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Hass Avocado is a Canopy Of Life: A Testimony Of TEHU Self Help Group

Hass Avocado Is The Canopy Of Life: A Testimony Of TEHU Self Help Group

 

They say when people come together they can conquer the world and there is power in numbers. Mr. Paul Muthami Tumuti a writer and a farmer who is the chairman of TEHU self-help group had a vision for the group and the entire Kenya. According to Mr. Muthami “Avocado is the canopy of life”, this is what we are going to show you in this article.

Mr. Muthami who is an alumni of Kimathi Institute which has now changed to Dedan Kimathi University of Technology studied building but decided to do farming as a part timer.

Every day is a learning day and life is an experience. Few farmers had Hass avocado trees in TETU and market was a challenge. Brokers and Cartels always come in sheep skin but inside they are leopards. They will tell farmers how the market has shifted and they should sell their produce to them since they are connected and have ready market.

In 2016, with just 22 members, TEHU (Tetu and Huhoini) Fruits and Vegetables self-help group was formed and registered with assistance of agricultural department. The main purpose of forming the group was most farmers had few mature trees and the only way of having a bargaining power was to be in a group. TEHU was registered from members of several sub-locations that are karaihu, Kigogoini, Gatumbiro, Kiriti, e.t.c.

In 2016, the group sold 52,000 pieces of hass avocado from various farmers to one of the biggest exporters in Kenya. Their anticipation was 10 Ksh per fruit but they only managed to sell at 5.19 Ksh per fruit. They were very demoralized and almost gave up. However, they knew there was hope because previously their fruits were being bought for less than Ksh 2-4.

In 2017 more members joined and they had 17 new members making a total of 35 members. According to the chairman, they were frustrated by the strict conditions given by the exporter and they decided to sell at the farm gate. This time they managed to get a supplier. They sold a total of 78,000 hass avocados fruits at 8.50 Ksh. This was more of a break through. The farmers were excited since they were paid promptly and at the farm gate.

In 2018, the group was becoming bigger, from 35 members to 110. This time the group expanded from Tetu and Huhoini to other areas such as Thegenge, Nyeri Municipality, Mweiga, and Giakanja.e.t.c. The dream was coming to a reality and now the target was an exporter. So the group management together with members called a meeting to deliberate on the terms to be given to the buyers of the fruits.

 

Avocado Training in Meru, OxfarmAg educating farmers group

 

 

Terms to the buyer

 

  • They should verify the quality and quantity of the fruits
  • They should negotiate and agree on the best price.
  • Exporter/interested party have to deposit a good sum of money in TEHU’s bank account as a down payment.
  • Supervision both from the exporter and TEHU has to be present during harvesting.

 

In 2018 the group received more than 10 interested parties who wanted to buy the fruits from members. Each buyer was to come up with best price they can buy the fruits and also best terms. The management tasked by the group was meant to select the best of the parties,

The group members sold the fruits to one of the exporting companies at Ksh 12 per fruits gate price.

In 2019, Things were bigger and better, the members rose from 110 to 300 of which 150 members had mature fruits for sale. This time members came all the way from marwa, and Othaya. After doing the vetting of various interested parties, one exporter who won to buy the fruits bought 450,000 pieces of hass avocado at Ksh 16 and 200,000 Fuertes avocados at Ksh 6- Ksh 8. While the members were selling at Ksh 16, the non-members were selling theirs at Ksh 8. That is 100% difference; do you now believe there is power in numbers?

TEHU has created for the local young people who during harvesting are highly engaged. Its only in 2016 they had professional pickers but there after the group decided to engage the local young people.

 

Some conditions for Becoming a Member of the group.

 

TEHU doesn’t discriminate any farmer, whether you are a farmer with a single tree or a farmer like Mr. Kabue from Githakwa with 300 trees. So what do you need to become a member?

  • Registration and membership fee of Ksh 1000
  • Fruit should be grown organically, (no synthetic fertilizers). Most exporters want organic products. ( Use traps instead of chemicals to control pests)
  • Members should undergo trainings
  • Members should wait for the fruits to mature fully and wait for TEHU management to give out  directives

The group management meets at least once in a month to deliberate on issues affecting the group or emerging news. On the other hand, members meet at least twice a year.

