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to download the July - August 2013 Magazine Issue - Hortinews.co.ke

july - august 2013no. 28 Ksh 300 $5The Kenya beanwe have no caseNational Farmers’ Award Scheme 20131


FAIR FOR NATURE,FAIR FOR OUR PEOPLEFlower VendorsAssociation Chairman ElvisWainaina sells a bouquetof flowers to StephanieSakwa near The MallWestlands, during this yearMothers’ Day. Althoughthe culture of givingflowers has not reallybeen embraced in Kenya,Kenya Flower Council ismounting campaigns toincrease local consumptionof flowers.We supply global markets with fresh-cut flowers. Using innovative production,supply-chain processes and techniques, we are able to produce approximately 380 millionstems annually. Through consistent evolution, we grow a variety of roses, carnations andfillers all year round.From growing, packing to worldwide distribution, Oserian will provide you with the floralsolutions you need.Influence of fresh andre-used hydratingpre-treatment on RoseCultivarsPg 4Fair Trade launchesin East AfricaPg 8The Kenya bean“We have no case”Pg 26Sericulture, thecocooned money spinnerPg 32For innovative floral varieties, visit our stand C1.09 or contact via email at:salesenquiries@oserian.comIFTEX 2013;bigger and betterPg 12Reader’s ForumPg 38Kenya flower industry– National Mechanismfor CompliancePg 20Farmforce digitizingfarmingPg 442 HORTINEWS I july / august 20133OserianDevelopmentCompanyLTDOserianDevLtd


Influence of fresh and re-usedhydrating pre-treatment onRose Cultivarsby John KihiaWater is akey andv a l u e dresourceon earth.This is more so in developingcountries around the equator,where most of the worldwidetraded flowers are grown andharvested, and water usage forirrigation and for post-harvestpurposes is enormous.It is in this respect thatFloralife, a world leaderin providing product andtechnical services to customerson a global basis, offers a postharvesthydrating treatmentcalled Hydraflor® 100. Floralifemaintains that flower farms candecrease the usage of waterduring post-harvest when usingHydraflor® 100.With this background ithas been decided that trialsto ascertain and evaluate thepossibilities of re-using thesolution of water mixed withHydraflor® 100 be carried out.The trials will also analyse thepossible implications on the vaselife and build-up of inoculums ofdifferent rose cultivars.ObjectiveThe trials will also try to findout if the efficacy of re-usedsolution of Hydraflor® 100 asa hydrating pre-treatmentis similar to a freshly mixedsolution, in order to evaluatewater savings on rose farms.MethodThe experimental materialswhich consisted of 960 stemswere harvested from a farmin Naivasha, Kenya, and heldin each phase according tothe existing farm procedures.The re-used Hydraflor® 100was a day- old solution, usedpreviously in the field withfreshly harvested flowers andwhich had stayed in the precoolerovernight. Two sets offlowers were harvested: onefor testing at Floralife labs andone for testing at the farm. Theflowers were pre-treated in thefield and in the grading hall. Theywere then dry packed and sentto Jomo Kenyatta InternationalAirport, Nairobi (JKIA) as isthe standard procedure withexport flowers. The boxes werecollected from JKIA depot andtrucked to the testing facilities.After arrival, the flowers wereunpacked, conditioned andprocessed, simulating Europeanretail procedures according tostandard testing protocols.Obtained dataData collection was doneby Jomo Kenyatta Universityof Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT). Data was collected onvase life of the roses in days andon the volume of bacteria inpre-treatments.· Bacteria build-up in thesolutions was checked onfive occasions:· prior to adding the stems inthe green-house,· after an overnight stay in thecooler but prior to gradingthe stems· after grading at day one (infinal and dispatching cooler)· after grading at day two (infinal and dispatching cooler)· after grading at day three (infinal and dispatching cooler)FindingsVase life: The trialdemonstrated that there wereno losses in vase life of thetested roses when the solutionof water and Hydraflor® 100 wasre-used once.Bacteria: Bacteria growth inthe re-used treatments, alsothree days after grading, wasnot higher than in the freshlymixed solution. It was howevernot possible to quantify watersavings in this trial.ConclusionWater properly mixed withHydraflor® 100 can be re-used atleast once for pre-treating roses,without compromising flowerquality. This enables a rose farmto reduce post-harvest waterusage.The author is the TechnicalManager Africa Floralife Inc.and can be reached at jkihia@floralife.com4 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 5


EditorialEditorial boardArim Ogolla - USAID-KAVESCatherine Riungu -HortiNewsJane Ngige - kfcLusike Wasilwa - kariStephen Mbithi - Fpeakmanaging editorCatherine RiunguCONSULTING editorIsaac Mwangistaff writerAnn Ndung’ucontributorsJames GutetaJohn Kihia - FloralifeMutuiri GitongaNelson Maina - Elgon KenyaMarketingLeonard SichemoIrene Mpunguoffice administratorElijah MainaPhotographyAllan MuturiDesignSamuel IrunguHortiNewsis published six times a yearby Karuri Ventures Ltd andcirculated to personnel in thehorticultural industry, foreignmissions and Kenya embassiesabroad, extension officers in theMinistry of Agriculture, researchofficers and suppliers ofagricultural inputs and services.KARURI VENTURES LTDNature Hse 3rd Floor, Suite 522, Tom Mboya St.P O Box 1066 - 00518 Nairobi,Tel: + 254 722848970, +254 710 628 440horticulturalnews@gmail.comnews@hortinews.co.keHorticultural News@hortinewswww.hortinews.co.keIt has taken just a few samples to test positivefor above acceptable limits of pesticides tonegate the gains achieved since Januarytaking the authorities back to the drawingboardExciting times amid daunting challengesKenya is this year hosting the International Flower Trade and Exhibition (IFTEX) for the secondtime since organizer Dick Raamsdonk staged the first edition last year. That the show has beensuccessfully organized in an election year is a strong indication of the confidence the globalflower fraternity has in Kenya, arguably one of the most respected producer of the commodityin the world. The good news doesn’t end here. IFTEX Nairobi has within record time assumed apan-African face attracting participants from across the continent with the organizers forecastingthat in under five years, East Africa will be home to the world’s largest flower show relegatingNetherlands, Ecuador, Russia and the US where some of the biggest industry fairs have takenplace.As the country hosts growers, buyers and their suppliers in the value chain, the Kenya FlowerCouncil, with funding from the Dutch government, has kicked off a two-year project dubbedthe National Compliance Mechanism that seeks to form a standard under which all in the sectorwill be expected to adhere to before obtaining licenses to ship produce out of the country. Thedevelopment is both a welcome relief to growers who have strived to apply responsible growingpractices, and a warning to those whose operations reek impunity. Chances are, once the revisedstandard is launched, some growers will inevitably uproot unless they subscribe to the code. Inthe past, codes of practice have largely remained voluntary, a situation that has left a loopholefor irresponsible businesses whose preoccupation is profit at the expense of people and theenvironment. It is because of the latter that the flower fraternity has often found itself in thedark side of news because it takes just one farm to exhibit irresponsibility and headlines screamflower farms…It is hoped that by the end of the exercise, the media too will be able to distinguishbetween individual and collective responsibility in reporting on both the bad and the good inthe flower business. We wish the KFC chief executive officer Jane Ngige all the best as she leadsthe team that is spearheading the process.Speaking of the bad and the good, the struggle to clean up the beans sub-sector continues.It has taken just a few samples to test positive for above acceptable limits of pesticides tonegate the gains achieved since January taking the authorities back to the drawing board. In thewords of the head of the bean clean up team and managing director of the Kenya Plant HealthInspectorate Service Dr James Onsando, ‘we have no case’. Kenya will take longer to convincethe EU that the world’s best beans are fit for human consumption, and this is not encouraginggoing by the losses incurred so far that include some 20,000 smallholder farmers whose liveshave been thrown into a spin after losing their only source of income. We hope the industrywill take Agriculture Secretary Dr Wilson Songa’s advice to do an honest credible business, thesimplest approach to sorting the messCommunications BrochuresMagazinesOur latest Kenyan cut-rose introductions:HIGH FIVE®Color: Bright orangeProduction: 180 –200 stems / m2Stem length: 40-70 cmBud size: 4.5 cmVaselife: 9-11 daysAvailable at: Oserian Dev. Co. Ltd.EVER RED®Color: Velvet redProduction: 120 –150 stems / m2Stem length: 70-90 cmBud size: 5.5 cmVaselife: 12-14 daysAvailable at: AAA Growers Ltd.6 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 7TIVA®Color: Purple flameProduction: 140 –160 stems / m2Stem length: 40-70 cmBud size: 5 cmVaselife: 10-12 daysAvailable at: Panocal Ltd.WWW.DERUITER.COM


Fair Trade launchesin East AfricaThe Launch of Fair Trade Kenya is the second in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.Hamish Ker, Oserian’s Director and Head of Special Projects;Oserian is the oldest Fair Trade farm in Kenya.BY Mutwiri GitongaIn a bold move to ensureproducers in the EastAfrican region adhere toethical trade practises,Fair Trade Organizationhas launched a campaign inKenya and plans to spread itswings to the rest of the region.As an organisation andconcept that champions forthe rights of producers, FairTrade advocates and certifiesproducers who meet a rigorousset of standards on humanewages and favourable workingconditions.The Launch of Fair Trade Kenyais the second in Sub SaharanAfrica after South Africa.Headquartered in Bonn,Germany, Fair Trade internationalworks with small scale producersand marginalized people. Itensures the assurance of aminimum price for goods Fairtradecertified producers get atthe international markets.Other than the minimum pricepaid to consumers, an agreedupon premium is paid back to theproducer. The premium comesfrom the consumers, who optto buy ethically produced itemswith the Fair-trade mark overe14GreenFarmingisaprogramthatunitesDutchhorticulturalsupplierswhoaimtodevelopsustainableproductionsystemsinclosecooperationwithlocalpartnersthatareeconomicallyandenvironmentallysustainable,meetCSRdemandsandarecustommadefortheKenyansectorGreenFarmingSeminarJune5 th Wewouldliketoinviteyoutotheseminar“Sustainableenergy&greenhouseclimatemanagement”onWednesdayJune5 th from15:00to16:00hrsattheInternationalFloricultureTradeExpo(IFTEX)inOshwalCenter,Nairobi.TheseminarwillfocusoninnovativetechniquesforalternativeenergysolutionsthatareapplicableundertheKenyanconditionsandopportunitiesforoptimizinggreenhouseclimatemanagement.Inaddition,sectordevelopmentsandissuesrelatedtotaxesanddutieson‘environmental‐friendly’technologywillbeaddressed.TheworkshopwillhostavarietyofspeakersincludingtheDutchagriculturalcounsellor,theCEOofKFCandmembersofGreenFarming.GreenFarmingseminar“Sustainableenergy&greenhouseclimatemanagement”onJune5 th 15:00–16:00hrsIFTEX,OshwalCenterNairobiGreenFarmingRepresentationIFTEXRepresentationofGreenFarmingattheIFTEXcanbefoundintheboothoftheNetherlandsMinistryofEconomicAffairs,B3.02.Wewelcomeyoutovisitourstand!GreenFarmingT:+31653714966&+254701466219E:info@greenfarming.nlI:www.greenfarming.nl8 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 9


