This article focuses on pomegranate farming in Kenya. Pomegranate, widely known as Kukumanga, is a type of fruit which is red in colour and with a high nutritional value. It is one of the most expensive fruits in Kenya.
Pomegranate is grown in small scale in Kenya. Very few farmers in the country grow pomegranate despite being a valuable fruit.
Nutritional Benefits of Pomegranate/Kukumanga
- Pomegranate is rich in fiber.
- Rich in nitrates which enhance blood flow in the body.
- Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Rich in flavonoids which counteract cancer-causing cells.
- Helps in treating or reducing effects of dental plaque, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
- Pomegranate is a good source of Vitamins C and K.
Pomegranate Growing Areas In Kenya
Pomegranate is a drought tolerant crop. It does well in arid and semi-arid areas. It is grown in small scale in areas such as;
- Parts of North Eastern
- Parts of Kisumu
- Coastal region and parts of Western region
Ecological Conditions for Growing Pomegranate
- Optimum temperature that ranges between 20°c to 30°c.
- Optimum temperature of 35°c to 38°c during flowering, fruit development and ripening.
- Altitudes of between 500 to 1000m above sea level.
- Well drained soils with pH of 6.5-7.5. The best soil type is deep loamy soil.
- Very little rainfall. Pomegranate is a drought tolerant crop.
Varieties of Pomegranate Grown In Kenya
- Jalore Seedless
- Phole Arakta
Propagation of Pomegranate
Pomegranate is propagated from stem cuttings. The recommended spacing during planting is approximately 3.5m by 4m. With this spacing, an acre of land can hold about 200 plants.
A lot of weeding needs to be done. To counter weeds, mulching and planting of cover crops is highly encouraged. Intercropping is also an option.
Harvesting of Pomegranate
Pomegranate takes about 3-5 years to start bearing fruits. Harvesting should actually take place 5-6 months after flowering has occurred.
Market for Pomegranate in Kenya
Pomegranate farming is not a common venture in Kenya. Most of the pomegranate used in various applications such as making beauty products in the country is imported. However, it can also be sold locally, especially in major towns such as Nairobi.
The price of one pomegranate fruit retails at Kshs 150-300 in the local market. For the seedlings, you can buy them at Kshs 300 each.