 

Benefits of being in the group to the farmer

 

After having an interview with TEHU self help group chairman Mr. Muthami, we visited a member of Tehu, Mr Kabui, a farmer of Hass avocado  who hass  300 trees and here is a summary of the advantages associated with joining TEHU.

  • Group creates social relations that enable individuals to achieve goals that they may not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves.
  • Enable farmers to improve on fruits quality due to trainings.
  • Help farmers benefit from economies of scale by lowering their costs of acquiring inputs or hiring services such as pickers and transport.
  • It also empowers their members economically and socially by involving them in decision-making processes that create additional rural employment opportunities, or enable them to become more resilient to economic and environmental shocks.
  • They have an easy reach to resources as group members can apply for loans on bank they operate on due to the security they have on the fruits.
  • They have an easy reach to donors such as DANIDA as it has offered to construct a cold room for the group.
  • They attract good hass Avocado prices as they have quantities that can interest exporters thus eliminating the broker and having a direct exporter of their produce.

 

 

Inspection and counting of hass avocado fruits from the farm

 

How Is the Avocado Market?

 

According to Mr. Muthami, even if we uprooted all the other trees in Kenya and plant avocados, we wouldn’t meet the global demand of avocado. Currently avocado fruit is the most sort after because of its healthy benefits. Mexico produces more than 40% of the total global production of hass avocado. Combined with other Latin American nations they produce more than 80%.

Their avocado fruits hit the market between March and June. This is a great advantage to Kenya and other tropical countries in Africa since our avocados and especially the highlands mature at around June-September. ” If only we farmers can be patient enough and sell in August…” poses Mr. Muthami. By around that time, there are few fruits in Europe and Middle East which means, by the law of demand and supply, assuming the demand is constant, the price will definitely go higher.

“The consumer wants the product but most don’t have the conditions to grow them. Avocado oil is very expensive and it’s very hard to find it in local market. For economic returns and food security the farmers have to be into groups. Most farmers are frustrated by market when they do it individually. The more you narrow the chain of brokers the more you earn. Use good agricultural practices and channel your energy in good use” Added Mr. Muthami.

 

What Ministry Of Trade Should Know

County governments and national government can play a vital role in ensuring youths and farmers form groups that can help them market their produce be it fruits or veggies. Nyeri alone produces more than 10 million hass avocado but are disorganized and sell to brokers at less than Ksh 8.

Imagine, TEHU due to their bargaining power sold their fruits at Ksh 16, while most individual farmers at Ksh 8. This means more revenue is lost in Nyeri county alone. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya in terms of GDP. It then means that if the relevant parties can come together and ensure farmers are organized, they can offer employment.

There are many beneficiaries;

  • Farmers
  • Exporters
  • County and national governments
  • Employment to the local young people

 

TEHU testimony should be used as an inspiration to many young people.

 

 

 

 

Where is the Future of Young People in farming?

Young people can form groups and grow crops together. Quantity is the biggest challenge, but if young people have good will, have trusts among them they can do wonders.

The world we are living in has many challenges, after completing education, most youths end up in towns, tarmacking looking for white color jobs but the money is with masses and coming together. We keep on complaining how there no jobs in Kenya, the time is now, and we must come together and fight together.

 

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Writers’ Point of view

TEHU coming together is a success story that ought to reach the entire world. Its part of a comprehensive and sustainable plan advocating the long term vision of the hass avocado farmers. It will benefit farmers and the entire village’s community since it advocates better farming practices at a minimized cost and will thus increase the avocado production leading to more profits for farmers.

I trust that this article would inspire many more hass avocado farmers and help them in creating both employment revenue for themselves. I also take this opportunity to congratulate all the TEHU members who have been working tirelessly for achieving their objective. You are True Heroes!

As OxfarmAg Ltd company we are involved in training and organization of farmers groups interested on avocado farming.

