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Reasons Why You Should Start an Agribusiness in Kenya Today

When most people think of agriculture in Kenya, images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm readily come to mind. Many, especially young Kenyans, still think that agribusiness is a poor man’s occupation. In Butere Mumias, Tetu, Nyeri, Mavoloni, Machakos or even in Ololunga Narok county everybody wants a white-collar office job in Nairobi city. Agribusiness is hardly on anyone’s mind.

Did you know that Kenya sits on an agribusiness goldmine but most people just don’t see it? If you’re one of the blind, allow me to open your eyes with a few exciting facts you need to know about agribusiness in Kenya. Did you know that since 2009, investors in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of Kenyan land for agricultural purposes? Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign interests for Kenyan land.

Did you know that Foreign Direct Investment in Kenyan agribusiness was $10 billion in 2010 and is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? Agriculture is taking a huge leap in Kenya and investors want a piece of the action too. Did you know that Kenya’s agribusiness industry will be worth $1 trillion by 2030! That’s huge! If this projection by the UN comes true, agribusiness will become the ‘new oil’ in Kenya!

In the light of all these facts, how come the rich and wealthy folks are investing in Kenya’s agribusiness industry while the majority of Kenyans are largely ignorant about the amazing potentials of agriculture? Below are five reasons why agribusiness is the biggest opportunity right now in Kenya.

Kenya Has Rich And Abundant Agricultural Land

Agribusiness is key in achieving food security in Kenya
Hass avocado at Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm

Sub-Saharan Africa according to world bank has almost 50% of the world’s fertile and uncultivated land. The size: over 200 million hectares! This is why the continent is now widely considered to be the future breadbasket of the world. It is this huge abundance of land resources that gives Kenya the strategic potential to feed the world!

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

Interestingly, a large proportion of Kenya’s agricultural land is located in the rural areas. That’s why they’re often cheap to buy or lease. On the average, one hectare of land (10,000sqm) can be leased for as low as Ksh100 per year (depending on the location). This makes it one of the best land bargains you can find anywhere in the world!

Read: Should I quit my job and start farming?

Kenya Has A Ready Market And High Demand For Agricultural Produce

Agribusiness is key
people must feed everyday! think Agribusiness

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

Currently, Kenya’s population is just over 45 million people. At its current growth rate, the country’s population is expected to reach 100 million by 2050. Now and in the future, Kenya will always have a lot of mouths to feed.

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

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

Read: Why you should have a working business plan for you to succeed in commercial maize farming

 Improved Varieties Are Changing The Perceptions

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

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

There are now improved and locally-adapted varieties of maize, cassava, millet, rice, sorghum, beans, sweet potato, cowpea, groundnut, soybean, pigeon pea, banana, durum wheat, and bread wheat.

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

Agribusiness Is Very Ascendable. Start With What You Have!

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

Entrepreneurs like Mkulima WA Nyeri started his agribusiness in 2015 in his backyard with just four 500 tree tomato trees. Today, he owns a 3-acre tree tomato farm and fruit nurseries and he is a major supplier to a company in Mega, Nyeri County.

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

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

Read: How Many Years Will It Take To Get Returns On Invested Capital Under Hass Avocado Farming

Agribusiness Is a Huge Job Creator in Kenya

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

The value chain in the agribusiness industry, from food production, processing and marketing provide huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. So, if you’re looking to start a business or invest in an industry that makes a significant social impact, provides jobs and creates sustainable wealth, agribusiness is surely the way to go!

Read: Passion Fruits prices rise due to low production

Interested in Kenyan Agribusiness? Here’s a top tip!

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

Kenya is changing. You need to be a part of this big dream that’s finally coming true!

 

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Tips on how to get over 20Kgs/Tree from Tree-tomato farming

Tree tomato Fruit can be red or yellow; personally, I prefer the tangy red ones. The plants grow from seed to about 2m tall, long and leggy, and only fruit after they have formed several branches, usually after Year 2.

Related Content:The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

To get the most out of your tree tomato:

  • They only live for about 12 years, so always have a few young ones coming on to replace the old ones;
  • Tip cuttings will fruit sooner, and tend to produce a stronger, more compact bush;
  • In coastal and windy areas, it pays to shelter the trees, and cover them during a frost;
  • Don’t put them in your greenhouse; they grow better outside away from whitefly which covers them like snow otherwise;
  • Feed them like a tomato, with plenty of nitrogen and trace elements;
  • Pruning increases fruit size, so in summer trim some of those leggy growing branch ends back by 60cm.

