Smallholder farmers within Nyanza region can get high quality fast maturing grafted fruit seedlings at Aberdare Technogies Limited, the producer and distributor of diverse varieties of fruit seedlings within the region. Grafted hass avocadoes for instance mature six months earlier at one and half years that the normal seedlings which mature at two years. They also have a high oil content hence suitable for export.
With the grafted seedlings, farmers will be able to obtain quick fruiting in their plants. The flowers and fruits produced by a graft are of superior quality as compared to the original variety.
Aberdare’s Kisii branch Head Manager Alphonse Obino told farmbiz Africa they sell over 100,000 grafted seedlings supplies monthly with the aim of boosting farmers’ income with affordable quality seedlings.
“We sell grafted mangoes, avocadoes, oranges, pawpaw, tree tomatoes, sweet yellow passion, strawberries and pomegranates” said Obino.
“The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization which has for a long time been the supplier of these seedlings have dwindling stocks and are now refer farmers to us”
Grafted avocado seedlings
Grafting is most commonly referred to as an artificial, vegetative method of plant propagation. A grafted plant, therefore, is a composite of parts derived from two or more plants.
The upper part of the combined plant is called the scion while the lower part is called the root stock. The success of this joining requires that the vascular tissue grow together and such joining is called inosculation. The technique is most commonly used in a sexual propagation of commercially grown plants for horticultural and agricultural trades.
One seedling of grafted apple is sold for Sh300, Sh100 for mango, Sh50 for sweet yellow passion, Sh100 for Hass/Fuerte avocado and Sh100 for oranges.
“The current political stalemate in the country has really affected our business as farmers especially from Kisumu come in low number when compared to last year”
Obino said that farmers in Kisii are now earning between Sh9 tp Sh10 for a single fruit from grafted hass avocado variety up from Sh6 they used to get earlier before embracing grafting.
Growing fruits offers tremendous opportunities for enhancing the incomes of small-scale farming families in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, and for improving the nutrition of the poor who currently suffer from deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients as a consequence of low consumption of these foods.
Many fruits are, for example, important sources of vitamins A and C that are lacking in the diets of many Africans. There is low intake of vitamin A in Africa with around 50m children are at risk of the deficiency, considered to be Africa’s third greatest public health problem after HIV/AIDS and malaria.
If farmers receive good incomes from cultivating high quality fruit that consumers can afford and are informed about the benefits of eating them, a strong domestic production sector can develop in Kenya. The cultivation of fruits by smallholders to feed local markets and support of export markets thus presents a tremendous opportunity for investment.
Obino can be reached on +254 709 333 105.