Farmers growing yellow capsicum are twice more likely to sell their produce at double prices than those with the red variety.
Speaking during the 2016 Mombasa Agricultural Society of Kenya Show, Syngenta agronomist Maureen Namusonge said yellow capsicum has two markets that make it more profitable for farmers.
“Yellow capsicum mature earlier than the red type. That quality makes it edible before it turns yellow. Farmers can start selling it while green for those who want to consume it before it turns yellow. At the same time, marketing period is extended from green until yellow,” Namusonge said.
At the yellow stage, its taste for salad is better than red because of the sweet fibre. High-end hotels and restaurants chop it for mixing with other vegetables that are consumed raw. The Asian-originated population gives ready market.
High-end market for yellow capsicum costs twice the red type. A fruit of about 250 grammes costs between Sh20 and Sh30, depending on the region of sale. The red varieties of the same weight range from Sh5 to Sh10 in price.
The agronomist said the variety tolerates adverse weather, making it a better crop for the open field where strong wind, sun and other condition are uncontrolled.
“Yellow capsicum has a hardy skin that resists shrinkage upon exposure to slightly high temperatures while in the field. Red variety is scorched to brown patches, making it less attractive for the fresh market. This means losses for the red type start at the field if the weather is rough,” Namusonge said.
Joram Kaindi, who has been managing the two varieties in the Sygenta demonstration plots at the Mkomani Show Ground said red variety needed extra care for the flowers to survive and mature into fruits unlike the yellow type.
However or both, insecticides must be applied regularly to avoid falling off of flowers resulting from attacks from thrips, white flies, among other pests.
PHOTO: Sygenta crop attendant Joram Kaindi displays Admiral F1 yellow capsicum fruits harvested from the agrifirm demonstration plot at the Mkomani Show Ground on September 2, 2016 during the Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya Show. Sygenta Agronomist Maureen Namusionga said the yellow variety earns twice than red type. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.