to yellow, undersized foliage on infected plants. Leaves may also have brown, necrotic tips or margins.

Remedy-use certified disease free nursery stock, or use a systemic fungicide

an avocado affected by scab

Scab

Causative agent –sphaceloma perseae

Symptoms – lesions that appear are black and brown and scattered across the fruit skin.

Remedy – application of copper based fungicide when flower buds appear and 3 to 4 weeks later.

  1. Viral diseases

Sun blotch

Symptoms – Yellow, pink, whitish, or red streaks and spotting of the bark and twigs and limbs.

Remedy – no treatment for sun blotch since it arrives with the plant.

  1. Bacterial diseases

Bacterial soft rot

Symptoms – Gray to black, mushy, foul smelling rot on fruit; fruit has darkened metallic sheen.

Remedy – no known treatment. Use certified seedlings while planting seedlings.

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Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Strawberries are sweet, red heart shaped fruit which has a delicious taste and has numerous nutritional benefits. Packed with vitamins fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium free, fat free, cholesterol free, and a low calorie food. Eight strawberries provide more vitamin c than an orange.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

  • Reduce high blood pressure. Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium and low in sodium which helps in reducing high blood pressure.
  • Boost immunity. Strawberries are highly packed with vitamin c.
  • Help in preventing cancer. Have many flavonoids that act as excellent antioxidants.
  • Boost brain function. Rich in vitamin c, iodine and phytochemicalswhich help in maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • May lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of eye related ailments.

 June-bearing Strawberry Varieties:

June-bearing Strawberry Variety

June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time.

Ever-bearing Strawberry Varieties:

Ever-bearing strawberries aren’t really “ever bearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some ever bearing varieties to produce three berry harvests. In general, overbearing varieties put out less runners than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests.

Inter-cropping and Mulching in Tissue Culture Banana Farming

Day-neutral strawberry varieties:

Day-neutral Strawberry Variety

Day neutral strawberry plants are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and ever bearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch.

Best Performing Strawberries

Here are some of the best performing types of strawberries,

Albion – Very resistant to disease, large, firm fruit, numerous runners (Day Neutral)

Tillamook – Resistant to some disease, fruit is excellent for preserves or eating out of hand (Early)

Northeaster – Large fruits and high yield (Early)

Elsanta – Not resistant to some diseases but large, firm, sweet fruit (Day Neutral)

Jewel – Big firm fruit, some resistance to leaf disease, moderate runners (Everbearing)

Earliglow – Resistant to leaf and root diseases, very flavorful berries (Early)

Quinalt – Resistant to many diseases, large, soft fruit (Everbearing)

These are but a few varieties from which to choose, but your local extension or nursery can arm you with the optimum choices for your region. In addition, you may prefer to plant native strawberries. These make excellent ground covers and are hardy and resistant to most diseases. Native strawberry types include:

a) Alpine strawberry

b) European strawberry

c) Fraises de Boise

d) Woodland strawberry

e) Wild strawberry

Strawberry plants are usually planted 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 36 to 48 inches apart. Spacing decisions depend on the size of your land. Growers should purchase cultivars resistant to red stele and verticillum wilt from a reputable nursery.

Flower blossoms should be removed during the first season. This practice sacrifices the first year’s crop, but it enables growers to establish a bed of vigorous plants. It is especially important to closely monitor and control pests in the first year.

Yields of day-neutral varieties are typically higher than those of June bearers because of the extended harvest season.

Strawberries must be picked and handled very carefully. Berries are harvested at least three times per week. The fruit must be firm, well colored, and free from rot.

When harvested at the right time and handled properly, strawberries will remain in good condition for a few days.

Several insect pests and diseases can cause crop losses; therefore, it’s important to monitor and control pests. Some pests affect the flowers and fruit, while others attack the foliage, stems, crowns, and roots of the plant. Proper scouting and efficient monitoring must be enhanced.

Weeds must be controlled, as strawberries have shallow root systems that put them at a disadvantage when competing for water and nutrients. Proper and timely weeding should be put into practice. Strawberry farming is very profitable when planted under ideal conditions.

 

 

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Former Teacher Earning Millions from Hass Avocado Farming in Tetu Nyeri

In this life, one has to plan for his future after retirement. At the outskirts of Nyeri county in Tetu Sub-county, Githakwa Village, you will find One Mr Kabue a former primary school teacher who after retirement decided to venture in Hass avocado farming. Mr Kabue has made life out of avocado farming and we have been following him since engaging us in 2014.

Why Did You Decide On Hass Avocado?

“Unlike old days, farming is different today. most farmers especially in Tetu used to grow tea, coffee and maize, if there was an avocado it would be in a corner somewhere. Nobody cared about it, nobody even remembered it until it matured. It was purely peasant farming with no intention of making money. That avocado probably wasn’t not planted or cared for. However, farming has adopted a different meaning for commercial purposes especially when it comes to Hass avocado farming”, Mr Kabue said.

He further explained that after visiting a few avocado farmers and doing his own research, he decided to try a few trees.

Where Did You Get Your Hass Avocado Seedlings From?

Hass Seedlings at Oxfarm.co.ke demo at Ridgeways Nairobi

Mr Kabue did a thorough analysis of the market and his land and decided to contact hass avocado seedling sellers. He had several options but later decided to buy 200 seedlings from Oxfarm.co.ke in 2014. He says that seedlings from Oxfarm are certified and are the real hass and that they (oxfarm) offers extension services advising farmers on how to do sustainable farming and the best way to go about tree fruit farming. He recalls, our officers going to his farm regularly to monitor the progress. compared to other sellers, Oxfarm will guide you and eventually connect you with the market.