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Given yourdeep, wideand variedexperiencein the flowerindustry, how does theNairobi trade fair comparewith the other internationalones? Could you highlightsome of the similarities anddifferences?The IFTEX Expo Kenya iscoming in from nothing intothe top 5 of international flowertrade exhibitions. The reasonis also simple: the position ofKenya as major flower producerIFTEX 2013;bigger and betterThe second edition of InternationalFlower Trade Expo (IFTEX) Nairobi ishere. Hortinews had a chat with Dickvan Raamsdonk, President HPP andthe organizer and he had this to say.We are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.and exporter (both in quantity aswell as in quality) since decadeswithout having a show case forinternational flower buyers tosource flowers was a matter oftime.Would you be in a positionto quantify the benefitsthe different categories ofexhibitors get from the tradefair?In addition if demand forflowers increases, productionwill increase, more land willbe cultivated for extending orbuilding new farms, new andmore plant material will beneeded, in short all floriculturalsuppliers will profit and generatemore jobs and consequentlycontribute to improve theeconomy of Kenya.How does the countrybenefit from the trade fair?The Essence of the exhibitionis to create more internationaldemand for Kenyan flowers, bybringing together national flowerproducers and internationalflower buyers. This will createmore demand for flowers andon its turn more jobs and inflowof funds, which will lead to morewealth to Kenyan citizens.In an earlier interview yousaid there is a shift to directprocurement as opposedto the traditional auctions.What does this mean for thegrowers in Kenya?For starters, growers inKenya will have a choice toeither sell via the auctionat a lower price but lower(financial) risk, or go for ahigher sales price, but ata higher (financial) risk.Dick van Raamsdonk, President HPP and IFTEXorgarniserFurthermore putting all youreggs in one basket has neverbeen the ideal strategy for anyexporter of any kind.Are you still convinced thatIFTEX Nairobi has the potentialto grow into the largest flowerfair in the world?IFTEX Expo Kenya has thepotential to grow into thelargest flower fair in the world,if it manages to bring togetherall Kenyan growers and makethem to exhibit together withthe other African (smaller)flower producing countries toparticipate as well. These willmake IFTEX to become thelargest flower trade fair in theworld. To my conviction, this isnot a matter of if, but just when.And I predict it to be prettysoon.How long do you expect it totake to get there? If yes, whatmeasures have to be put inplace to achieve that?This could be a matter of 3 to5 years, if not sooner. This willbe put in place smoothly is myexpectation.What would characterizethis year’s number ofexhibitors and visitors?We have over 150 exhibitorsof which around 40 percentare international and morethan 2,500 trade visitors ofwhich about 25 percent areinternational.Is there anything thegovernment or its agenciescan do to enhance the statusof the fair?The IFTEX is being organizedin close cooperation withHorticultural Crops DevelopmentAuthority (HDCA) and is alsosupported by Kenya FlowerCouncil (KFC).What other fairs does HPPorganize?HPP also organizeshorticultural trade fairs besidesfloricultural trade fairs incountries such as the USA, Russia,Holland, Ecuador, Ethiopia andobviously Kenya.Finally, during the IFTEX2012 Kenya edition you hadthe best grower and bestbreeder quality competitions,what other categories do youintend to include this year?This year we will again haveBest Grower and Best BreederQuality Competitions. This yearno other categories will beincluded yetBest grower, breederquality competitionDuring last year’s edition of International Flower TradeExpo (IFTEX) in Nairobi, the organizers held competitionsin recognition of the best grower and best breeder qualitycompetitions. The fair organizer Dick Raamsdonk said thesame competition will be held this year.2012 IFTEX Best Grower & Best Breeder QualityCompetitions:Best Grower Quality competitionXpressions Flora (Omang) - Platinum AwardHarvest Flowers - Gold AwardMagana Flowers - Silver AwardSian Agriflora - Bronze AwardBest Breeder Quality competitionDanziger - Platinum AwardNIRP East Africa Ltd - Gold AwardPlantas Continental - Silver AwardInterplant - Bronze Award.Red Lands Roses is a 28 ha Kenyan farm established since 1996 in Ruiru, on the Ecuator, 40km to NairobiInternational airport.Within the framework of our environment protection policy, we fully recycle our Ferti-irrigation water throughour 100% soilless network, thus avoiding nitrate and phosphate being washed away into the groundwater.Located at 2000m altitude, our farm is developed on non-arable lands; hence we guarantee no competition withstaple crops of the local population.Our team of 600 permanent employees grows, grades and packs over 80 varieties including T Hybrids roses(with a minimum head size of 4.5cm), scented and garden roses and spray roses, which places Red Lands Rosesas a world quality and innovation leader in this field.According to our clients’ needs we can process bouquets of their choice.We deliver a natural and fresh product graded and bunched manually (with true value) to our worldwide clientsin Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy… with whom we dealdirectly.Our sales and supply chain team is dedicated to timely and quality services and documentation.Our roses have guaranteed vase life of minimum 10 days.We are certified by International standards such as Fair-Trade Labeling Organization: International (FLO), Global-Gap, MPS-Environment Label, Fair Flower Fair Plant (FFP) and Kenya Flower Council (KFC).For more information kindly visit our website www.redlandsroses.com or contact us at:gm@redlandsroses.co.ke12 HORTINEWS I july / august 201313


8none Fair-trade certified goods.It is this premium that goeson to build the welfare of theproducers and the communitiesaround them by setting up suchas health institutions, schoolsand providing other socialamenities that greatly lack andare in dire need in marginalizedcountries. The producers havetheir say on what project thecommunity gets to benefit fromthe premium funds remittedback via Fiar-Trade.Where does this premiumcome from?Fairtrade’s greatest ally isthe consumer. When buyers,spurred by conscience wieldtheir consuming power and gofor products that are Fair Tradecertified, they send a word outthere that products that reachthe market from producerswho have not been fair to theirworkers will be snubbed at thesupermarket shelf.With Fair Trade certifiedproducts fetching top dollar atmarkets, more premium getsback to the producers, but theFair Trade launchesin East AfricaGaudensia Shilako; Chairperson of Finlays Horticulture Fair-trade Association.HIGH CONCENTRATION POTASSIUMSOLUTION TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIESOF POTASSIUM IN FLORICULTURE,HORTICULTURE AND FIELD CROPShyK is a concentrated inorganic formulationcontaining potassium and nitrogen. Potassiumis the second major nutrient required by allcrops, highly mobile and quickly distributedwithin the plant.The main function of Potassium within the plant isas a water regulator which in turn affects many plantprocesses such as:regulation of cell water content,cell turgiditytranspiration ratestranslocation of photosynthesates and enzymes.Low levels of potassium can critically affect the growth of the crop,subsequently affecting quality and yield. hyK is a unique formulationcontaining a high concentration of potassium. This high analysis ensuresoptimum uptake of the potash where required and also assists the plant tocreate a leaf environment unfavourable to disease development.Analysis of hyK Weight/Volume Weight/WeightTotal Nitrogen (N) 3.00% 1.95%Potassium (K2O) 50.00% 33.00 %pH: (10% solution) 11.0 – 12.5Recommended Rate:Water volume:Frequency of application:3 litres per hectare1000 litresApply 10-14 day intervalscertification process is not cheap. is also a major barrier toward certification body FLO-In Kenya, most farms have having as many as possible CERT”, Andrea Richert, says.Directions of use:met the standards needed to flower farms getting certified. To guarantee the credibility1. Always shake container before use.become Fair-trade certified but This is echoed by Andrea of the Fair-trade certification2. Fill half the required amount of water in the spray tank.are yet to be certified. She tags Richert, the Fair-Trade new mark, FLO – CERT operates as3. Measure the required amount of hyK and add to tank. Maintain constant agitation.4. Add remaining water to correct dilution.lack of awareness on what Fairtradeis and its benefits are. The management leader, but with the ISO 65 in over 70 countries6. The product should always be used with a compatible wetter/sticker (not a buffer).markets global accounts an independent body, under5. Spray and ensure full coverage.rigorous and expensive process a new twist that might make around the world.involved in getting certified the process less expensive to Lack of knowledge amongTank Mixing Compatibilityproducers.consumers and producers on“The process of FLO-CERT the numerous opportunitiesAlthough it is compatible with most, but not all pesticides, growth regulators and micro-nutrients, it is advisable to use hyK onit’s own in a tank mix with a compatible wetter only (not a buffer). Always carry out a phytotoxicity test on a small area beforeWe are proud to announceauditing is rigorous and available from Fair Trade is onelarge scale application.our new App to the industry.expensive” says Andrea, “But of the greatest impediment’s toLiability cannot be accepted for any loss or damage as not all pesticides and fertilisers have been tested for compatibility.Search on Preesman in thethe benefits to be reaped are actualizing the goals of Fairtrade.Efficacy of any mix will depend upon crop type and growth stage, pesticide concerned, climatic conditions, water volumes andstores and be up to date allvarious other factors.the time.great”. The good news is there Nigel Tricks, board chairmanis a Fair Trade certification fund, Oxfam Kenya (and one of theStorage & Shelf lifewhich producers can apply to pioneers in introducing FairtradeStore in a cool dry place away from the heat and sunlight with optimum storage range between 5-40ºC.for aided (free) certification. in the region) opinionated that itAlthough hyK is low in toxicity, it can cause eye and skin irritation in concentrated form. It is non-hazardous andnon-flammable. However, when handling the concentrate, protective gear should be used such as gloves and face shield.Monthly decisions are made is by partnering with the mediaon who gets to benefit from and other stakeholders thatFor agriculture use onlythe Fair Trade certification fund Fairtrade will hope to make ancertification fund.impact in the region.“The process of certification, A recent survey amongfor transparency, is carried supermarket shoppers andout by the international14e22HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 15A product of UK ● Available in 10 LitreRecycle Paper


