Avocado farming in Kenya presents a good opportunity not only for farmers, but a growing population of young people to venture into. The Kenyan market both domestic and export is growing but limited by the production capacity of the current farmers. The most popular variety for the export market is the HASS avocado.
Hass is a semi-spreading tree requiring at least 5.2m by 5.2m planting distance at maturity. It is a generous bearer of fruit.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua during his benchmarking tour in Nyeri County on Friday. Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has reached at a decision to partner with Nyeri County in a bid of supporting Avocado farmers and increasing the number of trees in the county.
Mutua reached at the decision in his bench-marking tour in Nyeri County when he visited an avocado farm, Mweiga at Kieni on last week Friday. Avocados are in super high demand in the world and if one grows them well, returns can be as high as 250-300 percent. That is good money. I have learned how to grow and ship Avocados to overseas markets.
Related Post: Hass Avocado farmers reap big in Muranga
Mutua said this can fetch good extra income to Machakos residents. “We have decided to partner with Nyeri County to support our Avocado farmers and expand the number of trees grown in our counties. We can then join hands in marketing the fruits locally and overseas so that our households have added income.” Mutua said.
“Our people are hardworking and it is the role of our governments to support and guide them so as to grow wealth. My vision is to identify at least five crops that each household in Machakos can grow so as to generate sufficient income. Once we do that, it will be Bye Bye Mwolyo (Bye to relief food shame),” Mutua added.
Mutua said he is committed to doing this and other ventures such as construction of factories, promoting industrialization and economic enterprises. He said all these will enable residents get extra income.
Governor Mutahi Kahiha on his part said that the Hass variety is particularly popular for export.
“One tree of the Hass Avocados variety can bear up to 1,000 fruits if well cultivated and cared for. Abroad, one Hass Avocado can fetch up to 5 dollars. If more farmers could take up this type of farming, with the support of the County Government, then more farmers would be empowered. The County Government of Nyeri is committed to cultivating a suitable and conducive environment for farmers where best market practices are practiced.” Mutahi added.
During this rainy season, plant hass avocados, contact us for delivery.
Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting
Tangerines are relatively cold-tolerant, making them easier to grow than oranges, grapefruits and other types of citrus. Some varieties, such as the Citrus reticulata "Dancy," are heat-tolerant and do best when summers are hot, but other types, including the Citrus reticulata "Sunburst," do best when summers are on the cool side.
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0°C are injurious to the trees and at -13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics, the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.
people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The macadamia nut tree is indigenous to Australia but introduced in Kenya in 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, it grows roughly in the same climate suitable for growing coffee.
The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are
intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however, if they are being planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.
Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for the country.
For many years, tea and coffee farming has been the major source of income for thousands of
farmers, however they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia nut farming.
Macadamia has become a lucrative produce all over sudden with a kilo of the nuts selling for
more than a hundred and a grafted seedling price shooting up from 300 to 500 Kenya Shillings.
Between1986 to 2002 the price ranged between 7 to 23 Shillings per kg., and in 2005 it averaged
80 Shillings per Kg.
The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 900,000 trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 100,000 small scale farmers with an average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 4,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 800 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 92 million per year.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea.