PEPINO MELON INVESTMENT

SOLANUM MURICATUM
​Pepino dulce is a small, unarmed, herbaceous plant or bush with a woody base and fibrous roots. Growth is erect or ascending to about 3 feet high and several feet across. It is similar in these respects to a small tomato vine, and like the tomato may need staking or other support.Picture

Common Names:
Pepino Dulce, Pepino, Melon Pear, Melon Shrub, Pear Mellon

Foliage
The bright green leaves are sparsely covered with very small hairs. In appearance the pepino dulce is much like a potato plant, but the leaves may take many forms–simple and entire, lobed, or divided into leaflets.

Distant Affinity: Tree Tomato, Tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea), Casana (Cyphomandra casana), Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopsersicum), Mexican Husk Tomato, Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa), Cape Gooseberry, Poha Berry (Physalis peruviana) and others.

Origin: The pepino dulce is native to the temperate Andean regions of Colombia, Peru and Chile. The plant is not known in the wild, and the details of it origin are not known. The fruit is grown commercially in New Zealand, Chile and Western Australia. The pepino dulce was being grown in San Diego before 1889 and was listed by Francisco Franceschi of Santa Barbara in 1897. Improved cultivars were imported into California from New Zealand and elsewhere, in more recent times the seedlings were introduced in Kenya.
Goldenscape Tree Africa stocks the healthy seedlings which we sell to our consumers.

PEPINO FARMING IN KENYA- GROWTH REQUIREMENTS
The plant likes a sunny or semi-shaded, frost-free location, sheltered from strong winds. It does well planted next to a south-facing wall or in a patio.

The pepino dulce does best in a fertile (but not too fertile), free draining, neutral soil ( pH of 6.5-7.5). It is not as tolerant of salinity as the tomato. Mulching will help suppress weed growth

The pepino dulce is quite sensitive to moisture stress as their root systems spread out and are quite shallow. Irrigation techniques are thus crucial for the health of the plants as well as for pollination, fruit set and quality of the fruit crop. Some growers feel that overhead sprinkling may even favor increased pollination. Microjets appear to deliver moisture better than trickle irrigation

The plants should be fertilized in a manner similar to a tomato plant, mixing in some well-rotted manure to the plant site several weeks in advance and supplementing with a 5-10-10 NPK granular fertilizer as needed. Soils that are too rich produce vigorous vegetative growth which can lead to reduced fruit set and quality, plus an increase in pest problems.

Picture

DESCRIPTION OF PEPINO SUPERFRUIT

The fruit show considerable diversity in size and shape. In the areas of its origin there are small oblong types with many seeds, while others are pear or heart-shaped with few or many seeds. Still others are round, slightly larger than a baseball and completely seedless. The colors also vary–completely purple, solid green or green with purple stripes, or cream colored with or without purple stripes. The fruit of cultivars grown in this country are usually round to egg-shaped, about 2 to 4 inches long, with some growing up to 6 inches. The skin is typically yellow or purplish green, often with numerous darker streaks or stripes. The flesh is greenish to white and yellowish-orange. Better quality fruit is moderately sweet, refreshing and juicy with a taste and aroma similar to a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew melon. In poor varieties there can be an unpleasant “soapy” aftertaste. The fruit matures 30 to 80 days after pollination.

Pruning of the pepino dulce is not needed unless the plant is being trained to a trellis. In this case treat it as one would a tomato vine. Opening the the fruits to light increases the purple striping and improves the general appearance.

PEPINO MELON FARMING IN KENYA – PROPAGATION
The pepino dulce can be grown from seeds, but is usually propagated vegetatively from cuttings. Three to five inch stem cuttings are taken leaving 4 or 5 leaves at the upper end. Treatment with rooting hormones will help increase uniformity in rooting and development of heavier root systems. The cuttings are then placed in a fast-draining medium and placed under mist or otherwise protected from excessive water loss. Bottom heat also is helpful. With the right conditions most of the cuttings quickly root and are ready for potting up in individual containers. Rooted cuttings set out after the danger of frost (February to April) should be large enough to start blooming shortly after planting. The fruit will then have time to grow and ripen during the warm summer months. When planted out, a spacing of about 2 to 3 ft. between bushes is recommended.

PEPINO FARMING INVESTMENT IN KENYA – PEST AND DISEASES
The plant is affected by many of the diseases and pests that afflict tomatoes and other solanaceous plants, including bacterial spot, anthracnose, and blights caused by Alternaria spp. and Phytophthora spp. The various pests include spider mite, cut worm, hornworm, leaf miner, flea beetle, Colorado potato beetle and others. Fruit fly is a serious pest where they are a problem. Greenhouse grown plants are particularly prone to attack by spider mites, white flies and aphids

PEPINO FARMING IN KENYA – NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS 
Pepino Melon breaks down into glucose for great energy to get you through your day and increases stamina. And it is also chocked full of great beta-carotene antioxidants that prevent disease. Pepino Melon is packed full of great nutrients and that’s why they call it a Super Fruit.LIVER DISEASES & LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
It helps with liver disease, lowers blood pressure, helps those that suffer from strokes to heal faster, and promotes cardiovascular health.CANCER PREVENTION & DIABETES
Pepino Melon can also help prevent cancer and diabetes tends to regulate blood sugar levels because of the high fiber content, plus lower cholesterol. Plus Pepino Melon is anti-inflammatory in action helping to sooth away your aches and pains.

NON ENDING VITAMINS
Pepino Melon has lots of Vitamin A, C, K and also B Vitamins, protein, plus iron and copper, which are essential for a healthy immune system, and calcium for bones, potassium which is needed for relaxing and lowering blood pressure, and Pepino is a good diuretic.

LOWER CHOLESTEROL
Pepino Melon has soluble fiber similar to oatmeal, which also helps to lower cholesterol, and it’s easy to digest. Plus the fiber also helps with constipation and it tends to sooth away gastric ulcers too!

EASE ANEMIA
Anemia is the most common complication of kidney disease. Apart from iron injection, diet treatment is also necessary. Pepino melon fruit can relieve anemia.

STOMACH DISORDERS 
Stomach discomforts like stomach pain, constipation and loss of appetite are also experienced by kidney disease patients. Stomach discomforts can be alleviated by pepino melon fruit.