Real IPM of mealybug andwhitefly in rosesLouise LabuschagneMealybugsa n dwhiteflySuck thelife sapfrom crops, and in the processthey will ooze a sticky solutionover the upper surfaces ofleaves below their feedingsites. This soon becomes ablack sooty mess, as fungigrow on the sugary solution.They cause considerablereductions in yield as wellas quality, if they are notcontrolled. Once out ofcontrol – it is very costly anddifficult to get rid of them.Mealybugs are difficult tocontact with pesticides becausethey feed in crevices low down inthe plant. Whiteflies are usuallyfound on the underside of thelower canopy leaves. There arecommon indigenous, parasiticwasps in East Africa, whichlay eggs in both whitefly andmealybug. Since they each laymore than 150 eggs each – theyare very useful.However, they are neverpresent in crops unless thegrower is using a bio-intensivespray programme of biopesticidesand is avoiding the useof broad-spectrum pyrethroids.A single spray of a pyrethroidinsecticide could kill up to 75% ofthese useful parasitoids and theharmful effect could last for upto 12 weeks – preventing localparasitic wasps from helping thegrower.Real Metarhizium 69It is an insect-killing fungusthat is produced in Kenya by RealIPM (Kenya) Ltd and has beentrialed and found to effectivelycontrol both mealybugs andwhiteflies. However, it will notkill parasitoids and predatorsof whitefly, mealybug or spidermite. Parasitic wasps andpredators can therefore comeinto the crop from the ‘wild’ andhelp control the pests in thesedifficult to reach places.Metarhizium spores, whichland on the body of the mealybugor whitefly will germinate andthen penetrate the mealybugbody, feeding on the body fluidswithin and killing the pest.It is not possible for thepest to become resistant toMetarhizium, so it can be appliedfrequently as a prophylacticpreventative spray programme.Metarhizium 69 can be applied ina tank mix with either a fungicideor an insecticide, making it veryeasy to use. However, for goodcontrol the Metarhizium mustnot be sprayed to ‘run-off’.Good spraying methodThe way in which pesticidesare applied will have a bigimpact on the efficacy of bothpesticides and bio-pesticidesfor these pests. Applying toomuch water with the pesticidesis a common problem in roses.If the spray application is madeto ‘run-off’, then too little of thepesticide will come into contactWhitefly on the lower rose canopy leaves in the bending areinfected with Metarhizium 69.with the target pest and end upon the floor. This is particularly aproblem when bio-pesticides areapplied, since they are contact inaction and must not be sprayedto ‘run-off’. Water sensitivepapers are available from HardiKenya Ltd. These can be usedto test how effective the sprayapplication method is.Resistance ManagementThe waxy skin of mealybugsand whitefly makes penetrationof contact insecticides difficult.But the excessive use ofsystemic pesticides can leadto resistance developing.Careful planning, using theinformation on the InsecticideResistance managementwebsite is critical – to avoidnot only wasting money butalso making good pesticides– useless (through lack ofa resistance managementprogramme). www.irac-online.org/Biotechnology/Home.aspPesticides for mealybugAlways read the Labelcarefully and follow all guidelinesprovided. Do not apply more orless than the recommended doseper hectare and always test a fewplants a week or so in advance ofthe planned spray application (ifthis pesticide has not been usedWater sensitive papers. Too much water is applied (far left). Thebest ‘cover’ is one of the two papers in the middle.in this crop before hand). Neverapply pesticides during the heatof the day or the plants could bescorched. Do not tank mix unlessthe Label permits this.Some pesticides used formealybug are very harmfulto other beneficial insects.Pesticides such as theneonicotinoids can either bedrenched or sprayed (checkLabel) and tend to be less harmfulto beneficials if drenched ratherthan sprayed.Insect GrowthRegulatorsThe mealybug has 3 or4 nymphal stages and alsocompletes a metamorphosisinto a pupae, therefore it’s lifecycle is susceptible to disruptionby insect growth regulatorssuch as azadirachtin (an extractfrom the neem tree), kinoprene(Enstar II). They are only contactinsecticides though and haveno residual activity and are onlyeffective on immature phases– adults are not killed by insectgrowth regulators.NeonicotinoidsThe neonicotinoid group ofpesticides is very susceptibleto resistance. Cross resistanceis also possible to this groupand the IRAC website shouldbe consulted when devising aprogramme which includes thisgroup.OrganophosphatesAEcephate has been usedfor mealybug control but careshould be taken as it has beenreported to kill beneficial insectsup to 75%.OilsPenetrating oils such as neemoil need to be used with careas some varieties can exhibitphytotoxic effects. Do not applyoils within 3 weeks of a sulphurpesticide.Botanical pesticidesPyrethrum if applied with asynergist such PBO, has someeffect on mealybugs, particularlyif formulated with a detergent,which will help provide contactthrough the waxy surface ofthe mealybug. It is however,only a contact insecticide andis broken down by UV light. Itis likely to have a detrimentaleffect on parasitoids andpredators present at the time ofspraying, but its harmful residuewill not be as long as a syntheticpyrethroid.Prevention is better thancureMealybugs and whitefly willbe expensive to clean up, if theyhave got out of hand. But oncethis investment has been made,it is important to continue witha prophylactic preventativeweekly programme with lowrates of Metarhizium 69. This iscost-effective because it also killsthrips, another major pest onroses. 16 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 17


Horti Fair was a great platform for showcasing horticultural products to an international audienceThe fall of Horti FairBY HORTINEWSCORRESPONDENTHorti Fair,the Dutchflower andt e c h n o l o g ytrade showthat takes place every fall inAmsterdam, has been cancelledfor this year.In a press statement, theWe are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.fair organizers attributedthe collapse to financial andoperational objections thatmade it impossible for the 2013event to be held.“While developing theplans, Horti Fair found therewere too many financial andoperational objections, makinga successful organisation of theHorti Fair in 2013 together withthe FloraHolland Trade Fair inAalsmeer impossible to realize”the statement said on thehortifair.com website.It also indicated that theDutch horticultural fair whichwas the biggest internationaltrade fair for technology,innovation and inspiration inhorticulture, and attracted over60,000 visitors in its hey-days,might close its doors forever.Various sources also reveal thatHorti Fair personnel will soonbe laid off.“International Horti Fair BVwill no longer organize anyHorti Fair anymore,” said thestatement.The announcementwas fairly clear aboutwhy a joint Horti Fair andFloraHolland Trade Fair couldnot be realized, despiteinitially positive response.Organizationally, part of theHorti Fair would have hadto be accommodated at alocation outside the auctionbuilding, most likely a largetent. That resulted in a chorusof criticism from exhibitors.“After the joint organisationof the Horti Fair and theFloraHolland Trade Fair hadcome in for positive reactionsinitially, the fact that part of thefair would be accommodatedat an external location metwith growing criticism. All inall, this made the Horti Fairmanagement decide againstthe idea of the internationaltrade fair taking place at theFlora Holland site in Aalsmeer”the statement added.The problems of the Horti Fairare said to have started in 2010,when another fair - the IFTF –started in Vijfhuizen. Nearly allbreeders moved from the HortiFair to this fair. A second blow wasdealt when problems to organisethe fair at the FloraHollandlocation in Aalsmeer arose.Participants were not happy toexhibit in a tent and there was afinancial angle of difference withthe auction about the costs for anew parking place.According to Horti Fair directorWillem Nijdam operational costswere skyrocketing in generalwhile fewer people were willingto spend money on the fair.However, the proverbial strokethat broke the camel’s back waswhen FloraHolland demandedthat Horti Fair shoulder part ofthe 1.1 million euro cost of theconstruction of a new parkingarea.Mr. Nijdam is quoted tohave said that, “exhibitors whohave already registered will beinformed in the coming daysand we will at least thank themfor showing their trust. We havespoken to a lot of people already.They say that it’s a courageousdecision, but they also think it’sa shame.”18 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 19AcapellaCandlelightCuba goldSovereignOmang flowers are grown on ourfarms located in the highlandsof Kenya. We were adjudged thebest grower in the IFTEX 2012. Weare continuously innovating tomaintain the highest quality. Wehave many new varieties since weexhibited last year at the IFTEX.Some of them are displayedaboveAthenaCaribiaEspressoPennylaneBurgundyCelebHot BloodSpotlightGlobal WaterYaminomAnGP.o Box 48232-00100 Nairobi Kenya Tel: +245 20 2312888,+254 738119774, Email:flowers@xflora.net & ketan.jerath@xflora.net


Kenya flower industry – NationalJane Ngige, Kenya FlowerCouncil CEO.Mechanism for ComplianceWith fundingfrom theD u t c hMinistry ofEconomicAffairs Agriculture and Innovation,the Kenya Flower Council is in theprocess of implementing theKenya Flower Industry CapacityBuilding for Sustained MarketAccess; the National Mechanismfor Industry-Wide Compliance(NMC).The 18-month programmeseeks to develop a nationalframework to guide the way theindustry conducts its business.In this regard, the KFC intendsto involve a cross-section ofplayers in the value chain fromboth the public and privatesector in collection and collatingof information that will be usedto achieve the objectives of theproject.The programme isnecessitated by concerns overlabour standards, protection andstewardship of natural resourcesleading to negative publicitythat impacts negatively on thesector; and seeks to protect andgrowing the 35% Kenyan marketshare of the European Union cutflower imports, the ksh 45 billionforeign exchange earnings, the90,000 people directly employedplus the estimated two millionlivelihoods it supports.The following are the keycomponents of NCM;· Review and update KS 1758on cut flowers, cuttings andornamentals against relevantlocal and internationalpolicies and industry codesof practice including locallaws in line with the NewConstitution of Kenya 2010.· Generate and prepare a draftof best practices for breedersand propagators· Generate and prepare a draftcode of practice for flowerconsolidating companies forexport· Generate a code of practiceon shippers/cargo handlers,building on relevant localand international andGreenhouse Building, Suite 12, 4th Flr, Adams Arcade, along Ngong RoadP.O Box 56325 - 00200, Nairobi, Kenya. Landline (254) 020 2679268Wireless: (254) 020 2043077, Cell: (254) (0)733 639 523 / 24Email: kfc@wananchi.com, info@kenyaflowercouncil.orgWebsite: www.kenyaflowercouncil.orgpolicies and operationalindustry codes of practice.· Consolidate the reviewedKS 1758 and drafts code ofpractices on cut-flower andornamentals, breeders andpropagators, consolidatorsand shippers and cargohandlers into a singledocument and designtraining sessions for internaland external farm auditorsin three key flower growingregions and provide for trialaudits.· Design a modelorganisational structure fora national vetting body tooversee an effective, efficientand sustainable NationalMechanism for Compliancefor the flower industry basedon a national standard.· Develop an effectivecommunications strategy toestablish policy guidelinesalong with implementationplans, targeting local andinternational public, civilsociety, trade unions,business partners, printand electronic media onthe commitment of theKenya flower industry tosustainability.· Develop a sustainablebusiness plan for NMCbeyond the project period· Draw an awareness creationplan and understanding ofthe National Mechanism forCompliance (NMC) amongstakeholders;· Carry out an external projectevaluation and the givea way forward to warrantsustainabilityTarget Audience· Breeders and propagators· Growers / exporters· Consolidators· Cargo handlers and shippers· Markets· Local and International NGOs· Trade Unions· Union Fluers· Flower SustainabilityInitiatives· Industry Market LabelHolders· Flower Industry Associations– regional and international· Top policy and decisionmakers in Government/lineministries· Universities and theacademia· Ancillary products andservices supply chainFor further information,contact:The Chief ExecutiveKenya Flower CouncilBY MUTWIRI GITONGAAbacterialdisease akinto human andanimal canceris ravagingrose bushes in Kenya, cripplingproduction and cutting plantlifespan by as many as sevenyears.The Crown Gall of the Roses,Agrobacterium Tumefaciens (AGT)among scientists, is a disease thatcauses tumor like growths amongdicots, causing a potato likeswelling on plants. The diseasehits the spot where the root andshoot of a plant meet. Dicots are ahost of flowering plant species.Kamau Ngamau, an associateprofessor, department ofagriculture, horticulture, at theJomo Kenyatta University ofAgriculture and Technology , saysthe AGT has a plasmid, and onceit infects a cell it causes a rapidmultiplication of cells making itdifficult to control. As the cellsmultiply, they encircle trunks andbranches, stopping the flow ofsap which the plant relies on fornutrition.‘The growth of these cellshinders the plant from takingnutrients from the soil normally,leading to stunted growthand poor crop yield’ says Prof.Ngamau. “To get rid of thedisease, the affected cropmust be uprooted and the soilaround it removed too”, adds theprofessor.Rose plants have a lifespan ofabout ten years, but the diseasereduces this to three years.Crown Gall enters throughwounds inflicted duringpruning, transplanting, budding,cultivating or by insects thatchew on the plant as well asnematodes.Crown Gall on a rose plantCancer of the roseRemoving the diseased plantalone is not enough, as theresilient bacteria remains in thesoil for lengthy periods of time,going up to two years. That itis not isolated to affecting rosebushes alone but other relatedcrops as well makes it all the moreharder to control.20 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 21ControlWe are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.Measures to contain thedisease are more of a preventivenature than curative owing tothe cost of getting rid of infectedplants. ‘Planting of clean materialin fields that have not beenaffected, and guarding againstthe introduction of the bacteriainto the farm is the best way tokeep the disease at bay’, pointse22