Combine it all and you can harvest up to 20kg per plant – we have had a crate box full off one tree.

Two Deadly Enemies of Your Tree Tomato

Grafted tree tomato fruitsJust like citrus trees, tree-tomato will die if left to dry out, even if for only a day. In eastern areas you will have to irrigate all dry seasons with a drip line or hand water every few days. In the west, if you’re growing outside, your older plants will get through a few days of dry seasons winds but not many. Get the watering can out or you’ll lose your prized tree. Mulch the root zone to keep the moisture in.

Nematodes are tree-tomatoes worst enemy, they survive by feeding directly off the nutrients pumped through tree-tomatoes roots. They form galls that can reach up to an inch wide where they hide and reproduce, causing many symptoms that point to problems in infected plants’ transport systems. Yellowing plants, stunted growth and general decline are early symptoms, but unless your bed is heavily infected with nematodes, a large tree-tomato planting will only show these symptoms in a relative few plants. They typically appear in soils where tree-tomatoes and other root knot nematode host plants have been grown in the last three to five years, and populations increase the longer an area is used. If you suspect your tree-tomatoes plants have nematodes, start by digging up a particularly weak plant. Roots that have a lot of unusual knobby growths are infected with these parasites.

 

 

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Earn Ksh500,000 Per Acre/ Year by Growing Pawpaw

One acre under Pawpaw can hold 450 plants at a spacing of 3 by 3 Meters. Let’s now take an approximation of one pawpaw plant producing a minimum of 50 fruits sold at the farm at a price of KSh 25 per fruit. The gross returns per acre during the year will be 450X50X25 = 562500. The total cost of establishing such an orchard is approximately 100,000 with production expected only in the second year. From the second year onward, the plantation can offer returns of regarding KSh four 562,000 per annum with a little maintenance value of about KSh 60,000 giving a gross margin/income of about KSh 502,000 per acre/ year. The investment pays back in a very short time because the crop grows considerably quicker than most alternative fruits taking about 9-10months to mature.

Related Content: How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

The pawpaw (fruit of genus Carica papaya) is a tropical plant typically grown in tropical climates. Pawpaws are general delicious fruits that are available all the year round in Kenya. The productive lifetime of a pawpaw plant is about 5 years. Thus, once you have established the plantation, financial gain can flow with very little effort provided you’ve got a prepared market. Pawpaw need warm to hot climates for growth and temperature vary from 21-30°C, and an altitude vary of 0-1600 m higher than water level, with annual downfall of about 1000mm that is equally distributed.

Pawpaw seeds are often directly planted into the farm at a rate of half-dozen seeds per hole then reduced to four plants per hole after germination, and step by step reduced the to 1 plant per hole after flowering so as to balance male and feminine flowers. Generally, pawpaw takes six months to flower and another 5 months to mature for harvesting. This makes a complete of eleven months. Thirty to a hundred and fifty fruits per tree are often attainable annually betting on the extent of management.

Related content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

For more information, visit our offices. If in need of seedlings, book now!!!

 

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Best Tips of Growing Grapes In Kenya

Grapes can be grown in the Kenya. This has been proven in Naivasha where they have been growing grapes since 2000. Grapes like terrain that is somewhat sloping so as not to lodge water and hurt the roots. Grapes grow best in areas with warm and dry climate and where sufficient irrigation is available. Places frequently by typhoon and continuous rain are least suitable. Growing conditions, however, vary depending on the variety. Most commercial vineyards are below 1,000 feet in elevation, some almost at sea level.

Muscadines variety are well adapted to the warm, humid conditions and therefore will grow well in all humid areas. Ripe grapes are sweet and juicy with a distinctive fruity flavour. Vigorous self fertile vine with medium sized (15-20mm), round golden-bronze fruit when ripe. It can set a small percentage of smaller seedless fruit. Highly disease resistant and should not require spraying making them ideal for coastal subtropical climates.

Growing grapes from seeds is not the ideal way of reproducing a grape vine as the genetics of a variety is not completely carried over by the seeds – in other words, if you plant a Concord seed, and you successfully get the seed to germinate, the chances are good that the new grape vine will not have all the true Concord characteristics! This is a very time consuming process as it can take up to three years to propagate a new grape vine from seeds. Another big problem with growing grapes from seeds is the fact that a very low percentage of the seeds will germinate. The grape seed is covered with a very tough seed coat that keeps the seed dormant until ideal conditions for germination.
Related Content: Earn Ksh500,000 Per Acre/ Year by Growing Pawpaw

Important factors to consider

Grapes fruits

Should you decide to grow grapes, several factors would have to be considered.

