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A critical Issue in the Fruits Supply Chain Management

Fruits supply chain

The food and beverage industry has been growing rapidly as fruit and vegetable processing increases. As more processing plants are being set up, the global demand for fruits is expected to rise by more than 10% in the next 5 years. Fruits are extensively used in making products such as juices, jam, tomato sauce, cosmetics, and beverages such as wine.

The key issue, however, is how food supply chains are going to be managed by processing companies and farmers. How are the two groups going to maximize on quality and production of fruits and end products?

Sustainability when Outsourcing Agricultural Products

Managing supply chains is a difficult task from a business perspective. Challenges such as poor production and product quality are common when poor management techniques are employed. This results to food waste and losses. Some critical issues on quality and production management include: 

Harvesting Fruits too early or too late

Fruits should be harvested at the right time when they mature. However, some farmers tend to harvest fruits before they mature which is a common issue especially in the macadamia subsector. Most immature fruits end up being rejected by buyers. Also, some farmers harvest their fruits later on after maturity. What happens when they do this? Fruits such as watermelon, citrus, and pomegranates start splitting while other fruits become overripe and they start rotting.

Irregular shape and size of Fruits

Fertilization, manuring, and pest control management techniques employed determines the shape and size of fruits. Over-fertilization can make the fruits to be extremely large. Most customers will find this abnormal and only a small number will purchase the fruits. Poor management such as under-fertilization, pest control, and manuring will make the fruits have an irregular shape and small size. Buyer s also won’t be willing to buy that. This means the farmer will be forced to dispose a large chunk of the fruits meaning more losses.

Differences in knowledge and a dispersed supplier network

Crop production requires attention and clpose supervision especially when growing a fruit that you are growing for the first time or using new technologies. The fact that suppliers are in different geographical locations makes the agricultural supply chains complicated. The supplier network is made up of farmers with advanced knowledge and non-skilled ones. If the farmers are not careful, these suppliers can end up affecting their entire season.

Poor crop management

Poor disease and pest control, ineffective weed control, and failure to apply manure and fertilizers results to extremely low yields and poor product quality. Also, poor choice of seedlings can also result to poor performance, low yields, and a longer maturity of the fruit tree.

Maintain high product quality

High-quality products will always attract the attention of many buyers. To avoid losses, farmers have a role to play to maintain their market share in the local and export markets. To help farmers manage the fruit quality, sourcing companies should:

Have a common place to interact with farmers

With the advancements in technology, software have been developed which provide an ideal ground for farmers to interact. This can help in nurturing the relationship between farmers and buyers, companies, agronomists.

Equip farmers with management practices that they can utilize

Agronomy support is always important in fruit farming to help farmers employ proper orchard management techniques. Educating farmers will help them avoid unproductive practices and show them the methods they can use to improve productivity in their farms.

Present their requirements in clear terms

The export market is highly demanding and is quite keen when it comes to quality. Exporters should present the product requirements in understandable terms to help farmers know where they need to improve and how they can maximize on the product quality.

Ensure there is traceability and transparency to help farmers understand the performance of the export markets

A digital solution to enhance product quality

These days, farmers are migrating to digital agriculture. A cloud-based platform can be an ideal solution to improve production and product quality. An integrated management platform can help farmers have a common place to:

  • Market their produce – With a large number of potential customers in a single platform, buyers can select the most appropriate buyer for their produce.
  • Interact with other farmers, buyers, agronomists, and farm input suppliers – real-time communication in a common place can be an important environment for farmers to share or look for information. Also, farmers can know the best places to purchase seedlings and farm inputs.
  • Monitor performanceoxfarm online platform helps farmers monitor production crop traceability, and product quality. They can also monitor the performance of their crops and weather patterns. This will also help them know the best pest and disease control method to apply. While still communicating with other farmers, farmers can learn how they can ensure higher yields and high quality fruits.
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What are the most profitable fruits/crops to grow in Kenya Today?

1.      Hass Avocado fruits

Kenya is one of the few countries that enjoys equatorial climate. Most counties in Kenya receive a minimum of two rainy season. Hass Avocado fruits are highly adapted to different rainfall conditions; however, the rain should be an average of 1,000–1,600mm per annum and well-distributed throughout the year.

Avocado farming in Kenya presents a good opportunity not only for farmers, but a growing population of young people to venture into. The Kenyan market both domestic and export is growing but limited by the production capacity of the current farmers. The most popular variety for the export market is the HASS avocado.

In Kenya, avocado is one of the most consumed fruits that is readily available in the market all year round. Going by the latest HCDA statistics, avocado has a fair share among the leading export crops and Kenya stands out as a major player in the avocado export market. Locally avocado is sold at the market place from between Kshs10 to KSh 50 depending on the size and quality. Avocado trees are very productive and can fruit all year round. At maximum production, a single mature tree can produce 70 to 100 kg of fruits per year. Kenya has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of countries interested in Kenya avocados, these counties are, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Iran, Libya, and Egypt among others.

This year, Hass avocados is traing between 10 and 15 Ksh at your farm gate. During this rainy season, plant hass avocados, contact us for delivery.

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2.      Passion fruit

If you are looking for a high-value crop that can produce an income in the first year, take a look at passion fruit farming. Passion fruit farming has nearly unlimited possibilities from extended life span exceeding three years after establishment to ability to intercrop.