Pepino Melon grows all over the world now and is very popular in Latin American and in Asia and a little bit new in Kenya.

Strawberry Diseases and Pests

BOTRYTIS (GREY MOULD)

Strawberry affected by botrytis or grey mould

Grey mould, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is a very common disease, causing a growth of fuzzy grey mould. It infects many plants, especially those grown where conditions are  so humid.
SYMPTOMS 

  • Under humid conditions fuzzy grey mould grows on affected buds, leaves, flowers or fruit
  • If humidity is low, infections may be contained within discrete spots, but if it is high they can spread rapidly
  • Above-ground parts of many plants, particularly buds and flowers, shrivel and die
  • Small black seed-like structures form in infected material (these are often overlooked)
  • On soft fruit, particularly gooseberries, Botrytis infection kills branches, but the fuzzy grey mould is seldom evident
  • On strawberries, grapes and sometimes other fruits, Botrytisinfection leads to a soft brown rot, often as the fruit is ripening

CONTROL

  Non-chemical control

  • Hygiene is very important, especially under glass. Remove dead and dying leaves, buds and flowers promptly 
  • Do not leave dead plant material lying around
  • Reduce humidity by improving ventilation and do not overcrowd plants

Chemical control

No fungicides are approved for use against grey mould by gardeners. Products containing plant and fish oil blends (Vitax Organic 2 in 1) may be used, but are not recommended by the manufacturers for grey mould control and are unlikely to have much impact. Use of other fungicides to control other disease problems may give some incidental control of grey mould, but this is not guaranteed by the manufacturers.

POWDERY MILDEW

Strawberry affected by powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease of the foliage, stems and occasionally flowers and fruit where a superficial fungal growth covers the surface of the plant.
Powdery mildews usually have narrow host ranges comprising of just a few related plants. For example, the powdery mildew affecting peas is a different species from the one attacking apples.

 SYMPTOMS

  • White, powdery spreading patches of fungus on upper or lower leaf surfaces, flowers and fruit
  • Tissues sometimes become stunted or distorted, such as leaves affected by rose powdery mildew
  • In many cases the infected tissues show little reaction to infection in the early stages, but in a few specific cases, for example on Rhamnus, the infection provokes a strong color change in the infected parts, which turn dark brown
  • Sometimes the fungal growth is light and difficult to see despite discoloration of the plant tissues, e.g. on the under surface ofrhododendron leaves

CONTROL
Non-chemical control 
Destroying fallen infected leaves will reduce the amount of infectious spores next spring. Mulching and watering reduces water stress and helps make plants less prone to infection. Promptly pruning out infected shoots will reduce subsequent infection.

Most powdery mildew fungi have a host range restricted to a relatively few, related plants, but these can include wild relatives which can be sources of infection, e.g. wild crab apples may be sources of infection for apple orchards.

Seed producers sometimes offer powdery mildew-resistant cultivars of both vegetables and ornamental plants, check catalogs for details.

Chemical control
Because most of the growth of powdery mildews is found on the plant surface they are easily targeted with fungicides.

Edibles and ornamentals: Myclobutanil (Bayer Garden Systhane Fungus Fighter concentrate) can be used on ornamentals, apples, pears, gooseberries and blackcurrants.

Ornamentals only: tebuconazole (Bayer Garden Multirose Concentrate 2) and triticonazole (Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra) can be used on ornamentals. Some formulations of myclobutanil, tebuconazole and triticonazole contain insecticides to control pests. Avoid these unless an insect pest problem is specifically identified.

GLASSHOUSE RED SPIDER MITE
Red spider mites
Glasshouse red spider mite is one of the most troublesome pests of greenhouse plants, houseplants. It can also attack garden plants in the summer. It is a sap-sucking mite that attacks the foliage of plants, causing a mottled appearance, and in severe cases, leaf loss and even plant death.SYMPTOMS

  • On leaves: Plants infested with glasshouse red spider mite show a fine pale mottling on the upper leaf surface. The underside of the leaves have many tiny yellowish green mites and white cast skins and egg shells. These are more easily seen with the aid of a x10 hand lens
  • On plants: In heavy infestations, you may see fine silk webbing on the plants, and the leaves lose most of their green color and dry up or fall off. Heavily infested plants are severely weakened and may die.

CONTROL

Glasshouse red spider mite can be difficult to control as it breeds rapidly in warm conditions and some strains of the mite are resistant to some pesticides. Biological control is a viable alternative to using pesticides, it can give good control and as it avoids resistance problems and the risk of spray damage to plants.

Non-chemical control
Cultural.
Remove severely infested plants from glasshouses in late summer before lower temperatures and shorter days induce the females to seek sheltered places where they will remain dormant for the winter period.  To reduce overwintering mites to a minimum, clear out plant debris, old canes, stakes and plant-ties before the spring. 

Empty glasshouses can be washed down thoroughly with a glasshouse disinfectant.  Weeds in and around the glasshouse should be kept down as these can act as hosts for the pest.Plants grown at high temperatures in dry, overcrowded glasshouses are more liable to severe infestation.  Regular syringing of plants with clear water and maintaining a high humidity reduce the danger of severe attacks, but will not on its own control this pest.

Biological. 
A predatory mite (Phytoseiulus persimilis) feeds on the eggs and active stages of glasshouse red spider mite. It needs good light and daytime temperatures of 21ºC (70ºF) or more if it is to breed faster than the pest. Its effective period of use is normally April to October in greenhouses; June to September outdoors.

As the predator is susceptible to pesticides, biological control cannot be used in conjunction with most chemical controls. The exceptions are those with very short persistence, such as plant oils or extracts (e.g. Vitax Organic 2 in 1 Pest and Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit & Veg) or fatty acids (e.g. Bayer Organic Pest Free, Doff Greenfly and Blackfly Killer, Bayer Natria Bug Control) or urea/mineral lattice (SB Plant Invigorator), which can be used to keep mite numbers down before it is time to introduce the predator.

Note that Phytoseiulus persimilis will not control other species of red spider mite, such as fruit tree red spider mite, citrus red spider mite, box red spider mite and conifer red spider mite.

