Strawberry growing in Kenya 2018

Strawberry growing in Kenya 2018

Strawberry farming in Kenya is one of the most profitable ventures in 2018. 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 in 2018 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.

How to Grow Strawberries 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 apart. 
  •  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. 
Are you a farmer? Do you practice strawberry farming in Kenya in 2018? Are there more tips you feel we have left out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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