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Cigar end rot disease in Bananas

Cigar end rot is a disease that can ruin your banana farming venture. It is prevalent in almost all banana growing tracts. It affects the developing fingers which results in the tip ends of the fingers drying up. The ends resemble the greying ash of a cigar. Affected fingers are rejected in the market and hence can result in huge losses. It is therefore important to control the disease before its too late. The fungal disease can also attack ripening banana fruits making a dry rot to develop at the flower ends. During transportation or storage, cigar end rot can progress to the entire fruit. This disease is common when there is high rainfall.

Disease Cycle of Cigar end rot

The pathogen gets into the banana finger through the flower resulting in the formation of a dry rot that spreads to immature banana fingers. Fungal spores/ conidia are spread by air currents and the days mainly occur in the early days of fruit formation. The infection spreads slowly as the fruit develops leading to skin blackening. With time, the tips of the infected fingers are fully covered with a powdery mass of spores. Cigar end rot is common in plantations with excessive shade and high altitude areas with moist conditions.

Common Signs & Symptoms

  • Presence of black necrosis which spreads from the perianth to the tip of immature fingers.
  • Dry rot develops on the pulp of the infected banana fruit. At times, the rot can spread even up to 2 centimeters from the tip of the fingers.
  • The wrinkled necrotic tissue eventually becomes completely covered with the mycelia of the fungi.
  • The entire finger can get rotten especially when the emerging fingers are affected.

Etiology

  • The formed fungal spores are hyaline, oblong to cylindrical. These spores are mostly in small groups.
  • Since they are asexual spores, conidia are borne at the ends of tapering phialides.
  • The dormant mycelia are the primary source of inoculum while air and soil-borne conidia are the secondary sources of inoculum.
    Epidemiology
  • High humidity ranging from 90-92%, high rainfall and low temperatures, and weak plants provide an ideal environment for disease development.

Management of Cigar end Rot Disease

  • Farmers should use healthy and disease-free and resistant plants.
  • Filed sanitation should be maintained at all times. Since the disease is carried by an alternate host, all potential hosts of the fungus should be removed from the banana plantation immediately. Dead, hanging leaves should be removed from the plants to lower the inoculum level.
  • Once the fruits have been formed, the perianth and pistil should be removed immediately. Infected fingers should be removed and destroyed.
  • Enough aeration should be ensured in the plantation by minimizing the overcrowding of the banana plants.
  • Polythene sleeves should be placed over the stems before the fingers emerge.
  • Maturing stems should be constantly bagged.
  • The bunches should be sprayed with copper fungicides to prevent disease formation.
  • To minimize the chances of post-harvest infestation, ripening room and packing stations should be kept clean.

If controlled, cigar end rot can result in huge losses. Over the past few years, the occurrence of the disease has increased simply because farmers are unable to employ proper management techniques. Healthy and disease-resistant varieties are what anyone should consider planting.

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How to Control Tuta Absoluta in Tomatoes

The heavy rains have facilitated an increase in the cost and demand of tomatoes. This is because the rains have damaged the roads and resulted in an increase in the diseases that have affected tomatoes, especially on open field farms. In the process, this has disrupted the supply of tomatoes.
Growing tomatoes can be disastrous if your crops get infested by Tuta absoluta. Over the past few years, a large number of farmers have suffered huge losses after their precious crops were infested and destroyed by the dangerous pest. If effective control measures are not employed early enough, the pest can destroy an entire tomato farm.

Detection

For effective management, proper diagnosis is important. The input dealers, service providers, and farmers need to correctly identify the possible symptoms of Tuta absoluta such as coalesced lesions.

