Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How To Start Strawberry Farming In Kenya: Everything You Need To Know

Strawberry farming in Kenya is currently an untapped goldmine that few farmers and agribusiness investors are aware of. Although strawberry farming is not popular in Kenya the major set back is the poor knowledge of the farming process in Kenya. Many Kenyan farmers have no idea of how to cultivate strawberries for cash.



The purpose of this article is to help provide you with the needed information and guidance on how to succesfully start strawberry farming in Kenya.

Every bit of information about strawberry farming will be provided you via this article so continue reading.

In Kenya, starting strawberry farming business requires experience, and capital. You have to understand that it is not a walk in the park; therefore you need to be prepare.

Business Opportunities in Strawberry Farming In Kenya

The consumption of strawberries has been on the increase in Kenya unlike what we have seen in time past. Strawberry farming is gradually getting the attention needed to make it a very popular agribusiness venture. The strawberry fruit is greatly loved for its unique aroma, bright red color, juice texture, and sweetener. It can be consumed raw and fresh or as juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates.

The artificial strawberry flavoring is also used as a component of lip gloss, candy, perfume, and lots of other things. This tells you that the value chain in strawberry farming in Kenya has huge profit potential in it. On the average, one kilogram of strawberry cost about ksh1000 and each packaged carton can weigh up to 5-6 kg.

Requirements for Starting Your Strawberry Farming in Kenya

Strawberry farming in Kenya is not something you can without a good plan. There are certain things you need to put in place if you want to be successful in your strawberry farming business. Below are the major things you need to have in place before starting your strawberry farming business:

1. Business Plan

The number one requirement before starting your strawberry farming business in Kenya is a well-detailed business plan. You stand a better chance to be successful in this agribusiness venture if you have a plan in hand. There is need for a marketing strategy, SWOT analysis, market survey, financial projections, and lots more. Your strawberry business plan is a guide that will help you position the business in good light.

The business plan will also improve your chances of accessing government loans or investors. Without a good business plan, there is no right thinking business investor that will consider your business.

2. Land Location

Land is another important requirement for starting your strawberry farming business. When selecting the land for your strawberry farming in Kenya, make sure it is accessible to a good water source. Good and proper irrigation system assures improved productivity of your strawberry fruits. You also need to make sure that the land has adequate exposure to sunlight. This is because strawberries need about 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

The land needs to be properly tilled and cleared for the cultivation of your strawberry fruits.

Variety Of Strawberry To Plant In Kenya

These strawberry varieties are the most popular strawberries sold in Kenya.

1. Honeoye
2. Earliglow
3. Allstar
4. Ozark Beauty
5. Chandler
6. Jewel
7. Seascape
8. Tristar
9. Sparkle
10. Surecrop

But then, there are two major varieties of strawberry fruits you can grow in Kenya. Before starting your strawberry farming in Kenya you need to decide on a particular variety to cultivate in your farm. We have the June-bearing variety as well as the ever-bearing variety. Both varieties are capable of giving you a good profit in your strawberry farming business.

You need to make sure you purchased a disease resistant variety from a reputable nursery. The planting hole should be deep and wide enough to accommodate the whole root system without bending it. Once you have planted the strawberry, ensure the root is covered while the crown should be at the soil surface.

When considering how to grow strawberries in Kenya, you can see that it is very easy to do. Ensure that you don’t plant in lands that were previously cultivated with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes.

Strawberry planting spacing should be 30cm apart between the rows. You can make use of the runners from the parent plant as seeds for another planting season. There is no need to buy another seedling once you have cultivated your first plot of land.

How To Care For Your Strawberry Vines

Irrigation is very important for optimal growth and development of strawberry fruits due to the shallow roots. During your strawberry farming in Kenya, you need to water very well once the runners and flowers start to develop. Once the plants have attained maturation, then you must reduce your irrigation process.

It is very important that you mulch the beds in order to reduce water loss and weed proliferation. You should weed with your hand during the first months of planting your strawberries.

Harvesting Your Strawberries

It is very important for you to harvest your ripe strawberry fruits as soon as possible. The strawberry fruits attain maturation and are ripe for harvest as soon as they turn red.

You can harvest the same plant for up to 2 years. During storage, you need to ensure that the strawberries are not stacked to a height of five inches. This prevents damaging the fruits at the bottom of the pile.

You can see that strawberry farming in Kenya is very viable. All you need to do is get the proper knowledge to set up your farm in a favorable location in Kenya.

If you have any questions regarding strawberry farming in Nigeria, kindly drop it in the comment section below.
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