A new plant tonic being trialed in Kenya is promising enhanced crop productivity even in compromised soil conditions, following from trials in Ghana that returned resounding success. NutraGreen TM is made from natural plant ingredients contained in corn, grains, potatoes, coconut and soybeans in the form of fatty acid.
According to Horticultural news, a news website that reports on horticulture and agriculture news, the tonic rapidly penetrates plant cells and enhances sugar production during the photosynthesis process, which is vital in all stages of plant growth. It also assists in soil management.
Researchers says that the trials have shown the product enhances crop’s yields, and reduces the usage of fertilizer and chemicals. “It induces flowering and increases tolerance from climatic stresses, while boosting the plant’s resistance to diseases,” explained Shaun Jayaratnam, the sales manager of Cannex World, while talking to Horticultural news journalist Geoffrey Kamadi.
The blend of bio-based chemicals and organic compounds boosts the plant’s immunity against diseases, facilitates efficient cell respiration and metabolism, and ensures fruits grow larger with fewer
instances of drop-offs.
Farmers can use the plant tonic as a foliar spray applied on the leaf surface or as a soil drench applied directly to the soil. After application the supplement penetrates the pores of the leaves, raising
the plant’s cell energy levels and increasing the transport of nutrients.
The plant tonic is being tested in Africa by Cannex World, a diversified Chilean Singapore company with interests in fast moving consumer goods, bio agrochemicals & renewable energy. Locally, NutraGreenTM is represented by Profarm Africa with trials now underway at flower firms, Oserian Flowers, Wild Flowers, Lake Flowers, and at Mboga Tuu farm in Kitengela.
Preliminary results show plants are developing firmer and greener leaves, taller and stronger stems, and more buds.
Mboga Tuu farm, which specialises in traditional Asian Vegetables for the UK market, is trailing the tonic on all its crops, including aubergines (eggplants or brinjals) and scotch bournet (Habarero chilis). “We looked at the stress management of NutraGreenTM on the crops,” said Erasmus Kirii, the agronomist in charge of the trials at the farm.
After spraying the product on the aubergine leaves, the colour changed from light green to a darker shade, indicating less stress. “The crops also had a longer shelf life than the ones treated with other
products,” he told Hortinews.
Daniel Agawo the manager at Mboga Tuu, said he has been so impressed by the results, he is only waiting for the tonic to go commercial so as to fully utilize it in the farm.
Case studies in several countries, including Thailand, have also shown that NutraGreenTM has reduced the infection of Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV), a virus transmitted between plants by mechanical activities like pruning and by aphids.
Other studies on the efficacy of NutraGreenTM on blackberries in Mexico, and rice in Chile, Philippines and Vietnam, have also returned strong results.
In Kenya, plant diseases cost farmers and the government millions in losses and export bans. An example is banana bacterial wilt, which came from Uganda and sees bananas ripen too quickly and begin to rot.
According to Horticultural news, farmers have been transmitting the disease among plants unknowingly using their farming tools.
Last year, The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) announced that the US and the Seychelles had threatened to ban imports of Kenyan avocadoes if Kenya could not address its fruit fly problem, following the lead of South Africa, which banned exports of the fruit
First discovered in Kenya in 2003, the fruit fly also attacks mangoes, citrus, papayas, tomato and bananas. Before the South African ban, Kenya exported close to 300,000 kgs of avocados to South Africa every year, worth Sh21.4m annually.
Written by Bob Koigi for African Laughter
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