2020. Though very few farmers are strawberry farming in Kenya
currently, the ones who are are reaping big. This is because of the
popularity of the strawberry flavor from yoghurt, ice-creams, jams to
even perfume. The demand of these citrus fruits is bursting at the seams
and the supply is really low. Companies that use these fruits as raw
materials are being forced to import. That is why strawberry farming is
and will remain a very lucrative agribusiness in the years to come.
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The good thing about strawberry farming in
Kenya is that they take up a very small piece of land. With
just an eighth of an acre, a farmer can be able to make more in a month
than most employed individuals. What’s more, the fruits are ready for
harvesting just 70 days after planting. They can be harvested 2 or 3
times each year for up to three years. Harvesting does not take place
during the rainy seasons.
Like any other business with attractive returns, strawberry farming in Kenya requires capital. The variety preferred by most farmers is Chandler and with just one seedling going for at least Kenyan Shilling 20, you will need 60,000 Kenyan shillings to plant an eighth of an acre. But here’s
the good part, strawberries are runners, so once you plant, you are able
to propagate them without having to buy more seedlings. You just need
to make sure that your crop has not been infected by any disease.Another
drawback is that strawberries require drip irrigation since rain water
makes their leaves susceptible to fungal irrigation.This means that
greenhouse farming is the perfect way to ensure that you have a harvest
throughout the year even when the rain is too much.
Strawberry Farming in Kenya
- Soil preparation: Strawberry farming in Kenya does the best in
areas where the soil is in 6 to 6.2 PH. The soil needs to be well
drained and weed-free. Do not plant them in a place where plants of the tomatoes family like raspberries and eggplants have been previously.
- Planting: The best planting time is just when the rains are stopping.
- Spacing: Plant the strawberries on raised beds separating the
plants with between 18 and 24 inches. The rows should be 3 or 4 feet
- Watering: Drip irrigation at the root is required once per week.
- Fertilizing: Compost should be applied every so often.
Strawberries are runners and it is therefore necessary to ensure that at least 12 inches between plants remains.
- Harvesting: Harvesting seasons come 2 or three times an year.
During the harvesting season, pick every 2 to three days. To increase
fruit production, prune off the flowers the first time they appear.
- Marketing: See how to market strawberries in Kenya in this article.
Why Strawberry Farming in Kenya has become Lucrative recently
Companies have been forced to go herbal so as to maintain their competitive edge. The versatility of the strawberry fruit makes it the perfect fruit for this. With the scent, taste and flavor properties it brings to the table, it is no wonder that all the counters in a supermarket are stocked with strawberry perfumes, yoghurts, scented bathing soap, ice creams and even air fresheners.Brookside and Delamere dairies have even started putting real strawberry fruits in their yoghurt and we cannot forget the fruits themselves and how expensive they sell at in the supermarkets.Currently, a 500 grams package goes for 300 Kenyan shillings at Nakumatt
and Tusky’s supermarkets.
This has created a very huge demand that cannot be satisfied by the
few farmers we have specializing in strawberry farming in Kenya. It is
no wonder that companies are being forced to import these precious
fruits that may hold the key to employment taking the country one step
closer to the realization of the vision 2030.
weed-free. It is important to plant is an area where other plants of the
tomato family like eggplants have not been to avoid diseases.A distance of 18 to 24 inches is recommended between the
seedlings and 3 to 4 feet between the rows. Drip .irrigation should be
used to provide 1 inch of water every week. overhead irrigation and rain
makes the leaves susceptible to wilting.
- Like them
- I am indifferent
- Love them
- Hate them
profitable. In just 7 weeks, the first fruits will be ready for
harvesting. Strawberry season comes twice or thrice every year and a
crop is productive for three years.
flowers out so as to increase productivity. During harvest time, picking
is done every 2 to 3 days or daily when the weather is warmer.
Occasionally, you might need to keep tending to the plant as they run
and can get dense really fast. Ensure that there is a 12 inches space
difference between the plants at all times. The runners can be used as
seedlings for a new crop.
healthy and to increase their productivity. Keeping an eye on bugs and
insects as well as diseases is also important.
The best thing about strawberry growing in Kenya is that the demand is so high it is impossible to lack the market for your fruits. From fruit stalls to supermarkets, Dairy companies like Delamere to Brook-side, farmers will in fact struggle to satisfy the current demand.
See Also: Strawberry Market in Kenya