If you would like to book us email us ask@oxfarm.co.ke

 

 

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Get huge DISCOUNTED prices this August 2019 for the fruit tree seedlings and Oxfarm packages

OxfarmAg Ltd has made it easy for the farmers who want to invest in fruit tree farming by using our vast experience to plant on behalf of the farmer or visiting our demo farms to learn. Fruit tree farming is one of the best investments to make in this year because of its returns and security.

Through our research, we have realized that most farmers do not have required expertise to go about fruit tree farming and they make they make costly mistakes while establishing their orchards. This has caused many customers huge losses, or trial and error. As OxfarmAg ltd we assist in giving valuable information, establishment of the orchards and marketing of the produce on the behalf of the farmer.

August 2019 discount on;

  • Unit cost discount for fruit trees -20%
  • Discount for organic fertilizer -30%
  • Labor (digging holes, planting) – 50%

 

We have discounted prices for our fruit tree packages for August 2019.

 

WHAT IS IN THE OXFARM PACKAGE
• Free agronomy advice.
• Certified quality Fruit tree seedlings
• Organic manure (earthlee) per holes (Equivalent to a bucket of normal manure).
• Absorber KM per plant (Reduces irrigation frequency by 50%).
• Labor (measurement and digging of planting holes, mixing and soil treatment, planting)

WHAT IS REQUIRED FROM THE FARMER.

  • Clearing of the farm for any weeds and bushes.
    • Paying the agreed amount on time.

ADDITIONAL COST FOR THE FARMER
Transport cost; Ksh 20 per Km from either Nairobi, or Nyeri town whichever is convenient.
• Farm preparation.
• Payment is 80% of the package during booking + Transport and the balance to be paid on material day of planting.

OTHER ADDITIONAL COST TO CONSIDER
• Field visits to the farm.
• Irrigation and its system.
• Management of the farm.

 

We also assist farmers get the best type of irrigation for their farms. Either drip irrigation or bottle irrigation.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU ENGAGE ON FRUIT TREE FARMING

There is a huge demand of fruits as more people are becoming healthy conscious, There is increased population driving the demand of food higher, Due to numerous challenges while farming traditional crops like Maize and other cash crops like coffee and tea, the trend favors fruit tree farming.

There is also a decline in major fruit producing countries in southern hemisphere like Mexico and South Africa due to climate change which is favoring countries in tropics like Kenya.

Due to enhanced bilateral trade between Kenya and other countries like China and US the demand will continue to rise due to enhanced ease of doing business and exports.

 

THE PACKAGE HAS THE FOLLOWING.

  • Certified Fruit tree seedlings

We have Quality healthy seedlings Certified by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service – KEPHIS and we are registered by Horticultural Crop Directorate – HCD

We have discounted our seedlings at 20% for August 2019.

  • Organic components

EARTHLEE – Is an ultra-concentrated, extremely pure, naturally occurring 80% Humate powder which contains no traces of sodium or heavy metals. EARTHLEE supplies to crops the active ingredient of Organic Matter i.e. humus which is readily available in an easy to use and cost effective dry powder form.

EARTHLEE accomplishes the normal function of organic matter and there by reduces the need for bulk application of organic matter in the soil.

Over time, EARHTLEE will enhance nutrient transfer; increase the Soil Cation Exchange Capacity, water-holding capacity and structure of the soil, as well as its aeration, tilth and workability.

Earthree saves the farmer huge cost of adding farm yard or compost manure which is bulky and more costly. The 20g of earthree is equivalent to a bucket of common manure per hole.

 

  • Absorber KM (Reduces irrigation frequency by 50%).

Absorber is a water retainer that, when incorporated into a soil or a substrate absorbs and retains large quantities of water and nutrients.

Unlike most products that become hydrated, Absorber has the property of easily releasing the absorbed water and nutrients, thereby allowing the plant to have water and nutrients available at will as a function of the absorption – release cycles.

We add 20g per hole for every plant. Absober saves on cost of irrigation, better fruit tree establishment and minimizes leaching of soil minerals and fertilizers.

