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Avocado Exports Banned for one Month Due To Rising Local Prices

The Directorate of Horticulture has banned all avocado exports following a severe shortage that has raised costs of the fruit to a three-and-a-half-year high.

The average worth of a 90-kilogramme bag of avocado shot up to Sh2,560 in December, creating it the very best value of the artifact since May 2014, when a bag was merchandising for slightly higher than Sh2,700.

A single avocado is presently selling for between Sh50 and Sh80 in Nairobi’s retail markets, up from between Sh10 and Sh20 each throughout peak season.

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), where that the Directorate of Horticulture falls, attributes the rise within the worth of the fruit to the biting shortage of widespread varieties, Fuerte and Hass, that are off-season.

Read Also:Why Record Keeping is Important in Fruit Farming

Why AFA has Banned Avocado Exports

“We have stopped the export of Fuerte and Hass varieties because of traders would ship out immature crop thanks to high demand within the world market. However, we’re planning to elevate (the ban) beginning next month once harvest starts,” said AFA director-general Alfred Busolo.

Avocado is very widespread on Kenyans’ eating tables. Most households mix it with different foods or eat it plain.

“The shortage isn’t solely in Kenya, however additionally globally. This is often the explanation why the costs have gone up,” further Mr. Busolo. The ban on exports was settled in December.

Mr. Busolo says the shortage is predicted to ease beginning next month once the new season crop can begin to touch the market.

“Fuerte selection can begin attending to the market next month whereas Hass are going to be in offer in March, bridging this deficit and reversing costs to the previous lows,” he said.

The Jumbo avocado selection is presently the only one offered within the market.

This selection is often in offer throughout the year however it’s not as widespread as Fuerte and Hass.

Avocado contributes seven per cent of Kenya’s total fruit export to the international market however production has been static over the years. Farm production stood at 230,948 tonnes in 2015, rising slightly to 246,057 tonnes in 2016.

About 387.2 tonnes valued Sh5.4 billion was exported in 2016, compared to 461.1 tonnes value Sh7.1 billion last year as per AFA information. Foreign investors are keen on finance the avocado sub-sector in Kenya thanks to its low-risk investment surroundings, wide market access, and improved infrastructure.

The Netherlands fund launched a $1 million project in 2016 to boost the export fight of the avocado sector in Kenya.

The project’s strategy includes change the artifact commodity business plan for the avocado sub-sector and increasing the export capability of exportation SMEs and farmer teams linking them to international consumers.

The horticultural sector is one amongst the biggest sources of interchange earnings in Kenya, bringing in more than Sh101 billion in 2016.

Now you know why we insist on farmer to plant more hass avocados, the demand and the market is ways above us. Book your seedlings today!

Read Also : The role of an Agronomist

 

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Fruit grafting provides better varieties

Fruit grafting provides better varieties

Keen gardeners could already be at home with a farming technique referred to as grafting. For hundreds of years, orchardists, rosarians, nursery homeowners and different growers have used this method to form plants with improved malady resistance and strength, increased yields and distinctive physical forms, and to form fruit trees that bear multiple varieties on a similar tree.

Though there are many sorts of graft, in its simplest kind, graft attaches the shoot system (the scion) of 1 plant to the basis system (the rootstock) of a separate plant. The 2 are grafted along in a very straightforward procedure, and once the graft union has cured, the 2 plants grow joined.

Fruit grafting permits growers to mix the positive attributes of 2 varieties into one fruit tree. In most cases, the descendant and rootstock should be from a similar species (or, sometimes, a similar family) so as for them to be compatible and for the graft union to require. But, you’ll graft associate apricot with a fruit tree because they are within the same stone-fruit family.

Related Content: apple farming in Kenya: mitigating risks

How Fruit Grafting is Done

Avocado Fruit grafting

The technique of fruit grafting permits farmers to possess dwarf fruit trees (the dwarfing attribute is carried within the rootstock), apples that bear 5 varieties on a similar tree, and a “fruit cocktail tree” that grows many styles of fruit, every on its own branch.

The rootstock chosen for graft is usually chosen for the intensity or malady resistance of that individual selection. The shoot system, or scion, is chosen for flower color, fruit production or distinctive growth kind.

Grafting is kind of common among fruit and decorative trees, particularly those with distinctive or specialized forms. As an example, several weeping trees are created by graft a nodding shoot system onto a straight-trunked form of a similar plant, and a few maples is also grafted onto totally different rootstocks to enhance their winter strength.

One slightly newer means the technique of graft has found its means into our gardens is thru vegetables. Some seed catalogs carry grafted tomatoes, peppers, melons and different vegetables. Although these plants are commercially fully grown in different components of the globe for several years, they are just finding a direct the us.

Grafted fruits are created by choosing a great-tasting, heavy-yielding selection and graft it to a rootstock with improved malady and gadfly resistance, early maturity, drought tolerance, and/or vigorous growth. the thought is that these grafted plants can perform higher and turn out sooner than those fruits that are un-grafted.

Keep in mind, though, that graft is helpful just for the generation of plants on that it had been performed. The enhancements created through graft aren’t carried to ensuing generation via saved seeds or perhaps by taking cuttings of the plant. graft cannot lead to improved issue like purposeful plant breeding can; it’s just a noteworthy thanks to mix the positive attributes of 2 plants into one.

If you need any help towards in sourcing grafted seedlings, planting instructions and other technical advice, Visit our offices or contact us.

