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Why pomegranate fruit demand is on the rise in Kenya

Today if you go to any major supermarket in Kenya and head straight to fruits shelves, you will come across a fruit that is not common in our homesteads, “Pomegranate”. This is a fruit that has taken the whole world by storm. Slowly but steadily, pomegranates are attracting interest, now that consumers worldwide see the pomegranate as a “super fruit” due to its high nutritional value and health benefits. It has gone from being a fruit that is difficult to eat to a highly sought after super fruit. The major markets for pomegranate are Europe, the United States and Canada, followed by India, Malaysia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, among others. In these markets, the popularity of this fruit has re-surged in the last ten years and demand has increased, due to greater interest among consumers in purchasing healthy, nutritious products.

In addition to greater demand for pomegranates as fresh fruit, there is growing interest at the international level on the part of the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries in including pomegranate on their lists of ingredients because of its nutritional value, bright color, sweet and sour flavor, and health properties. This accounts for part of the great popularity these products are gaining on the market.

Due to the foregoing, growth expectations for the pomegranate market are encouraging, since the market is demanding – and is expected to continue to demand – an increasing amount of “super fruits” because of their health and beauty benefits, which pomegranates offer in abundance. The markets that now have good prospects for increasing their consumption of pomegranate, and thus represent an opportunity for both established and emerging exporters, are the European markets, especially Germany, and the United States.

Pomegranate is a red fruit with a tough outer layer. It is an original native of the Persian people and it is also one of the oldest known fruits. The fruit started to shine in the lime light of healthy fruits when it was discovered by scientists that it carried more health benefits compared to other fruits in its category. South Africa is a major producer of pomegranate in Africa. Kenyan small-scale farmers have also ventured in the business especially in Kisumu where they find it as a real savior in terms of economy. Pomegranate fruit trades for more than Ksh 100.

Although the fruit is fleshy, only the juice and seeds are edible. A glass of pomegranate juice is said to have more antioxidants than red wine, cranberries, green tea, and blueberries. The health benefits of pomegranates are innumerable and what makes them special is that apart from being healthy, pomegranates are delicious too. Pomegranates have anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties and are said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, C, and E, as well as folic acid. This amazing fruit consists of three times as many antioxidants as both wine or green tea.

Also Read: How to Maximize Your Land by Planting Apricot Fruits in Kenya

WONDERING WHAT POMEGRANATES ARE GOOD FOR?

They are so useful in maintaining effective and healthy blood circulation, that several doctors suggest eating pomegranates to regain strength after a long illness. Pomegranates have been traditionally used for clearing up the skin and reducing inflammation as well as for the treatment of sore throats. Other health benefits include being a great cure for heart-related problems, stomach disorders, cancer, dental problems, osteoarthritis, anemia, and diabetes.

The amazing health benefits of pomegranates can be enjoyed by consuming them in several ways. You can take them in the form of a juice or you can eat the seeds, syrup, paste, nectar or concentrate. Pomegranate syrups are used for treating damaged cartilage and they also protect babies from brain damage incurred during birth.

Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Pomegranates help our body in many ways from curing stomach problems to improving erectile dysfunctions and many more. Let us explore some more benefits in detail.

  • Cure Stomach Disorders – Pomegranate peel, bark, and leaves are used to calm stomach disorders or diarrhea caused by any kind of digestive problems. Drinking tea made from the leaves of these fruits also helps in curing digestive problems. Pomegranate juice is also used for reducing problems like dysentery and cholera.
  • Reduce Heart Problems – A regular intake of pomegranate juice can maintain a good flow of the blood in the body. Because of this property, it subsequently decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The antioxidant components in this fruit help to keep bad cholesterol from accumulating and thus, keep the arteries clear of any clots. These clots are clear because pomegranates can make blood thinner.
  • Prevent Cancer – Pomegranates contain high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids. These flavonoids are known to be effective in counteracting various cancer-causing free radicals. People that face a high risk of prostate and breast cancer should start drinking pomegranate juice, as it will help them reduce the risk of developing cancer. Regular consumption of pomegranates can reduce the PSA levels in the body and aid in the fight against existing cancer cells in the body.
  • Dental Care – Pomegranates, with their antibacterial and antiviral properties, help to reduce the effects of dental plaque and protect against various oral diseases.
  • Prevent Osteoarthritis – Pomegranates help to reduce many illnesses, including atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. The damages caused due to thickening and hardening of the arterial walls and in the cartilage and joints can be cured by eating these fruits. Also, pomegranates can prevent the creation of enzymes that are responsible for breaking down of connective tissues within the body.
  • Treat Anemia – Healthy blood flow can be maintained in the body by consuming these fruits. Pomegranates supply iron to the blood, thus helping to reduce symptoms of anemia, which are exhaustion, dizziness, weakness, and hearing loss.
  • Control Diabetes- For diabetic patients, drinking pomegranate juice can reduce the risk of various coronary diseases. Along with this, there is a reduction in the hardening of the arteries, which inhibits the development of various heart diseases.

