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Why You Should Invest in Vegetable and Fruit Farming

Presently, the demand for fruits and vegies from Kenya has been temperate and high for both organic and value added products. Nonetheless, Most producers and companies exporting fresh fruits and vegetables from Kenya are both small and Medium with little if any investment capacity to broaden the production and take advantage of the market demand, and therefore have been unable to explore the export of value added products currently on demand in Europe and other International markets.

A good number of the current exports have been in raw fruits and vegetables and largely to the wholesale markets where competition is growing and prices going down. Currently, there are over 30 companies exporting fresh fruits and vegetables largely to the EU and, to a less extent, to the COMESA region, although the latter is largely informal. On average, the existing companies each exports 2 – 40 tonnes of fresh fruits per week, largely to the wholesale markets in Europe.

 Competitiveness

Competitiveness in Kenya rests with soils, irrigation, climate, opportunities, government policies as well as labour factor prices. Kenya has matchless comparative advantage for growing fruits and vegetables due to its warm, less humid tropical climate, plentiful rainfall and huge opportunities for irrigation. Soils of pH 5 to 6.5 are most ideal for the fruits (such as oranges, Avocados, mangoes and pineapples) and vast areas of this type is obtained in Kenya.

These soils are rare in the world.  Kenya’s climate is summer all year round: moderate temperatures (15 -30ºC) throughout the year with a bi-modal rainfall pattern. The soils have low levels of contamination due to prolonged periods of minimal use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides creating natural quasi-organic conditions in most areas.

The November to February harvest period in Kenya coincides with the northern hemisphere winter – a period of peak demand for fresh fruits and vegetables in Europe.

How to start Kienyeji chicken farming for eggs/chicks production

Justification behind vegetable and fruit farming

There is plenty of land in the country that can be devoted to fruit farming. The government owned irrigation schemes can provide ample land. Besides there is an increasing number of out growers complimenting the raw material supply effort.  The out growers however may be supported with skills, implements. An investor in fruit farming has the option of irrigating the fruit farms to ensure all year round production.

The demand for fresh fruits on a year-round   basis is increasing, and consumers are willing to pay higher prices for out-of-season fresh fruits.  Given EU market entry barriers, Kenya would rather target domestic, border and regional markets. Currently, there is an existing trade within the region supplying Southern Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. The current production levels of fruits are yet to satisfy the domestic, border and regional demand. It is strategic to strengthen the existing trade which is not satisfied and yet expanding.

However, we have been advising our customers on the best practices that will ensure they sell their produce in  the International markets.

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You Only Have One Month To Prepare; Hass Avocado Farming Package

Hass Avocado farming

If you can remember about last long-rain season of 2018 most farmers were caught unaware since the long rains started a bit earlier than expected. A delay in planting can lead to many inconveniences leading to huge losses.

Timely planting

Timely planting as we call it means that you need to have everything prepared for the long rains before it starts. Planning and preparing early will help you avoid costly mistakes.

If you are planning to invest in hass avocado we got you covered by assisting you plan. Taking into consideration this is a long-term investment you are required to put several issues in your list.

First, you need to conduct a soil analysis to know how healthy your soil is. Soil is one of the factors a farmer can control and get better yields.  The analysis will determine the soil PH, nutrients available (both micro and macro), soil organic matter as well as cation exchange capacity. Soil analysis is done during dry season so that the control measure is done early enough. OxfarmAg Ltd will help you get through with this process especially before this coming season. We normally visit your farm pick samples for analysis and advice you recommendation to take.  Most of the farms that we have visited in Central and Rift valley region require addition lime to reduce acidity.

The second benefit of preparing your farm early is ploughing and digging of holes for planting which should be done early to allow more time for other consecutive work to be timely done. With OxfarmAg Limited as your partner, we will help you achieve this. Our team is able to assist in digging holes with the recommended sizes as well as ensuring proper spacing for hass avocado farming. We do this putting into consideration the direction of the sun (North-South Orientation).

During land and holes preparation we also assist in mixing of the top soil with manure in a proper proportion to avoid damage of roots after planting.

 

Seedlings Selection

Nowadays emergence of small nurseries is everywhere and most of these operators don’t meet requirements for operating a nursery. Most of them have hass seedlings that are not certified by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service – KEPHIS and registered by Horticultural Crop Directorate – HCD. A genuine nursery should operate with both certificates. Buying the seedlings from these nurseries which at times might be cheaper can save you a few coins for now but will result in huge losses and regret in say 3-5 years from now. Consideration should be emphasized from the rootstock selection, scion from true to type hass avocado variety and propagation method have to be adhered to standard set.

