This article focuses on pears farming in Kenya. Pears are fruit crops that belong to the Rosaceae family. They are mainly grown in cold areas such as Limuru, Kimende, Molo, Naivasha, Meru, parts of Western and Nyeri.
The best varieties to grow in Kenya are those with low chilling requirements.
- Deep, fertile and well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0- 7.0.
- Well-distributed rainfall throughout the year.
- 6-8 hours of sunlight.
- Temperature range between 15°c- 32°c.
Propagation & Planting
Vegetative propagation is the best and recommended method for growing pears. Propagation can also be done by seeds
The ideal spacing is 5 by 6m, 4 by 6m or 8 by 4m. Planting holes should be 2 feet deep and have a diameter of 60cm by 60cm. With this spacing, one acre can accommodate about 100-200 trees.
After planting, the topsoil should be mixed with well decomposed manure to improve soil fertility.
To prevent the growth of weeds, you can plant cover crops or do mulching.
Thinning should also be done to allow proper fruit formation, growth and development to desired standards.
Pests and Diseases
Pears are susceptible to pests such as fruit flies, aphids, red spider mites, beetles, moths and diseases such as powdery mildew, collar rot, crown rot and fire blight.
The pests and diseases can be controlled by practising proper field hygiene, planting resistant varieties and using recommended pesticides, fungicides and insecticides.
Maturity & Harvesting
Pear trees take 3-5 years to start fruiting. A mature tree can produce about 180 kg of pears. For grafted varieties, they start producing fruits after 2 years.
Harvesting is done manually by hand-picking.
The Market For Pears In Kenya
The market for pears is wide in Kenya. The fruits have a high demand locally and in the export market.
Locally, a fruit is sold at between Kshs 10-20 depending on the season. The fruits can be sold in groceries, supermarkets, open air markets or in institutions such as schools, hotels and restaurants.