This article focuses on turmeric farming in Kenya. Turmeric is a popular spice in Kenya. Its demand in the country has significantly grown over the past years.
Where is turmeric grown in Kenya?
It is mainly grown in the coastal region, particularly in Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Taita Taveta and other parts of the country such as Kitui and Makueni.
Varieties Grown Of Turmeric in Kenya
- Alleppey finger.
- Annual rainfall of at least 1500mm.
- Altitude of 0-1500m above sea level.
- Temperature range between 20°c- 35°c.
- Well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.5.
- The most suitable soil is sandy loamy soil. The soil should also be rich in organic matter.
Land should be well prepared to a fine tilth with a depth of about 35-40 cm. Once the land has been ploughed, spread well-decomposed organic manure. 15 tonnes of manure is enough for an acre.
The next step is to prepare raised beds which should be 15cm wide. The recommended spacing between the beds is 50 cm.
Turmeric is propagated through rhizomes. The rhizomes are basically underground stems which are cut into small pieces. Ideal rhizomes for planting are those that are healthy and free from diseases.
Once the rhizomes have been cut into smaller pieces, plant them in rows with an approximate distance of 20cm between the plants.
For proper development of the plants, you can apply fertilisers rich in potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen.
Pests and Diseases
Turmeric is susceptible to pests such as aphids, mites, shoot borer, leaf roller and caterpillars. Common diseases that may affect the plant include leaf spot, leaf blotch, root rot and rhizome rot.
The pests and diseases can be controlled by using recommended pesticides and fungicides.
Turmeric takes about 8 months to be ready for harvesting. The plant can be harvested once the leaves or stems turn yellow or start drying.
On average, an acre of land can yield 8,000 kgs of turmeric.
The Market for Turmeric in Kenya
Turmeric is a high-value crop with an increasing demand in the country. It fetches good prices in the local market such as in open-air markets, groceries, supermarkets etc.
A kilo of turmeric can go up to Kshs 500 depending on quality and demand.