At OxfarmAg limited we propagate and we ensures that you get certified quality true to type hass avocado plants.

 

Planting

We carry out planting during the rainy season or with irrigation water. This is the most sensitive part of any hass avocado farming enterprise. Planting determines about 30% success your enterprise. Proper planting will avoid first drying of your seedlings, second root rot diseases and third fast maturity of the plants where a farmer start harvesting within the first 2-3 years.

Engage OxfarmAg Ltd we will plant your seedlings professionally and never regret.

 

Pollination

Hass avocado abort heavenly for several reasons; nutrients available for the plants, pests and diseases, weather patterns and also pollination plays a big role.

During planting we ensure we follow a guideline where we inter-crop with some Fuertes to boost on cross pollination. This ensures more fruits in your trees, better fruit development and also larger sizes of fruits.

 

Pests and Disease control

Most avocado farmers are not concerned about pests and diseases which also play a big role to the productivity of the trees. Farmers are used to grow the traditional (Kienyeji) avocados without much care. For better production of hass avocados, quality maintenance and export requirement, ensure you get advice from OxfarmAg Ltd.

 

Irrigation, Pruning and Harvesting

When considering best ways to manage your farm, the above practices are crucial. When we walk with you this journey, we will help you and teach you how to go about all the above processes.

 

Marketing

OxfarmAg Ltd together with other exporting companies and local processors have partnered to ensure all the fruits you get from your farm get the best market prices. We grade your fruits for exports and for local oil extraction processing.

 

OxfarmAg Ltd Contract with Farmers

We have planting services for our farmers which involve signing a contract between the company OxfarmAg Ltd and the Farmer for 3-4 months depending on how long the process will take from farm preparation to planting of seedlings.

Our packages per acre include: soil analysis, planning, measurement and digging of holes, delivery of 150 seedlings to the farm, planting and monitoring for 3 months. All these services you get at a cost of Ksh 40,000 per acre.

Farmer should ensure the farm is cleared, provide manure and other management practices like irrigation, removal of suckers, and security of seedlings e.t.c. We do this in most parts of Kenya all you need to do is to call us get to know if hass avocado can do well and if they can do, you invite us for farm visit and advice.

Call,Text,Whatsapp 0706222888

Email; info@oxfarm.co.ke and request for quotation and sample contract.

 

From the first engagement we become your lifetime partners in farming by offering agronomy advice and discounts. Our added advantage is that we can assist in giving you options of some other crops that you can intercrop with hass and get to recover your initial investment soonest.

 

About us

OxfarmAg Ltd

oxfarm.co.ke / oxfarmorganic.com

We are an online agricultural information portal providing solutions to pressing issues affecting farmers in Kenya, like access to information, research and technology in farming, market trends and connecting farmers with potential market/buyers. We are registered under Kenya company act by the name OxfarmAg Ltd. We are certified to provide agricultural inputs mostly seedlings of high quality. We have qualified agriculturists in most part of Kenya who are involved in management of various agricultural projects. We believe nowadays Money grows on trees.

 

P.O. Box 3552-00100 Nairobi-Kenya

Contacts: +254 706 222 888 or +254 723 662 773/

Email; info@oxfarm.co.ke

Website; http://oxfarm.co.ke/ or www.oxfarmorganic.com 

 

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Interested in the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

Orange fruit farming

Kenyan’s potential in fruit production is rather untapped when compared to South American and Asian countries that dominate the export market. It is high time that Kenyans start to look out for ways of exploiting the demand that is growing and the lucrative market for tropical fruits both domestically and internationally.

How huge is the potential for the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?

As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.

Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!

Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.

This post explores the tropical fruit business and looks at a couple of successful entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the potentials of the fruit production business in Kenya. In our earlier posts, we have also included very detailed manuals that reveal all the technical details of starting and succeeding in fruit farming.

Why Is The Market Potential For Tropical Fruit farming Huge For Kenya?

Our research has identified three strong reasons why Kenya’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright. Here they are:-

·         Kenya Has A Strong Geographic Advantage

More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.

A very large portion of Africa is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.