Phytoseiulus and compatible biological controls for most other greenhouse pests can be obtained by mail order from specialist suppliers.

Chemical control

  • Pesticides containing  acetamiprid (e.g. Bug Clear Ultra) or thiocloprid and methiocarb (e.g. Bayer Provado Ultimate Bug Killer, Aerosol)  are available for use on ornamental plants only
  • Edible plants can be sprayed with plant oils, plant extracts or fatty acids. These pesticides may require frequent applications to control the mite.
Other diseases and pests that affect strawberry include:
Fungal leaf spot
Strawberry black eye
Birds
Red core
Strawberry seed beetle
Verticillium wilt
Vine weevil

STRAWBERRY

mature strawberries ready for harvest

During the growing season, give strawberry plants a liquid potash feed – such as a tomato feed – every 7 to 14 days.  Application of  general fertilizer such as grow more at a rate of 50g per sq m 

In a heated greenhouse or conservatory, it is possible to bring forward flowering by several weeks, so long as the temperature does not go above 16°C (61°F), because this  will inhibit flowering. You will also need to hand pollinate the flowers.

As fruits start to develop, tuck straw underneath them to prevent the strawberries from rotting on the soil. Otherwise use individual fiber mats if these are not already in position. The straw or matStrawberries in containers can also be grown in an unheated greenhouse, which encourages an even earlier crop, by 10–14 days. In a heated greenhouse or conservatory, it is possible to bring forward flowering by several weeks, so long as the temperature does not go above 16°C (61°F), because this will inhibit flowering. You will also need to hand pollinate the flowers.ting will also help to suppress weeds. Weeds that do emerge should be pulled out by hand.

After cropping has finished, remove the old leaves from summer-fruiting strawberries with secateurs or hand shears. Also remove the straw mulch, fiber mat, or black polythene, to prevent a build-up of pests and diseases. 
Expect strawberry plants to crop successfully for three years before replacing them. Crop rotation is recommended to minimize the risk of an attack by pests and diseases in the soil.

strawberry plantation

SOME VARIETIES GROWN IN KENYA

Pajaro  Variety
It is short day variety that has a symmetrical shape, color and flavor. It is late maturing,with low production hence not popular.

Chandler
 Variety

The vigorous, high-yielding, Chandler strawberry plants produce very desirable strawberries. Chandler strawberries are very large, firm, and produce within 60 -75 days. The strawberries vary from being long and wedge-shaped to large and conical. They are a brilliant red color, glossy, and have an exceptional flavor Chandler strawberries are good for eating fresh or shipping and are very good for freezing. They are, however not the best for processing

Aiko Variety
Uniform, large, long fruit, of conical shape, with a pointed end, firm flesh, pale red color, slightly sweet, very resistant to transport and high yield.

Fern Variety
It is a day neutral variety that is high yielding with firm skin and sweet berry. Good for fresh market and processing.

FERTILIZERS, PRUNING, IRRIGATION & SPACING
FERTILIZERS
Avoid planting with fertilizers to avoid dehydration of the splits, since the plant goes into dormancy for 14 day. Within the first month deflower the first flowers and the second flowers to prevent premature fruiting. After 30 days fix CAN 10gms per hole in between the plants. The second month, top dress with NPK 17:17:17, 10gms (1 tablespoon) per hole between the plants. Fertilizers should be used to maintain soil fertility and maximize plant growth and fruit production. Strawberry being a heavy feeder needs to be regularly boosted with foliar feeds e.g easy grow vegetative, flower and fruit, calcium to firm the skin of the fruit and to decrease fruit deformities. Strawberries are self pollinating but cross pollination achieves a better yield.

SPACING
Dig holes of approximately 7.5cm deep, 30cm between rows and 30cm between plants giving a plant population of 75,000 plants per Ha. Apply 2gms/hole of a recommended nematicide e.g mocap , bionematode, nembedicine etc.

PRUNNING
During the cold and rainy season, the strawberries go into a rest period, at this stage all old and diseased leaves are removed off the plant to reduce infection from diseases or pests increase aeration and allow re-growth of foliage. Removed leaves should be collected and burnt outside the field. Cut off runners regularly except for those needed for planting. One or two runners can be rooted for the next planting. After seven month thin the plants to leave the mother and three daughters. The thinning can be established elsewhere

IRRIGATION
In the first month of establishment water daily in the evening for 30 days. This will help in root establishment and initial vegetative growth. From the second month onwards, after applying mulch, water twice or thrice a week depending on the weather. Best method of watering is through drip ,watering can or low pressure hose pipe.

SOILS

  • Grows on wide range of well drained soils. Although, deep sandy loams, rich in humus are most ideal, with good moisture retaining capacity.
  • The drainage should be sufficient to keep the water level at least 80 – 100cm  below the soil surface. Poor  drainage makes the strawberries weak and susceptible to diseases.
  • The ideal soil pH range is 5.5 – 6.5. Avoid saline soils.

STRAWBERRY RELATED LINKS

Diseases affecting Oranges

THE GREENING DISEASE
Citrus fruits affected by the Greening disease
It is caused by a bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter africanus). The disease is transmitted by citrus psyllids (Trioza erytreae) and through use of budwood obtained from diseased trees. The disease is not soil-borne. It is not seed-borne and it is not mechanically transmitted.
Symptoms on the leaves show mottling, yellowing of veins or zinc defiency (i.e. small leaves, interveinal chlorosis and brush-like growth). Zinc deficiency induced by greening is confined to one or several branches within a tree (sectoral infection).
Trees infected by greening are distributed within the orchard randomly. Affected branches bear few fruits and in some cases do not fruit.
The affected fruits are usually under-developed, reduced in size, lopsided, start to colour from the stem end instead of the stylar end as in the case with healthy fruits. Affected fruits drop prematurely. In seedy citrus varieties, seed abortion occurs. Severely diseased trees exhibit open growth, sparse chlorotic foliage, dieback of branches and severe fruit drop.
In Kenya, the disease is not found below 800 m above sea level because both the bacterium causing the disease and citrus psyllids are sensitive to high temperatures. Optimum temperature for symptom expression is 21 to 24°C; symptoms are masked above 26° C. The disease is especially destructive to sweet oranges and mandarins. It is less severe on lemon, grapefruit, citron and West Indian lime.
Rootstocks have no effect on greening disease.
CONTROL OF GREENING DISEASE
Use disease-free budwood
Strict control of citrus psyllids.
Very severely infected trees not producing economical yield should be up-rooted. If only a few branches are affected, they can be pruned out.
Diseased young citrus trees should be replaced, as they will never bear fruit
ANTHRACNOSE

Affected plants with anthracnose

There are three anthracnose diseases of citrus caused by Colletotrichum spp.