1. Location. As mentioned above, the local climate will determine which varieties would grow best in your area. Grapes vary in flavor, color, size and texture. Some are sweet and ideal for the table, others are best suited for jellies, juices and wines.

2. Sun. Grapes require full sun. If you don’t have a spot in your yard that’s sunny all day, find a place where it can at least receive the morning sun.

3. Air flow. Good air circulation helps to prevent funguses from attacking your vine. Find an area away from trees, tall brush or buildings that can block breezes from blowing into your vine.

The secret to growing very productive grapes is good pruning. It’s probably the most important and demanding task you’ll have to do in caring for your vines. Note that fruit is produced from the current season’s growth, which in turn grew from the previous season’s wood. So don’t be afraid to remove up to 90 percent of last season’s growth – your grapes will grow better because of it. Heavy pruning produces the best quality fruit, while light pruning results in large yields of poor quality. Also, if you want to produce bigger fruits, cut off every third bunch the moment they form so that more energy goes into developing the remaining fruits.

Related Content: Choosing an Irrigation System For your Fruit Farm

 

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Passion Fruit Farming In Kenya on the rise Again

The prospects of passion fruit farming in Kenya may change for the higher if plans to elevate the fruit into a significant farming crop are adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture.

This is once details emerged that Kenya’s production of the passion Fruit has been on the decline for the past decade within which no passion fruit exports visited Europe.

During a stakeholders’ forum for farmers, consumers and development partners, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya chairman Apollo Owuor said the country produced and exported passion fruit in massive scale within the 90’s and early 2000.

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

However, since 2003 it declined principally owing to pest management challenges a number of that contravened European markets’ strict tips on pesticides residue, with Kenya’s passion fruit reported to contain higher than acceptable limits.

In Addition, Mr. Owuor said that there haven’t been efforts to revive the trade since, partially as a result of passion fruit being listed as a minor farming crop by the Ministry of Agriculture thus it’s not within the government’s policy for priority support.

Passion Fruit is listed as a minor crop

Agriculture Food Authority Horticulture Crops Directorate head Zakayo Magara acknowledged that as a result of passion fruit being listed aboard a hundred different minor crops and little has been in advancing a policy to market and boost its cultivation.

In effect, the Council of Governors Agriculture Committee, depicted by Anne Koech, a county govt member accountable of agriculture in Kericho County, created a commitment to support the elevation of the crop to major crops standing in order that resources can be allotted to its development in counties appropriate for its cultivation.

She said county governments ought to likewise subsidize its seedlings purchase to boost production and additionally produce market linkages to contour selling.

Related post: Best Tips of Growing Grapes In Kenya

Research has shown that passion fruit will grow anyplace in Kenya owing to convenience of sorts for each hotter and colder climate – yellow passion for lower, hotter regions and therefore a lot of common purple selection for the upper cooler regions.

Experts at the stakeholders’ forum noted that there’s potential for Kenya to be a world leader in tropical juice production owing to its year-round convenience of tropical fruits like passion fruit, mangoes and pineapples, being a rustic that may grow these crops in turn.

Through passion fruit cultivation, farmers will observe better financial gain.

(Source: Brian Okinda, Seeds of Gold; Jan 27,2018)

We have already started preparing for the long rains, Book your seedlings today. Seedlings are delivered on a first-come basis.

 

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Common challenges to mango production in Kenya

Many farmers in Kenya invest in mango orchards. However, there are a number of production-related hindrances at farm level, including:

Limited access to good quality planting materials

-There is a general shortage of grafted planting materials of improved and higher yielding varieties in many areas. Farmers often use inferior seedlings obtained by germinating mango seeds from indigenous varieties. Such ungrafted trees take much longer to bear fruit. Whereas grafted trees begin to bear fruit within 3 to 4 years, ungrafted trees will take at least 5 years to bear fruit, depending on the growing conditions.

Pest and disease problems

Mangoes have many devastating pests and diseases, which can result in total yield loss. Major pests include the fruit fly (Bactrocera invadens), seed weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae) and mealy bugs (Rastrococcus invadens). Diseases like anthracnose and powdery mildew are common in almost all mango growing areas.

Poor orchard management –

In many areas, mango trees are left to grow so big that pest and disease management, harvesting and other field operations are difficult to implement. Except in big or commercial farms, mango trees are normally scattered around the gardens, ranging from 2 to 100 trees per household. This scattered nature makes mango a commonly neglected crop in terms of management, but becomes important only during the harvesting season.