As a result, Kenya and Africa at large remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.

Despite our continent’s huge potential for fruit farming business, a lot of fruits grown in Kenyan are consumed locally.

Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.

However, there are signs of positive change as some entrepreneurs are already making the best of this bad situation.

Profitable poultry farming and production in Kenya

·         A Growing Demand For Healthier And Organic Foods

Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.

Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.

The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Kenya. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.

According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for Kenyan tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.

Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

·         A Rapidly Growing Fruit Juice Industry

Recently, Prof Kibwana the Makueni County governor launched a mango processing plant which is meant to buy mangoes from residents of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni to process juice. These are some of the changes that we are talking about. Value addition is taking shape in Kenya and in the near future Kenya will be producing finished products. Another company in Mweiga Nyeri County is producing juice from tree tomato fruits. Tamarillo farm in Nyeri is now processing tree tomato fruits to produce chillie source, jams, and juice.

This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.

This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice making fruit farming business lucrative.

As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Kenya will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the country. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Kenya to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.

If you are confident that the fruit business will work for you, it’s important that you start taking action as soon as possible. Oxfarm is here to help you by providing certified seedlings as well as required information that can help you grow.

 

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Are you eating your way to death? Here are fruits that Prevent Cancer

The saying that we are what we eat is so very true. Recognizing and adopting healthy and balanced eating patterns and foods is one of the first steps to ensuring you maintain good health. The other is eating foods that you know can help prevent cancer and fight your risks of getting other diseases.

In Kenya, Cancer is quickly becoming one of the worst burden, where around 60 people die daily and nearly 30,000 cases of cancer are diagonized daily.

Cancer is caused by many factors. However, research has shown that making sure you include certain foods regularly in your diet can go a long way towards preventing from developing. The naturally occurring chemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers in many different foods can help your body fight the growth of cancer cells. Below are several fruits and other foods that can help you prevent this menace.

Tomato

You can eat tomatoes in salads, make soup, sauces and many other dishes. Stay well away from eating the stems and leaves, but the flesh is also a moderate source of Vitamin C. Some studies suggest lycopene, an oxidant in tomatoes, has anticancer properties

Strawberries

Good news for summer strawberry lovers, strawberries contain the phytochemicals that are considered to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a great sauce of Vitamin C and manganese

Apples Helps Prevent Cancer

For the best benefits of the anti-cancer phytochemicals in apples, eat their peel (but not their seeds). Apples also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are good sources of Vitamin C and fibe

Pumpkin and Water-melons

The carotenoids in various types of pumpkin and squash include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All good antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Pumpkins and watermelons are also high in Vitamins A and C.

Onions

The humble onion is thought to have many anti-cancer compounds. These include organosulfur compounds, quercetin and anthocyanins thought to lower the risk of many types of cancer. Different varieties such as spring onions, shallots, brown/yellow and red onions have different strengths

Lemons

Lemons and other citrus fruits contain the phytochemicals d-limonene and terpenes, thought to help halt the growth of cancer cells. Juice them and use the peel for added nutritional benefits. They are also rich in Vitamin C

Pineapples

The Bromelain enzyme found in pineapples, for instance, is capable of breaking up the protective layer in tumors. It is found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. It can also promote DNA repair and normal growth of cells. Hence, apart from its cancer-killing properties, it makes normal cells healthier and stronger

Grapes

Grapes prevent cancerClinical cancer research has also shown evidence that grape seed extract can kill three-fourths of leukemia cells by triggering a protein called JNK, which encourages apoptosis in cancer cells. The antioxidant Resveratrol, found in grape seeds, can also influence natural death of cancer cells in the:

  • Lungs
  • Bowel
  • Skin
  • Breast
  • Stomach
  • Prostate.

Grape seed extract and Resveratrol, in fact, have been incorporated in many health supplements because of their therapeutic properties.

Bananas

Some compounds in bananas have been found to be effective in preventing further production of leukemia and liver cancer cells. High consumption of bananas was also linked to a decrease in the risk of:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Oral cancer.