Post-bloom fruit drop
This affects flowers of all citrus species and induces drop of fruitlets and is caused by C. acutatum. Lime anthracnose, which attacks all juvenile tissues of only Mexican lime, is also caused by this Colletotrichumspecies. C. gloeosporioides causes a rind blemish on fruit, especially grapefruit, in the field.

C. acutatum infects petals and produces water-soaked lesions that eventually turn pink and then orange brown as the fungus sporulates. Infected fruitlets abscise at the base of the ovary, and the floral disk, calyx, and peduncle remain attached to the tree, forming structures commonly referred to as ‘buttons’. Leaves surrounding an affected inflorescence are usually small, chlorotic, and twisted and have enlarged veins. Warm, wet weather favours disease development

Lime anthracnose 
It affects only Mexican lime. It attacks flowers, young leaves, young shoots and fruits. Infected fruitlets abscise, and ‘buttons’ are produced as in postbloom fruit drop. In severe cases, young leaves become totally blighted and drop, and shoot tips die-back, producing wither tip symptoms. The fruit lesions are often large and deep, and cause fruit distortion. The disease is favoured by warm, wet weather.

Rind blemish on fruit 
The disease is caused by C. gloeosporioides. It is particularly severe on grapefruits. The blemish appears as a superficial, reddish brown discolouration, often in the form of tear stains, which usually appears following prolonged light rains in warm weather.

CONTROL OF ANTHRACNOSE

  • Avoid overhead irrigation (opt for under-tree sprinklers where feasible)
  • Wide tree spacing to reduce relative humidity within tree canopy
  • Pruning of dead tree tissues
  • Copper preventive sprays
 PHAEORAMULARIA FRUIT & LEAF SPOT
Citrus affected by phaeoramularia and leaf spot
The disease is caused by fungus Phaeoramularia angolensis. The disease is favored by wet, cool conditions. On leaves, the fungus produces circular, mostly solitary (single) spots that are up to 10 mm in diameterwith light brown or greyish centers. Each spot is usually surrounded by a yellow halo. Occasionally, the thin necrotic tissue in the centres of old spots falls out, creating a shot-hole effect.
The disease is caused by fungus Phaeoramularia angolensis. The disease is favored by wet, cool conditions. On leaves, the fungus produces circular, mostly solitary (single) spots that are up to 10 mm in diameterwith light brown or greyish centers. Each spot is usually surrounded by a yellow halo. Occasionally, the thin necrotic tissue in the centres of old spots falls out, creating a shot-hole effect.
During rains, leaf spots on young leaves often join together ending in generalized Chloris. Premature defoliation takes place when leaf petioles are infected. On fruit, the spots are circular to irregular in shape or joining together and surrounded by yellow halos. Most spots measure up to 8 mm in diameter. On young fruits, symptoms often start with nipple-like swellings without yellow halos.
Spots on mature fruits are normally flat, and often a dark brown to black sunken margin similar to anthracnose around the spots is observed. Fruits of more than 40 mm in diameter are somehow resistant to the disease. The disease has been observed on all citrus species including grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, pummelo and orange. Grapefruit, mandarin, pummelo and orange are very susceptible. Lemon is less susceptible and lime is least susceptible. The disease can reduce yield by 50 to 100%
CONTROL.
The disease can be effectively be controlled by a number of fungicides including copper based products.
Successive use of coppers may cause stippling (dot-like marks) on the fruits.
The diseases listed above are not comprehensive, also there are a number of pests that affect the citrus fruit eg the citrus bud mite, mealy bugs, nematodes, citrus black flies extra extra,

PASSION FRUITS

Mature Purple fruit Passion

Passion fruits that are mainly grown in Kenya are the purple passion, the yellow passion, giant passion, banana passion and sweet passion. The most common is the purple passion going by scientific name passifloraedullis.


DISEASES

There are several diseases that affect passion fruits categorized into bacteria diseases, pytoplasma, fungus diseases etc.
To view some diseases that can affect you passion fruits, symptoms and control continue scrolling down.

Ripe Purple passion

Matured yellow passion fruit

VARIETIES
Below are different passion fruits grown in Kenya and their requirement to grow.

  • SWEET PASSION (Passiflora ligularis)
  • Regarded as the best tasting passion fruit in the world. The hard-shelled orange-yellow fruit is of excellent quality and has a white aromatic pulp. The vine is easily recognized by its heart shaped leaves. The fruit is between 6.5 and 8 cm long and between 5.1 and 7 cm in diameter. The vines grow on many soil types but light to heavy sandy loams with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 are the most suitable. Excellent drainage is absolutely necessary. Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter and low in salts. If the soil is too acid, lime must be applied. Because the vines are shallow-rooted, they will benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch.
    Picture

    Sweet Passion seedlings at GTA Nurseries

  • YELLOW PASSION (Passiflora flavicarp
    The yellow passion fruit has somewhat less ascorbic acid than the purple but is richer in total acid (mainly citric) and in carotene     content. It is an excellent source of niacin and a good source of riboflavin. The yellow passion fruit is tropical or near-tropical. It is grown from near sea-level up to an elevation of 2,000 ft (600 m).
  • PURPLE PASSION (Passsiflora edulis)
    Its  one of the most common passion fruit grown by farmers in Kenya,  The purple passion fruit is subtropical. It grows and produces well between altitudes of 1,900 to 2,000ft. The fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years).

         A well-distributed rainfall of 1000 mm to 2,000 mm per year is suitable for passion fruit production. Excess rainfall causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases.

