This article focuses on green grams farming in Kenya. Green grams are leguminous crops which are commonly used to make stew. They are locally known as Ndengu.
Green grams are mainly grown in Machakos, Kitui, Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Makueni.
Varieties Of Green Grams / Ndengu Grown in Kenya
- Ndengu tosha.
- Well drained loam or sandy soil.
- Optimum temperature of 28-30°c.
- Soil pH of 6.0- 7.5.
- Altitude of 0-1600m above sea level.
- Annual rainfall of between 350-650mm.
Land should be thoroughly prepared before planting. It should be prepared to a fine tilth.
The propagation of green grams is by seeds. Planting is best done at the onset of rain. The recommended planting space is 45cm by 15cm and a depth of 3.5 cm.
One acre of land requires about 4-5kg of seeds, with a seed rate of 2 seeds per hole.
Green grams can be intercropped with other legumes or crops such as sorghum or maize.
Pests and Diseases
Common pests that attack green grams include cutworms, aphids, pod-sucking bugs, pod borers, white flies, foliage beetles and thrips. The pests can be controlled using suitable insecticides and pesticides such as Profile, pentagon and kingcode elite.
Common diseases include rust, powdery mildew, bacterial blight, yellow mosaic, anthracnose and damping off. The diseases can be controlled by using sprays such as Pyramid, ransom, green cop and Taurus.
Green grams mature after 60-90 days depending on the variety planted. Harvesting is done once the pods have turned black.
After harvesting, the pods should be dried for a few days before being threshed.
The Market for Green Grams /Ndengu in Kenya
There is a ready market for green grams in Kenya. One can sell his/her produce in open-air markets, cereals stores, groceries, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and other institutions such as schools.
Locally, one kg of green grams costs between Kshs 70-100.