This article focuses on beans farming in Kenya. Beans are one of the most consumed legumes in Kenya. They are staple food crops that are grown in almost every part of the country.
Varieties of Beans Grown in Kenya
- Rose coco.
- Mwezi moja.
- Canadian w.
- Yellow beans.
- KK 15.
Ecological Requirements for Growing Beans
- Annual rainfall of 800- 2000mm.
- Well drained soils with pH of 6.5- 7.5. The soil should be rich in organic matter.
- Temperature range between 15°c- 33°c.
- Altitude of 1000 to 2100m above sea level.
Land should be well prepared before planting which is done at the onset of rains.
Propagation of beans is by seeds which are sown directly in the ground. The recommended spacing is 40cm by 15cm and at a depth of about 2 inches. With this spacing, 2 seeds per hole are enough.
For better growth and maximum yields, beans can be intercropped with other plants. Most farmers in Kenya intercrop beans with maize.
The seeds take about 7 days to germinate. This also depends on the variety planted .
The crop needs to be supplied with sufficient nutrients for proper growth. Nutrients rich in phosphorus should be applied during planting.
CAN can be used for topdressing, which is done after germination (after about 4 weeks). Other basal fertilisers can also be used for topdressing.
Pests and Diseases
Common pests that attack beans are aphids, red spider mites, alonze soec, leaf miners, pod borers and white flies. Common diseases include downy mildew, bean rust, anthracnose, bacterial blight and fusarium wilt.
The pests and diseases can be managed by applying recommended pesticides and fungicides such as pentagon, green cop, ransom etc. They can also be managed by practising proper field hygiene.
Beans take about 70 to 120 days to be ready for harvesting. Some varieties take a shorter period to fully mature.
Market for Beans in Kenya
Beans are widely consumed in the country. There is a ready market for beans in Kenya. The demand is very high in the local markets, from open-air markets, groceries, supermarkets to institutions such as schools, hotels, prisons, hospitals etc.
Prices vary depending on the season and variety. On average, a 90kg bag of beans ranges between Kshs 7,000- 10,000.