Fertilization:
Passion fruit vines are vigorous growers and require regular fertilizing. A good choice is 10-5-20 NPK applied at the rate of 3 pounds per plant 4 times a year. Too much nitrogen results in vigorous foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Passion fruit vines should always be watched for deficiencies, particularly in potassium and calcium, and of less importance, magnesium. 
Spraying with foliar feed and trace elements every three months is also recommendedPlants that have been damaged by frost should receive a generous fertilizing after the weather has warmed.

Planting:
It is highly recommended to grow purple Passion Fruit grafted on Yellow Passion rootstocks. Propagation is by seed, stem cutting, or grafted propagules. Planting holes of 45 cm × 45 cm × 45 cm should be dug well before planting.

Transplanting of grafted plants is done at the beginning of the rainy season preferably early in the morning or late in the afternoon unless irrigation is available. Ensure that the roots are not flooded and prune long roots back. In the drier areas watering, mulching, and in some cases, shading of young plants is required immediately after transplanting.

Pruning:
Pruning is necessary to keep the vines within bounds, to make harvest easier and to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth. In warm winter climates prune immediately after harvest. In areas with cool winters prune in early spring. As a a general rule remove all weak growth and cut back vigorous growth by at least one third. In very hot climates allow a thick canopy of foliage to grow around the fruit to prevent sunburn. 

Almost ripe yellow passion fruit

Propagation:
Passion fruit vines are usually grown from seeds. With the yellow form seedling variation provides cross-pollination and helps overcome the problem of self-sterility. Seed planted soon after removal from the fruit will germinate in 10 to 20 days. Cleaned and stored seeds have a lower and slower rate of germination. Seeds should be planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep in beds, and seedlings may be transplanted when 10 inches high. If taller (up to 3 feet), the tops should be cut back and the plants heavily watered. 

Soil:
Passion fruit vines are grown on many soil types but light to heavy sandy loams, of medium texture are most suitable, and pH should be from 6.5 to 7.5. If the soil is too acid, lime must be applied. Good drainage is essential to minimize the incidence of collar rot.

Spacing:
The recommended spacing is 2 m between rows and 3 m within rows.


Diseases that affect passion fruits and control
Below are a number of diseases that affect passion fruits 

  • GREASE SPOT

This is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas passiflorae and is one of the most serious diseases of passionfruit, It infects leaves, stems and fruit, leading to severe crop losses and even death of vines.

Symptoms On leaves

it causes irregular olive-green to brown lesions, often surrounded by a light-yellow halo. If unchecked severe defoliation can result. On the stems of young growth the first signs of infection are small slightly sunken, dark-green, water-soaked spots. These develop into light-brown, markedly depressed areas.

Symptoms On older wood
symptoms range from small, slightly sunken, smooth, dark-green circular spots, to large, dark-brown, cracked lesions, which may completely girdle shoots and kill vines. Early signs of infection on the fruit are small, dark-green, oily spots. These develop into roughly circular, greasy, or water-soaked patches. Premature fruit drop and fruit decay result.  However, a condition known as hard grease spot, also caused by Pseudomonas passiflorae, has become prevalent on passionfruit.The symptoms are similar to ordinary grease spot except that the fruit infections dry out and cause a hard brown patch on the skin, instead of leading to decay. This results in a downgrading of fruit and loss of income.

Control
Fertilizers or a copper chloride and mancozeb mixture can control the intensity of the disease, but are not a cure.
To avoid infection, measures that may be adopted include planting seeds from healthy plants and using existing healthy areas. Fungicide controls can aid in preventing further infection.

  • BACTERIAL BLAST BLAST

Bacterial blast blast is caused by a bacterium, Pseudomnas syringae, which is a relative of the grease spot pathogen.

Symptoms and Control
The symptoms of the two diseases are similar, and control measures are the same. Where good control of grease spot is obtained, blast should not be a problem.

  • BROWN SPOT

This is a serious fungous disease, caused by Alternaria passiflorae, which affects leaves, stems and fruit. It occurs mainly in spring and early summer.

Symptoms On leaves
small brown spots appear first. These enlarge, develop a lighter-coloured central area, and become irregular or angular in shape.

On stems
Elongated dark-brown lesions appear, usually near leaf axils or where stems have rubbed against the supporting wire. Infection spreads from these points and whenever the stem becomes completely girdled the shoot suddently wilts and fruits collapse.

On fruit
Spots first appear as pinpricks, which enlarge into sunken circular lesions with brownish centres. Eventually the rind round the diseased area becomes wrinkled and the fruits shrivel and drop.

Control
Managing this disease involves a combination of using pathogen-free seedlings, eliminating infected areas, and improving ventilation and light conditions. Copper-based fungicides on injured areas can prevent the spread of disease

  • SEPTORIA BLOTCH

Caused by the fungus Septoria passiflorae, this disease attacks leaves, stems and fruit. Even a light infection results in defoliation and premature fall and loss of fruit.

Symptoms On leaves
Tiny superficial, irregular, light-brown spots appear, quickly followed by severe defoliation as infection spreads.

On stems
Spots similar to those on leaves appear. They become deeply sunken but remain minute.

On fruit
The infection initially appears as small spots, similar to those on the leaves and stems. The spots develop into extensive superficial leasions causing premature drop and fruit decay.

Control
Managing this disease involves a combination of using pathogen-free seedlings, eliminating infected areas, and improving ventilation and light conditions. Copper-based fungicides on injured areas can prevent the spread of disease

  • BITTER ROT

The fungus Glomerella cingulata causes this disease and can be responsible for significant fruit loss, especially in hot and humid conditions. Infection is facilitated by any damage to the skin of the fruit.

Symptoms 
Dark, soft lesions rapidly develop on infected fruit that can colonise whole fruit. Infected fruit will fall to the ground.

Control
The routine protective fungicide programme based on copper sprays will afford protection but under stringent infection conditions may need to be repeated at short intervals in the height of very sunny day

Picking up and removing infected fruit is a good hygienic practice.

  • SCLEROTINIA

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the causal pathogen of this disease.

Symptoms
It can affect stems where lesions can enlarge to cause a girdling and collapse of the shoots above the lesion. The hard dark sclerotes which are a means of carrying the fungus over from one season to the next can often be seen in infected shoots.

It can also infect fruit with infections rapidly becoming pale brown lesions that can develop over a whole fruit. With advanced infections a mass of fluffy white fungal growth is produced in which the black sclerotes can be seen. Infected fruit falls to the ground, and the sclerotes will carry the infection potential over to future seasons.