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“KIWI FRUIT” FARMING GUIDE

Kiwi is a temperate fruit and it can do well in the temperate regions of Kenya like Central, Western highlands, Central Rift Valley and others.

There are very few markets where demand exceeds supply. One such market is for Kiwi fruits which, despite being a relatively new idea in Kenya, has taken the market by storm. There are very few farmers who have gotten wind of its valued benefits and you can take advantage of this loophole to make a timely investment. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

The kiwi trees cultivated for their fruits need the following growing requirements. kiwi fruit farming guide.

Soil 
Must be well drained. Kiwi tree vines planted where water sits on the surface following rains are likely to develop crown rot. Soil pH should be between 5.0 and 6.5.

 

Related; Kiwi fruits benefits and facts.

 

Planting
The kiwi tree is especially touchy about less than perfect site and soil conditions in its youth. For this reason, some growers coddle their plants in containers for one, even two, years. Kiwi tree growth can be phenomenal in carefully watered and fertilized containers, and the kiwi tree can be protected their first couple of winters in an unheated basement or a slightly heated garage.

In Kenya Kiwi should be Planted at around the month of March to take advantage of long-rains. Note that Kiwi Vines are very vulnerable to strong wings and you may need to invest a bit more infrastructure-wise to protect them (e.g. by building a temporary fence or planting some trees around the farm).

Also, a farmer needs to invest in a compost manure and some little amounts of fertilizer (D.A.P and C.A.N) to provide the crop with adequate nutrients.

Kiwi plants are susceptible to a bacterial infection known as Psa and so the farmer may need to invest in biochemicals that are usually used on fruits like oranges and grapes.

Pollination
The burden of pollination rests mostly with honeybees, though wind and other beneficial insects also play a role. With few exceptions, a separate, non fruiting male plant is needed to fertilize (and induce fruiting) of female plants. The male should be no further than 35 feet from females. Do not be surprised if it appears that female flowers have stamens, the male flower parts. The stamens are there, but the pollen they shed is sterile. Similarly, male flowers have small, nonfunctional ovaries.

One male plant can fertilize the flowers of 8 or so females, and male and female plants need not be the same species of kiwi tree to cross-pollinate. Bloom times of male and female flowers must coincide, though.

Hand pollination is practical if you grow only a few kiwi trees. Merely pluck off a male blossom and lightly rub it on a half-dozen female flowers. Then go pluck another male, repeat the rubbing, and so forth.

Trellising
Kiwi trees are rampant plants and their trunks never become sturdy enough to hold the plants up off the ground of their own accord. Under cultivation plants must be trained to some sort of support that is both sturdy and allows vines adequate room to ramble.

A trellis used by commercial kiwi tree growers consists of wires stretched between 6-foot-high T-bar supports spaced 15 to 20 feet apart. At some sacrifice to fruit production, but with perhaps a gain in beauty, kiwi tree vines can be coaxed up a variety of other structures such as a gazebo, a pergola, or even along a split rail fence

Training + Pruning
The goals in training and pruning are to make a potentially tangled mass of rampant shoots manageable and easy to harvest, and to keep a vine fruitful by allowing adequate light to fall within the plant canopy. Pruning also stimulates an annual flush of new wood, important because flowers, and, hence, fruits, are borne toward the bases of current seasons’ shoots that grow from canes that grew the previous year only.

Not all the new shoots that grow from the previous year’s canes will fruit. Some canes may have been too shaded the year before, or the vine may be too young. Those canes that are fruitful will produce fruiting shoots at their basal half-dozen or so buds; the buds further out are capable of producing shoots that will fruit the next year.

An established kiwi tree vine consists of a trunk, permanent cordons, and fruiting arms (or canes). Training and pruning are effected by tying shoots to supports and by pruning the plants while they are growing during the summer, and again while they are dormant. Late winter, before the buds swell, is the optimal time for dormant pruning.

Related: Kiwi Farming In Kenya

Girdling
Girdling is a technique that induces fruiting and hastens maturity and bud-break  by disrupting the flow of nutrients and hormones in the stems. In late summer, make two parallel cuts, one sixteenth of an inch apart, on the trunk, and remove the strip of bark from between the cuts. Do not girdle any vine that is in a weakened condition, or cut too deeply—remove just the outer bark.

Harvesting
A mature kiwifruit vine can produce more than 90 kilograms of fruit. Harvest semi-tropical kiwifruits by snapping them off their stalks when the skins turn brown and samples of cut fruit show black seeds. The fruit will be hard, but will soften and sweeten in a week at room temperature. In a cool room, such fruit will keep for two months. If the fruit is refrigerated to near freezing, and the humidity maintained at 95 percent (with a plastic bag having just a few small holes, for example), the fruit will store for 9 months! Let firm-ripe fruit soften before eating. This can be hastened by putting the fruit in a bag with an apple.

Hardy and super-hardy kiwifruits drop or come off easily from the vines when they are ripe. Picked firm-ripe with their stems attached, these small fruited kiwifruits store as well as the large kiwifruit.

The average kiwi vine takes 2 to 4 years to mature and start producing fruits. The first few harvests may however not be as productive but this tends to improve throughout the plants mature life.

You can still commercialize your farm now by selling the few fruits that come out of it and healthy vines that you may choose to propagate. At Oxfarm, we sell kiwi seedlings at Ksh 400, and we deliver all over Kenya.