21Cancer of the roseout Professor Ngamau, addingthat ‘Secateurs and other toolsused on infected plants canspread the disease’.Apart from uprooting andburning infected plants, seeds,bare-roots, - all planting andgrafting material should betreated by spraying or dippingthem in nonpathogenicbacterium. Soil in greenhousestoo should be sterilized withsteam. The use of some soilfumigants is also advised, butowing to the resilient natureof the disease, it is advisednot to plant crops of the samespecies as those which wereinfected in the same field forfive years.In Kenya, the effect of theCrown Gall disease, which firstcame into awareness in theCountry in 1998 have beendevastating. Some greenhousesin Kenya like Thaara Orchardsowned by Ngong Roses closeddown because of the CrownGall disease. Word has it thatthe Crown Gall disease wasintroduced in Kenya by HBSnurseries, which was owned byAmiran.This was the beginning ofthe death and untold misery ofmany flower farms, which hadto pay loyalties to breeders whosold them cancerous plantingmaterials that put them out ofoperation.HBS nurseries, which closeddown in a huff when the newsbroke, later sneaked back in thecountry under a different nameand is still in business, despitethe havoc it wreaked in theWe are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.flower industry. In subsequentaccount we will give you ablow by blow account ofthe devastating effects thecompany put Kenya’s flowerindustry through14upmarket buyers showed awhopping 86% of consumersin Kenya would go for aFairtrade certified productover non certified ones fromthe shelf of the supermarket.Only that they had no priorinformation on what Fairtrade,its goals or mission.It is this goodwill byconsumers Fair Trade hopes tohinge on, through awareness,and partnering with smalland marginalized producersin the region to ensure theirproducts get top value fortheir money. And the benefitshave started trickling down, atestimony small scale farmersin Giankanja can attest to.Six years ago, the coffeeNyeri based Gikandacooperative society producedFair Trade launchesin East Africarelied on market forces todetermine what price itsproduce would fetch at theinternational auction marketin Mombasa at the fall of thehammer.The 3,400 membercooperative society thatspans two sub locations andcomprises of three membercoffee cooperative societiesthen decided to go the FairTrade way was the only way togreater gain.After braving the rigorouscertification process incollaboration with London’sMarks and Spencer, sweatand pain turned to sweetgain when the price of theircoffee produce shot up at theNairobi auction when theirFair Trademarked product hitthe market.Today, 3,400residentsof the two sub locationsattest to the gains madeby becoming Fair Tradecertified. The society has gotback over 6.8 Million shillingsin premium, which it has usedto build a secondary school, awell-equipped dispensaryand educated a numberof children whose parentscould not afford school feesas well as giving numerousbursaries.To note is that the premiumis not part of the high pricecertified commoditiesfetch; it is a fund, set abovethe maximum a productfetches in the market, to begiven directly back to theproducer to use in projectsthat develop the welfare of acommunity. This translates todouble gain, produce fetchesa high price, and at the sametime the buyers remit backsomething to the producer.While coffee factories waitfor oscillating market pricesdetermined by changingmarket demands, the farmersfrom Gikanda are assured ofa steady market that pays toppound for their product.It is this value addition toproducts and connectingproducers to steady marketsthat Fair Trade seeks to seepractised the world over. Thisis done by ensuring visibilityof the producer as a partnerin the production, selling andconsumption chain22 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 23


As acceptable choices for pest control Products in export horticulture dwindle, it has become imperative tosearch for alternatives that are environmentally friendly with short PHI, good efficacy and low residue levelson the final produce. Juanco SPS Limited leads in provision of such products.AphidsCaterpilarWhiteflythripsA versatile 0 day PHI biological insecticide with natural pyrethrinsand garlic extracts for the control of Aphids, caterpillars, fruit flies,whiteflies and scales. Features for this product include;F Has a quick knockdown effect on target pests.FFPYEGAR 35 ECDoes not contain PBO (piperonyl butoxide).Have strong repellant properties to flush out pests byagitating them from their hiding places.FFFFFHas zero day pre-harvestinterval and has no MRLrating.Has low mammaliantoxicity.Cost effective withapplication rate of 3mls/Lor 3 L/ha at 7-14 daysinterval.Can be used in manycrops but a small sampleof crop should be testedfor phytotoxicity beforeblanket spraying.Best spray solution pHshould be 5-6. You canuse MJ5 (A naturalacidifier with an internalpH indicator).A combi insecticide with natural pyrethrins and neem extractformulated in edible oil. Used in controlling general pests such as;Caterpillars, Thrips, Aphids and whiteflies. Features of pyeneeminclude;F Broad spectrum.F Low mammaliantoxicity.F Best spray solutionpH should be 5-6. Youcan use MJ5 (A naturalacidifier with an internalpH indicator).F Oviposition deterrentpropertiesF Insect growth regulationdue to the neem (moultinhibition)FFFFPYENEEM 20 ECAntifeedant effect.Also effective onimmature stages ofinsects.Application should beginbefore pest levels arehigh.Can be used in mostcrops.24 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 25!JUANCO SPS LTD.Juanco Centre, Ngong Rd,. Ngong Hills P.O Box 381, Karen 00502, Nairobi, KenyaTel: +254 (20) 2088754/5/6/789, Fax: 254(20) 2088793/2537845 , Office Mobiles: +254 (722) 207805, 207806Email:info@juancogroup.com, Website:www.juancogroup.com


By Catherine Riungu andMutuiri GitongaSix months sinceFrench bean exportsfrom Kenya tothe EU were puton notice overexcess pesticides, there is nolet-up in intensive tests dashingexpectations that the countrywould be removed from rapidalerts listing any time soon.Addressing stakeholders in May,the Kenya Plant Health InspectorateServices (KEPHIS) managingdirector Dr James Onsando said,“we have no case”, followingfive positive tests in April, which|| kenya bean ||“We have no case”It is disturbing how much we are losing on daily basis therefore we must realize the need tobring sense into the industry through credible and honest practices among farmers, exportersand brokers, the only way out of this mess.Agriculture Secretary Dr Wilson Songa; our produce is so unique no-one can fill the gap. photos: allan Muturi/hortinewsnegated gains made the previousmonth when no notifications wereobserved raising hopes that thecountry was on track to getting aclean bill of health in June.Since January when the EUintroduced a 10 per cent sampling,12 alerts have been issued throughthe EU Rapid Alert System for Foodand Feed making it hard for Kenyato argue its case before the union.“It takes just three firms to messthe party”, lamented Dr WilsonSonga, the Agriculture Secretary,who added, “ it is disturbing howmuch we are losing on daily basistherefore we must realize the needto bring sense into the industrythrough credible and honestpractices among farmers, exportersand brokers, the only way out ofthis mess”.Dr Onsando attributes this tolack of capacity to conduct full riskanalysis to produce the statisticaldata the EU requires. “The countryhas been doing semi-analysiswhich doesn’t give the requisitedata required by the EU thereforewe have to build the capacity toconduct full tests to meet thethreshold’, he said.In addition, the industry musttake drastic measures against thebad boys. “If a company is notifiedthree times, the Horticultural CropsDevelopment Authority (HCDA)will have to revoke its license”, DrSonga told the gathering addingthat traceability systems fromthe farmer to the market must beimplemented.This is to enable tracking whichfarmer went against the ethics ofpractice with a view to banningthem from growing. Currently,traceability, especially amongsmall-scale farmers, is only possiblein groups”, said Dr Songa, addingthat “We have a lot of goodwillfrom the EU, who are sympatheticto the plight of the 20,000 farmerswho have gone out of business dueto the measures”.On the EU stand, Dr Onsandoand Dr Songa seem to be readingfrom different scripts, as DrOnsando is on record as accusingthe union of taking a unfairand disproportionate action onKenya. “The alerts are not basedon scientific evidence and thesampling too little to justify thecurrent controls”, he said chargingthat the EU has no data to showfor the ‘excessive penalty and noproportionate facts on the ground’.He said that the EU was not givingKenya sufficient support asstipulated in the international traderegulations to handle the situation.“There is little support from the EUto implement increased measuresof control as required by articles 9 &10 of the World Trade OrganizationSPS agreement”.Despite the mess, said Dr Songa“our produce is so unique no-onecan fill the gap and the markets arewaiting for our beans”.BrokersExporters, most of who contractfarmers blame the brokers forpoaching produce by offeringirresistible rates sometimes leadingto picking products that have notmet post-harvest intervals. Growersare being advised to use biologicalcontrol measures or Integrated PestManagement (IPM) after podding.The Kenya Agricultural ResearchInstitute (KARI) is researching onappropriate chemicals and IPMsystems.But the brokers got a voteof confidence from an unlikelysource, with Dr Alfred Serem, HCDAmanaging director. “Brokers havean important role in the industry.There is a drive to have them getorganized and follow regulations”,he said. Dr Songa stressed theneed to bring brokers into thefold, since it is their unregulatedactivities that are getting usdeeper into the mess.Others have a different viewand see that approach as one thatwill not bear fruits.“There is a competentproduction system run byexporters. It is the disorganizedsystem ran by brokers, whoseproduce gets into the organizedmarket through the back doorthat spoils things for everyone’,reckons Stephen Bundi, projectcoordinator, Meru GreensHorticulture.This is refuted by ArimOgolla, Technical Manager,Kenya Agricultural Value ChainEnterprises Project (KAVES), aUSAID-funded project, as heexposes challenges the sectorfaces daily. “At the beginning ofevery day, no exporter knowsthe amount of orders they willbe exporting. They wait by theircomputers for emails and whenthe orders come, especially bigones, they get on phone withbrokers, asking them to do allpossible to meet targets whichcan increase by the minute”.Arim says the exporters areto blame for the alerts, as theiremphasis is meeting exporttargets without asking where andhow the produce is sourced.BanSpeaking on condition ofanonymity, an official fromthe Pest Control ProductsBoard recommends banning ofsubstances not allowed in themarkets. “Chartered flights usedto export fresh produce are usedto bring back banned substancesinto the country, which is againstthe law, as the flights are notchecked”, the official said.Since small-scale farmers donot understand chemicals thereis a call to have a centralisedspraying system, as the Freshproduce Exporters Association ofKenya technical manager FrancisWario puts it. “Farmers don’t havethe knowledge and systems toeffectively spray. Can we havecentralised spraying systems forthem?” he poses• Kenya horticulture exports are down by 25 percent due to the bean problems• 20,000 farmers out of business• Beans are low in calories and with no saturated fat.• Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A• Beans contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron,calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium26 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 27117 mmKEPHIS Managing Director Dr James Onsando85 mm