Control 
Where Sclerotinia has been a problem application of a suitable fungicide after pruning when the main structure of the plant can be covered is worthwhile.

Orchard hygiene is also important. Infected fruit should be picked up and removed from the orchard, and infected shoots cut out below the lesion and destroyed. This will ensure that the sclerotes are removed and minimise the carryover of infection within the orchard.

  • CROWN CANKER

This is a lethal condition of passionfruit, causing sudden wilting, leaf and fruit drop and death. It has been a major factor in limiting the commercial production of passionfruit

A number of Fusarium species have been isolated from plants suffering from crown canker, the most prevalent of which is Fusarium redolens. Other fungi known to be involved include Fusariumavenaceum, Gibberella baccata, and Gibberella saubinetii.

Symptoms
The condition usually occurs close to ground level, centred on wounds caused by frost, growth cracks, mechanical damage, fertilizer or herbicide burn, or by pest injury such as that caused by slugs or snails. Infections often progress to girdle the stem at or near ground level.

Control
It is  good practice to keep the base of the plant clear of grass and weeds, which favour fungal growth and harbour slugs and snails. Where collars are placed around stems to protect against herbicide damage, slug pellets placed inside the collar will help control these pests.

Plants suffering from crown canker should be carefully removed and destroyed by burning.

  • THIELAVIOPSIS


Thielaviopsis Root Rot This is another fungous disease which can affect passionfruit growing on heavy soils. It is caused by Thielaviopsis basicola.

Symptoms 
Infected plants are unthrifty, with poor-coloured foliage. The roots show signs of decay and are often blackened.

Control 
With mild infections sometimes a severe pruning to balance the top growth with the loss of roots can keep the plants going, but severely infected plants should be removed and replaced.

  • WOODINESSWoodiness may be caused by the cucumber mosaic virus, the passionfruit woodiness virus (a member of the potato virus Y group) or alfalfa mosaic virus, or a combination of these or possibly other viruses as well.


Symptoms
On leaves it causes yellow spots, flecks or mottling, and there is crinkling or distortion. It also shows as shortened inter nodes on the stems, bunching of foliage and stunted growth.

On fruit it causes thick, hard, distorted woody rinds, often with characteristic scabs and cracks. Pulp yields are much reduced.

Control
Plant only virus-free plants and remove and replace severely infected vines. The disease is transmitted by aphids and possibly also by pruning tools. Once vines become infected there is no known control. Obviously infected plants should be rogued out and destroyed. Virus symptoms are minimised by promoting vigorous vine growth and where necessary aphids should be rigorously controlled.

In older blocks or where some vines may be infected, disinfecting pruning tools between vines or parts of a block could be worthwhile. This can be achieved by dipping pruning tools in a 1% solution of hypochlorite (bleach) for a few seconds, neutralise by a dip in vinegar.

ORANGE FRUITS  INVESTMENT 

 

The orange tree is an evergreen, flowering tree, with an average height of 9 to 10 m (30 to 33 ft), although some very old specimens can reach 15 m (49 ft). Its oval leaves, alternately arranged, are 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) long and have crenulate margins.
Some of the varieties grown in Kenya are

  • Sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis)
  • Limes (C. aurantifolia)
  • Grapefruits (C. paradisi)
  • Lemons (C. limon)
  • Mandarins (C. reticulata).

Being a citrus fruit, the orange is acidic: its pH levels are as low as 2.9, and as high as 4.0.

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS AND SOIL PH
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus

Sweet oranges

is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0° C are injurious to the trees and at 13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.

Depending on the scion/ rootstock combination, citrus trees grow on a wide range of soils varying from sandy soils to those high in clay. Soils that are good for growing are well-drained, medium-textured, deep and fertile. Waterlogged or saline soils are not suitable and a pH range of 5.5 to 6.0 is ideal. In acidic soil, citrus roots do not grow well, and may lead to copper toxicity. On the other hand at pH above 6, fixation of trace elements take place (especially zinc and iron) and trees develop deficiency symptoms. A low pH may be corrected by adding dolomite lime (containing both calcium and magnesium)

Picture

Grafted healthy oranges seedlings at our Nurseries

 

A citrus orchard needs continuous soil moisture to develop and produce, and water requirement reaches a peak between flowering and ripening. However, many factors such as temperature, soil type, location, plant density and crop age influence the quantity of water required. Well-distributed annual rainfall of not less than 1000 mm is needed for fair crop. In most cases, due to dry spells, irrigation is necessary. Under rain-fed conditions, flowering is seasonal.
There is a positive correlation between the onset of a rainy season and flower break. With irrigation flowering and picking season could be controlled by water application during dry seasons. Irrigation systems involving mini sprinklers irrigating only soil next to citrus trees have been developed as an efficient and water conserving irrigation method.

PLANTING GUIDE OF CITRUS

  • Select seeds from healthy mother trees for root stocks
  • Hot water treat seeds at 50° C for 10 minutes
  • Seeds perform better when planted soon after they are extracted
  • Sow seeds in seedbeds or in polythene bags. Seeds germinate in 2 to 3 weeks
  • Water the seeds regularly, preferably twice a day until they germinate
  • Seedlings are normally ready for budding when reaching pencil thickness or 6 to 8 months after germination

HOW TRANSPLANTING IS DONE 

  • Transplant in the field at onset of rains.
  • Clear the field and dig planting holes 60 x 60 x 60 cm well before the onset of rains.
  • At transplanting use well-rotted manure with topsoil.
  • Spacing varies widely, depending on elevation, rootstock and variety. Generally, trees need a wider spacing at sea level than those transplanted at higher altitudes. Usually the plant density varies from 150 to 500 trees per ha, which means distances of 4 x 5 m (limes and lemons), 5 x 6 m (oranges, grapefruits and mandarins) or 7 x 8 m (oranges, grapefruits and mandarins). In some countries citrus is planted in hedge rows.
  • It is very important to ensure that seedlings are not transplanted too deep.
  • After transplanting, the seedlings ought to be at the same height or preferably, somewhat higher than in the nursery.
  • Under no circumstances must the graft union ever be in contact with the soil or with mulching material if used.