It doesn’t cost much to start growing passions for profit either — just a few shillings for seedlings and supplies. Demand for passion fruits is set to rise even more, due to changing consumer preferences as Kenyans move from carbonated soft drinks to fresh juices.

Furthermore, brands like Coca-cola, Afia juices, Del-Monte are already sourcing various fruits from farmers to tap fresh fruits processing segments. Despite all the interest by fresh drink processors, the supply of this fruit is scarce. This presents an opportunity for you as a farmer.

The crop produces high yields under proper care, for instance, a yield of 50,000kg of passion fruit per hectare has been reported in Kenya. The average price of one kilo of passion fruits is Sh50 in various market centres in the country. However, you can can still sell at a higher price through direct marketing. From one hectare, it’s possible to earn over Sh2,000,000; an earning that exceeds many other farming enterprises.

Furthermore, the maturity and ripening of the fruits, does not happen at the same time some take three days others one week while others two weeks. This is an advantage, as it will allow you to harvest weekly, and have time to market the produce. Starting as a small grower you will find lots of eager buyers at you neighbourhoods and supermarkets.

3.      Mushrooms

Mushroom production of late has captured the attention of the Kenya’s farming community with most mushroom farmers boasting amazing profits. Mushroom are land and rainfall independent hence making them the better option for those looking to maximize revenue from their land usage. For those without space to garden, growing mushrooms for profit can produce a great return in a small space.

Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, make sense, as they can be grown indoors without soil. They only require a house and your attention. Mud thatched houses can create the right climate for mushroom growing. The demand in Kenya is unsatisfied with data indicating that we are only producing 500 tonnes of these mushrooms against an annual demand of 1,200 tonnes.

Mushrooms can be grown using various substrates from agricultural wastes such as cereal straws such as maize stalks, bean stalk, wheat straw Coffee pulp, coffee husks, paper waste, papyrus, water hyacinth, banana fronds etc. Cotton husks, maize cobs, banana leaves, papyrus, grass straw, paper wastes, sugarcane bagasse and hay. Spawns ‘seeds’ can be easily obtained from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Science and Technology (JKUAT).

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4.      Macadamia Nuts

According to a research conducted by Oxfarm Ag Ltd, an acre of land will hold 100 Macadamia trees. This could earn a farmer, going by the present government set minimal returns of Ksh70 per kilogram of nuts, up to Ksh1,470,000 per acre if a farmer harvest 80Kg per tree, depending on farming practices and favorable climate. At the primary harvest, that comes 2 years after transplantation of seedlings, a farmer will fetch between 30kg and 50kg, reckoning on the range and the attention given to the trees. Production will increase with each harvest.

Due to high competition for the macadamia nuts by process and selling companies; most companies supply improved costs to farmers. This year, some firms offered the maximum amount as Ksh200 per kilogram of nuts, however external market factors forced the costs to drop to a mean of Ksh130 per kilogram.

Macadamia nuts will grow in most areas of the country, however production can vary depending on the number of precipitation, where farmers don’t have any access to irrigation water.

It is vital to consult experts on best varieties for given regions. The well-liked selection is Murang’a 20. It’s hardy and adapts well to completely different climates, with improved production throughout the year. Different varieties manufacture doubly a year.

If you would like money from your land, plant Macadamia nuts (its my best). Contact us for delivery.

There are other crops you can grow but we have highlighted a few that we think guarantee money in your pocket.

 

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Preparing for Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training Center Event

Wambugu farm situated in Nyeri County will on 27th and 28th July 2018 hold their annual ATC. During the two days, farmer and aspiring farmers are invited to interact with the biggest agriprenuers.

If you are an aspiring farmer, and you have been following us, you will witness that we have been on the forefront in informing farmers on the best farming practices and how to start from scratch.

This is an opportunity for you to see what other right-minded farmers like you are doing.

What You expect to learn

  • Value addition on tree tomato
  • Kales farming
  • Cabbage farming
  • Dairy goat farming
  • Dairy Cows Farming
  • Arrow-root Farming
  • Sweet-Potato farming
  • Vertical Farming, e.t.c

Value Addition on Tree-Tomato

Did you know that tree tomato is used to make jams, juice and other end products? Well you have a chance to come and learn from us.

Oxfarm (oxfarm.co.ke) in collaboration with tamarillo farm mweiga (tamarillo.co.ke) and Mkulima wa Nyeri Farm are inviting you to Wambugu farm ATC to learn more on value addition on tree tomato fruits. This in an annual event that take place in July every year. We will have samples for those who will visit our stand to get a taste on our various products.

Some of our products are;

  • Jam,
  • Juice
  • chili sauce and
  • fresh fruits

Vegetable prices has in the past few years skyrocked. This is so because of the rising population which means demand for food is on the rise. So how can you manage the small land you have to feed you and still have a space to grow vegetables for sale? What about dairy farming, where do you go wrong?

Below are some pictures of what you expect to see and learn about. Set a date and make sure to visit our booth when you are there.

 

 

Kales Farming

Spinach Farming

Spinach Farming

Onion Farming

Sweet Potato Farming

Onion and cabbage farming

Spinach Farming

Green Peas Farming

Tomato Farming

Kales Farming

Spinach Farming

Spinach Farming

Onion Farming

Sweet Potato Farming

Cabbage Farming