Damage caused

The pest mainly spreads through seedlings, tomato fruits, and containers. Tuta absoluta can also come from production greenhouses or through the soil. It feeds on all parts of the tomato plant such as the stem, leaves, inflorescences, and the fruits. Symptoms of the tomato leaf miners include leaf mines, rolled leaves, lesions, abnormal shape, necrotic areas, and exit holes. If these symptoms are detected, corrective measures should be taken. Leaf mines are found on the upper and lower parts of the leaf lamina. With keep observation, one can see white or cream tunnel marks on the leaves and sometimes green caterpillars inside the tunnel. The caterpillars produce silk-like substance at an advanced stage which partially webs and folds the leaves to protect the developing larva until it matures. At times, the leaves completely die off and the fruits reduce in size and fall off before reaching maturity. When the fruits are damaged, fungal diseases enter resulting in rotting of the tomato fruits before harvesting. The yield of tomatoes can reduce by even more than 60% if the tomato fruits are severely infested by Tuta absoluta.

Control

Controlling Tuta absoluta is a challenging process. This is because it has a short life cycle, a fast reproductive rate, a concealed larvae stage inside the tomato plant parts and nocturnal adults. The life cycle of the tomato leaf miner is completed within 35 days. The effectiveness of chemical control depends on the nature of damage of the pest. Integrated Pest Management should be adopted to ensure that sustainable management measures are employed in the control of Tuta absoluta. Chemical, cultural or biological measures can be employed to control the destructive pest.

Chemical control

Spraying the same product frequently results in pest resistance, therefore, the insecticides should be alternated after two sprays. Regular crop monitoring and scouting help farmers to make the right decision on when to spray and the insecticide to prevent severe infestation of pesticides.  Due to the trans-laminar damage of Tuta absoluta and the fast development of resistance, insecticide use has become challenging. However, the pest can be controlled with insecticides such as Radiant, Tracer, Belt, Tihan, Escort, and Coragen. Farmers should also sterilize the soil before planting to ensure that they kill any eggs present in the soil.

Cultural control

Cultural control involves measures such as plowing, irrigation, and crop rotation with non-solanaceous crops such as capsicum, beans, and maize. Plants such as potato, Pepino, eggplant, tobacco, and nightshade should not be grown on tomato fields since they host the pest. The tomato farms should be kept weed-free since some weeds such as Datura spp. and managu act as alternative hosts of Tuta absoluta. Solarization and elimination of symptomatic leaves can also help in controlling the pest. Infested tomato fruits and debris should not be dumped in markets, collection points, and at farm edges. They should be instead be buried in deep holes.

Biological control

Biologically, Tuta absoluta can be controlled using predatory bug ‘Macrolophus pygnaeus’, Trichogramma spp, and  Entomopathogenic fungi

Sustainability

Integrated pest management measures help in promoting sustainability in tomato farming. The methods employed should enable farmers to produce high-quality tomatoes hence more returns. Extensive application of cultural and biological control has a positive impact on biodiversity and the ecosystem.

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New European Union Regulations on Plant Health

The European Union provides the biggest market for Kenya’s exports. Fruit flies are one of the phytosanitary pests that cause devastating effects on fruits. Previously, mangoes were one of the most exported fruit from Kenya. For a long time, Kenya has been exporting processed and unprocessed mangoes to international markets such as the European Union. However, the exportation of unprocessed mangoes to the European Union has been stopped due to the presence of fruit flies. Fruit infestation by exotic and native pests has facilitated to reduced market access, affecting family incomes and foreign exchange negatively.

(EU) 2016/2019

Phytosanitary rules aim to protect European forestry and agriculture by preventing the entry of non-native pests and diseases. Due to climate change, pests can easily survive in Europe. It was hence important to update the existing rules to curb the increased risks and to put uniform rules across the Member states of the European Union. To prevent the entry of pests into the EU states, a new plant health regulation (EU) 2016/2031 has already come into operation. Those who exporting horticultural products such as fruits and vegetables must take strict measures to comply with the new rules. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states that the rules are aimed at simplifying, modernizing, and improving the existing health and safety standards for the agri-food chain. Smarter rules show that efficient pest and disease control measures must be enforced.

