This article focuses on Njahi farming in Kenya. Njahi is a drought-tolerant legume that is rich in nutrients such as potassium, proteins, iron, phosphorous, folate and magnesium.
Njahi is widely grown by small-scale farmers in the Central region of Kenya, parts of Western and Eastern, for its edible beans and leaves that can also be used as animal feed.
Varieties Of Njahi Grown in Kenya
- KAT DL 1.
- KAT DL 2.
- KAT DL 3.
- DL 1002.
- DL 1009.
- Well-drained sandy-loamy soil with pH of 5.5-6.5.
- Altitude of about 500-1800 m above sea level.
- Temperature between 18°c to 28°c.
- Rainfall between 400-750 mm.
Njahi Planting In Kenya
Njahi can be planted directly in the field or be raised in a nursery before transplanting. Most farmers in the country prefer planting directly in the field.
Planting is best done at the onset of rain. Organic manure should be applied during planting. You can also use about 30kg of DAP per acre during planting.
The recommended planting space is about 30cm from plant to plant and 45cm between rows.
After planting, weeding should be done regularly to minimize competition for nutrients and water.
Pests and Diseases
Common diseases that attack Njahi include stem rot, anthracnose, powdery mildew and bacterial leaf spot. Diseases include nematodes such as m incognita and meloidogyne hapla.
The pests and diseases can be controlled by using systematic insecticides and practicing proper field hygiene.
Njahi takes about 3-5 months to be ready for harvesting. Harvesting should be done once the pods are dry.
The market for Njahi in Kenya
Njahi fetches good prices in the market, both locally and internationally. They fetch good prices compared to other types of beans. This is because they are very nutritious and very few farmers in the country grow them.
In most local markets and cereal stores, a 90kg bag goes for between Kshs 5,000- 7,000.