This article focuses on sukuma wiki (kale) farming in Kenya. Sukuma wiki is one of the most profitable vegetables to grow in Kenya. It is easy to grow and yields profit within a short period of time.
Varieties of Sukuma Wiki (Kale) Grown in Kenya
- Mfalme F1.
- Thousand headed.
- Collards southern georgia.
- Sukuma siku hybrid.
- Marrow stem.
Ecological Requirements for Growing Sukuma Wiki
- Well distributed rainfall of 350- 500 mm.
- Altitude of between 800m to 2200m above sea level.
- Temperature range between 17°c- 22°c.
- Fertile and well drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0.
- Direct access to sunlight for about 6 hours.
Land should be prepared early enough before planting and all the weeds removed. Deep ploughing is highly encouraged for faster root development.
Before planting, you can first raise seedlings in a nursery bed then later transplant them to the field. Alternatively, propagation can also be through vegetative cutting.
The ideal planting space for small sized leaves is 30×30, 60×45 for medium sized leaves and 60×60 for sukuma wiki with big leaves.
Seeds can be openly sown in a nursery or in seedling trays. The nursery should be 1 metre wide.
Soil in the nursery should be mixed with DAP and organic manure to improve soil structure and for proper root development.
Before sowing the seeds, prepare drills at a depth of 2cm and a spacing of about 15 cm apart. After preparing the drills, sow the seeds then lightly cover them with soil.
Germination will occur after 2 weeks. After germination has occurred, top dressing should be done with CAN. 1 teaspoon is enough per hole.
Transplanting should be done after 4-6 weeks when the seedlings have developed roots, around 4 roots. It is best done early in the morning when it is still cool.
Mulching is highly encouraged as it prevents soil erosion, prevents loss of soil moisture and suppresses the growth of weeds.
Harvesting can be done after 8 weeks of planting. It is done manually by simply hand-picking. You can harvest sukuma wiki every week for up to 5 months.
Market for Sukuma Wiki in Kenya
Sukuma wiki is more of a staple food in Kenya. It is consumed in almost every household. It has a high demand in the local markets.
You can directly sell sukuma wiki to consumers or sell in open air markets, groceries, supermarkets or supply to institutions such as schools, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.