They are also rich in potassium, which is good for the muscles and heart

Reasons Why Hass Avocado is Preferred over other Varieties

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is rich in tannins and flavonoids, both antioxidants which have drawn attention for their healing properties. Preliminary research suggests pomegranate extract can help prevent cancer and the growth of:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer

Kiwi fruit prevent cancer

Kiwi is well-known for its high vitamin C content, boasting even more than oranges. It is also a powerful antioxidant, as Vitamin C prevents free radical damage. Kiwi consists of flavonoids and carotenoids that protect DNA from the damage or oxidative stress that is cancer. Being packed with vitamins, kiwi is a strong immune booster. It proves its effectiveness in healing different cancers like:

  • Liver cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer

Kiwi extracts prevent cancer cell proliferation, and its active photochemical, catechin, helps in the prevention of cancer and reduces the toxicity of anti-cancer agents.

The question Kenyans will ask is where they can buy the fruits. We all know how some fruits such as pomegranate, grapes, kiwi, strawberry and apples are expensive. Don’t worry, you can have all these fruits in your backyard. Contact us today and we will make this happen.

 

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How Long Should Your Farming Enterprise Take To Become Profitable?

fruit and vegetable farming

Farming can be successful but for you to be successful, you have to think critically and out of the box. You must think like a modern tech farmer and not as that conservative traditional farmer. You must do away with the traditional methods and think as a business person, the traditional methods no longer work.

Most of the new farmers struggle because they follow passion instead of viewing farming as a business and a carrier. Whatever prevents you from getting into farming and succeeding can be done with. Let’s see what you can do to be successful if farming and how long it will take you.

Best methods to improve your farm profitability

Conduct Market Analysis First

If as a farmer you grow any type of crop without first knowing a specific market, you are bound to fail. Sadly, that’s what most people do. They rush into farming business without validating the market potential of their given crop.

Don’t look at what your neighbors are growing and decide, do your own analysis. Competition kicks in and the only way to stand out, is through lowering your prices. But that’s the best scenario, the worst case scenario would be the marketing dictating what price you get.

No one wants to lose control of how they price their commodities. But that’s what you’ll get when you fail to look for a market upfront. You’ll pay for the mistake by squeezing your margins dry. To be on the safe side, start by approaching all probable market outlets about your farming ideas and then choose an enterprise based on the feedback you receive. That way you’ll be sure that the market really needs what you intend to grow.

Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

Make Sure You Choose The Right Crop

If you want to optimize on your probability, make sure you go for the right crop. Choosing the right crop to plant is the first step to optimizing farm profitability.

In any given market, consumers will demand more than one enterprise. As an entrepreneur under such circumstances, you’re face with a decision on what enterprise to select. My advice is simple, choose the one that has a higher market value.

The reason I say this is because the cost of production is almost the same across various enterprises. For example, whether you need to grow tree tomatoes or hass avocado you’ll require land, same land preparation, and same operation cost. But the difference is determined by how the market values a given crop.

Always Plan in Advance

Planning is important in all fields and those who ignore it do so at their own peril. It’s a fact that all professionals have plans – For instance, doctors follow a treatment plan, airline pilots follow a flight plan, and soldiers follow a military operation plan.

While we can’t guarantee your success – in fact no one can, having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success. The reason why most farming ideas no matter how great never live to see the light of day, is that they neglect this vital step.

Knowing this gives you unfair advantage over the rest of the folks. When you take your time to write a detailed farm plan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to figure what to do next.

And as with any agricultural produce, time is a luxury you cannot afford. Given the perishable nature of most horticultural produce, you’ll be messed up if you lack a plan of action.

Diversify Your farming Enterprises

Don’t try to specialize in farming. There are some other instances where specialization is paramount, but if you want farm profitability badly, you can’t afford to specialize.

You have likely heard the expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

For example, if you’re growing passion fruits for income, it could be a good idea to intercrop them with other vegetables such as, strawberries, onions, and spinach.

These intercropped short-term crops will enable you to earn some income before your main crop.

Stick to Your Plan

Starting a farm of your own is a fantastic way to give yourself some control and possibly earn an extra income at the same time.

Farming is risky, challenging, and not for the fainthearted. Farmers and agripreneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations. One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.

This is all part of the business of agriculture. Now, when you face such situation, the last thing you need to do is switch plans.

While some challenges might require a change of plans, it’s better to stick to your plan and learn from your mistakes. It’s all part of the process that eventually leads to farm profitability.

Invest in Yourself

You need to continually invest in yourself to become better at what you do. Grasp any learning opportunity to help you make better farm decisions.