Yes, flowers give us foodGetting so many blooms to market in just the right state at the right time involves major preparationfor growers, who must try to manipulate flowering times by debudding their bushesHorticultural ProductsNelson Mainaby nelson mainaThe world cannotfeed on flowers,yet the red goldhas emerged asan importantsource of foodsecurity because of the incomeit brings to thousands of peoplein the country both directly andindirectly. The Kenya FlowerCouncil puts the figure at 90,000for those who benefit directlyin Kenya and a further 500,000indirectly.Yet with the Kenyan flowerbeing one of the most soughtafter in the world, thanks to itspretty and unique shape, themen and women behind Kenya’sacclaim globally have kept theirresolve alive and true at everysunrise and set unsung.The prestigious InternationalFlower Trade Expo (IFTEX) nowin its second year, couldn’t havecome at a better time. Withesteemed buyers bypassingthe traditional auctions tobuy directly from growers toexperience firsthand how theflowers are grown, Kenya notonly positions itself to win evenmore markets but also celebratethe faces behind this glory.It’s no secret that roses needintensive watering, pruningand treating before they can beclipped and flown daily to buyersacross the world. The spacebetween these watering andtending and the earning of Sh44billion, which the floricultureindustry brought to the countrylast year, is the most important inthe flower production process.What with the tough balancingact of maintaining the stringentglobal growing and exportstandards while keeping pestsand other threats to optimumflower production at theirminimum.Getting so many blooms tomarket in just the right state atthe right time involves majorpreparation for growers, whomust try to manipulate floweringtimes by debudding their bushes.Production, processing andmarketing of flowers for distantmarkets requires high precisionnot just in production, but alsoin post-harvest and distributionlogistics to ensure high qualityproduct in the market place.This makes the Kenyan flower an“A1” quality one of the superiorqualities globally.IFTEX while creating anopen forum through directinteraction between growersand buyers has in a great wayalso created an incentive to scaleup cultivation. The consistencyin production even in the wakeof change in climate, economicmeltdown that has hit Kenya’straditional flower markets andpolitical turmoil in the country,is no mean task. The resilienceof the Kenyan flower and itsgrowers is something worthcelebrating.And as we wait for thenew government to fulfill itspromise to the sector, the privatesector has stepped up to itscommitment to the industry.Companies like ElgonKenya Limited have been inthe frontline of working withthe growers, both small andlarge scale through provisionof world class and modernfarming technologies includingpest control arsenals that arethe biggest threat to optimumflower production.In a move to furthermotivate farmers and returndignity to the soil, Elgon KenyaLimited has this year launchedthe Annual Farmers Award inpartnership with the Ministryof Agriculture. The awards seekto recognize all farmers whotoil to place food in millionsof Kenyans tables while oilingthe country’s economy. Thefirst of its kind in the countryand the region, the awards areopen to smallholder farmers,large scale farming enterprisesand agricultural traininginstitutionsAliette Flash WG 80Kumulus DFEast Gate Road, Off MombasaEast GateRoad,Road,P.O.OffBoxMombasa46826 -Road00100, Nairobi, Kenya.Tel: (020) 6534410P.O.Fax:Box(020)468266534807.- 00100,E-mail:Nairobi,info@elgonkenya.comKenya.Tel: (020) 6534410Website:Fax: (020)www.elgonkenya.com6534807. E-mail: info@elgonkenya.comWebsite: www.elgonkenya.com28 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 29Mitac 20Bayleton WP 25Cupravit 50 WP


Total Insect“... New Creative and Eco-Friendly Solutionsto Crop Care and Farming Development...”Control ofAgrichem and Tools Ltd is a Kenyan based agrochemicalcompany providing safe, affordable and modern cropprotection products and agro-inputs services for farmers.Agrichem and Tools Ltd devotes itself into providingnew, creative and eco friendly solutions when it comes to crop care andfarming development. Our wide range of products for crop productionand protection are authenticated with the by-laws in crop produce by theKenyan Government.Since its establishment in 1998, Agrichem and Tools Ltd as anagrochemical company based in Kenya with has collaborations with othercompanies like Crop Science (TZ) Ltd, Tanzania and Baba InternationalTrading, Ethiopia, we are able to satisfy a region based market demandof our products and services. We are convinced that providing accessto improved farming systems is one of the backbones of any developingeconomy of a given country both social-economically, health wise as wellas environmentally and the entire East Africa region as a whole..With its advanced and vastly accessible location at Winsford Park offBaba Doog Road in Nairobi’s Ruaraka Area, Agrichem and Tools Ltd hasbeen able to attract and open up a great channel of innovative businessoperations to both our suppliers and clients at large. Being a licensed agentand distributor of agrochemicals under PCPB (Pest Control ProductsBoard), a member of AAK (Agrochemical Association of Kenya) andUBA (United business Association) Kenya, we as an agrochemicalcompany are able to ensure top of the chain standards and total crop careproducts supply.We deal with distribution and supply of agrochemicals and fertilizers tofloriculture and horticulture sector in the East Africa market as a whole.The company was founded on the concept of innovation consideringthe developing market of agriculture in Kenya and other East AfricanAgrichem and Tools Ltdare reputable suppliersof Greenhouse ImportedPolythene Sheeting, Silage,Mulch and Dam Linersregions. Our aims are to provide the best agrochemicals which areenvironmental friendly and cost effective. With our skilled man power,dedicated and committed staff members; the company has introducedmany revolutionary agrochemical products in African markets. Ourresearch and production team is constantly in contacts with our suppliersand manufacturer of agrochemicals worldwide.As a company, Agrichem and Tools Ltd has a wide experience of more,thus having immense knowledge of the African market better andtherefore we are always in the process to give something better to thefarmers. Apart from selling agrochemicals the company also providestechnical support and guidance to the farmers to help them get theright products and methods to increase their productivity. We are notjust stopping its responsibility after selling the products, but also haveprofessional staff members who constantly visit the farmers to understandtheir problems and suggest to them the right solutions. The story ofsuccess of the company can be viewed from its huge number of satisfiedcustomers in both floriculture and horticultural sectors. With our wideand well equipped logistic infrastructure, we are delivering products tothe door of our distributors and commercial customers of our productscountrywide.As we believe success is not an accident but it’s a process, and it requiresefforts and loyalty. Being a business organization we are as othercompany’s but still we are remarkably different from the rest as we keepcontact with our customers to ensure that their needs and demands areaddressed to make way to real opportunities by effective response tocustomer satisfaction.The company’s operations ethics in crop production and development inthe agriculture sector is believed to lead towards our society and nationsdevelopment. Being a responsible organization we believe in partnershipand growth together.SolartuffYellow Long Life FilmWhite Long Life FilmYellow Thermal FilmWhite Thermal FilmIndasol FilmTritermic FilmPhotoselective FilmAnti-Blackening FilmNatural FilmBlack FilmStrawberry Black FilmWhite/Black FilmSilver/Black FilmSilver FilmPhotoselective FilmAnti-Fog Mulching FilmSmall Tunnel Natural FilmSmall Tunnel Eva FilmWhite/Black Film (Hydroponic)Solarization FilmWhite/Black SilageGreen/Black SilageSol-Air “Cooling Film” (Bubble Film)Aphids, Thripsand NematodesFORTUNE AZA 0.3ECEmulsifiable ConcentrateAzadirachtin 3000PPMFortune Aza 0.3EC is an emulsifiable concentrate containing 3000PPM Azadirachtin. Fortune Aza 0.3EC is an insect growth regulator anddoes not control adult insects. However, Fortune Aza 0.3EC is also effective as a repellent towards, some adult species. Fortune Aza 0.3EC issystemic that interferes with the metabolism of ecdysone.Crops:French BeansPests:Aphids, Thrips and NematodesApplication Rate per Hectare:1Litre in 1000Litres of water. (Repeat after 10 days)Pre-Harvest Interval:1 dayAvailable Packages: 1LitreFor all climates, luminous transmissibility as well as thermicity are of vital importance. All regions require early harvest andhigh yield crops compared with open air crops. Film durability is another important factor to be considered when choosinggreenhouse covering. The cost of replacement material and labour are other factors to consider.Greenhouse Imported Polythene Sheeting are manufactured by Solplast, S.A. Agricultural Plastics - SpainAGRICHEM AND TOOLS LIMITED • Winsford Park off Baba Dogo Road, Ruaraka • P.O. Box 49430-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.PILOT LINES: +254 720 325 144, +254 733 806 200, +254 727 531 010 • E-mail: sales@agrichemandtools.com30 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 31