Improving banana farming in Kenya through Value Addition

How Much Do You Get From Your Hass Avocado Trees?

Hass avocado
Mr Kabue’s Hass avocado trees

Mr Kabue says he cannot compare what he is getting now from Hass avocado and previous farming. His returns has increased tremendously and being a member of TEHU (Tetu-Huhoini) avocado farmers group, in 2018, all the members were able to sell their fruits at Ksh 12. Mr Kabue projects that the future of avocado farming in Kenya will rise and the prices can only go higher.

What Would You Tell Farmers?

Farmers should think business when it comes to farming. the traditional way of doing things has been overrun by events.” Why would someone keep on growing coffee hoping for better returns year in  and out?” Mr. Kabue Posed.  Although tea and coffee farming used to be good in their heir days, it has now deteriorated and cartels have taken charge of once central province economic power crops.

Many farmers venture into farming without key information and the project flops in less than an year. To avoid that scenario,  Mr Kabue reads widely on avocado farming like this and visits successful avocado farms. His focus was how to tend to avocado seedlings from day one to maturity, transplanting, monitoring, disease management and marketing matters.

Mr Kabue wants to have more than 600 Hass avocado trees by the end of 2020, a dream he says is achievable and will make him not just a millionaire but a force in matters farming in  his village. Imagine having 600 hass avocado trees where one can give you at least 1000 fruits, that loosely translates to 600,000 fruits. if one fruit can sell at a minimum of Ksh 10, Mr Kabue in just one harvest would have Ksh 6 million. How many kenyans earn that kind of money in an year??

 

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PEST AND DISEASES CONTROL IN TREE TOMATO (TAMARRILO) FARMING

Tamarillo best known as tree-tomatoes in Kenya is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 2-5 meters. Grafted tree tomato reaches peak production after 1-2 years while the normal ones reach after 3-6 years depending on the caltivar, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. Grafted Tree-tomato produce 6-10 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit

Pests That Affect Tree Tomato

The most common pests are aphids, root knot nematodes, white flies, cut worms and horn worms.

Aphids

Aphids in a tree tomato leafaphids are small sap-sucking insects. Aphids are slow moving and come in shades of green, red, brown, black and yellow. They have needle-like mouth-parts which they use to suck juices out of plants. Low to moderate aphid population levels do not usually cause significant damage and rarely kill mature plants. However, large infestations can reduce plant yields and produce sticky “honeydew,” warranting pest control.

The first step in controlling aphids is by weeding. Aphids often collect on weeds like sowthistle and mustard. Where the infestation is large you can spray effective insect sides such as Karate,  Actara or pentagon 50EC.

Root knot Nematodes

They are microscopic worms which occupy each acre of fertile earth in billions. This particular species invades various crops, causing bumps or galls that interfere with the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and to perform photosynthesis. Unfortunately, controlling nematodes is not easy.

The best control of nematodes in tree tomato fruits is by planting the grafted one as  bug weed (muthakwa) tree which is used to graft is resistance to nematodes.

White Flies

small yellow-bodied insects which have white wings, which they. They feed on the underside of tree tomato leaves, sucking out sap and weakening the plant. Affected leaves begin to yellow and die, the leaf margins usually curl inward as damage progresses.

Inspect the underside of tomato leaves for white flies. By natural control methods use a jet of water to blast white flies and wash them off your plants and leaves. Repeat this process every week to control and get rid of white flies. For effective elimination of white flies you can also use a contact insecticide namely; levo 2.4sl.

Cutworms

Cutworms chew through plant stems at the base. They primarily feed on roots and foliage of young plants, and will even cut off the plant from underneath the soil. In most cases, entire plants will be destroyed; they do a lot of damage in no time at all. Even if only the bottom of the plant is destroyed, the top will often shrivel and die.

Hand pick. Go out at night with a flashlight and gloves. Pick off the cutworms and drop into soapy water; repeating this every few nights.

Note: Apply an insecticide late in the afternoon for best control

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Diseases That affect Tree Tomato (Tamarillo)

Powdery Mildew

Infection is characterized by the development of gray-white powdery growth majorly on leaves and stems, which causes them to become distorted.

The plant may eventually wilt as disease severity increases.

Spray RANSOM 600WP 15g/20l or DISCOVERY 400SC 10ml/20l or DUCASSE 250EC 20ml/20l

Blight

Initial infection occurs in older leaves with concentric dark brown spots developing on the leaves. As infection advances, infected leaves turn yellow and fall off. On stems, spots without clear contours are seen. The lesions enlarge as severity increases.

Spray EXEMPO CURVE 250SC 15ml/20l or FORTRESS GOLD 40g/20l or MEGAPRODE LOCK 525WP 15g/20l

Mosaic

This is a viral disease, and the virus is mechanically transmitted and also spread by several species of aphids in non-persistent mode.

Attacked leaves have reduced size and patches of dark-green tissue alternating with yellow-green. Generally, the plant becomes stunted and the quality of fruits is greatly reduced.

Control aphids (vectors) with KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20l or PENTAGON 50EC 10ml/20l or PRESENTO 200SP 5g/20l