While you do this, don’t worry about being perfect. If you worry too much about being perfect, you’re never going to get anything done. Get your farm set up as soon as you can, and you can worry about learning the ins and outs of the trade later. Learning events such as field days, open days, and libraries are all good sources of information. ​

Don’t Take too Many Short Cuts

Farming entrepreneurs have a role to play. A role to protect the integrity of the industry and restore faith in the quality food standards. Taking short cuts defeats the whole logic of protecting the industry’s integrity.

Compliance to quality standards and other farm operations is key. Therefore, to safeguard your farm profitability, you need to adhere to those standards.

Keep Clear Book Records

Always ensure you keep current, accurate records. Pay attention to details. Know where your money is generated and spent. Storing receipts in a shoebox and waiting to post figures at the end of the year is not a recommended recordkeeping system.

Good records will help you to measure your cash flow as well as to estimate the profitability of the enterprises. ​

Ensure Food Safety in Mind

Remember that you’re growing food for human consumption. And as such, food safety is key. The only way to ensure that you’re growing safe and high quality produce, is by following the best agricultural practices.

Internationally producers and consumers are embracing the practices and. It’s not just a requirement but an important component in enhancing food safety. Consumers will pay you more when you’re accredited and certified against such standards.

Seek Help

No one is perfect when it comes to farming. Therefore there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. Many people, including oxfarm, are happy to help people out.

Conclusion

Farming takes time, therefore be patient and persistent. Follow the above few tips and you will be surprised how first your farming enterprise will grow.

 

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Ksh 2000 for an Apple? Here are the most expensive fruits in the world

What Kenyans don’t know is that fruit farming is a venture that is done everywhere in the world. Imagine on a hot day seated under a tree sipping an ice-cold mango juice! Fruits and especially tropical fruits are highly valued in the world. However, there are crazy people in the world who will pay thousands of shillings for just a single fruit, either for its sweetness or just for class. Below are some of the most expensive fruits in the world.

10. Buddha shaped pears

They are found in China. According to Chinese myth, if you eat a buddha shaped pear you can become a model. This myth makes its very expensive selling at KSh 8,000 for a pair.

9. Sekai Ichi Apples

The world when translated means number one. These fruits are huge (about 15 inches all round and weigh about 1 Kg). The fruits were developed in 1974 and are still the most expensive apples in the world. A normal apple will cost you around KSh 25- KSh 30 while Sekai Apple will cost you KSh 2,100.

8. Dekopon Citrus Fruits

Dekopon fruits
Dekopon

If you are a lover of oranges, then you will definitely like dekopon citrus. They are larger than the normal oranges (size of softball). They are considered as the sweetest oranges in the world. Dekopon fruits were first grown in 1972 and only the perfectly grown make the cut and are shipped in the stores. A pack of 6 fruits costs KSh 8,000.

Read: Why buy vegetables while you can have your own bag garden?

7. Sembikiya Queen Strawberry

These are the most beautiful strawberries in existence. The appearance is what you pay for. They are red all over and the leaf on the outside is perfect and its totally dark green. Those who have eaten them say that they are so beautiful that eating them makes you feel guilty. If you are interested, be ready to part with KSh. 8, 500.

6. Square Watermelons

Melon fruits
square water melons

These are grown in Japan and were first shipped out of japan in 2014. They are square shaped because they are grown in a box. A single square watermelon weighs around 6.5Kg. They are only for the rich because those who buy them don’t even eat them, they display in their homes for decoration. If you are interested, be ready to part with KSh 80,000.

Read: Why You should shift gears to Hass avocado and Macadamia farming

5. Pineapples from the lost gardens of Heligan

The fruit was nurtured over two years using traditional and very expensive Victorian gardening techniques at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. Horticulturalists created tropical conditions using small greenhouses heated using a chemical reaction between 30 tonnes of manure, urine and piles of straw. The gardens have been growing pineapples the same way since the 19th century, when they used to rent them out to wealthy Victorian families as a dinner table decoration. If you are interested in you will have to part with KSh. 100,000.

4. Taiyo no Tamango Mangoes

The name means eggs in the sun although they do not taste like eggs-they are just named after eggs. They are very sweet and do not have high sugar content. The highest paid price for these mangoes is KSh 300,000.

3. Ruby Roman Grapes

If you are obsessed with eating grapes in supermarket while you shop, this is not something you can do with ruby roman grapes. They are grown in Ishikawa Japan and they are known as table grapes. Normal grapes say in Kenya would cost you KSh 600 a kilo while Ruby Roman will cost you KSh 400,000 a bunch.

