Introduction to Strawberry Farming in Kenya
Many individuals are starting strawberry farming in kenya. The traditional maize and wheat type of farming is being replaced by more profitable and efficient ways that are aimed at providing both sustainability and profitability.
Strawberries have emerged as some of the sought after fruits in the Kenyan market prompting many farmers to venture into the business and establish strawberry farms in Kenya with the hopes of earning from it.
When selecting a site for strawberry farming in kenya, a farmer should consider factors such as air and adequate water. Sites that are lower than the land around them are vulnerable to frost as cold air being dense/heavier than hot air will settle on the plants. Level or slightly higher grounds are advised.
Like any other crop, water is important for farmers to succeed in strawberry farming. Some strawberry farms in Kenya have adopted drip irrigation and this increases strawberry production in kenya as a country since there is assured supply of water all year round.
Soil testing is also a very important factor and all farmers are advised to conduct soil tests before planting any disease vulnerable crops. This goes a long way in preventing pathogen infections.
Planting And Harvesting
[sociallocker]Strawberries are planted as splits. Strawberries have runners which grow away from the parent plant and in turn attach to the ground forming roots. This can be split from the parent plant to act as seeds for another plant.
During the first weeks of the plant, water is very important and this may determine just how many slits reach maturity. Farmer are advised to gets splits which are transplants from the parent plant so as to get fruits of equal quality as the parent plant. There is a possibility that hybrid plants produce fruits of lesser quality as they are not fully made up of one parent plant.
Pollination in strawberry plants is important just as it is in other fruits. The better the pollination the better the fruits. Fertilizers and manure boost production and therefore farmers with dairy farms can make use of manure from their cows as organic fertilizer.
In most cases, Strawberry farming in kenya is be done in open air comfortably but for better produce, greenhouses are recommended. Spraying with pesticides is also important as the plants are easily affected by weeds.
The Market for Strawberry Farming in kenya
Normally, the safest way to farm is to concentrate on crops where the first market would be the farmer and his/her community. This way, a farmer is always assured of a place to sell his produce. The direct community would be a good place to start marketing your strawberries. Local fruit stores, restaurants and other small users such as cake makers are also good buyers of strawberries in kenya. Industries which produce food flavors, natural flavored yoghurt , jam etc also buy strawberries.
In recent years, Kenya farmers have been reluctant to participate in strawberry farming stating that the Kenyan strawberry farming industry is not very developed. However, farmers looking to venture into the practice are greatly encouraged as there exists an even bigger market for export as long as quality standards are attained. This is a potential multimillion shilling industry.[/sociallocker]