Mangoes grown in kenya matures within 4-5 years.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
*Mango stone weevil
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
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.