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Agriculture is quickly turning out to be the ”what i can do for life other than ”what i will do after retirement”.with this,many youths are now getting into it whereas many employed persons are leaving employment in droves to ventue into agriculture,the question of When is it the right time to leave employment is a subject for discussion later on.
the new entrants who appreciates the value of proffesionalism in each field engage the servises of agronomists in the area who seek to advise the cients on the best tme to plant inord to get maximum benefit to sustain the venture.
The dissapointment of the new farmers after the failed projection is always evident after harvesting and agroinfokenya seeks to inquire ,who is to blame? is it the agronomist or the farmer?-None of the cited parties is to blame!
The earlier any farmer realizes that the projections based on past planting history are currently rendered absolette and cannot significantly fuction in the current era ,the better prepared the farmer will be in planning his/her planting program
why:In the past ,agronomists would clearly know the extent of crop coverage in specific areas recognised to be the chimneys of a certain crop eg Mwea,oloitoktok and narok areas when talking of tomatoes. marigat,mpeketoni,loitoktok,uganda,mwea,kibwezi and taveta when talking of Melon just to name but a few.
Today:We have to talk of Nairobi area as a serious player in the horticutural industry,moreso,across the country,so many small scale urban farms have come up and these are not in the open,thus making it hard for people to,when analysing the planting trend,to include them.
this may evidently be the reason why,despite low production in the mapped areas for certain crops in the recent past,prices still plumeted to the bottom compared to some years back.
a call to action: Farmers are advised to search for,get and secure a market for their produce before plunging into extensive blind production of a hyped crop with hyped margins and hidden costs that eventually leaves the farmer with a dent in the pocket
NB:this is a personal opinion and any views contrary to these are welcomed
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Who dictates the seed variety you plant?
-Buyers have had a big say on this (HOW) –By rejecting some fruits due to the market requiremets on the varietal aspects: SO , which is the BEST SEED to plant? And WHY?
When selecting a seed ,research for the following aspects
The size of the seeds in the fruits after maturity
- Some fruits have LARGE AND BLACK SEEDS,If the seeds are big,buyers tend to shun these fruits as these reduce the aesthetic value of the fruit once sliced into pieces,on the other hand,those supplying to a different market niche who have been advised to chew the seeds will g for it without hesitating or blinking an eye.
- Some fruits have MANY,SMALL AND GOLDEN/BROWN seeds; These are the mostly favoured varieties in the market
- Other fruits/varietis have very FEW seeds but GOLDEN/BROWN ; these are the highly favoures in the market
Time taken to mature
- The time taken to mature may also differ between different varieties from different sources i.e; a zebra variety from company X will take Y days to mature whereas a zebra variety from company M will take N days to mature
Fruit size uniformity
- -The maturity days is also dicatadedby the wheather parterns and altitude
- There is no point of having 100 fruitswith a funny weight/size distribution ie;10 fruits are >10kgs ,40 fruits are 6-8kgs and 50 fruits are less than 3kgs ,this implies that you have 50% rejects(by brokers/buyers standards) although the fruit number is good.Choose a seed type where 70-80% of te fruit size/weight lie in the 6-8kgs(or rather above 4kgs) as this is the best (we await a launch of Table melon type of the zebra seed in the future)
- Always seek unbiased advise on the type of seed to plant noting that in agribusiness,aim to have a higher average weight other than a skewed weight distribution.
- Select a seed type whose fruit will last long after attaining horticultural maturity and even fter ripening. Some seed types will have the fruits start rotting at physiological maturity.after harvesting,some fruits will keep for long whereas others cant
- Some seeds if planted at the recomended spacing will crowd and innitiate the challenge of diseases such as botrytis thus the rottig of fruits,this is also proportional to the the first fruit positioning as some will tend to appear late in the vine from the point of germination than others,For the long vined seeds,always give a bigger inter row spacing than for the short vined seeds.ASSIGHNMENTThen:
- To the farmers and agronomist ,help us identify the seeds
-log in for the next feature discusion on this as we fill the following table with you
|SEED TYPE||AREA PLANTED||ACREAGE||FRUIT SIZE DISTRIBUTION||SEED SIZE||SEED COLOR||KEEPING QUALITY||DAYS TO HARVEST||TOTAL TONNAGE|
|1||TRIAL F1||KINANIE||1||>10kgs:20% 4-9kgs :70% <4gs :10%||big||black||good||60-75||15T|
NB:This is NOT a public ENDORSEMENT OF ANY SEED TYPE but a mission to get the farmer practical response for future advise and trials on the same,ALWAYS CONSULT an good agronomist for the right information on this
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