Plant health is essential for the protection of the EU’s forests, nature, plant production, and biodiversity. The regulation (EU)2016/2031 emphasizes on effectively mitigating phytosanitary risks. Currently, there are some plants whose phytosanitary risks have to be thoroughly assessed.

The new European Union regulation improves traceability and brings changes in the classification of plant pests

According to the new rules, pests are classified as either priority pests which are harmful pests that rarely occur in the European Union, protected zone quarantine pests which are only seen in certain regions in the EU, and Union quarantine pests which occur in most parts of the EU. There are degrading pests such as proliferation disease that reduce the quantity of the crop and weaken its quality which can cause massive losses. To prevent the entry of pests in the EU, a phytosanitary certificate will be required for fresh plants such as vegetables and fruits.

Phytosanitary certificate

A certificate will be required for all fruits and vegetables except for coconut, banana, dates, and pineapple. High-risk products must be thoroughly inspected by EFSA to determine the conditions in which they must be imported. Phytosanitary certification is also required for cut flowers, seeds, grain products, cut trees and branches, and hop bales.

National Plant Health Act

The new plant health legislation that came into effect on 14th December lays down the provisions for supplementing the plant health regulation. These rules will help in enforcing effective measures to protect the EU’s plants and territories and in the process modernizing the plant health regime. Compared to the current legislation, notable changes are on the import of plants from outside the EU, self monitoring, the use of plant passports, and the classification of plant pests. These changes will have a significant impact on the exporters, farmers and importers.

Proper Care

The high percentage of the quarantined codling moth pest in chili from Kenya has forced the European Union to stop importing it from Kenya. Exporters and farmers have to employ a costly mechanism to control the pest and meet the requirements for the lucrative market. This means that they should create a pest-free zone or export dry chili. Since a thorough assessment is done on all products, the presence of pests, especially the regulated ones will make the EU authorities to apply serious consequences to the exporters.

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Sustainable Agriculture Through Innovation

What Is Innovation?

Innovation is an important factor when it comes to sustainability in agriculture. Responding to climate change, sustainability should be ensured to preserve water, land and biodiversity resources. To respond to opportunities and meet these challenges, it will be important to embrace innovative approaches to boost productivity. An agroecosystem needs production systems that can withstand natural stressors such as pests, diseases, and harsh climatic conditions, trade barriers, and economic cycles to be sustainable. The market for staple crops in various parts of the world is increasing rapidly which means that various ways have to be enforced to meet the rising demand and at the same time not replenishing the available resources. Innovation is hence required to enhance productivity growth and at the same time improving sustainability. To achieve sustainable use of resources, it is important to transform the existing patterns of production and consumption. Sustainable agriculture aims to meet the current food demand without replenishing the available resources.

Benefits of Innovation

Innovation starts with improving seeds and irrigation systems. Industries need to innovate new and better products both in the food sector and the chemical industry. Innovation has many benefits in the agriculture sector. For instance,

  1. It helps in solving problems and increasing the market share in the export market.
  2. It reduces farming costs and wastage of resources, leaving farmers in a better position to focus on their long-term goals. 
  3. Innovation leads to increased turnover and improved profitability.
  4. It also boosts the market position of Kenyan products.
  5. Innovation in farming results in higher crop yields. Innovation facilitates the development of better crops that can thrive in harsh conditions, resistant to most pests and diseases and at the same time producing high-quality yields.

Innovations That promote sustainable agriculture

Technology: Artificial Intelligence and Io T

Precision agriculture is already gaining popularity and its widely used in various parts of the world to improve productivity. This ranges from big data to the use of drones, robots and the application of herbicides and fertilizers using aerial vehicles. These innovations can be used to automate farming practices, monitor crops and to optimize planting schedules. Since technology assists in conservation efforts, many countries are concentrating on agritech. Lately, there have been concerns arising over agricultural sustainability such as predicting water shortages soon. This means that farmers have to employ smart farming to ensure efficient water use. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to collect and analyze data from their farms and the surrounding environment to help farmers to implement appropriate farming practices. This can enable farming even in areas with limited water access and enhance sustainable agriculture.  Based on information technology, an integrated farm management solution can be an effective way of modernizing the management of natural resources. Technological innovation in agriculture extends the farmer’s capacity by automating most tasks, enhancing farm management, agronomy, and crop management. For instance, the various software design enables farmers to apply precise fertilization strategies based on the crop conditions which helps farmers to boost yields and also reduce reliance on fertilizers.

