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Coriander/ Dhania farming

The aroma of Dhania is irresistible and no African cuisine is complete without it. Dhania farming is easy as the crop matures within a short period and requires almost zero maintenance. This means that most of the money you will be making will be profit. If enough manure is applied, they rarely require any fertilizers. Chemical application is rarely needed which saves costs. The demand for coriander is growing rapidly just like for other vegetables like tomatoes, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Location Constraints

These plants are extremely fragile and hence they should not be transplanted from pots to the garden. Instead, the seeds should be sown in the soil directly. Farmers can make rows or seedbeds and sow the seeds.

Sunlight

Coriander requires sufficient sunshine throughout the growing period. Once the seeds germinate and start producing leaves, the plants will require 5 – 6 hours of sunshine.

Dhania Farming: Spacing

The plants become bushy with time and hence proper spacing is important. A spacing of 3 inches will be enough to ensure that the plants receive enough light. Proper spacing also makes weeding and harvesting easy.

Growth

Dhania plants are small and only grow a few inches long. They should be harvested once the leaves appear fully grown. However, if you want to harvest Dhania seeds, the plants can be left to bloom. Tiny yellow flowers appear within one week and later on seeds pop out.

Temperature 

Coriander is sensitive to temperatures and cannot thrive when the temperatures are too cold or extremely hot. They thrive in temperatures of between 150C – 260C. However, warm temperatures of about 250C are required during germination.
Watering

The seeds should be watered regularly until they germinate. After germination, the plants can be watered after a couple of days. Too much water can cause the roots to rot and damage the plants.

Dhania Farming: Nutrient Management

Coriander requires fertile and well-drained soils. To boost the growth process, manure should be added. Although it does not harm the plants, fertilizer application is not recommended.

Pest Management

Since the plants mature within a short time and are harvested immediately upon maturity, there is no space for pest infestation. However, root rot and powdery mildew can develop when there is too much dampness in the soil. There are chances of aphid infestation after flowering and when the seeds set in. Aphids can cause massive destruction when they eat up the seeds. At this time, a pesticide can be sprayed.

Dhania Farming: Harvesting

Coriander plants are ready to be harvested in 25 -32 days. They should be plucked immediately after healthy green leaves are formed. If they are left for another week the leaves turn feathery and develop yellow flowers and seeds sprout out.

Uses and health benefits of Dhania

Apart from its aroma, coriander has many health benefits. For instance, the seeds can be used to treat griping pain in both children and adults. Also, it treats gastric disorders and cures indigestion. Furthermore, it helps maintain good heart health and treats high cholesterol levels.

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How to Make Money Through Coriander (Dhania) Farming

dhania farming in Kenya

Coriander, popularly known as dhania back here in Kenya is a popular spice used in stews and kachumbari. It is loved for its unique aroma and flavor that it adds to food.

Its always in demand regardless of the timing. It is becoming a force both locally and internationally in terms of market and returns. According to reports, coriander and other similar spices’ demand has gone up by more than 40% with growers gaining more money of up to 25% compared to traditional crops. Below are a few tips to help you venture in dhania farming.

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Preparation

A farmer can get quality certified seeds from Kenya seed Company, Kenya Highlands Seed Co, Simlaw Seeds and others for less than Ksh 1000. After tilling land, plant coriander seeds in drills 30cm apart at a sowing depth of 2.5cm – 3.5cm. You should expect germination to take place 10 days after sowing.

How do you care for Dhania?

Dhania Seeds
Dhania Seeds

To control weeds, thin the plants when they get to 7-15cm. Coriander also requires regular watering as the plant responds well to even distribution of moisture. Also ensure the soil is rich in manure. If not, apply well decomposed organic manure regularly. Some of the challenges you’ll face are attacks from pests like aphids and diseases like bacterial leaf spot, soft rot and powdery mildew. However, these are easily controlled through maintaining field hygiene, crop rotation, seed dressing and using disease free seeds. Spraying with pesticides and fungicides is not recommended unless it is necessary.

Harvesting Dhania

Within 4-6 weeks after planting, your coriander should be ready for harvesting. Always start by harvesting the largest ones to allow the smaller plants get enough space to grow. You are highly recommended to harvest dhania when its leaves are ripe and still green otherwise they will get feathery and turn yellow. For storage, you should soak the harvested dhania in water to maintain their freshness.

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How much do I need to invest in an acre?

For one-acre piece of land, cosiander seeds will only cost you Ksh 1000 for you to get maximum yield. Dhania is fairly easy to grow and maintain as the farmer doesn’t need to spend much on labor. A farmer should be able to make a profit of 40,000 a month.

Note! Dhania requires enough water

If you have that piece of land no matter how small it is and you are looking on ways of making an extra coin, well, dhania farming is a fair consideration. coriander has a ready market both locally and abroad. What are you waiting for!! go make that extra coin.