Pyrethrum is a white flowering plant that contains a chemical substance used in insecticides. it is
Mainly grown in high altitude areas e.g. in Kenya along the slopes of Mt. Kenya, Aberdare ranges, Kikuyu land, and slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mt. Meru, Mbeya, and Usambara ranges and Southern highlands in Tanzania.
Conditions for its growth of Pyrethrum
Fairly cool and moist conditions for plant growth
Pyrethrum is a cool-season crop that prefers temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. It is not tolerant of high temperatures, and prolonged exposure to temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius can damage the plants. Pyrethrum also requires a humid environment, with a relative humidity of at least 60%.
High altitude of about 1000m to 1800m above sea level to ensure cool conditions
Pyrethrum is typically grown at high altitudes, between 1000 and 1800 meters above sea level. This is because the higher altitudes provide cooler temperatures and more humidity, which are both ideal for pyrethrum growth.
Well drained and fertile loam soils for proper plant growth and high yields
Pyrethrum prefers well-drained and fertile loam soils. The soil should be deep and have a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Pyrethrum is not tolerant of waterlogged soils, as this can lead to root rot.
Heavy and reliable rainfall of about 1500mm per annum for high yields of the crop
Pyrethrum requires a heavy and reliable rainfall of about 1500mm per annum. The rainfall should be evenly distributed throughout the year, as dry spells can damage the plants.
Cheap and abundant labor especially during the harvesting period
Pyrethrum is a labor-intensive crop, especially during the harvesting period. The flowers need to be harvested by hand, and this can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Therefore, it is important to have a reliable source of cheap and abundant labor available during the harvesting season.
Well developed transport routes linking to industries since it’s grown in highland areas
Pyrethrum is typically grown in highland areas, which can make it difficult to transport the crop to processing facilities. Therefore, it is important to have well-developed transport routes in place to ensure that the crop can be transported efficiently and cost-effectively.
Extensive land for large scale growing to ensure high output
Pyrethrum can be grown on a small scale, but for high yields, it is best to grow it on an extensive scale. This means having a large area of land available for cultivation.
High humidity all year round for luxuriant growth of the crop
Pyrethrum requires high humidity all year round. This is because the high humidity helps to prevent the flowers from drying out and also helps to keep the pests and diseases at bay.
Abundant sunshine for ripening and harvesting of the crop
Pyrethrum requires abundant sunshine for ripening and harvesting. The flowers should be harvested when they are fully open and have a bright yellow color.
Supportive government policy to encourage plantation agriculture
Pyrethrum cultivation is a long-term investment, and it is important to have a supportive government policy in place to encourage plantation agriculture. This can include providing subsidies for farmers, investing in research and development, and promoting the crop to potential buyers.
Gently sloping landscape for easy movement of the workers
Pyrethrum cultivation is a labor-intensive crop, and it is important to have a gently sloping landscape for easy movement of the workers. This will help to reduce fatigue and injuries among the workers.
Ready market for the crop which is both local and international e.g. in China
Pyrethrum is a valuable crop, and there is a ready market for it both locally and internationally. The main markets for pyrethrum are China, India, and Europe.