32Sericulture the cocoonedmoney spinnerRRAccording to NSSmanager David Mwangi,the centres collapsed due tomismanagement and lack offunding since JICA had alreadypacked and left all operations tothe Kenyan government.At the time of establishment,the idea was solely based on silkproduction which many farmersespecially smallholders wereunable to keep up with due toprohibitive cost of productionwhich involves setting up amulberry garden, acquiringthe worms and rearing them.Limited technical knowhowamong available extensionofficers across the country wasalso another major constraint.The tough part of sericulturefarming is in initiation. Accordingto figures provided and validatedby NSS a farmer needs a total ofSh. 376,873 to set up an acreof mulberry and start rearingsilkworms for the first year, which34Silkworms feeding on the Mulberry leavesHORTINEWS I july / august 2013is way out of reach for many smallscalefarmers struggling to makeends meet. This is anchored onthe assumption that the farmerowns the land.This can be broken downto establishment cost of themulberry farm which would costthe farmer a total of Sh.91,200,construction of the rearing houseSh. 208,769, putting up beds Sh.22,784, purchasing mountagesSh. 44,120 and rearing cost ofSh.56,010. This should give thefarmer about Sh.125,000 annuallywith minimal additional costs fora period of 20 years before .Mr. Mwangi laments thatdespite the numerous coursesintroduced in the countrieslearning institutions, none ofthem offers training of sericulturefarming and those interested ingaining technical skills have tofly-out to either Japan or India.Mr. Mwangi says in Kenya thereare only a few trained individualswho can impart sericultureknowledge to interested farmers.In fact farmers are forced to travelall the way to Thika to gain skillson sericulture production.“Introduction of sericulturecourses in our local institutionswould also be a big boosttowards attainment of thecountry’s development goals asentrenched in the Vision 2030blue print” says Mwangi.He however says that in aneffort to familiarise farmers withthe practice, they have beenactively engaging in agricultureexhibitions such as AgriculturalSociety of Kenya (ASK) acrossthe country.After realizing thesebottlenecks were real setbackstowards the development ofSericulture, the station movedto other value addition of themulberry tree which happensto be the main ingredientof sericulture farming. Themulberry tree leaves are used tofeed the worms for quality silkproduction.The tree leaves can also beused as fodder for livestockand vegetables for humanconsumption. According to Mr.Mwangi the vegetables caneither be cooked green straightfrom the tree or dried in theshade to be used for garnishingfood or as herbal tea.He says the leaves are knownto contain medicinal value forpeople suffering from lifestylediseases such as diabetes,besides having high nutritionalvalue and can also be used fordetoxification.When ripe the berries whichattain an almost black colour canbe eaten as fruits or processedinto jam, juice, flavor and wine.The pupa can be used asfood for fish and poultry oreven processed into livestockconcentrate. Other productsfrom the tree include basketrywhich can be weaved fromthe barks, timber for carvings,the stem can also be used formaking window and door blindsand natural dyes. The silkwormdroppings and rearing waste canbe used to make quality compostmanure.The station still offers trainingto farmers who want to engagein sericulture farming and allthey have to do is book anappointment beforehand. Thestation does not charge a feefor the training which can beanything between a day and twoweeks.Of late the station has trainedapproximately 600 farmersacross the board but hopes thatwith the new government andseveral ambitious strategiesto grow the economy of thiscountry and improve foodsecurity more emphasizes wouldbe put in sericulture farmingdevelopment.This can be supported byseveral international investorswho have expressed interest inboth mulberry products and silkproducts.“In the last one year we havebeen interacting with a Japanesegroup interested in mulberryproducts while another companyfrom the US aims at setting up asmall factory in the country forweaving silk products,” saysDiseasesRATECROPSAnthracnose,BotrytisOther Diseases500SCC a r b end azim 500 g/lA protective and curative fungicide for control of Botrytis,early blight,leaf spots, Fusarium and anthracnose in roses,Tomatoes and French beansBot r y tis, F u sariu mRoses | Tomatoes | WheatFrench beans |Snow-peasPassion fruits | MangoesFruit and Stem CankerGrey mouldBotrytis, Leaf spots, Black spots, stem rot, root rots, leaf spots,powdery mildew,50-100ml per 100L of water 0.5-1.0 L/ha in 1000-1500L10-20mls/20ltr.(Use higher rate during high disease pressure)Available in 100ml, 250ml, 500ml, 1L packsY our G r o wthO ur C o n c e r nMEMBER OFAGROCHEMICALaakASSOCIATIONOF KENYAAAK REG. NO.361 Protect to ProvideP.O. Box 24942 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 2128459, Fax:+254 20 2699191Mob: +254 722 736318,+254 735 544544 +254 722 563698,+254 738 980267inf o@greenlif e . co. ke | www . greenlif e .co . k eRR


Mulberry PlantationMulberry isa hardycrop whichis deeprooted andcan do well in almost all typesof soils. It requires a rainfall of400mm and above. However itis a drought tolerant crop hencecan thrive in arid and semi-aridareas.Mulberry varieties;Varieties suitable for lowrainfall areas such as Machakos,Laikipia, Isinya and KajiadoWe are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.Total InsectMulberry agronomyControl ofthe nursery.transplanting 3 to 4 months afterAphids,However, for nurseryThripsnursery planting.establishment which is dependent Transplanting is done early inon the type of soil and amount the morning, late in the eveningof rainfall in that particular area, or anytime during the day whenand Nematodesprepare seedbed two and a half the weather is cool. The shootsmonths before onset of rains. should be trimmed reduceThis can be raised or sunken loss of water by transpirationnursery depending on the soil while the roots should bedrainage properties. The width trimmed to avoid wilting of theof the nursery is 4 feet (1.2m) and sapling from bent roots.any convenient length. Mix half(½) a debe of well decomposedfarmyard manure in every 3 feet(1m).include; Kanva 2 (Ex-India), Ex-Embu and Ithanga do well inthese areas. While those suitablefor high rainfall areas such asNyeri, Kiambu, Murang’a andBahati in Nakuru are Ex-Thikaand Ex-Thailand varieties.Mulberry OrchardestablishmentOne can either dodirect planting or nurseryestablishment. For directplanting, the farmer is requiredto plant cuttings directly in thefarm without first raising them inPreparationCuttings should be taken frommature shoots, 6-8 months old ofabout 1.5cm in diameter, mostlythe grey part of the shoot leavingthe young green top of the shoot.To obtain a good cutting, use asharp pair of secateurs to make acut slightly slanting away from thebud at the top (10 percent slant).The lower part is cut at 45 percentslant to facilitate pushing it intothe soil. The length of the cuttingshould be 6 inches (15cm) longwith 3-4 buds.While preparing cutting careshould be taken not to damagethe bark or split the wood asthe leaves open wounds thatcan lead to infection that lowersgermination percentage.SpacingThis should be 6 by 6 inches.Watering should be doneregularly in order to keep thesoil moist and only one shoot isallowed to grow.Spacing of MulberryPlantation:There are several spacingpractices that have beenadopted but mostly determinedby the intended use, irrigatedor rain-fed plantation. 5ft x2½ (1.5m x 0.75m) for rain-fedmulberry and 4ft x 2½ (1.2 x 0.75)for irrigated mulberry. This willgive a population of 4,000 treesper acre.Digging of Holes:The size of the planting holeshould be 1½ft x 1½ft (45 x45cm).Separate topsoil from subsoiland mix the topsoil with half(½) a debe of well decomposedfarmyard manure then put itback into the hole. The soil levelshould be retained at least 10cmbelow ground level to form abasin like structure. Add 50gmsof D.A.P and mix well with thesoil.At the onset of the rains,pull out the saplings andtrim the roots and cut off theshoot to avoid loss of water bytranspiration. Plant the sapling inthe basin formed.When the shoots sprout moresoil is added to the soil toencourage the formation ofsecondary roots. If all uprootedsaplings are not planted on thatTotal Fungal PreventionCLIMATE 30SCSoluble ConcentrateKresoxim-Methyl 300g/LClimate 30SC is a fungicide for control of Powdery Mildew in Roses. Climate30SC is a fungicide with protective, curative, eradicative and long residual diseasecontrol; acts by inhibiting spore germination. Redistribution via the vapourphase contributes to activity.Crops:RosesPests:Powdery MildewApplication Rate:800ml in 1000Litres of water(Repeat or re-spray after 10 daysdepending on the infestation)Re-Entry Interval:Sprayed greenhouse or crop field can bere-entered after the spray has driedAvailable Packages: 1LitreRUSTOP 250SCSuspension ConcentrateAzoxystrobin 250g/LFungicide for the control of Leaf Rust and Bean Anthracnose in French Beans and Botrytis and Rust in Carnations.Rustop 250SC contains Azoxystrobin, a broad spectrum fungicide from the strobilurin group. It has a systemic,translaminar and protectant properties. It inhibits fungal respiration. Shows good crop safety, disease control andmaintenance of green leaf area which result in significantly yield benefits. Rustop 250SC is best used as a protectivetreatment or during early stages of disease establishment.Crops:CarnationsPests:Botrytis and RustApplication Rate:750ml in 1000Litres of water per HectareReEntry Interval:4HoursCrops:French BeansPests:Leaf RustBean AnthracnoseApplication Rate:10ml in 20Litres of waterPreHarvest Interval:3 daysAGRICHEM AND TOOLS LIMITEDTransplantingAvailable Packages: 1Litre, 100ml and 50mlWinsford Park off Baba Dogo Road, RuarakaThis is the transfer of saplingsP.O. Box 49430-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.from the nursery to the mainPILOT LINES: +254 720 325 144,field. Saplings are ready for+254 733 806 200, +254 727 531 010E-mail: sales@agrichemandtools.com36 HORTINEWS I july / august 201337


