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Most parts of the North Rift is largely known for maize production but due to attractive fortunes, some farmers slowly embrace fruit farming in a bid to add and earn quick income.

The business insight team visited some farmers who have embraced apple seedlings in Uasin Gishu County.

Allan Chelimo is one of the farmers who have embraced fruits farming for 15 years now.
His farm is located in Kiplome, Uasin Gishu county. The piece of land is full of apple seedlings, which Allan says he has been earning a lot of income from it.

Allan decided to quit his Job as an agriculture officer 15 years ago to focus on apple farming.

He sells his seedlings for between 400-500 shillings and he says the returns are impressive.

Adding that the number of hawkers found in different towns, and groceries selling apples is a clear indication of how popular the fruit has become.

Apples are planted in holes that are 60cm wide and 60cm deep spaced at 3 by 3m for better growth.

In each hole requires at least10 kg of fully decomposed manure mixing with the t soil and about 125g of single super phosphate fertilizer.

It is necessary to avoid shading of the young tree, however, low growing crops like legumes can be planted in between apple plants.

Diseases such as powdery mildew, leafy spot and apple scab are the major diseases hindering apple crops.

Horticultural Crops Directorate notes the area under apples in 2016 increased by 33 per cent while yield and value increased by 93 per cent and 75 per cent respectively compared to the previous year. This saw the fruits fetch Sh26.3 million with a production of 714 tons.

According to the recent Oxfam Organic survey, Kenya imports over 4000 tons of apples which represents about 160 million shillings.

Apples are rich in vitamins C, beta-carotene and B-complex as well as minerals such as potassium, phosphorous and calcium.

However Before venturing into apple seedlings farming, farmers are advised to consult their local agricultural officers to guidance on right variety for their soil and climate.

Seedlings are planted in holes that are 60cm wide and 60cm deep.
Planting requires at least10 kg full of decomposed manure.
Shading of young trees should be avoided.

 

Apple production increased by 33% in 2016.

The fruits fetched Sh26.3 million with a production of 714 tones.
Kenya imports over 4000 tons of apples which represents about 160 million shillings.

 

 

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