For the love of the passion: Cervin asks, industry answers
August 16, 2011
My name is Cervin Ogendo, I am in Nairobi but I have a farm in Rachuonyo South District that I want to put under horticulture.
The farm is next to River Sondu and is estimated to be about 20 acres. 3/4 of it is virgin land literally. It has not been under farming for over 30 years.
I have seen the wild purple passion fruit do extremely well in the forests around us that I don't even plan soil sampling! Maybe I am wrong. Currently I don't have a single plant on the ground but in a week or two I would want to start with at least 1000 seedlings.
I have done a bit of online reading and I am getting convinced I am taking a good direction. I however request for more information here.
Using contacts I got online I have managed to make a few calls which also landed me to your office where I was handled by concerned personnel on 0722848970.
I didn't get her name but I was impressed by her promise to follow up which she did both on phone and sms. Kudos.
1.One of the farmers from Kitale had his reservations about using farm manure citing virus attacks, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
2. I have also seen farmers not bothering to till the land around the plant but just do holes and posts. Kindly advice me, a tractor is scheduled to be on the ground tomorrow? And if the yield under such a system would not change would I perhaps start on a two acres farm?
Thank you, I will send to you a google statelite image of the farm for request for information about irrigation.
CERVIN OGENDO I CREATIVE DIRECTOR E-NET PUBLISHERS & DESIGNS LTD I +254 (0)722 394348
Dr Lusike Wasilwa, KARI answers...
To be a progressive farmers please do the following:
1. Send a soil sample for analysis to KARI or any other provider to ensure the soil health.
2. We can link you with KARI-Kitale (KARI-Kibos is closer but do not undertake passion fruit research) Mr. Thomas Kwambai at 0722-468-614, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and also Good Neighbours (Ms Zippy Simiyu at 0722-220-889; email: email@example.com) who conduct passion fruit activities within your region. It will be advisable to start a passion fruit nursery instead of buying seedlings but just in case you are in a hurry then procure seedlings from Good Neighboursand for long term basis, you can get seed from Mr. Kwambai of KARI-Kitale. I have copied this email to them.
3. When you get the seed, you be provided with a production package for passion fruit from KARI and KHCP. Good Neighbours have agronomist that provide advisory services on the ground and KARI can also backstop.
4. Concerning the following sentiments:
i. One of the farmers from Kitale had his reservations about using farm manure citing virus attacks, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
There is no evidence that manure is a source of viruses. What may have happened is that the farmer used raw manure of which begun to utilize all the nitrogen as it continued to decompose. Well decomposed manure will contribute to soil quality (water retention), fertility and sometimes in management of soil pathogens.
ii. I have also seen farmers not bothering to till the land under the plant but just do holes and posts. Kindly advice me, a tractor is scheduled to be on the ground tomorrow? And if the yield under such a system would not change would I perhaps start on a two-acre farm?
If the farm has been farmed over time and evidence shows the formation of a hard pan then it is advisable to use a moldboard plough to break this hard pan. However there are those that advocate and promote conservation agriculture where minimum tillage is used to reduce soil erosion, reduce cost of land preparation, contribute to carbon sequestration etc. Whatever management system you use will depend on the final output. If one ploughs the land, the passion fruit can then be intercropped with other plants e.g. beans, indigenous vegetables, fodder crops to maximize output.
I hope that this helps
Dr. Lusike A. Wasilwa (PhD, Postdoc)
Horticulture and Industrial Crops
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
P. O. Box 57811-00200
Tel: +254 - 20 - 4183301 - 20, Extn: 2329
Direct line: +254- 20 - 4183323
Fax: +254 - 20- 4183344
Cell: +254- 733-971-245, +254- 726-551-561
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or
Horticultural news @http://www.hortinews.co.ke - The East African Fresh Produce Journal
Douglas Waudo, USAID-KHCP
Thank you Dr. Lusike for a very comprehensive response. Just wanted to add
that on behalf of USAID-KHCP, for further details on what the Project is
doing in the region, Cervin can contact out Western region Field Manager,
Mr. John Rotich; Tel: 0712 863 177; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Cordingley - Crop Nutrition Services
The best investment anyone can make when starting a new project is soil and water testing, no matter where they are. This gives us the information needed to design the whole soil management and fertilizer program...without this we are blind and the farmer can spend all their money on seed, fertilisers, irrigation equipment etc and yet the project will fail because the soils are in poor condition.
Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services Ltd.
P.O.Box 66437, Nairobi, Kenya
Mobile: +254 (0) 733 604069
Physical Address: Cooper Centre, Kaptagat Road, Loresho, Nairobi, Kenya.
I must say I am impressed. Kudos people.
I am organizing to receive soil and water samples hopefully before the weekend in Nairobi.
Kindly help me know how to pack them and any other information related to the process of soil and water sampling .
Jeremy Cordingley, Crop Nutrition Services
Thanks for the mail, we can certainly assist. We are specialists in the science of soil fertility management. I have attached the following documents for your perusal:
1) Our price list
2) How to take a soil sample - we also provide soil sample bags free of charge if you need
3) Our company profile
Samples can be sent by G4S to our physical Address: Crop Nutrition, Cooper Centre, Kaptagat Road, Loresho, and Nairobi, Kenya