Would you advice on mushroom growing inWeithaga, Murang’a County. Would you advicegrowing in greenhouses and do you providemarket for such crops?B beatrice Njoki: njokidido@yahoo.comIntroduction to mushroom growingA mushroom is a macro fungus with a distinctive fruiting body.The fruiting body is large enough to be seen by the naked eye.Mushroom are heterotrophs .Life cycle of mushroomVegetative growth - involving linear growth of mycelia.Reproductive growth.-under favourable conditions mycelialgrowth produce fruiting bodies.Reasons for growing mushrooms1. Nutritional value 2. Food 3. Income generation 4.Cleaning theenvironment by recycling farm wastes 5. Medicinal valueSuitable substrateWheat straw, rice straw, saw dust, cotton seed hulls, sugarcaneburgesses, bean straw, maize strawN:B oyster mushroom grows on almost all substrates containinglignin and cellulose.Factors to consider when choosing substrate|| READER’S FORUM ||Mushroom growingI. Cost of substrate II) Availability of substrate III) Cleanliness (thesubstrate should be contamination free) eg. mould. IV) Yield V)Ease of use VI) Age of the substrateSubstrate preparationa) Shredding: cut the substrate into small pieces measuring3-6cm, this is done for straw. When using saw dust it’s importantto compost it first because it contains some poisons revered to aslignin phenols. It’s heaped to 1.8 metre high and watered regularlyuntil it attains a watery state. 1per cent lime is added as a pH bufferand 1 percent urea is also added to increase the nutrient content ofthe substrate.b) Soaking:the substrate is soaked for about twelve hours.However some substrate needs no soaking.c) Brending: after soaking the substrate is left to loses water for1hr. the moisture content of the substrate can be checked bysqueezing. After draining the water the substrate is mixed with 20per cent bran and 2 per cent lime as a pH buffer.d) Bagging: polythene bags are used in bagging the substrate. 9by 15inches and 10 by 15inches.e) Sterilization by steaming: for sterilization a metallic drum isused. A wooden rack (platform) which is about 21cm is placed atthe bottom of he drum. About 40 litres of water is put in the drum.- the bags containing the substrate are the arranged in the drumon top of the platform. The bags are arranged in such a way thatthey will allow steam movement.-the bags are then steamed for 4-4 and a half hour. the flamesshould not be allowed on the side of the drum, this is because dryheat would burn the polythene bags.- Temperature should be maintained at around 95 degrees. The drumshould have a hole or two to allow steam to escape.-too vigorous boiling wastes fuel without reading to any increasein temperature. It may also lead to evaporation of all the water andthis would lead to the polythene bags containing the substrategetting burnt. After pasteurization the heat is turned off and thedrum allowed to cool down for sometime before it is opened. Thesubstrate is allowed to cool to 28 degrees. It should be left in a cleanenvironment for 24 hours.f) Spawning-introduction of mushroom spawns in the bags ofsubstrate.This requires a clean aseptic condition to prevent contamination ofthe substrate. A spawning chamber should be used for spawning,after the bags are ready for spawning.The rubber band tying the outer pp bag is removed before he bagsare put in the spawning box. This is to make the spawning quicker. Thecotton wool will provide the oxygen required for the growth of themycelia. Without adequate aeration the mycelia will grow very slowlyhence the removal of the rubber band.A number of bags (about 20) are put in the box. Spawn is first shakento loosen it and the spawn bottle put in the box which is closed.The inside of the chamber is then sprayed with 70 per cent alcohol.Some farmers use methylated spirit to sterilize the inside of thechamber. The alcohol fumes kill the microbes in the chamber andnow spawning can be done. Care should be taken because alcohol isflammable so naked flames or sparks can easily ignite the alcohol.The worker also sprays some alcohol on his hands. Spawning requiresa careful hand and speed. The cotton plug is removed from themouth of the bag and piece of spawns poured into the bag using theother hand. The cotton plug is then replaced as soon as the spawnsare added. The plug should be tight enough to keep insects fromentering the bag.A ¼ litre bottle is enough to spawn 25bags. One litre of spawn spawns100bags. The bags should not be left open for long as this gives thecontaminants enough time to enter the substrate.IncubationThe spawned bags are arranged on shelves in the growing houseand left alone for about 4 weeks. During this time the white myceliawill be seen growing from the top to the bottom of the bag. Theoptimum temperature for the growth of mycelia is 25 degree. Lightis not necessary for this stage of growth but some diffuse light doesno harm. That’s why it is possible to do incubation in the same roomused for fruiting. Some farmers however construct a dark room forincubation. In oyster mushroom production the provision of a darkroom is optional.Aeration will be provided by the cotton plug. Spraying with wateris not necessary at this stage. Although when the temperatures aretoo high spraying can be done to cool the growing house. When themycelia have grown to the bottom of the bags, his marks the endof incubation and the mycelia are ready for fruiting. Insects shouldbe checked and controlled for they spread infections. They mayalso lay their eggs on the cotton wool and the substrate. The bagsshould be checked for contamination and any bag sawing signs ofcontamination should be removed from the growing room to avoidspread of the infection. Such bags should be discarded far away fromthe growing house.FruitingThe four environmental conditions required for fruiting (light,temperature, relative humidity, and aeration) should be optimumfor best results. The bags are opened by removing the PVC neck andcotton wool .this allows space for mushrooms (fruiting body) to growas they cannot grow through the plastic. The bag is rolled back toexpose the top of the substrate for fruiting.As soon as the bags are opened spraying starts .the floor, wall andall surfaces are sprayed with water to raise the relative humidity toabove 95 per cent.the mycelia are also sprayed with a very fine mist ofclean water from a distance of 2 feet. Bigger droplets disturb myceliaand could delay fruiting or even stop it completely. As soon as finedroplets start trickling down on the mycelia spraying should stopbecause too much water on the substrate attracts bacterial growth.Spraying is done 2-3 times in a day depending on the prevailingenvironmental conditions.Spraying also lowers the temperatures which is necessary for fruitingof mushroom. For many species of mushrooms a cold shock triggersthe fruiting. Aeration should be provided by opening the windows.Under poor aeration the mushrooms will have very long stems, smallcaps and most of them will abort. If the windows are too big then itwill be hard to provide high relative humidity as the moisture will beblown away by wind.After opening the bags tiny mushrooms will start growing from thesurface of mycelia. They will first be visible as bumps then as pinheadswhich later grow to full sized mushrooms (first flush). The mushroomsare picked before the margins start rolling. Picking is done by holdingthe mushrooms from the base, pulling and twisting them to breakthem off the substrate. A knife should never be used never be usedfor harvesting as it leaves a stump which could later be attacked bybacteria leading to rotting of substrate.After picking the scars are left to dry out for a day, it’s notrecommended to spray directly on the scars immediately afterharvesting. Under the above conditions (high relative humidity andlight) the bags will produce another flush of mushrooms after fiveto seven days. Good strains will keep producing mushrooms upto eight flushes. Between the flushes it is sometimes necessary toscrap old mycelia on the surface to expose fresh mycelia (this activityencourages fruiting).The last flushes are very weak though and now the bags can beremoved from the growing house.With good care a kilo of dry substrate can produce 1-2kg of freshmushroomsMore questions and answers; www.hortinews.co.ke38 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 39HORTICULTURAL NEWS I JAN / feb 2013


|| technology ||We are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.MileStoneRR250 SCPreesman launches new appFlower breeder,Preesman PlantsB.V, has launchedan app which willbe available bothat Apple App Store and GooglePlay for Android, says thecompany representative BobGoedemans.Preesman is the first flowerbreeder company in the entireworld to introduce this appwhich, Mr. Goedemans says, wasborn out of realizing breedersuse a lot of money to markettheir products.He says the app which hasbeen in the market for more thansix months now will help usersto be up-to-date on the latestPreesman assortment which willin turn be easier for the companyto sell their flowers online.“The main thing is that the Appallows all our clients, wholesalers,importers worldwide to beupdated on our assortment andnews updates all the time. Justdownload the App and you arealways updated,” he says.During the next months thecompany will keep updatingthe app and appreciates highlyfeedback from the users.Preesman claims to be the firstbreeder with an app, but hopesthat more breeders will followsuit.He notes that this App is partof the company’s marketingstrategy geared towards relaunchingof Preesman in themarket. Through this campaignPreesman has an extra focus onassisting their clients in the finalexport markets.“By making our productswell known aroundwholesalers, importersand florists worldwide, ourclient will benefit from it.With a worldwide networkof approximately 10.000contacts, we are ready to assistour clients in positioning themand our products,” adds Mr.Goedemans.Since 2011, the company hasbeen managed by a progressivemanagement team, and benefitsfrom the daily involvementof its Kenyan shareholders.To better serve the industry,Jelle PosthumusPreesman is currently workingto decentralize and optimizeits breeding activities. They arealso re-dedicating themselvesto further cooperation withclients around the world.The company breedsand selects new varieties ofroses, chrysanthemums andalstroemeria in its locations allover the worldBob GoedemansCorrectionIn our May-June 2013 issue, on page 41, we erroneouslypublished Jelle Posthumus photo as Bob Goedemans. We takethis early opportunity to correct the error and apologise for anymisunderstanding the photo mix-up may have caused.DiseasesAzoxystrobin 250g/LFungicide for control of rust in carnations, powdery mildew, botrytisin roses, rust, blights, angular leafspots in french beans, ascochytaleafspots in snowpeasBotrytis, Rust & Powdery mildewMEMBER OFAGROCHEMICALaakASSOCIATIONOF KENYAAAK REG. NO.361 Protect to Provide40 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 41P.O. Box 24942 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 2128459, Fax:+254 20 2699191Mob: +254 722 736318,+254 735 544544 +254 722 563698,+254 738 980267inf o@greenlif e . co. ke | www . greenlif e .co . k eCROPSRoses | CarnationsFrench Beans | Snow PeasCapsicums | Watermelons | Wheat | TomatoRust Botrytis Angular leafspots Ascochyta leafspotsRATE:300-500mls/ha in 300-1000L water/ha, 6-10mls/20L waterRemarks: Use high rate when the pest pressure is highAvailable in 100mls & 1L packsY o u r G r o wthO u r C o n c e r nRR