  • Labor

We come with our own labor to your farm; we have professionals who know how to carry out even biggest of the projects. We start first by measurement and digging of planting holes, mixing and soil treatment with organic materials, and later we plant the seedlings)

 

Check on this video how we do this in the farms.

 

CONTACT US AND BOOK TODAY.

Discount ends on 31st August 2019.
+254706222888
or info@Oxfarm.co.ke

Check our Catalogue or download on this link.

Oxfarm Catalogue discounted prices pdf

 

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Ultimate guide for beans farming in Kenya

Beans farming in Kenya is not as common as maize. However, it is one of the common grown crops in Kenya. In fact, it is often inter-cropped with the main crop for maximum absorption of nutrients by both plants. Our guide will help interested parties, both farmers and traders to have a clear mind on beans farming and how they can get money as far as beans are concerned.

Varieties of beans grown in Kenya

Beans popularity in Kenya may be due to the fact that bean recipes are numerous and beans are consumed almost with everything and contain quite a considerable amount of protein. Before venturing into beans farming, it is advisable to look at the different varieties available. If a farmer knows the different types of beans he will be able to choose the best based on its performance. Below are the several varieties;

  • Rosecoco beans Kenya
  • Mwezi moja beans
  • Chelalang beans
  • Mwitemania beans

Do your research well as a farmer and identify which variety does well in your area and guarantees high yields.

Yield per Acre of Beans

The hybrid varieties nowadays are very impressive and has a high yield compared to the traditional varieties. Most of the improved varieties produce about 20 pods for each plant, which translate to about 25, 90 kg bags per acre. Notably, this crop is high yielding when all the conditions are optimal.

Dry beans market

Beans are source of proteins which makes Kenya depend highly on them. The market for beans is overwhelming, both locally and international. Depending on quality and type of beans, the prices per 90 kg bag of beans ranges between Ksh 7,000 and Ksh 12,000. Particularly, beans fetch better prices when it is not harvesting period. Some varieties are also more expensive than others. The rose coco and kidney beans, for instance, are a bit pricey compared to the other varieties which are available in large quantities. Beans with a high supply across the country will fetch a lower price compared to those that thrive in specific areas. Irrespective of the type of beans, the market for beans is always there and since it’s a grain, you can store it and sell when the prices are high.

Price of beans in Kenya

Just like any other agricultural product, prices for beans fluctuate depending on a number of factors including demand and supply. The crop will tend to be expensive when they are in high demand, which is often around planting time when farmers need seeds for planting, and also during periods with no new crops. The cost may also depend on the region you are in and when you are buying or selling. So different areas in Kenya register varying prices of beans. Averagely, beans prices in Kenya range from Kshs. 7,000 to Kshs. 12,000 in major towns of

Kenya from low to high seasons. The best thing to do when scouting for better rates is to check the indices often provided by trading companies and the government on the prices of beans in major towns including Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa. It is not suprising that each town could register a different price for the same variety of beans. This is because different factors play out when determining the prices.

Beans production

It is always good to have a projection before embarking on planting the crop. This is where you consider farming as a business and have a clear business plan. You will need to have a structured plan on what to expect through the farming period and how to counter different eventualities. Your projections against the real data will give a vivid picture of whether or not to proceed with the venture. Apart from this, knowing exactly what to do is necessary. Below are some tips that might help you with your business plaa;

  • Know the appropriate beans planting season in Kenya
  • Choose the best beans varieties in your area
  • Consider ideal ecological requirements – This includes temperatures of about 20 to 25 degrees, altitude of between 1,000 m to 2,100 m above sea level, rainfall of between 900 mm to 1,200 mm per year and a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5

Although the market for beans is always there and appealing, beans farming is not an easy task especially if you are to do it commercially. However, it is always possible to register good yields if you do it right and follow the above steps. You also need to have achievable goals.

