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Nyeri farm increases yield reduces pests through crop rotation

Onion Farming in Kenya

Nava Farm in Nyeri County is growing potatoes, tomatoes, beans, garlic and red onions on rotation that has kept its production all-time high of 15-20 tonnes per acre besides reducing the risk of pest and weed infestations, improving diversity in plant production and upping humus formation.

According to a research One Acre Fund by in 2016, crop rotation can improve soil health through increased soil organic matter and increased available nitrogen through nitrogen fixation. The rotation can also decrease pest and disease pressure by disrupting pest and disease cycles that rely on the continuous presence of maize as a host hence boosting production.

“Our farm is 40 acres but we have divided it in several paddocks of acres for different crops which we keep rotating from time to time which has kept our production high and of standard,” said Daniel Gakuu, the farm manager.

The farm is currently having garlic under four acres, potatoes 14 acres, red onions four acres and beans also four acres. The rest of the farm is divided equally under avocado and vegetable production.

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According to Gakuu an acre can produce a minimum of 15 tonnes of onions and 20 tonnes on the maximum and that has kept the farm steady in the market as it supplies traders who constantly visit the farm to buy the produce at farm gate price.

“We sell a kilo of garlic at Sh65 and a kilo of red onions at Sh30 a kilo during peak periods. We sell our produce depending on market price.”

The farm sell its produce to traders from Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru and as far as South Sudan who plcae their orders and produce delivered to them or come to the farm and buy what is fetching the farm about Sh480,000 gross and Sh300,000 profit just from onions alone.

“We are able to make our profit because we do not deal with middlemen but work with bulk buyers directly. The minimum someone can buy from us is five tonnes,” said Gakuu.

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