day, store the remaining onesin a damp place. One can dig ahole and place them inside orplace them under shade andcover them with grass. Sprinklewater over them to keep themdamp.Inter-cropping:Legumes can be plantedbetween the mulberry rows,using the standard cultivation.However climbers or any otherlegume that requires sprayingof chemicals that are harmfulto the silkworms should not beintercropped. Inter-croppingwith legumes can be done withinthe first year while the crop isyoung which leads to additionalnitrogen to the garden andincome in the first year.Training of MulberryTree for Maximum LeafProduction:Three months after themulberry has been establishedin the main field, prune theshoots at the base level. This willallow more shoots to grow fromthe base.After about 6 months, whenthese shoots attain a heightof 3ft select 3 strong shoots.Prune at 1ft above the groundto establish the pruning/harvesting table.Harvesting/pruning:Harvesting starts 9 months aftertransplanting from the nursery.Each plant produces an averageof 1kg of leaves in the first season.On attaining maturity in the thirdyear, the tree should give 2kg pertree giving a total yield of 20m/tons/ha/season of mulberry leaf.Depending on the rainfall pattern,4-5 crops can be realized in a year.Mulberry AgronomyMethods of harvesting:The most used methodsof harvesting mostly forfeeding silkworms but also forvegetables:(i) Leaf plucking - individualleaves are harvested fromthe stem. When this methodis used the remaining shootis later harvested for theolder silkworms ensuringthat the tree is well prunedafter each rearing.(ii) Shoot harvesting - shootswith leaves are pruned atthe harvesting table (30cmfrom the ground).Avoid harvesting yellow, overmature and diseased leaves forthey have less moisture and lownutritive value.Mulberry diseasesThe most common diseasesof mulberry are:-Septoria Leaf Spot:CercosporamoricolaSymptoms:The diseased leaves have anumber of circular irregular darkbrown spots of various sizeswith clear boundaries and whitecenters. Occasionally, the spotsenlarge to cover the whole leafbelow. Usually the incidenceis more during rainy seasons.Under field conditions olderleaves have been found to bemore susceptible.Control:Leaf for feeding silkwormshould be harvested at therecommended period to avoidleaf spot attack as this diseaseis prevalent on old and overmature leaves. Proper culturalpractices like weeding out thealternate hosts, removing theaffected leaves, and infectedleaves should be removed andburnt.(ii) Powdery Mildew:This is caused by thepathogen Phyllactinia corylea.Powdery mildew is prevalentduring the cold months andunder humid conditions in thetropical regions.Symptoms:Grey powder appears aswhitish patches and quicklycovers the entire surface ofthe leaves. It is found on theunderside of the leaves. Thediseased leaves are not suitablefor feeding silkworms.Control:Maintain proper spacing andtimely harvesting. The affectedleaves should be picked anddestroyed.Mulberry PestsThripsNymphs and adults of thripslacerate the epidermal leaftissues and suck the oozing cellsap leading to damage of guardcells and finally drying of leaves.Affected leaves show streaks inthe early stages and blotches inthe advanced stage of the attack.CutwormWe are proud to announceour new App to the industry.Search on Preesman in thestores and be up to date allthe time.Type of Damage andSymptoms:The caterpillars attack theshoots of young plants and cutthem. The cut portion of theshoot dries up and falls down.They also feed on leaves. Newlysprouted mulberry garden orthe garden having young plantsare found without brancheshaving dried leaves.Control:(1) Deep ploughing of the mulberrygarden exposes the differentstages of pest which can be pickedup and killed.(2) Deep digging around themulberry plants after pruningexposes cutworms that are close tothe plant.Spiraling White FlyType of Damage andSymptoms:Infest the lower surface of leavesresulting in chlorosis, yellowing,upward curling of the leaves, leaffall and retardation of growth.The nymphs and adults remainon the lower surface of theleaves and desap the plantsSource; a manual guide tosericulture practices in Kenya.42 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 43


|| technology ||Farmforce digitizing farmingFarm force is user friendly and has transformed my life completely, all that I need is to installthe application in my smart phone and monitor all the activities in my farm.Charles Mwaniki is one of the farmers using the Farmforce technologyBY JAMES GUTETAFor Charles Mwaniki,horticulture wasnot his first lovebut now is. Theyoung and suavepharmacist is a perfect exampleof a modern farmer in Kenya.Due to his nature andreadiness to embrace newtechnology Mwaniki’s farm hadbeen selected for piloting of aninnovative web-based platformdubbed ‘Farmforce’ which is nowhelping smallholder farmers inthe horticulture sub-sectorcapture and disseminate criticaldata across all value chains–planting, sprying, harvesting,shipping- in real time.However, his success in thehorticulture industry has notbeen a walk in the park followinga directive by the EU whichdemanded testing of all beansexported to the Union fromKenya have Maximum Residuelevels (MRLs) of not more than0.02 parts per million.The EU began testing 10percent of every consignmentof all beans exports from Kenyawhich Mr. Mwaniki farms lastDecember after it establishedsome previous shipments (nothis) contained pesticide residuesabove the recommended MRLslimit.This tool that has beendeveloped over two yearsby Syngenta Foundation forSustainable Agriculture (SFSA)is also seen as an opportunityfor over 50,000 smallholderhorticulture farmers to increasetheir profit margins by ensuringthe produce is not rejected byconsumers.Kenya is the first country inAfrica where Farm force waslaunched to facilitate informationflow among key players inhorticulture sector includingsmallholders, cooperatives,processors, exporters andconsumers.“Farm force is user friendlyand has transformed my lifecompletely, all that I need isto install the application in mysmart phone and monitor allthe activities in my farm. Thetechnology has also improvedinteraction with my workers andclients,” Mwaniki said during theofficial launch of Farm force inThika town.Gracing the occassion,Agriculture secretary Dr. WilsonSonga, revealed that under thetough compliance procedures,exporters to the EU will berequired to fill a Common EntryDocument (CED) which would becounter-checked by authoritiesto confirm compliance withall safety controls on harmfulelements such as Aflatoxins,pesticide residues and heavymetals such as lead.“Farmforce mobile applicationalerts field staff with warningsif ever the compliance rules arenot followed like the maximumnumber of applications of achemical or the pre-harvestsinterval is not observed.” Headded.He stressed that moderntechnologies should be availedto smallholders to enable themaccess real time informationon agronomy, weather andmarkets.“In this modern worldtraceability is key” he quipped.“Farmforce can be installedin an ordinary smart phone toprovide quality informationthat improve practices atfarm level and will also enableconsumers of fresh producetrace their origin and ascertaintheir safety standards,” saidHead of Agricultural SupportServices, Syngenta Foundationfor Sustainable Agriculture, FritzBrugger.Brugger noted that significantconnectivity, easy access to amobile phone and a burgeoningpopulation of tech-savvy Kenyanyouth will boost the adoption ofthis technology at small-holderlevel.For Mr. Mwaniki this app wouldnot have come any sooner. “Iam now very confident of thefuture, this application has savedme from using loads of paperwork. All I need is a simple smartphone”.“We are truly in the digital agemy plants have already embracedtechnology” he laughs off44 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 HORTINEWS I july / august 2013 45


CCIICICITIOTTIIOOTIOI•ANPOT ATOASSOCIACITROFAN9 T H T RI E N N A LC O N F E R E N C EANPAONPANAA ATT TOPTOANOTPAOTOSAAOT ASOSTCIOSSSOOACCAIISSAOCIAARRRRFFFFBY JAMES GUTETAPressure onagriculturalland has madeinnovators tofind new ways offarming especially in the urbanareas where the demand forfresh vegetables is on an all-timehigh.After months of research, RealImpact a Non-GovernmentalOrganisation in Thika hasproduced a UV-inhibiting andreusable vegetable bag madefrom locally sourced materialswith a promise of durabilityAccording to Real ImpactDirector Harry Day this foodsecurity technology productutilises the concept of verticalgrowing. “This means growingutilising space like a high-risebuilding, where you use the spaceCharlotte Jordan of Real Impact at one of the bag gardens.New space savingbag gardensabove a given area, which meansan increased amount of spaceto produce leafy vegetables iscreated.”Mr. Day faulted manysmallholders or householdersare growing using old charcoal ormaize sacks to perform a similartask, whilst this is a cheap andeasy fix, the bags fall apart anddo not last. They also topple overwith precious vegetables inside,ruining the crop.“The demise of the whitebag is sped by damage from UVin sunlight. This sunlight alsohinders root development insidethe sacks and causes suboptimalyields.”Growing out of the side ofthe bag means 10 times moreproductivity than growing onthe ground. The footprint of thebag is 0.5 m2 (plus allowancefor space for leaf growth), whichconverts to a growing surfacearea of 3.5 m2. You can also plantinto the top of the bag with rootcrops such as carrots. The yield is10 times than growing the samecrop in the field as shorter spacingbetween plants is utilised.Bag gardens are considereda labour-saving technologybecause weeding requirementsare reduced dramatically.Harvesting is quick and thosesuffering from back problemsneed only little bending toharvest the leafy crops. Wateringis made easier and more efficientas the top of the bag is irrigated,permeating down to quenchplants below.Mr Day revealed that the bigbag garden has place for morethan 80 plants.”The bags canbe utilised to grow spinach,sukuma wiki, amaranth, spiderplant, nightshade and herbs. Onthe top root vegetables can begrown such as carrots, leeks oronions.”“Actually one big bag gardencan feed one small family” hebeamed.Bag gardens planted withsukuma wiki can yield 3 kgs perweek for 16 weeks. This meansbag costs can be recoupedwithin the first year, thereaftermaking a small profit. There areadded bonuses of increasedhousehold food security,learning crop husbandry skillsand zero transport costs.Bag gardens are available topurchase from Real Impact. Bigbags (80 plant capacity) costKshs. 1,100, medium bags (40plant capacity) cost Kshs.800and greenhouse bags (forplanting tomatoes, cucumber,chili and capsicum) cost Kshs.60046 HORTINEWS I july / august 201347AAAACCCCOO OONN NNFF FFEE EERR RRE EE E N NN NC CCCEEEEI E N N A L9 T H T RIIEENNNNAALLN•9 T H T RNN••9 T H T RI E N N A L9 T H T RN•


National Farmers’ Award Scheme 2013The Ministry of Agriculture is collaborating with Elgon Kenya Limited to conduct the NationalFarmers Competition Award Scheme 2013. This is a new approach to upscale “PresidentialFarmers’ Competitions Award Scheme” which the Ministry has been conducting annuallycovering all the provinces and three competition categories namely: Large Scale Mixed Farms,Small Scale Mixed farms and the Agricultural Training Centres. All the provinces have beentargets for national competitors after the carrying out competitions at province, district anddivisional levels.This change in approach to the scheme implementation has been prompted by the expectedchange of some service delivery systems of government as soon as these systems get devolvedas per the new constitution. The new approach adopts five competition categories as:a. Small scale farm gearing to commercialization,b. Small Scale farms fully commercialized based on the level of investment andturnover per year (≤Ksh 50 million),c. Large scale fully commercialized farm categories (>Ksh 50m),d. Large scale Agro input dealers with an investment of not less than Ksh 5me. Small Scale Agro dealers at an investment level of Ksh 2m.It will be up to the competitor to prove his or her level of investment and turnover per year.The competitors are expected to apply for the entry to the competitions through applicationforms distributed through the sub-county and county agricultural offices or downloaded fromwww.kilimo.go.ke / www.farmersawards.com / www.elgonkenya.com / www.hortinews.co.keThe forms are given free of charge and entry to the competition is free.It is expected that a competitor will apply for one category and that those who will be shortlisted will be visited by a panel of judges to carry out detailed performance assessment of thecompetitor’s performance.For large scale farm categories, more enquiries will be done into the following corporateresponsibility issues:1. Environment care and protection2. Climate change mitigation measures3. Waste disposal4. Resource development strategies5. Social responsibilities6. Working environment improvement issues like labour lines , social amenities,conflict arbitrationWhile the new approach may not change the objectives of the scheme, it may target morebusiness oriented farmers and organizations than before.Public farms like the Agricultural Training Centres, ADC farms, Prisons farms, may also apply.Dead line for applications is July 31, 2013.East Gate Road, Off Mombasa Road, P.O. Box 46826 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya.Tel: (020) 6534410 Fax: (020) 6534807awards@elgonfarmersawards.com, submissions@ elgonfarmersawards.com,Website: www.elgonfarmersaward.com / www.elgonkenya.com

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