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What are the key pros and cons of using pesticides in our Farms?

Kenyans have now adopted use of pesticides and herbicides in the recent times. Pesticides are a mix of chemicals that are widely used on plants and crops to prevent damaging insects and animals from destroying them. The introduction of pesticides came around during the Industrial Age and completely changed the agricultural industry. They have created immense benefits and streamlined the harvesting process, however they also have had some significant negative damages to our health and environment. Let’s discover how these frequently used chemicals benefit and effect us by looking at all of the pros and cons associated.

Advantages of Pesticides

More Plentiful Harvest

Unwanted pests like mice and insects eat plants at their early stages and destroy their chances of producing fruits or vegetables. They also come in an contaminate entire plants that have already bloomed, which still renders them useless. They helps to keep all of these destructive pests away from crops, which results in more plants surviving and a larger harvest.

Very Easily Available

All types of pesticides are available in stores around the world and relatively affordable prices. This makes it a great way for people to simply protect their own personal gardens and plants from intrusive little critters.

Weeds Out The Weeds

Another huge benefit of pesticides is that they also take out pesky plants, like weeds. Weeds grow in gardens and fields and take up precious soil space, drink the water meant for the other crops, and can choke out the root systems of them as well.

Lowers The Cost Of Food

Farmers typically include the cost of their losses into the price of the food that they sell to the supermarkets. This cost is then transferred down to the consumer. Losses are much less significant with the use of pesticides.

Get Over Ksh 700,000 from an acre of Hybrid onions in Kenya

Major Disadvantages of Pesticides

Health Concerns

The mix of chemicals that are in pesticides are not safe for human ingestion, but they are still sprayed onto the food that we eat. This raises some major concerns about the health and safety of pesticide use.

Harms Animals and the Environment

Pesticides are designed and made to kill living things, which makes them dangerous to the things that they are not intended to kill. Many animals are killed from consuming plants that have been sprayed. Other types of plants, like grass and flowers, are also greatly affected by the use of pesticides.

Worse For Children

It is highly recommended to not use pesticides in any area that a child will be playing or present frequently. This is because their vital organs are still developing, which causes them to breathe at a faster rate than adults, thus breathing in more of the pesticides. They are also much closer to the ground, which is where the chemicals and danger are.

Home Use Is Not Recommended

One of the most common places that they are used is the residential home. People assume that since they are sold, they are safe. This is not true at all. The effects of pesticides can harm pets, kill good insects and animals that you need around your home, as well as harm your children’s health.

They Build A Resistance

Just like other living things, pests can build up a resistance to the chemicals that are used in the pesticides. This means that you would eventually have to begin using more and more of the product, making it even more dangerous.

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Access To Poison Is Not Always Good

Pesticides are poison, not only to insects and pests, but to other warm blooded animals such as dogs and humans. A person can go to the store and buy these poisons, and use them on many different things that they are not intended for. Every year 7 people die from a poisoning associated with pesticides.

Facts about Pesticides

  • Scientists say that there is a link between mental illness and long term exposure to pesticides. They are saying that this is the cause of many farmer suicides.
  • Those that have been deemed unsafe remain in the soil and plants for many years, even after they are not used any longer.
  • There are many different types of pesticides, each targeting a specific groups of pest. They include rodenticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
  • The production of crops increase nearly 30 percent when they are used.

If you  can grow plants organically, then that is the best way to go!! In addition, contact us if you need any type of fruit seedlings!

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Some of the best fruits to grow in Kenya

The world loves fruits. Fruit farming is a great contributor of our economy, contributing to the food basket. Below are few of the fruits that you can grow both for home consumption or for commercial purposes.

Banana Farming in Kenya

In Kenya, bananas are favorite fruits among many families. It is almost impossible to find a home that doesn’t grow bananas. In some parts like Kisii and Nyamira, it’s almost a main dish. Bananas should be grown in rich soil with plenty of water, shade and support, as their trunks tend to bend. There are different types of bananas in Kenya; hybrid and local.  A banana tree takes about 9 months to grow, and bananas meant for commercial purposes are harvested before ripening to reduce damage and loss during transportation.

Apple Farming in Kenya

There are two major types of apples grown in Kenya, the green one and the red ones. Apples grow best in full sunlight away from wind, in wet loamy or sandy soil. From the time it’s grown, an apple tree can take an average 2 – 4 or 2 – 6 years to bear fruit and can live for 100 years or more.

