10 Factors favouring horticultural farming in Kenya

10 FACTORS FAVOURING HORTICULTURAL FARMING IN KENYA

  • The hot and wet climate favours the growth of tropical crops while the cool and wet conditions in the highlands suit temperate crops (plums, pears, apples grapes)
  • The fertile volcanic soils that are well drained and rich in nutrients favour the growth of a variety of crops
  • High population in the rural areas provide labour in the farms and in urban centres that provide ready market.




  • Investment by large companies such as Del-Monte ,Pan African foods, Oserian that provide capital for the horticultural industry.
  • Technical and financial assistance by the German Agricultural team who carry out research, and train farmers.
  • Establishment of Horticultural Cooperative Union and Horticultural Development Authority to help farmers export their products.
  • The government through its export promotion drive is encouraging the diversification of export crops with the aim of broadening the country’s export base.
  • Improvement of road network to enhance accessibility to local and overseas markets.




Cultivation

  • Fruits and vegetables are grown in open fields
  • Flowers are grown at the shores of Lake Naivasha and in Kibwezi
  • There is increased use of greenhouses in the growing of fruits, flowers and vegetables

Description of Greenhouses

  • They are large in size
  • resemble warehouses/go downs
  • spacious
  • Their framework is made of wood or metal tubes
  • They are covered by translucent heavy polythene material to allow small amounts of sunshine/heat




  • The polythene falls freely and can be raised to desired heights to control humidity
  • The moisture/water is availed to the plants by sprinkling/irrigation

Reasons for increased use of greenhouse in horticultural farming

  • It is easier to control the amount of moisture that flowers require
  • The plants are protected from excessive rainfall, hailstones and drought thus ensuring maximum yields
  • The spread of pests and diseases is controlled as chemicals (pesticides) are used more effectively and efficiently.
  • Plants are protected from the damaging effects of strong winds and airborne diseases.




  • Semi artificial climate is created within the greenhouse which is uniform for all plants in there.
  • Crops are grown all year round since external climatic conditions do not affect their growth.
  • It is easy to control weeds through application of herbicides

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