Other Benefits

There are other benefits of eating this fruit as well, like reducing the possibility of having premature babies and avoiding low birth weight in infants.

Pomegranates also reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease among older generations. They help to control aging problems like wrinkles as well, thus providing people with a youthful and glowing skin. Other than this, these juicy fruits can help women overcome depression symptoms during menstruation, especially post-menopausal depression.

Pomegranate seedlings will only cost you Ksh 300 but the returns are uncountable. Visit our offices or contact us today.

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Why You Should Try Our Grafted Tree Tomato Seedlings

Tamarillo best known as tree-tomatoes in Kenya is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 2-5 meters. Grafted tree tomato reaches peak production after 1-2 years while the normal ones reach after 3-6 years depending on the caltivar, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. Grafted Tree-tomato produce 6-10 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit.

CONDITIONS REQUIRED

Grafted tree-tomato prefers subtropical climate, they grow in many parts of Kenya with rainfall between 600 and 4000 millimeters and annual temperatures between 15 and 20 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. It is assumed that fruit set is affected by night temperatures. Areas where citrus are cultivated provide good conditions for tree-tomatos. Tree-tomato plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, although they are not very demanding. However, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow naturally on soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5. they are as well planted by irrigation as they also do well.

PROPAGATION METHODS

SEEDS
Most farmers in Kenya use seeds as a means of Propagation but its also possible by the use of  using cuttings. Seedlings first develop a straight, about 1.5 to 1.8 meters tall trunk, before they branch out. Propagation by seeds is easy and ideal in protected environments. Seedlings should be kept in the nursery until they reach a height of 1 to 1.5 meters for efficient growth.

CUTTINGS
Plants grown from cuttings branch out earlier and result in more shrub-like plants that are more suitable for exposed sites. Cuttings should be made from basal and aerial shoots, and should be free of pathogenic viruses. Plants grown from cuttings should be kept in the nursery until they reach a height of 0.5 to 1 meter.

NB! The above ways are not recommended since the plants are easily affected by nematodes and have a short life span.

Related Content: Tips on how to get over 20Kgs/Tree from Tree-tomato farming

THE EASIEST WAY TO GROW TREE-TOMATO IS THROUGH GRAFTED SEEDLINGS

 The tree grows very quickly and is able to carry fruits after 10 months though in some favorable conditions they carry fruits in a lesser span of time. The plant is day length-insensitive. The fruits do not mature simultaneously, unless the tree has been pruned.
A single tree can produce more than 30 kg fruits per year, an orchard yields in 30 to 40 tons per hectare. One single mature tree in good soil will bear more fruit than a normal family can eat in about 3 months.

PLANTING AND PRUNING

  • Spacing should be 6 by 6feet
  • Dig 2ft by 2ft Mix one and a half wheelbarrow of well-prepared compost (chickens and pig manure are preferred) with two spade-full of topsoil to plant the seed-lings.
  • Leave a shallow depression in every plant for placing the mulching material – only 1 feet of the tree tomato seedling should be buried while planting just enough to cover the root hairs.
  • Selection of planting site is very important.
  • An acre can be planted 1200-1500 tree seedlings.

 

PEST CONTROL & FERTILIZATION
When planting Tree-tomato’s approximately 200 grams of diammonium sulfate should be applied in each plant. After two months of planting each plant should be supplied with Ammonium nitrate or urea (the white fertilizer) in 250 grams per plant in a span of 4 months for 6 years.

Tree tomato is resistant to most diseases and pests. However, the tree is prone to powdery mildew, which causes the leaves to fall off. Application of copper oxychloride (allowed in organic farming) can control the disease. Neem extracts can also be used to control the disease. The main pests that attack the tree include the aphids, thrips whiteflies and nematodes. Pests can be prevented by continuous application of plant extracts (chilies, African marigold, garlic, neem) at least three times.

A kilogram of tree tomato fruits sells between Ksh 100-150.