Also Read: how to grow peaches and nectrines

Post-harvest losses

Fruit damage is a common problem as a result of poor pest and disease management and the poor harvesting practices. Also, a lot of fruit is lost after harvest, especially during the peak seasons due to the limited capacity to store and process fruit. This is further worsened by the poor roads and transport infrastructure to markets.

Limited returns from mango production

Mango is highly seasonal and harvest is only expected at certain times of the year

depending on the local conditions. During this time, most areas are harvesting and so the local markets are saturated and, therefore, offer very low prices, which may not even cover transportation costs.

For more information about mango farming in Kenya, visit our offices. In addition book your seedlings today!!

 

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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

 

 

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Avocado Exports Banned for one Month Due To Rising Local Prices

The Directorate of Horticulture has banned all avocado exports following a severe shortage that has raised costs of the fruit to a three-and-a-half-year high.

The average worth of a 90-kilogramme bag of avocado shot up to Sh2,560 in December, creating it the very best value of the artifact since May 2014, when a bag was merchandising for slightly higher than Sh2,700.

A single avocado is presently selling for between Sh50 and Sh80 in Nairobi’s retail markets, up from between Sh10 and Sh20 each throughout peak season.

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), where that the Directorate of Horticulture falls, attributes the rise within the worth of the fruit to the biting shortage of widespread varieties, Fuerte and Hass, that are off-season.

Read Also:Why Record Keeping is Important in Fruit Farming

Why AFA has Banned Avocado Exports

“We have stopped the export of Fuerte and Hass varieties because of traders would ship out immature crop thanks to high demand within the world market. However, we’re planning to elevate (the ban) beginning next month once harvest starts,” said AFA director-general Alfred Busolo.

Avocado is very widespread on Kenyans’ eating tables. Most households mix it with different foods or eat it plain.

“The shortage isn’t solely in Kenya, however additionally globally. This is often the explanation why the costs have gone up,” further Mr. Busolo. The ban on exports was settled in December.

Mr. Busolo says the shortage is predicted to ease beginning next month once the new season crop can begin to touch the market.

“Fuerte selection can begin attending to the market next month whereas Hass are going to be in offer in March, bridging this deficit and reversing costs to the previous lows,” he said.

The Jumbo avocado selection is presently the only one offered within the market.

This selection is often in offer throughout the year however it’s not as widespread as Fuerte and Hass.

Avocado contributes seven per cent of Kenya’s total fruit export to the international market however production has been static over the years. Farm production stood at 230,948 tonnes in 2015, rising slightly to 246,057 tonnes in 2016.

About 387.2 tonnes valued Sh5.4 billion was exported in 2016, compared to 461.1 tonnes value Sh7.1 billion last year as per AFA information. Foreign investors are keen on finance the avocado sub-sector in Kenya thanks to its low-risk investment surroundings, wide market access, and improved infrastructure.

The Netherlands fund launched a $1 million project in 2016 to boost the export fight of the avocado sector in Kenya.

The project’s strategy includes change the artifact commodity business plan for the avocado sub-sector and increasing the export capability of exportation SMEs and farmer teams linking them to international consumers.

The horticultural sector is one amongst the biggest sources of interchange earnings in Kenya, bringing in more than Sh101 billion in 2016.

Now you know why we insist on farmer to plant more hass avocados, the demand and the market is ways above us. Book your seedlings today!

Read Also : The role of an Agronomist

 

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Healthy benefits of Macadamia nuts

Macadamias are an underestimated nutrient-powerhouse. A rich source of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, iron, B vitamins, and folate. They also have a little protein and pack a healthy dose of good fats and antioxidants.

Commonly featured in more indulgent desserts rather than thought of as an everyday health food, macadamias are often skipped for almonds and cashews for a daily snack. But these 10 fascinating health benefits of macadamias will show you why they’re worthy of a regular spot in your healthy nut rotation:

Helps To Keep Your Heart Healthy!

These nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are said to be cardioprotective by reducing cholesterol level and help to clean the arteries. Macadamia also lowers the level of triglycerides, which is a kind of body fat and reduces the risk of coronary disease.

They Fight Free-Radical Damage Leading To Cancers

Another health benefit of macadamia comes from their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids, which are found naturally in these plants help to prevent cells from damage and protects from environmental toxins. These flavonoids convert into antioxidants in our body. These antioxidants search and destroy free radicals and protect our bodies from various diseases and certain types of cancer which include breast, cervical, lung, prostate and stomach cancer.