Agroecology

Agroecology incorporates the farmer’s knowledge and experience with scientific insight and modern ecology. Based on the agroecological approach, everything produced on the farm is beneficial. For instance, debris and animal droppings can be used to make manure that improves soil quality. In return, the yields and nutritional values of the crops increases. Agricultural waste can also be used to feed animals.

BIO-FERTILISERS

The extensive use of chemicals and fertilizers has made the management of pests and diseases more complicated. Constant use of chemicals has resulted in the evolution of resistant breeds of pests. Chemicals and fertilizers have also resulted in water pollution, destroying the soil and the ecosystem. The European Union and China provide the largest market for Kenyan products. However, they have enforced strict measures to minimize the entry of pests into their territories. Recently, the new EU Plant Health Regulation (2016/2031) was enforced which illustrates that plants getting into the European Union should be pest-free. Previously, the EU had stopped importing Kenyan chili due to the presence of the Codling moth on chili. Although Kenya and Uganda have opted to sell chili in the middle-east where the demand is high, the prices are relatively low compared to Europe. The shift in markets has been facilitated by EU’s trade restrictions based on the presence of pests especially quarantine pests.

The phytosanitary requirements imposed by the international market poses challenges in the agriculture sector. For instance, the set MRL means that farmers have to apply pesticides at a controlled rate hence not fully eliminating the targeted pest or disease. Integrated Pest Management can be a good solution to these challenges. Bio-solutions and bio-fertilizers help in suppressing harmful pests while still improving the soil system.

The demand for food is constantly rising as the global population increases. The increased urbanization also facilitates the high demand and therefore smart techniques need to be employed to meet this demand. Since the demand for food is putting pressure on the environment, there is a need for sustainable farming to ensure that agriculture does not contribute to climate change. The European Union and China are emphasizing on sustainability in agriculture and its high time that farmers start employing smart farming techniques.

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Delaying bolting in herbs and vegetables

It is quite disappointing when you plant vegetables or herbs and they become seedy after a couple of weeks. Instead of the plants utilizing the available energy to form bulbs or leafy green bits that you want to harvest, it instead forms flowers and seeds. Naturally, most plants reproduce through the production of seeds.

Bolting is the formation of a flowering stem on horticultural crops before they are harvested. The production of seeds shows that the growing season of the crop is coming to an end. Once bolting happens, the plants no longer grow and they either go dormant or die. Since all the energy is focused on the production of seeds, the crops become woody, tough and tasteless. The plant withdraws water and sugar from the bulbs and leaves and uses it to feed the flowers. Some plants such as lettuce produce bitter compounds to put off foraging predators.

Causes of Bolting to Seed, and How to Prevent It

Stress: when they are exposed to stress, plants mostly flower. Environmental factors such as temperature, weather, pests, and diseases stress the plant. For instance, cold weather makes the plants to become dormant. Lack of warmth alters the growth cycle and in the process the plant bolts. Fluctuations in temperature also result in bolting. Low temperatures cause the plants to become dormant while warm temperatures promote plant growth. When these temperatures fluctuate, the plants end up forming flowers.

Over-fertilization: Application of large amounts of fertilizers causes vigorous and uneven growth of crops in their early development and in the process of forming flowers.

Loose soil: For instance, in onions, loose soil makes the onion roots to be easily disturbed. This causes stress on the onion plant and it responds bolting.