CITRUS MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

  • Keep the trees free of weeds.
  • Maintain a single stem up to a height of 80-100 cm.
  • Remove all side branches / rootstock suckers.
  • Pinch or break the top branch at a height of 100 cm to encourage side branching.
  • Allow 3-4 scaffold branches to form the framework of the tree.
  • Remove side branches including those growing inwards.
  • Ensure all diseased and dead branches are removed regularly.
  • Careful use of hand tools is necessary in order to avoid injuring tree trunks and roots. Such injuries may become entry points for diseases.
  • As a general rule, if dry spells last longer than 3 months, irrigation is necessary to maintain high yields and fruit quality. Irrigation could be done with buckets or a hose pipe but installation of some kind of irrigation system would be ideal.

Grape fruits

FERTILIZERS
For normal growth development (high yield and quality fruits), citrus trees require a sufficient supply of fertilizer and manuring. No general recommendation regarding the amounts of nutrients can be given because this depends on the fertility of the specific soil. Professional, combined soil and leaf analyses would provide right information on nutrient requirements.

In most cases tropical soils are low in organic matter. To improve them at least 20 kg (1 bucket) of well-rotted cattle manure or compost should be applied per tree per year as well as a handful of rock phosphate. On acid soils 1-2 kg of agricultural lime can be applied per tree spread evenly over the soil covering the root system. Application of manure or compost makes (especially grape-) fruits sweeter (farmer experience).

Nitrogen can be supplied by inter cropping citrus trees with legume crops such as mucuna, cowpeas, clover or dolichos beans, and incorporating the plant material into the soil once a year. Mature trees need much more compost/well rotted manure than young trees to cater for more production of fruit.
Conventional fertilization depend on soil types as well.

DISEASES AND CONTROL
There are a large number of citrus diseases caused by bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi and viruses. The organic citrus disease management consists in a 3-step system:

Lemon

  • Use of disease-free planting material to avoid disease problems
  • Choosing root stocks and cultivars that are tolerant or resistant to prevalent diseases
  • Application of fungicides such as copper, sulphur, clay powder and fennel oil. Copper can control several disease problems. However, it must not be forgotten that high Copper accumulations in the soil is toxic for soil microbial life and reduce the cation exchange capacity

TAMARILLO FRUITS

Ready for harvest tamarillo fruits

Tamarillo best known by the name tree tomatoes in Kenya  is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 3-4 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit set. 

CLIMATE, SOIL REQUIREMENT & GROWTH

The tamarillo prefers subtropical climate, they grow in many parts of kenya with rainfall between 600 and 4000 millimeters and annual temperatures between 15 and 20 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. It is assumed that fruit set is affected by night temperatures. Areas where citrus are cultivated provide good conditions for tamarillos. Tamarillo plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, although they are not very demanding  However, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow naturally on soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5. they are as well planted by irrigation as they also do well.

VARIETIES
The main varieties grown in Kenya are the Gold-mine, Inca red, Rothamer, Solid gold and Ruby red. 

 

SEEDS GROWTH
Most farmers in Kenya use seeds as a means of Propagation but its also possible by the use of  using cuttings.Seedlings first develop a straight, about 1.5 to 1.8 meters tall trunk, before they branch out. Propagation by seeds is easy and ideal in protected environments. Seedlings should be kept in the nursery until they reach a height of 1 to 1.5 meters for efficient growth. 

Picture

Healthy Tamarillo (tree tomatoes) seedlings at our Nurseries

CUTTINGS GROWTH
Plants grown from cuttings branch out earlier and result in more shrub-like plants that are more suitable for exposed sites. Cuttings should be made from basal and aerial shoots, and should be free of pathogenic viruses. Plants grown from cuttings should be kept in the nursery until they reach a height of 0.5 to 1 meter.
The most easy way to grow tamarillo is through seedlings
The tree grows very quickly and is able to carry fruits after 1.5 to 2 years though in some favorable conditions they carry fruits in a lesser span of time. The plant is day length-insensitive. The fruits do not mature simultaneously, unless the tree has been pruned.
A single tree can produce more than 30 kg fruits per year, an orchard yields in 15 to 17 tons per hectare. One single mature tree in good soil will bear more fruit than a normal family can eat in about 3 months.

PLANTING AND PRUNING

 The distance from one plant to the next should be 4 feet and space between one row and the next should be 5 feet. Dig 1.5 M by 1.5 M  Mix one and a half wheelbarrow of well-prepared compost (chickens and pig manure are preferred) with two spadefuls of topsoil to plant the seed-lings. Leave a shallow depression in every plant for placing the mulching material – only 1 feet of the tree tomato seedling should be buried while planting just enough to cover the root hairs. Selection of planting site is very important.
When the tree is about 1 to 1.5 meters in height, it is advisable to cut the roots on one side and lean the tree to the other (in the direction of the midday sun at about 30 to 45 degrees). This allows fruiting branches to grow all along the trunk rather than just at the top. An acre can be planted 900 – 1200 tree seedlings.

PEST CONTROL & FERTILIZATION 
When planting  Tamarillo’s approximately 200 grams of diammonium sulfate should be applied in each and every plant. After two months of planting each and every plant should be supplied with Ammonium nitrate or urea (the white fertilizer) in 250 grams per plant in a span of 4 months for 4 years. .
Tree tomato is fairly resistant to most diseases and pests. However, the tree is prone to powdery mildew, which causes the leaves to fall off. Application of copper oxychloride (allowed in organic farming) can control the disease. Neem extracts can also be used to control the disease. The main pests that attack the tree include the aphids, thrips whiteflies and nematodes. Pests can be prevented by continu-ous application of plant extracts (chilies, African marigold, garlic, neem) at least three times.

