This article focuses on eggplant farming in Kenya. Eggplant farming is a profitable agribusiness venture that many farmers in Kenya have not embraced.
The bulk of the eggplant produced in Kenya is exported. Most farmers grow the plant between June to December.
Varieties of Eggplant Grown in Kenya
- Black beauty
- Florida high bush
- Long purple
- Early long purple
Ecological Requirements for Eggplant Farming
- Well drained sandy loam soil with a pH of 6.0- 7.0.
- Day temperature of 25-35°c and night temperature of 20-27°c.
- The plant is drought tolerant and also tolerant to excessive amounts of rainfall.
Propagation and Planting
Propagation is by seeds. The seeds can be sown in a seedbed and later transplanted. Before sowing the seeds, soak them in water for about 24 hours. This is done to speed up the germination process. For an acre, 4,500 seedlings are enough for planting.
Crop rotation is recommended to control pests and diseases. Rotation can be done with other crops such as legumes, cereals… etc.
Pests and Diseases Management
Common pests that attack eggplants include whiteflies, root-knot nematodes, budworms and cutworms. To control the pests, you can practice crop rotation, mixed cropping and the use of neem products.
Common diseases include powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, Fusarium wilt, Late blight, Anthracnose and Phytophthora fruit rot. To eradicate the diseases, you can use sulphur sprays, plant-resistant varieties or practice crop rotation.
Harvesting can be done after 60-90 days. It is done one to two times a week by simply cutting the fruit from the stem. A short piece of the stem should be left uncut for the purpose of producing seeds.
One acre of land can yield about 15-30 tons of eggplant.
The market for Eggplant in Kenya
Most of the eggplant grown in Kenya is for the export market. Locally, one kg of the vegetable is sold at Kshs 120 in open-air markets and grocery stores.
Worth Check Out: