Garlic may be your crop if you’re looking for a new and exciting farming endeavor! Garlic is a unique plant that can be grown in many different climates and soil types. This article will discuss the basics of garlic farming in Kenya, from planting to harvesting.
We will also provide tips on how to market your garlic crop. Are you ready to start your garlic farm? Let’s get started!
How to Start Garlic Farming in Kenya
Garlic farming can be profitable, but it’s important to know the basics before you start. Here are the essentials for creating a garlic farm in Kenya:
- Choose the correct location: Garlic plants need total sun exposure and well-drained soil. They can be grown in a variety of climates, but make sure to research your specific region to find out what type of garlic grows best there.
- Prepare the soil: Garlic plants prefer rich, sandy soil high in organic matter. Amend your soil with compost or manure before planting.
- Plant your garlic cloves: Garlic cloves should be planted in the fall when the weather is cool and moist. Space them about 6 inches apart and bury them 2-3 inches deep.
- Water regularly: Garlic needs regular watering to stay healthy. Ensure the soil is moist but not wet, and avoid over-watering, as this can lead to rot.
- Harvest your garlic bulbs: Garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest when the leaves start to brown and die back. Be careful not to harvest too early or too late, as both will affect the quality of your crop.
- Store your garlic bulbs properly: Garlic bulbs will keep for several months if stored in a cool, dry place.
Garlic Varieties in Kenya
There are only two (2) significant categories of garlic onions grown worldwide. These are;
- The Hardneck garlic
- And the Softneck garlic
We have the nine (9) sub-types within these two categories from which the geographical location and weather favor their growth.
We’re not going to tire you with details of other types of garlic that are grown all over the world. But, we will show you the three common subtypes of garlic. Let’s get you started.
- Silver White Garlic: The first type of garlic on our list is the famous Softneck garlic, known for its characteristic white color and fast growth and maturity.
- Silver Rose Garlic: Next, we have the silver rose garlic, with an average shelf life of 12 months when dried well in the sun. This means that, even if there is no ready market at the time of harvest, you can store and sell them later when the market reopens.
- Artichoke Seed Garlic: We have the Artichoke variety, which is reddish and the most productive. This type of garlic is considered one of the easiest to grow and the most effective.
In Kenya, there are three sub-types of garlic onions that are notorious;
- Plenty of fatty acids
- Rich in proteins
- And lastly, one rich in proteins but with fewer fatty acids.
These are the ones we consume and use daily.
Garlic Farming in Kenya Ecologica Requirement
Garlic onions do well in humid areas characterized by low sunshine, moderate rainfall, and low temperatures with no strong winds or thick fog.
In addition to the above, garlic onions require black fertile and well-drained light soil with a PH of 5.5 – 6.8.
Garlic is grown from the nursery and then transplanted to the main farm after the seedlings reach 6-14 inches. The seedlings are sown 12 inches apart in a row, with 3-4 spaces between each plant.
Where is garlic grown in Kenya?
In short, garlic onions are the hardest to farm because they tend to survive within a small geographical area worldwide.
Garlic onions in Kenya do well in Meru, Nakuru, and Narok. Garlic can also do well in any area consistent with the measurements above but only for small-scale production.
- Plow the soil slightly and do some hallowing to facilitate the planting of the seedlings.
- Make ridges of 1 to 1.5 meters and 10 meters wide.
- In terms of fertilizer, avoid using large quantities. Just apply the right amount.
Planting the seedlings to a depth of about 2.5 inches would be best. For the best results, it is recommended to use cow dung fertilizer during planting.
Garlic is usually harvested after 4-6 months, depending on the weather and the type of seed used.
When planting garlic at the farm, the distance between rows should be 8 inches and from one seedling to the next is 6 inches (8×6).
Mathematically speaking, one acre of land requires approximately 200 -300 kilograms of clove seedlings which will, in turn, fetch 5-6 tonnes of harvest.
- Garlic Onions are not as susceptible to disease as other crops.
- Let the plants grow tall until they bend under their weight when they start flowering. And then trim them down to increase production.
The only known disruptive pests are THRIPS and fog on the side. The garlic plant is usually susceptible to diseases from weeks 3-7, but with some common pesticides, you can get rid of them before they damage!
Also, read Carrot Farming in Kenya.
Where to Sell Garlic in Kenya
Once you’ve harvested your garlic crop, it’s time to start marketing it! There are many ways to sell garlic, including:
- Local farmers markets – This is an excellent option if you live near a large city or town. Farmers’ markets are a great way to connect with local consumers looking for fresh produce.
- Online marketplaces – There are several online marketplaces where you can sell your garlic, such as eBay or Etsy. These platforms allow you to reach a larger audience of consumers nationwide or even worldwide!
- Wholesale buyers – If you have a large quantity of garlic, you may want to consider selling it to wholesale buyers. This can be a great way to get a higher price for your crop and expand your business reach!
No matter how you choose to sell your garlic, make sure you’re marketing it in a way that will attract buyers. Garlic is a unique and versatile product, so highlight its many uses in your marketing materials.
How profitable is garlic farming in Kenya?
Garlic farming is a lucrative business in Kenya. It is one of the crops with high demand in the local and international markets. Garlic is also a crop that can be grown all year round. This makes it a good option for small-scale farmers looking for a reliable source of income.
Garlic can be grown using different production methods. The most common way is to plant cloves in rows and then cover them with soil.
Garlic can also be grown in raised beds or containers. Garlic is a hardy crop and does well in most types of soil. However, it does best in soils with a pH level of 6 to 7.
The garlic market is growing every day. This means that this industry has a lot of potential for profit.
Garlic can be sold fresh or dried. It can also be processed into different products such as garlic oil, powder, and extract. Garlic is a versatile crop and has many uses. It is an ingredient in many dishes and can also be used as a medicine.
Small-scale farmers looking to start a garlic farming business should research the market carefully to determine the best-selling prices. Farmers should also ensure access to a reliable market to sell their produce.
Tips for Marketing Your Garlic Crop
When it comes to marketing your garlic crop, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Garlic is a unique and versatile product, so highlight its many uses in your marketing materials.
- Garlic is in high demand in the local and international markets, so make sure to target these markets specifically.
- Garlic can be sold fresh or dried, so price your crop accordingly.
- Garlic is a hardy crop and does well in most soil types, so make sure to market it accordingly.
- Garlic is an ingredient in many dishes and can also be used as a medicine, so make sure to emphasize these facts in your marketing materials.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can create an effective marketing strategy for your garlic crop.
Garlic farming is a profitable business in Kenya. Garlic is a versatile crop with many uses and is in high demand in the local and international markets.
Allium sativum can be grown all year round, which makes it a good option for small-scale farmers looking for a reliable source of income.
If you’re considering starting a garlic farm in Kenya, research the market carefully and create an effective marketing strategy.
You can be successful in garlic farming with a little hard work and dedication!
Do you have any tips for Garlic Farming in Kenya? Please share them in the comments below!