A killogramme of tree tomato fruits sells between Ksh70-100

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF TREE TOMATOES 

  • Tamarillos are one of the very low calorie fruits. 100 g of fresh fruit contain just 31 calories. They contain slightly more calories, fat, and protein than tomatoes. (100 g tomato has 18 calories). Nevertheless, they have good amounts of health benefiting plant nutrients such as dietary fiber (3.3 mg or 9% of RDA), minerals, anti-oxidants, and vitamins.
  • Acidic flavor (sourness) of tree tomatoes mainly comes from citric acid. The other important acid in them is malic acid.
  • The ORAC value (antioxidant strength) of 100 g fresh tamarillos is 1659 TE (Trolex equivalents). Their antioxidant value largely derived from poly-phenolic, flavonol and anthocyanidin compounds. Some of these phytochemicals include chlorogenic acid, kaempferol, and anthocyanin pigments such as cyanidin glycosides, especially concentrated in their skin. Scientific studies suggest that chlorogenic acid help lower blood sugar levels in type-II diabetes mellitus.
  • Yellow and gold variety tamarillo contains more vitamin A and carotenes than red varieties. However, red variety has more anthocyanin pigments. In addition, yellow tamarillos are a good source of carotenes, and xanthins. These compounds possess antioxidant properties and, together with vitamin A, are essential for good visual health. Further, vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucusa and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Tree tomato is an average source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together, these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.
  • They are indeed very good source of electrolyte, potassium. 100 g fresh fruit has 321 mg or 7% of this mineral. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure; thus, counters the bad influences of sodium. In addition, the fruit contains a small amount of minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.

MANGOES FARMING INVESTMENT IN KENYA

The mango is a juicy stone fruit (drupe) belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees, cultivated mostly for edible fruit. The mango is native to South Asia,from where it has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics.
Mangoes grown in kenya matures within 4-5 years.

​Description 

Mango trees grow up to 35–40 m (115–131 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 200 years. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) long, and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–15.7 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild, sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley.
Over 400 varieties of mangoes are known and over 10 varieties are grown in Kenya , while some give double crop. The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.
The ripe fruit varies in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red, or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp. Ripe, unpeeled mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo. Mangoes have recalcitrant seeds; they do not survive freezing and drying.
Ecological Requirements of Mango Farming In Kenya
Mangoes do best at an average annual temperature between 15 ˚C and 30˚C, with an optimum temperature range of between 24-30 ˚C. Growth slows down and fruit quality decreases with decreasing temperaturesAnnual rainfall of 850 to 1,000 mm is sufficient for successful cultivation. A distinct dry or cold season stimulates flowering. Rain during flowering seriously reduces fruit set. After a mango tree is well established, it is drought tolerant, especially when the taproots have reached the water table.

​Mango trees are well adapted to many types of soils, but prefer deep (at least 3 m) soils that are fertile, loamy textured, and well drained for good growth. The water table should not be above 2.5 and 3 m. The optimum soil pH is between 5.5 and 7.5.
Varieties of Mangoes grown in Kenya
Mangoes farming has been lately improved from indeginious and exotic or hybids. The hybrids are grafted on local ones which is mostly meant for export to other countries. The recommended and most grown exotic varieties in Kenya are sabre, Pafin, Gesin, Kent, Sensation, Kenstone, Tommy Atkins etc.
The local varieties include Batawi, Ngowe, dodo etc, most of the local mangoes are not prefarable in kenya due to their high fibre content.
Land Preparation 
In Kenya mangoes are mostly grown in eastern parts of Kenya and some other parts in minority Planting holes are usually dug 4 months before the rains spacing varies from  6m to 12m but averagely 10m. The holes are dug that early to allow for cracks development for easy roots penetration. It is advisable that planting holes are dug in zigzag in triangular manner. This ensures full coverage during spraying. Planting holes are covered two weeks before rains using topsoil and 5kgs of farm yard manure. Hole sizes should be 60cm X 60cm X 60cm depending on the geographical zone. To achieve a successful Mango orchard the land should be prepared by deep cultivation and then harrowing with a normal slope for good drainage
Weeding
Weeding is important
During or before, use Emerald at the rate of 100cc/20lts water to control insect pest such as chaffergrubs, termites and wireworms. During this exercise, the soil must be moist

Mangoes Farming in Kenya and Intercropping

For full maximazation of your land intercropping is highly reccomended with short term crops and legumes.Pest and diseases affecting Mango farming investments in Kenya
​ 

Mangoes has the following pests affecting them especially during the flowering stages.
*Thrips
*Mango stone weevil
*Whiteflies.
Control
Escort at 8-10mls, or ranger at 25cc or Emerald at 10cc in 20cc, usually done when flower buds are about to burst, However, the plant has flowered between 75-100 % use pentagon at the rate of 10mls in 20lts, or present at the rate of 5gms in 20lts.Fruitflies
The flies affect the fruit when its almost ripe this menance can be controlled by spraying Penatagon insectcides.

Diseases affecting Mango farming in Kenya
Mango rust

​Control: Preventive control Routine spray of Katerina, biodistinction combination at the rate of 40cc and 50cc respectively a week after ball formation, repeat again after 14 days, change this chemicals 28 days after to Milestone at a rate of 10cc/20lts water.
Curative control:Milestone at the rate of 10cc/20lts water

Health Benefits of Mangoes

1.  Prevents Cancer: 
Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.
2.  Lowers Cholesterol: 
The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).
3.  Clears the Skin: 
Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.
4.  Improves Eye Health: 
One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
5.  Alkalizes the Whole Body:
The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
6. May Help with Diabetes: 
Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedyinvolves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
7. Promotes Healthy Sex: 
Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (from whole foods) does help.
8. Improves Digestion: 
Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.
9. Helps Fight Heat Stroke:
Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm from overheating. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.
10. Boosts the Immune System:
The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

Nutrition by the Numbers
One cup (225 grams contain) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.

  • 105 calories
  • 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
  • 25 percent vitamin A  (antioxidant and vision)
  • 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
  • 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
  • 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
  • 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
  • 4 percent magnesium

Marketing and Value Addition

There are two main market destination for fresh mangoes, the local and export market
Export market: Consumes 1% of mangoes produced in Kenya.
Kenya Mangoes fetch better prices in Europe and Middle East between November and December where there is less competition.

Local market:Consume 99% of mangoes produced in Kenya (50% consumed at farm level, 49% sold for local consumption).

Mangoes farming in Kenya Profits Returns
One mango tree produces an average of 80kg per year.  One kilogram of mango currently retails at Ksh40 -50. One tree per year generates Ksh 3,200. With the 500 trees on the one acre, as an investor you make Ksh1,600,000.