- 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.
- 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
- 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