In this article, I’ll take you through the basics of watermelon farming in Kenya so you can get started on your own farm.
First, I’ll go over the cost of starting a watermelon farm in Kenya and some of the benefits of growing this fruit.
Then I’ll discuss the most suitable areas for growing watermelon and how to prepare the soil for planting.
After that, I’ll give you a guide on how to care for your watermelon plants throughout the season and explain when and how to harvest your fruits.
Finally, I’ll give you my verdict on whether watermelon farming is a good investment for Kenyan farmers.
Benefits and Nutrients of Watermelon Farming in Kenya
Watermelon farming is gaining good grounds in Kenya because of the benefits and nutrients it offers.
When you cultivate watermelons, you are guaranteed a harvest that is not only refreshing but is also packed with nutrients essential for a healthy diet. Some of the benefits of watermelon farming in Kenya include:
– Watermelons are a rich source of antioxidants, which fight off harmful toxins and carcinogens in the body.
– They are also a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
– Watermelons contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. It also helps improve heart health and lowers the risk of cancer.
– The high water content in watermelons makes them a great thirst quencher and perfect for hot weather conditions.
– Watermelons are low in calories and ideal for people who are watching their weight.
Suitable Areas for Growing Watermelon in Kenya
So as I promised to give my verdict, watermelon farming is one of the most lucrative agribusiness ventures in Kenya today. Not only is it a highly demanded fruit, but also easy to grow and does well in most parts of the country.
Just to emphasize:
The best areas for watermelon farming are those with ample sunshine and well-drained soils. The hotter the climate, the better, as watermelons love the heat. However, they should not be grown in areas that are prone to flooding, because this can damage the fruits.
So if you are thinking of starting a watermelon farm in Kenya, these are some of the areas you should consider.
How to Prepare, Grow and Care for Watermelon
Before you start a watermelon farm in Kenya, you need to do some preparation. The most important thing is to choose the right location. The soil should be fertile and well-drained, and the climate should be warm and humid.
Once you’ve selected the right spot, you now need to prepare the soil well. Then add some organic matter like compost or manure, until it is well. Then, plant your watermelon seeds and water them regularly.
As your watermelons grow, give them plenty of water and fertilizer. When the fruits are ripe, harvest them and enjoy.
Climatic and Soil Conditions for Watermelon Farming in Kenya
When it comes to watermelon farming in Kenya, you’ll have to consider the climatic and soil conditions in the area. The ideal temperature for growing watermelons is between 25-30°C.
Anything lower or higher than that will affect the growth of your watermelons. Additionally, you’ll also need well-drained soil that has a pH of 6-7 and is rich in organic matter with good nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. If your soil doesn’t match these requirements, then you can improve it by adding compost or well-rotted animal manure.
On other hand:
You’ll also want to check if your land or farm receives enough sunlight throughout the day because this can help your watermelons ripen. Also it’s ideal for your farm to be in a position where there is 8-10 hours of direct sunlight each day. Keep in mind that during the hottest times of the day, your watermelons may need some shade from the sun so they don’t overheat.
Varieties of Watermelon in Kenya
When it comes to watermelon varieties, there are quite a few to choose from in Kenya. Some of the most popular varieties include ‘Kenya Sugarloaf’, ‘Jogoo’ and ‘Shin Shu’.
Kenya Sugarloaf is one of the most widely-grown varieties with large oval fruits and pink flesh. The flesh has a sweet taste and is perfect for eating raw. Jogoo watermelons, on the other hand, have a round shape and green rind with red flesh that’s slightly tart. Shin Shu is a medium-sized variety with yellow flesh that’s sweet and juicy – it’s great for juicing or adding to salads.
If you’re asking which variety is best for you, then you’ll want to consider your local climate and soil conditions. Some varieties will do better in warmer climates, while others need cooler temperatures in order to produce the sweetest fruit. Talk with your local nursery or garden center if you need help deciding which variety will work best for you.
Market Size, Opportunities and Cost of Starting Watermelon Farming in Kenya
In terms of market size and opportunities, Kenya’s watermelon farming industry is booming due to its relatively low cost of entry. For example, an acre of land can be leased for just Ksh 12,250 per year. This makes it ideal for small-scale farmers looking to make a living off their crops.
The cost of starting watermelon farming in Kenya is surprisingly low, too – less than Ksh 10,000. This includes the cost of seeds, irrigation and soil amendments as well as other required materials like tools and seedling trays.
This means that with relatively little investment, you could be part of a growing industry that offers high returns and steady income all year round. Plus, with the right marketing strategies in place, you could even increase your profits further by selling directly to supermarkets or exporting your produce abroad.
So, if you are thinking of venturing into watermelon farming in Kenya, then this guide is for you. It provides all the necessary information, from preparing the land and planting the watermelons, to harvesting and selling them. Make sure you read it through carefully to get all the details you need to start this lucrative business.