2. The Densuke Watermelon

densuke-watermelon fruit
densuke-watermelon

They are much larger than the typical melon with an average size of 10kg. Instead of having a green color, they are black. Grown in Japan where only 10,000 are grown yearly. Normally these watermelons are bought by the rich (the rich like rare things). One watermelon costs KSh 610,000.

Read: How to control various soil diseases in our farms

1.Banana Art

These are normal bananas where artists develop some art on them and sell them to the rich people at very high prices. Many Kenyans would ask why they would pay thousands of shillings just for a banana that won’t last forever. Well, in this world there are crazy people who have much money and look for ways to spend it.

Read: Cost and returns of establishing successful dairy farm

In our motherland Kenya, for you to be counted as a farmer, grow hass avocados, tissue culture bananas, Mangoes, Kiwi, Macadamia.

 

 

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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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Cultivation of Mangoes in Kenya

The mango industry in Kenya has expanded considerably over recent years, not only in size but also in the geographical location of commercial and homestead plantings. Mango is one of the most important fruit crops in the tropical and subtropical lowlands. It is native to India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Malaysia, but can be found growing in more than 60 other countries throughout the world.

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

Counties Where Mangoes can be grown in Kenya

No longer is commercial mango cultivation restricted to the Coast region, as significant plantings of improved cultivars now also exist in the Makueni county,Meru County, Murang’a County, Nairobi County, Nakuru County, Siaya County, Taita-Taveta County, Tana River County, Tharaka Nithi County, Bungoma County, Kitui County, Embu County, Machakos County, Kiambu County among other regions.

 

Basically, In Kenya 7 out of 8 provinces produce mangoes. But the generally arid eastern region produces 61 per cent of all mangoes, followed by Rift Valley at 30 per cent and Coast, which produces 28 per cent.

 

As a result of this expansion, the mango fruit is becoming more popular with the local population. Despite this increasing popularity, only a few consumers and potential growers are familiar with the characteristics of the many different cultivars of mango that are now grown and available in the country.

 

Varieties of Mangoes Grown in Kenya

These include Apple, Ngowe, Kent, Keitt, Tommy Artkins, Van Dyke, Haden, Sensation, Boribo, Sabine among others. Main characteristics that differentiate varieties are the fruit shape, size, aroma, sweetness, colour, fibre content, taste, seed size and resistance to diseases. Proper selection of a mango cultivar for production has to take into account the following criteria:

  • good adaptation to the local conditions (e.g. rainfall and dry periods)
  • alternation of flowering and fruiting
  • tolerance to pest and disease infections
  • designated use and market requirements

 

The mango is best adapted to a warm tropical monsoon climate with a pronounced dry season (>3 months) followed by rains. However, information from other countries indicates that crops

cultivated for a long time over an extended area show a high degree of diversity due to varied environmental influences

Economic Importance of Mangoes include;

  • Consumed as fresh fruits
  • Source of income
  • Source of foreign exchange
  • Source of employment
  • Combats nutritional disorders

Also Read: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

For more information about mangoes farming visit our offices. Also, 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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Passion Fruit Farming: How to get 15-20 tonnes per hectare

Passion fruit, a climbing vine, may be a versatile crop whose demand is growing in  export as well as domestic markets.

The fruit are often eaten fresh or consumed after extracting the pulp and creating juice.

The juice is used in a very  many forms of products and also the pulp could also be added to completely different dishes. A large range of cosmetic merchandise and food flavours are derived from the fruit that’s made in Vitamins A and C and carotene.

Varieties

Yellow and purple varieties exist. Purple varieties do higher at higher altitudes than the yellow varieties. Yellow varieties, on the other hand, tend to yield higher and is more resistant against diseases.

The purple selection is acidic, varies in style and succulence with intense aromatic scent and spherical in form. The yellow selection is greater, with similar taste however presumably less aromatic, a lot of acidic and is also additionally spherical in form.

Both varieties are green before ripening, and they are big for industrial and domestic functions.

Ecological necessities

Passion fruits perform well in a very wide selection of altitudes from 1200m to 1,800m on top of water level East of the Rift valley  and up to 2,000m on top of water level West of the Rift valley.