Bolting in Onions

How to Delay Bolting

Although bolting cannot be prevented, it can at least be slowed. Various ways that can be taken into consideration to slow the process include:

Planting bolt-resistant varieties. Some varieties are resistant to bolting. In Kenya, for instance, onions are exposed to high temperatures which can easily initiate flower bud formation. For biennials such as carrots and onions, resistant varieties are hence a good option.

Sowing time: Some biennial vegetables are sensitive to cold snaps and hence the sowing time can be delayed up to when the temperatures are stable.

Mulch heat-sensitive vegetables and herbs. Mulching will offer a controlled environment, providing the desired temperature for forming heads in plants such as broccoli and coriander. If the roots get hot, the plants will form flower buds.

Harvest the crops early when the temperatures are cool.ince you keep cutting off growth from plants such as spinach, kales, lettuce and broccoli, the plant is stimulated to replace the cut part.

Use the right fertilizer. Different fertilizers offer different nutrients to the plants. When applying fertilizers in vegetables and herbs, you should be careful. Some fertilizers are meant for leaves while others are specifically for flower and fruit formation. For instance, if you apply fertilizers meant for fruiting plants on leafy vegetables, the nutrients will encourage the plant to form flowers. Leafy vegetables and herbs require fertilizers with high nitrogen (N).

Some of the crops which tend to bolt include cabbage, lettuce, brassicas, spinach, beetroot, onions, carrots, turnip, arugula. Farmers need to seek agronomical support to understand important growth patterns to get maximum yields from their crops. With support, farmers can get adequate information on problems that their plants are exposed to and how to prevent them.

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Earn Extra Income With the Modern Langstroth Bee Hive

Langsroth Bee Hive

Langstroth beehive is the basic beekeeping equipment. Usually it has two layers, brood box is used for bee living and raise their young, and honey super box is used for harvest honey.

Langstroth hive is a vertically modular beehive that has the key features of vertically hung frames, a bottom board with entrance for the bees, boxes containing frames for brood and honey (the lowest box for the queen to lay eggs, and boxes above where honey may be stored) and top cap to provide weather protection. In a Langstroth hive, the bees build honeycomb into frames, which can be moved with ease. The frames are designed to prevent bees from attaching honey combs where they would either connect adjacent frames, or connect frames to the walls of the hive. The movable frames allow the beekeeper to manage the bees in a way which was formerly impossible.

How to make Langstroth Bee hive

Our Langstroth beehives are wholly Kenyan made using local material and are all fitted with 100% bees wax comb starters, comb strips that are also locally produced from bees wax coming from our local bees thus assuring quick colonization

The Langstroth hive is easier to move during migration and easier to capture a swarm of bees with. Better quality honey is obtained because less smoke is used. However they are more costly and require a good knowledge of the cycles and bee ecology. The wood must be well seasoned.

The queen excluder is a mesh grid, usually made of wire or plastic, sized such that worker bees can pass through, but queens (generally) cannot. When used, it is generally placed between the hive body and the honey supers. The purpose of the queen excluder is to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers, which can lead to darker honey and can also complicate extraction.

When harvesting it, protective gear should be worn.  The process should be done in the morning or late in the evening when bees are less active. A bucket or pail can be used to collect the honey comb with the aid of a bee brush to brush off bees back into the hive.

The annual production of langstroth bee hive is 40 kg whereas the Kenya top bar bee hive is 30kg and the traditional bee hive with 20kg.

In addition to getting revenues from honey, bees play an important role in pollinating fruits in your orchard. OxfarmAg Ltd has made it easy for the farmers who want to invest in the Fruit Farming and HONEY PRODUCTION.

Through our research, we have realized that most farmers do not have the knowledge and required experience to successfully farm hass avocado up to maturity and profit from them.

This has caused many farmers huge losses, and we are here to offer stairs and a good start in hass avocado orchard establishment.

A kilo of honey in Kenya fetches around 800ksh to 1000ksh. A farmer with approximately ten beehives can earn a comfortable 320,000ksh per year. 10 beehives times an annual production of 40kg of honey per beehive.