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Value Addition In Agricultural Commodities And Why Every Farmer Should Do It

Generally, value addition is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. Many raw commodities have fundamental value in their original state. For example, maize grown, harvested and stored on a farm and then fed to livestock on that farm has value. In fact, value usually is added by feeding it to an animal, which transforms the maize into animal protein or meat. The value of a changed product is added value, such as processing wheat into flour. It is important to identify the value-added activities that will support the necessary investment in research, processing and marketing. The application of biotechnology, the engineering of food from raw products to the consumers and the restructuring of the distribution system to and from the producer all provide opportunities for adding value.

Economically a commodity is added value by changing its current place, time, and from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace. A better meaning would be like processing wheat into flour and eventually into more desired products by customers such as bread, cakes. Those involved in value addition should think of themselves as members of a food chain that processes and markets products to consumers.

In Kenya, the majority of agricultural commodities are marketed in their raw forms, hence losing the opportunities for higher earnings and generating employment.

The main constraints that face Kenya’s agro processing industry include among others, the high operational costs mainly due to the high prices of imported fuel and spare parts, unavailability of appropriate processing machines and spare parts, and the limited knowledge in operation of the machines.

However, despite these constraints, agro processing has a tremendous potential for increasing income through value addition and increasing shelf life and access to food security through the establishment of small scale agro processing enterprises and rural based industries.

Once these commercial agro industries are efficiently run and are responsive to the ever-changing market demands, this will be a precursor for overall economic growth of the country.

Meaning of Value addition

For farmers in Kenya, value addition has a particular importance in that it offers a strategy for transforming an unprofitable enterprise into a profitable one. In fact, there are very few items that a Kenyan small holder farmer can produce and sell profitably at the first level (that is, on the open wholesale market).

Therefore, a value-addition strategy is critical to the long-term survival of most small farms in Kenya.

A good example is say, a coffee farmer who simply grows and harvest coffee cherries, and then sell them “as is” to a local processor. Here, they usually sell at a price below the cost of production. This marketing strategy may be viable in the short run, because it may cover the cash costs involved in producing the crops.

This is, however, a poor strategy because it usually does not cover the total costs of production, and, therefore, the coffee enterprises will not be sustainable.

Value addition strategies could also be easily drawn from the production of tropical fruits, vegetables, livestock, grains and other commodities.

Many small holder farmers should be encouraged to increase their profitability by vertically integrating their operations rather than simply expanding horizontally to increase their volume of production.

Here, they are adding value to their crops by taking their product one or more steps up the vertical ladder of processing and marketing rather than staying at the same level and trying to increase quantity.

Agribusiness support agencies should be seen to support the promotion of rural agro industries. This is mainly crucial because of the following reasons;

  • Agro –industrial products, unlike the basic commodities, do not exhibit a long-term real-price decline so they are more effective in increasing local incomes.
  • Value addition activities in the rural areas tend to increase local employment and income and usually have a positive impact on the local economy mainly due to forward and backward linkages.
  • Product differentiation as a value addition strategy is easier for goods that have been processed, transformed, packaged and labeled.
  • The agro-industrial products where value has been added tend to enjoy a higher profit margin than basic commodities.

In conclusion, for those in agribusiness, as markets become more competitive, it is important for mainly small holder farmers and other value chain actors to seek ways of taking advantage of the value adding opportunities to be able to increase the incomes of the rural producers.

Deliberate efforts should be put in place in establishing market research teams to help in investigating both fresh and processed markets.

The value added products can be those that are traditional or those that already exist in the rural areas, or can also be new products, which can be processed using new, low cost technologies

Advantages of Value Addition in Kenya

  • Increased profit – any value addition increases financial value to the product and has the effect of improving the income of a farmer.
  • Value addition gives a farmer a chance to focus on the consumer
  • The producer/farmer can get a share of the marketing bill which is the difference between the farm gate value and the retail value and it is growing bigger day by day.
  • Enhanced shelve life – this is a benefit any farmer would want. the longer the product can stay without getting spoilt, the more guarantee one has of a product selling at their preferred price and time. for instance raw milk doesn’t last for long but when processed into ghee, yogurt and other products can last longer.
  • Improved bargaining power
  • Creation of a brand – if a product goes to the market being identified to you or your farm, then your future is defined.
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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