 

For more information about tree-tomato and other fruits

 

Grafted Tree Tomato Seedlings

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QUARTER LAND UNDER PEPINO MELON

PEPINO MELONS

In the recent days the demand of pepino melons has increased due to their many health benefits. Its demand is in increase each day. It is a herbaceous fruit mainly grown for its juicy and cramatic fruits. The fruits is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple stations. The flesh is golden yellow when ripe with a narrow seed cavity. The melon is entirely edible skin, flesh and seeds. The fruits are very sweet and juicy. It should be eaten only when ripe.

Planting

The plant requires well drained loan soils with a pit of 6.5- 7.5. The plant should be well watered and weeded. Spacing of 2 to 3 ft is recommended .mature should be applied in plenty at least 2kg per hole. Mature plants reach a height of about 1.2 meters. Once they mature the fruits are harvested every week. One plant can produce more than 250 fruits per year and a minimum of 150 fruits per year. The current market price at the farm gate is between sh 30-sh 50 depending on the size. The fruits has a ready market due to their many health benefits. Some of the many health benefits include;

  • Breaking down into glucose for great energy to get you through your day and increases stamina.
  • It helps with liver disease, lower blood pressure, helps those that suffer from strokes to heal faster and promotes cardiovascular health.
  • The fruit helps to prevent cancer and diabetes (tends to regulate blood sugar levels because of the high fiber content) plus it lowers cholesterol.
  • Pepino melon is anti-inflammatory in action helping to sooth away your aches and pains.
  • Pepino melons has lots of vitamin A,C,K and also B vitamin, proteins, plus iron and copper which are essential for a healthy immune systems and calcium for bones, potassium which is needed for relaxing and lowering blood pressure and pepino is a good diuretic.
  • Pepino melon has soluble fiber similar to act meal which also helps to lower cholesterol and it’s easy to digest. The fiber also helps with constipation and it tends to sooth away gastric ulcers too.
  • The pepino melon is also sodium free decreasing your daily intake of sodium lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risk of developing illness related to high blood pressure, such as heart disease and kidney disease.

 

Cost analysis of ¼ an acre

At a spacing of 3ft by 3ft accommodates 1000 seedlings;

 

Cost of seedlings                                –           100,000

Cost of preparing the land                  –           5,000

Cost of planting                                  –           5,000

Cost of manure                                   –           20,000

Misleneous for 3 months                     –           30,000

TOTAL COST                                  –           160,000

 

Expected output

After 3 months for the next one year

After 3 months of maturity each pepino melon can produce a minimum of 150 fruits per year. If we work with the minimum you can get 150,000 fruits per year. If you sell the fruits with the least price of Sh 30 per fruit you will get Sh 15,000,000 every year. The life span of the pepino melon is more than 2.5 years.

 

CONCLUSION

Pepino melon is one of the profitable fruit we have in the country. Its future is promising as most countries like China and Chile have discovered how to extract the medicine value in the fruits and package.  If you can’t plant them for commercial purposes make sure you get some for family consumption. We have certified seedlings from our seedbeds.

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Pepino melons (solanum muricatum) facts

Pepino melons (solanum muricatum) facts

Pepino melons have been grown since 1889 in South America bt came to the Kenyan market in 2013.It is important in the body for the following reasons,
_Has lots of vitamin A,C,K and B,proteins,iron and copper which helps in healthy immune system,potassium which lowers blood pressure and calcium for strong bones.
_Had soluble fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol and easing digestion.They are an excellent source of fiber.Fiber is a type of
carbohydrate your body does not digest.The fiber in the melons slows digestion helping you feel longer.
_Helps in weight loss due to their low amount of calories.All the calories in the pepino melons come from its carbohydrate content.
_Helps with liver disease,lower blood
pressure,helps those that suffer from strokes to heal faster and promotes cardiovascular health.
_The pepino melon is sodium free.Decreasing your daily intake of sodium lowers your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing
illness related to high blood pressure such as heart disease and kidney disease.
_Pepino fruit is also beneficial to increase stamina.Herbal products from China are made from raw pepino now widely sold in Indonesia.
_The content of vitamin C in pepino 25 Mg per 100 grams of fruit fresh,vitamin c aids in preventing oral thrush and to maintain healthy gums.
_In addition to vitamin E vitamin C is a natural antioxidant useful against free radical attack,causes premature aging and various types of cancer.

Also Read: make money through passion fruit farming

The above benefits on the super fruit shows the need to venture in pepino melon fruit business or have a few for family use.Ensure you take one daily.
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