Honey Combs used in Modern Langstroth Bee hive

ADVANTAGES OF THE LANGSTROTH HIVE

  1. It produces the highest amount of honey
  1. There is no bee killing during harvesting
  2. It is environment friendly
  3. It does not allow intrusion of hive by bees enemies such as mice and spiders
  4. It works well with trap boxes
  5. Makes it easy for bees to fan and clean the hive.
  6. Fitted with wax foundations that reduce work for the bees in making combs
  7. Promotes cleanliness during harvesting
  8. Brood and honey are never mixed as in log hives
  9. All members of the family can work with hives
  10. The shadow frames can be easily tied up three or more stories high
  11. The beekeeper can add supers at the rate at which they are required by the bees
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Pears Farming in Kenya Can Change Fortunes to Our Dear Farmers

Pears are rarely available throughout the year. A pear tree will take approximately three years to produce fruit after planting. They are mostly grown in well-drained loamy or sandy soil with good sun.

Pears are a mild, sweet fruit with a fibrous center. They are rich in antioxidants, bio-flavonoids and dietary fiber, cholesterol and calories. They are delicious fruits that can be grown in a wide range of soils especially cold areas.

Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Pruning is very vital for this tree as it grows bushy, the central leader (the main stem), should be allowed to grow upwards, do not eliminate it. Prune away dead, damaged and diseased branches as well as those that growing in the wrong direction. Pruning allows air and light to penetrate the tree.  Prune my trees when they are not flowering.

The fruits should be hand-picked to avoid any damage; a mature tree can produce up to 180 kilograms. For good fruit quality preventative control of pests and diseases is required. The common diseases and pests include; scab, rust, black spot, fire blight, root rot, powdery mildew, fruit flies, aphids, and red spider mites.

pears fruits

The fruits should be hand-picked to avoid any damage; a mature tree can produce up to 180 kilograms. For good fruit quality preventative control of pests and diseases is required. The common diseases and pests include; scab, rust, black spot, fire blight, root rot, powdery mildew, fruit flies, aphids, and red spider mites.

Production estimates

A farmer with 200 trees will harvest 36000kgs of pears fruit as the plant produces 180kgs in a single season. This translates to making 1,080,000 after selling a kilogram at 30ksh.

To get certified pears seedlings contact 0706 222 888

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Propagation, planting, care and harvesting of Bananas

Banana cultivation is one of the most popular fruit as it grows all-round the year irrespective of other fruits, which are usually seasonal in nature. Fertile soil is important for its cultivation, so it is best grown in volcanic and alluvial soils. Bananas are rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin C.

The other nutrients found in the fruit are vitamin B6, protein, dietary fiber, riboflavin, niacin, iron, etc. This fruit is good for heart health as it protects against the blood pressure fluctuations because of its potassium content.

It also helps in treating depression as magnesium helps in relaxation of muscles and Vitamin B6 helps to sleep well. Other advantageous benefits of banana consumption include weight loss, vision improvement, improvement of digestion, stronger bones, etc.

Propagation and Planting of Bananas

Young banana plants

Banana is propagated through tissue cultures which are developed in the laboratories and these yield highly and suckers developed by rhizomes and may take a year to form a fully mature banana.

Two types of suckers develop on banana plants, but only one type works well to produce a new plant. When leaves begin to appear on the suckers, look for the one that develop straight, thin leaves initially instead of the one that develop broad leaves. Choosing straight thin leaved sucker over broad leaved suckers produces both thicker pseudo stems and larger fruit yields.

The recommended banana spacing is 3m by 3m.The hole dug should be 3ft by 3ft. Mix 1 bucket of manure with the top soil removed and fill the hole again with the mixture.

Plant the sucker right at the middle of the hole. Irrigation is necessary for the young sucker to enhance its survival. Do not plant when it has over rained or when the winter is severe. Bananas require a lot of water but when drainage is poor they are prone to rotting.

Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Care and Maintenance of Bananas

Bananas are associated with or require little care for them to reach full maturity. The following basic management skills will maximize production of the plant.

  1. Fertilize with a balanced compound fertilizer after you notice the first flush of leaves and ensure it is applied some few centimeter’s away from the plant to avoid tissue burn. Bananas require a lot of potassium. The rate of application should be after every three months.
  2. A bucket of well decomposed manure should be put and should be thoroughly mixed with top soil around the plant and should be put after every six months.
  3. Weeding must be done once the weeds sprout. The field should always be clean.
  4. Mulching will ensure water is conserved.
  5. Water frequently. Ensure the soil moisture levels are at the desired levels.
  6. When the plant reaches maturity remove all the excessive suckers remaining with a single sucker that will follow its mother plant. This will even ensure uniformity while harvesting.
  7. Support the plant to avoid toppling due to weight or strong winds.

Harvesting of Bananas

harvested bananas

First the flower will form and then the fingers will come out with the flowers dangling down. The bananas will have a defined ridge when they are still young and green.as they begin to mature, the fruit will become plump and fill out into the ridges.

They turn from dark green to light green to yellow and remember not all will turn yellow but still as they ripen they are very sweet.

Harvesting can be done at the light green stage or at the yellow stage (ripening stage)

NB. To AVOID diseases like fusarium wilt, banana bract mosaic virus, banana streak disease, infectious chlorosis CMV, ensure your suckers and tissue culture bananas come from certified nurseries.

 

 

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Ultimate guide for beans farming in Kenya

Beans farming in Kenya is not as common as maize. However, it is one of the common grown crops in Kenya. In fact, it is often inter-cropped with the main crop for maximum absorption of nutrients by both plants. Our guide will help interested parties, both farmers and traders to have a clear mind on beans farming and how they can get money as far as beans are concerned.

Varieties of beans grown in Kenya

Beans popularity in Kenya may be due to the fact that bean recipes are numerous and beans are consumed almost with everything and contain quite a considerable amount of protein. Before venturing into beans farming, it is advisable to look at the different varieties available. If a farmer knows the different types of beans he will be able to choose the best based on its performance. Below are the several varieties;

  • Rosecoco beans Kenya
  • Mwezi moja beans
  • Chelalang beans
  • Mwitemania beans

Do your research well as a farmer and identify which variety does well in your area and guarantees high yields.

Yield per Acre of Beans

The hybrid varieties nowadays are very impressive and has a high yield compared to the traditional varieties. Most of the improved varieties produce about 20 pods for each plant, which translate to about 25, 90 kg bags per acre. Notably, this crop is high yielding when all the conditions are optimal.

Dry beans market

Beans are source of proteins which makes Kenya depend highly on them. The market for beans is overwhelming, both locally and international. Depending on quality and type of beans, the prices per 90 kg bag of beans ranges between Ksh 7,000 and Ksh 12,000. Particularly, beans fetch better prices when it is not harvesting period. Some varieties are also more expensive than others. The rose coco and kidney beans, for instance, are a bit pricey compared to the other varieties which are available in large quantities. Beans with a high supply across the country will fetch a lower price compared to those that thrive in specific areas. Irrespective of the type of beans, the market for beans is always there and since it’s a grain, you can store it and sell when the prices are high.

Price of beans in Kenya

Just like any other agricultural product, prices for beans fluctuate depending on a number of factors including demand and supply. The crop will tend to be expensive when they are in high demand, which is often around planting time when farmers need seeds for planting, and also during periods with no new crops. The cost may also depend on the region you are in and when you are buying or selling. So different areas in Kenya register varying prices of beans. Averagely, beans prices in Kenya range from Kshs. 7,000 to Kshs. 12,000 in major towns of

Kenya from low to high seasons. The best thing to do when scouting for better rates is to check the indices often provided by trading companies and the government on the prices of beans in major towns including Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa. It is not suprising that each town could register a different price for the same variety of beans. This is because different factors play out when determining the prices.

