Strawberry-flavoured cash for farmers!

Most of us walk into a supermarket and ask for strawberry this or strawberry that and so on. From jams, yoghurt, juices, cookies to even lotions and perfumes for the ladies are attracting volumes of sales in the stalls just because of the ‘strawberry’ adjective in their respective names.

Companies like trufood, zesta, Brookside, KCC among others are importing these strawberries to use in their daily production needs with outlets such as supermarkets and hotels requesting for more of them day in day out. It is crystal clear that there is demand for this sweet soft red fruit of ...

Red lights for meru green gram farmers!

January is surely a tough month with the Christmas hangovers taking the best of us in most of the times. It is in these tough times that a meal of chapattis served with green grams, locally known as Ndengu or pojo, can play the soothing master to the mouths of many. However, for this NJaanuary month, things were a bit worse for most of Ndengu lovers as their menu took a turn to chapos with vegetables.

For the last 3 months, the prices of these Ndengus have been sky-rocketing with a 90 kg bag hitting a Ksh 8,000 mark by last week in Nairobi. For those who buy in small quantities, they have...

Going commercial with ukwaju.

With most farmers looking for the ‘untraveled paths’ when it comes to agricultural commercialization, many have jumped into the wild in search of indigenous money-bleeding flora and fauna products. This is highly evidenced in the recent spikes of the miracle bird- the quail and its wonder eggs among others. And for sure, farmers are making record breaking sales all in the name of giving the consumer the unedited version of the vitamins.

One of the wild fruits currently hitting Kenyan markets is the Tamarind locally known as Ukwaju. This is a reddish brown flattened pod which is slowly...

Sweet deal from the sweet leaf

Stevia plant
Stevia (commonly known as sugar leaf or sweet leaf) is a plant based sweetener known to be up to 30 times sweeter than table sugar.  This plant has attracted the attention of investors in Kenya with its adoption set to spell doom to many sugar cane growers in our country. A specific compound derived from the stevia plant leaf known as Reb A is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar at purity of up to 98%. The extracts from this plant are being used as a replacement for sugar as a sweetener especially for the patients suffering from acute diabetes. With the demand for its sweet juice being...

The spicy way with dhania!

Coriander medium
The strong demand for aromatic foods in Kenya has brought smiley faces for a couple of farmers who are dumping the growing of the traditional crops and choosing spicy herbs instead. Such herbs include coriander(Dhania), lemon grass, and hibiscus among others. The international demand for such herbs has gone up by 40% with farmers gaining more revenues of up to 25% than the traditional crops (farm-biz Africa 2013).

Locally, the demand for coriander just like other vegetables such as the kale, carrots, tomatoes and spinach is also growing. Coriander is easy to plant and take care of. If...

The magic behind consuming pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins are one of the fruit vegetables from the dry lands that you should make your acquaintance.  They are ignored by many Kenyans maybe because we were forcefully fed as toddlers but can be highly beneficial to you especially the seeds (which happen to be garbage to us). These seeds contain serious nutrients such as manganese, zinc, copper and protein some of which cannot be synthesized by the body. They also contain phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants which can be a plus to your health account.

Why consume them?

Heart Healthy Magnesium

Magnesium helps in...

Is keeping quail really good business?

Over the Christmas holidays, my friend and I visited a farm owned by his uncle in Kiserian. His uncle rears chicken and quails with the quail business being a success for him (that’s what he told me). From the look of it, he was actually doing well with those small birds. For him he started late last year and was having more than 500 birds which would be ready to hatch by next week.

He had invested in the Jua kali incubators and through his own innovation created a very amazing artificial breeder for the newly hatched quails. I asked him why he sacrificed his new chicken rearing business to...

New agricultural bill to help farmers.

The senate house led by the Uasin Gishu Senator Isaac Melly, will resume its proceedings with the new agricultural inputs bill which was drafted in late last year, 2013. This bill seeks to address the problems which for decades have harassed farmers prompting many to bail out of commercial farming.

Such problems include the high cost of farm inputs, poor agricultural extension services and poor marketing of the agricultural produce.  

According to analysts, the imposition of value added tax (VAT) back in 2013 has impacted negatively on the agricultural input and output posing a serious...

Chaos in wakulima market

Since Monday, there has been a lot of unrest in the Wakulima and Muthurwa market. After taking a walk in the market at around 11 am Monday, the traders were all fired up throwing piece of fruit, vegetable and other crop produce at the county council officers who had barricaded themselves inside the Wakulima market compound.

The whole predicament started when the traders found a note on the stalls from the council requiring them to pay extra amount of cash for them than what was initially charged to be allowed to trade in the market.

According to the traders, the county officials have...

Maize prices go high as ncpb buy from farmers.

With Kenyans getting into the Christmas moods of celebration, Maize farmers in Kenya are among those who will be having an amazing Christmas eve. The National cereals and produce board has been buying farmers maize at Ksh 3000 per 90 kg bag and it is set to continue buying (Barnabas Bii, Daily nation, December 10, 2013 pg 19).

According to Evans Wasike, the public relations manager for the board, 145 K bags worth Ksh 435 millions have been delivered to the NCPB depots in the North rift region with the western province stores taking over 5 K bags worth Ksh 15 Millions already. With the...

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