Optimum temperature for purple passion fruit is between 180C to 250C and 250C to 300C for yellow passion fruit whereas the rain ought to be well-distributed, between 900mm to 2000mm p.a..

Excess rain causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases principally leaf and fruit rusts. For good production, passion fruits do well in a  variety of soils, that ought to be moderately deep and fertile with soil PH going  between 6.0 and 6.5.

In high rainy areas, the soils ought to be well-drained as plants won’t face up to waterlogging or flooding. Some passion fruit enterprises that were doing well in Uasin Gishu County some 5 years ago  folded thanks to soil acidity (pH < 5.0), that reduces nutrient uptake and accelerates Fusarium wilt disease that causes rot of roots and stems finally drying of the entire plant. Farmers are encouraged to use manure and lime within the holes and whole field to cut back the soil acidity effects.

Planting and trellising

Passion fruit are often grown from seeds however grafting often produces improved stock. Yellow passion fruit is best for production of rootstock thanks to superior disease resistance whereas purple is sweet for fruit production.

Seeds germinate in four weeks after removal of the pulp and drying. Production of seedlings in plastic luggage is that the most used methodology.

Up to 3 seeds are planted in every bag then reduced to 1 after emergence. Seedlings would force up to four months to achieve an acceptable transplanting growth stage. After about seven weeks of growth following transplanting, each plant ought to have up to four healthy lateral stems.

Transplanting ought to be done at the start of the season around April-June. Passion fruit has deep roots, therefore soils ought to be well-tilled. Transplant to a field with posts having wire trellis to support the growing crop and fruits made.

The vines are sometimes directed in order that growth is in each directions on the supporting wires. Yields are highest following a regular fertilization regime. Old or dead shoots ought to be pruned. Intercropping with vegetables or different annuals is suggested to maximize free area particularly once the crop is young.

Once established, the vines grow speedily and the fruit ought to flower after about seven months. Ideally, young passion vines ought to be set within the field early in the season when there’s no danger of drought.

Passion vines are planted 2m from one row to the opposite and 3m from one plant to the other. Horizontal trellises have cross-pieces at the highest of every post with 2 to four wires set up horizontally 60cm apart on the highest of every cross-piece.

Vertical trellises accommodate significant posts without cross-pieces, with 2 to 3 wires set up on the row like wire fencing, hooked up to the posts from the highest down at intervals of regarding 30-40cm apart.

Trellis wires ought to be size nine or ten galvanized steel. The posts got to be stout enough to face up to the load of the vines and fruits produced throughout a season that unremarkably includes the blow of robust winds. Ideally, they ought to be long enough to produce a trellis height of 1.5m, with 45-75cm within the ground. Trellis rows ought to be oriented north-south for max exposure to daylight, and also the vines ought to be allowed to conjoin on the trellises to market cross-pollination.

Read Also:The role of an Agronomist

Fertilizer application

At planting, use 175g of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and one ‘debe’ (about 20kg) of yard manure and mix well. To get high yields, regular fertilization is critical.

Apply 300g of metal nitrate (CAN) per plant p.a. in 2 applications of 150g each during rainy season. Spraying with foliar feeds and trace components is additionally suggested.

Crop protection

Weeding is crucial once the plants are in initial stages. Diseases is sometimes sufficiently controlled by crop rotation as plantations are not kept for over 3 years.

Infected stuff ought to be pruned and destroyed and vines kept as open as attainable to permit thorough application of sprays. Diseases may be controlled by combination of excellent management, smart plantation hygiene, and an acceptable spray programme.

Pests lower fruit quality and will be controlled by often checking the areas round the plantation for signs of build-up. If necessary, spray to manage the pests before they unfold to the crop.

Harvest

When prepared for harvesting, the skin of the fruit is deep purple or yellow. Its pulpy interior is bright yellow, full of tiny black seeds. For contemporary market or use, the fruit is picked once color changes occur.

For processing, the fruit is allowed to drop to the bottom and picked a minimum of each second day. At this stage, the fruit is shriveled however quite appropriate for process. Yields decline every year till harvests don’t seem to be adequate within the four year.

Yield and incomes

Yields of over 15-20 tonnes/ha are attainable. In one year, a farmer might earn up to Sh1 million per acre as compared to Sh35,000-Sh60,000 for wheat or maize.

Read Also:The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

For more information visit our offices. Book your grafted purple passion seedlings today.

 

Purple passion fruit seedling