Beans production

It is always good to have a projection before embarking on planting the crop. This is where you consider farming as a business and have a clear business plan. You will need to have a structured plan on what to expect through the farming period and how to counter different eventualities. Your projections against the real data will give a vivid picture of whether or not to proceed with the venture. Apart from this, knowing exactly what to do is necessary. Below are some tips that might help you with your business plaa;

  • Know the appropriate beans planting season in Kenya
  • Choose the best beans varieties in your area
  • Consider ideal ecological requirements – This includes temperatures of about 20 to 25 degrees, altitude of between 1,000 m to 2,100 m above sea level, rainfall of between 900 mm to 1,200 mm per year and a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5

Although the market for beans is always there and appealing, beans farming is not an easy task especially if you are to do it commercially. However, it is always possible to register good yields if you do it right and follow the above steps. You also need to have achievable goals.

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How Can Kenya Boost Agricultural Productivity?

How to boost productivity

Many countries have successfully developed after shifting resources from agriculture to manufacturing. Countries in East Asia and the Pacific witnessed a revolution in the 90’s but Kenya and Africa in general missed out and has overtime lacked progress in agricultural productivity which can be blamed for holding back the region’s overall economic growth.

So what can be done to boost Kenyan agricultural productivity? below are eight factors that are drawn from transforming Kenya’s agriculture to improve competitiveness.

Grow High-yield Crops

Kenya requires increased research into plant breeding, taking into consideration the unique Kenyan soils. If money is put in good use in this segment, according to world bank, 1ksh is capable of yielding Ksh 6 in terms of benefits.

Improve Irrigation

With the growing effects of climate change on weather patterns, more irrigation will be needed. Average yields in irrigated farms are 90% higher than those of nearby rain-fed farms.

Increase the use of Organic fertilizers

As soil fertility deteriorates, organic fertilizer use must increase. Governments need to ensure the right type of fertilizers are available at the right price, and at the right times. Fertilizer education lessens the environmental impact and an analysis of such training programs in East Africa found they boosted average incomes by 61%.

Enhance Regulations, Market Access and Governance

Improving rural infrastructure such as roads is crucial to raising productivity through reductions in shipping costs and the loss of perishable produce. Meanwhile, providing better incentives to farmers, including reductions in food subsidies, could raise agricultural output by nearly 5%. In recent times Kenyan government has had a tussle with maize farmers where the government insisted on buying a 90 Kg bag of maize at Ksh 2300 but the farmers wanted more. Eventually the government increased the amount up to Ksh 2500. Such fights with farmers will only deteriorate and make things worse as farmers will get tired of farming if the market is harsh for them.

State of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Use of IT

Information technology can support better crop, fertilizer and pesticide selection. It also improves land and water management, provides access to weather information, and connects farmers to sources of credit. Simply giving farmers information about crop prices in different markets has increased their bargaining power.

Reform land ownership

Africa has the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (202 million hectares) yet most farms occupy less than 2 hectares. This results from poor land governance and ownership. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary if many African nations are to realize potential productivity gains. In Pastoralists counties such as Kajiado and Narok, land is owned by communities but recently some individuals have been grabbing it and making it theirs with no development. government should come up with policies that can help the common man.

Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Intensify integration into Agricultural Value Chains

Driven partly by the growth of international supermarket chains, Kenyan economy has progressively diversified from traditional cash crops into fruits, vegetables, fish, and flowers. However, lack of access to finance and poor infrastructure have slowed progress. Government support, crucial to coordinate the integration of smallholder farmers into larger cooperatives and groups, may be needed in other areas that aid integration with wider markets.

If the government, NGO’s, all agriculture stakeholders come together and do the above, we might reap as a country and as a continent. At Oxfarm we have been educating the public on the best farming methods and how to access the market, we expect the government to provide a fair and a good working environment for farmers.