Read: Get Over Ksh 700,000 from an acre of Hybrid onions in Kenya

Mango Farming in Kenya

Mangoes are succulent fruits grown in places with plenty of sun and water. There are different types of mangoes grown in Kenya. One should do research to know which mangoes will grow best in the area they are in. A mango tree can take 3 – 5 years to mature and bear fruit if grafted and upto 8 years if not grafted. Like bananas, mangoes are harvested before they are ripe reduce damage and loss during transportation. Learn more about mango farming here

Orange Farming in Kenya

Oranges are very popular in the Kenyan market. They are found everywhere; in markets, supermarkets, kiosks and the likes. There are different types of oranges, some of them may not be too sweet. Identifying the type of orange tree is not a difficult task though. The sweetest oranges have a deep orange skin. Oranges take about 3 years to grow and produce fruit if grafted, if not, they may take up to 15 years! They, just like pineapples, require high temperatures to produce sweet fruit. Learn more about Orange farming in kenya here

Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass avocado at Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm

In kenya, hass avocado farming is picking momentum. Avocados are widely used in Kenyan homes. They are used as baby feed, mashed and mixed in food (some people cannot stand this), or used as dessert in homes and hotels as well. There are quite a number of avocado types grown all over the country. Avocados take about 3 years to grow and bear fruit. They grow best in warm weather. They must be harvested before they ripen in order to reduce wastage during transportation. Learn more about hass avocado farming here

Read: How to achieve success in a given agribusiness venture

Pawpaw Farming in Kenya

Pawapaw farming is very sensitive but pawpaw are always in demand in kenya. Unlike other sweet fruits, pawpaws are extremely sensitive to sunlight which can kill them. They need plenty of shade during their first year of growing. A grafted paw paw tree can start bearing fruit in 2 -3 years, while a non-grafted tree can take up to eight years! This of course depends on the quality of the seeds used. Learn more about pawpaw farming here

 

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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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Common challenges to mango production in Kenya

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

Limited access to good quality planting materials

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

Pest and disease problems

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

Poor orchard management –

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

Also Read: how to grow peaches and nectrines

Post-harvest losses

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

Limited returns from mango production

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

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

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

 

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Mango Farming in Kenya: The best way to do it

Mango Farming in Kenya needs time and patience. Oxfarm grafted mangoes take less time to mature.

Mango Farming in Kenya: Planting

Land should be ready by deep plowing followed by levelling with a mild slope. Spacing varies from 5m x 5m, within the dry zones where growth is in smaller amount, 8m x 8 m, in substantial downfall areas and rich soils where rich vegetative growth happens. New dwarf hybrids like Amrapali is planted at nearer spacing. Holes are stuffed with top soil mixed with 20-25 kilo well rotten mature.

One year previous healthy, straight growing grafted mangoes from Oxfarm is planted at the center of holes in conjunction with the ball of the intact soil throughout season in such a simplest way that the roots aren’t distended and the graft union is on top of the bottom level. Plants should be irrigated forthwith when planting. Within the initial one or 2 years, it’s better to produce some shade to the young plants and additionally stake to create them grow straight.

Mango farming in Kenya: Irrigation

Young plants are more opt for correct institution. Just in case of full-grown up trees, irrigation at ten to fifteen days interval from fruit set to maturity is useful for up yield. However, irrigation isn’t counseled for 2-3 months before flowering because it is probably going to market vegetative growth at the expense of flowering.

Mango Farming in Kenya: bury Cropping

Inter crops like vegetables, legumes, short length and dwarf fruit crops like papaya, guava, peach, shrub, etc. betting on the agro-climatic factors of the region is full-grown. The water and nutrient necessities of the bury crops should be met singly.

 

Mango farming in Kenya: harvest and yield

Mango faming in Kenya

The yield of mango varies greatly, relying upon the variability and agro-climatic conditions prevailing in an exceedingly region. Grafted mango trees begin bearing from the second year onward. However, phanerogam trees might take 5-8 years. At the beginning of bearing at the age of two – three years the yield is also as low as 10-20 fruits (2-3 kg) per tree, rising to 50-75 fruits (10-15 kg) within the succeeding years, and to regarding five hundred fruits (100 kg) in its tenth year. within the age group-20- forty years, a tree bears 1,000-3,000 fruits (200-600 kg) in a year. The productive age of a grafted fruit tree is sometimes 40-50 years, when that the yield declines.

 

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

 

Mango Farming in Kenya:  Post Harvest Management

 Storage

Shelf life of mangoes being short (2 to three weeks), they should be cooled as soon as they are attained to storage temperature of thirteen degree Celsius. Several varieties will stand up to storage temperature of ten degree Celsius. Steps concerned in post-harvest handling embody preparation, grading, washing, drying, waxing, packing, pre-cooling, palletization and transportation.

Mango Packaging

Mangoes are typically packed in furrowed fiber board boxes 40cm x 30cm x 20cm in size. Fruits are packed in single layer eight to twenty fruits per carton. The boxes should have decent variety of air holes (about V-day of the surface area) to allow sensible ventilation.

Banks in Kenya have additionally developed mango funding schemes in potential spaces for enlargement of area below mango. Individual mango development schemes with farm infrastructure facilities like well, pump set, fencing and drip irrigation system etc. have additionally been thought of.

Contact Oxfarm now and be advised on a way to best grow mangoes. In addition, book your mango seedlings now because the demand for mango seedlings is incredibly high and we would really like all our customers to have the primary priority.

 

Mango tree seedling