They Curb Your Appetite!

The fat content of macadamias helps to curb your appetite much longer than a sweet treat. Macadamias are also a source of palmitoleic acid which increases fat metabolism and reduces fat storage – bonus! You only need a few to feel satisfied as a snack, so despite their price, you won’t need many to get a hunger-busting, nutrient-rich fix.

They Strengthen Your Hair, Skin, And Nails

Macadamias are an excellent source of protein, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber and antioxidants. They are also very low in sodium. all of these factors make them a fabulous beauty food, giving your hair and nails a healthy sheen and your skin a nourished glow!

Supports Your Gut Health

That’s right, macadamias contain around 7% dietary fiber, and both the insoluble and soluble types, helping to not only promote satiety, but provide roughage sweeping toxins out of the body, and aiding digestion.

Strengthens Your Bones

Phosphorus and magnesium are abundant in macadamias, and play a variety of roles including bone and teeth mineralization, metabolism, absorption and transportation of nutrients. Calcium also helps in the formation of teeth and bones. Manganese in macadamias also help the body to deposit new bone tissue so that the skeleton stays strong as you age.

They Look After Your Brain And Nervous System

Macadamias contain copper, B1, magnesium, and manganese which helps to make healthy neurotransmitters, the chemicals which our brain cells use to send chemical signals, and nourish the brain. Copper also helps to ensure proper growth of the body, efficient utilization of iron, proper enzymatic reactions, as well as improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes!

They’re Lower In Inflammation-Causing Omega-6’s

Consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids in our diet can be a contributing factor to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. A handful of nuts a day, or a spread of nut butter in your smoothie is a great way to get added protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. But most nuts tend to be higher in omega-6 fats than omega-3s, which can tip our body into an inflammatory state if we don’t balance it out with omega-3s from other foods too. Macadamias, on the other hand, are much lower in omega-6s. For example, pecans contain 3.7g per 100g, almonds 3.4g, and cashews 2.2g compared to 0.36g macadamias.

The incidence of heart disease is significantly lower in people who eat nuts regularly (more than five times per week) than in those who eat nuts less than once a week. So why not include some of these nutritious macadamias and start reaping their benefits today!

Macadamia nuts are widely grown in central and upper eastern province in Kenya.

Overtime, the nuts have peaked momentum and they are now among the best selling nuts in the country. At Oxfarm Organic Ltd, we have the modern grafted Macadamia nuts that we sell to our farmers at an affordable price. Book Your Now!!!

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Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

Jungle Nut Holdings Limited, a Thika-based firm is offering better prices to avocado and macadamia farmers in Kiambu and Murang’a counties. Jungle Nut Holdings Limited also provides financial support and agricultural training.

Speaking during farmers’ organic and e-buying workshop at a Thika hotel last year, J-Hela accounts manager James Kimotho said middlemen and brokers have been exploiting farmers for a long time. Kimotho said farmers will be paid Sh120 per kilogramme for macademia nuts. Brokers had paid Sh30 per kilogramme.

Kimotho said that Jungle Nut Holdings Limited will collect the nuts from the field to relieve farmers of the burden of transport cost. The firm has introduced a mobile banking platform — J-Hela. Farmers can save money, borrow money and buy products. Kimotho said the firm has developed a business model with the farmers for commercializing of both macadamia and avocados farming.

Jungle Nut Holdings Limited guide farmers on the best farming methods to ensure they get high yields. The firm has also created a marketing plan based on comprehensive study of global markets.

Related Content: drip irrigation in fruits

Farmers now get handsome profits

“J-Hela enables us to directly buy produce from the farmers electronically. They receive payments via their phones using on the same service. This eliminates middlemen. They also make payments on the same platform for farm inputs,” he added

Stephen Waweru, a macademia farmer from Gatanga, Murang’a, said since he entered into partnership with Jungle Nut in 2014, his production has risen from 100kgs to 500kgs annually.

“We used to hear macadamia nuts fetch high prices, but we never made handsome profits because of brokers. We did not have direct markets. But Jungle Nut came to our rescue,” Waweru said.

Many farmers in the region are now switching to macadamia and avocado. Coffee and tea farming is not paying, he said.

Bernard Mwangi, an avocado farmer from Muruka, Kandara, said Jungle Nut introduced the Hass variety and taught them how to grow them organically. Mwangi said farmers’ lives have improved.

Kimotho said the company has expanded to other counties, including Embu.

Many more farmers now are venturing in macadamia farming.

For more information on macadamia farming and avocado farming call us or visit our offices.