returns are equally
good. It is almost impossible to cook any recipe without using onions.
uncooked meals like vegetable salads are never complete without the
characteristic taste and smell of this healthy vegetable. This is
what makes onions one of the vegetables with the highest demand in the
|Onions. Image source: pixabay|
Onion farming in Kenya is easy and attractive because unlike other plants like
maize which take more than half an year to mature and be ready, onions only
take four months. This and the fact that the venture is so profitable has
brought back urban dwellers who want to capitalize on the boom.
Onions are planted using transplants, seeds or sets. Normally, seeds are
used in nurseries and the young seedlings are then transplanted to the farm.
Seeds give you an option of choosing the exact variety that you want but they
also take the longest to mature. When venturing into onion farming in Kenya in 2018, be prepared to wait for about five
months. In some parts of central Kenya, farmers prepare nurseries between
August and September. Transplanting from the nurseries takes place in October
and the harvesting for this crop is usually in January just in time for the
shortage which allows them to fetch higher profits.
You can also used the immature bulbs from the previous season. This are
called sets. Planting of the sets is advantageous because they withstand
diseases better and take a shorter period of time to mature. The only drawback
to using sets is that unlike the seeds where you can tell the variety type and
name, sets can only be identified as either white, green or red. Most farmers
prefer to use the white sets for the green onions.
Tending to Onions
do not like dry climate. It makes the bulbs split. During the dry
season, onions should be watered moderately. But just like strawberries,
avoid overhead watering late in the evening for the water can increase
the likelihood of leaf infections. Ensure that they also stay weed-free
all the time.
Harvesting the onions
the onions are ready for harvesting it is not difficult to know. The
leaves lose color and they start to dry. The leaves become weaken and
hang low. onions should be left to stay on the ground like this for
about 10 days to fully mature. If left for longer than 2 weeks though,
the tops might die off and expose the bulbs to infections. Do not
harvest on a rainy day because the water makes the onions rot. Sunny
days are perfect because the roots are able to dry and die.
Storage and Marketing of Onions
can last for up to 6 weeks after harvesting if they are well dried and
well ventilated. Brokers normally buy the onions in the farms though
they take a large chunk of the profits from the farmers. If possible, it
is best if the farmer can be able to transport the onions to the market
of the nearest town.
Do you practice onion farming in
Kenya in 2018? Do you have more tips to share with other farmers? Let us
know by leaving a comment below.