In Kenya, the use of fresh vegetables as a source of revenue has seen traditional produce, such as, garlic and passion fruit find their way into salon cars with their boots ajar for display. The automotive is not just a resplendent way of arraying what is usually readily available in the local marketplace of which every town in Kenya boasts, but a makeshift means to deliver vegetables at the convenience of the seller at specific times to ready upscale buyers who think that the more urgent-looking a buy is, the fresher it must be.
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Now, what are some of the major types of fresh vegetables from Kenya that can not only paint your street vendor’s grocery the color green but can serve as an ardent supply source for green vegetable lovers overseas? Here is a topical look at four of these to complete the picture.
Kenya Garlic: One of the boons of the international trade for agricultural suppliers from Africa and Asia, with the latter doubling as a supplier and user inherently due to the well-known Asian love of produce from the onion family, ginger has never missed a market in Europe and elsewhere. This owes perhaps to its healing and aromatic qualities besides being an appetizer for that sluggish taste palette. It is possible to produce amazingly high yields, when using disruptive methods of farming such as irrigation in dry lands, to earn a total 2 tons and above for a small piece of land, say a quarter of an acre.
How long does it take to mature? Fresh garlic has a relatively short farm life with just half a year between transplanting and reaping. Thus, in less than a year between planting and exporting, this crop can be one source of immediate lucrativeness, especially when sold in its untainted white splendor.
Kenya Passion: Like the name aptly suggests, people have a love for passion not just for the mildly acidic taste but for a host of beneficial properties, especially as a source of vital vitamins against diseases. In terms of returns, the crop is one of a kind as a single tree can produce above fifteen kilograms of the fruit, thus making it a perpetual way to not only satiate your appetite for the mouth-watering delicacy locally, but a windfall for exports, as the perennial fruit is one of the highest exports of any fruit in Kenya.
How much can you have for your passion fruit? In terms of monetary value, few fresh vegetables and fruits with the exception of avocado, strawberry, mushroom and apple have peers in passion fruit.
Where does it grow? There are various grades or strains of passion, with the main one being the yellow strain with its everywhere appeal bumper harvest and immunity value over pests. It does well in high altitude areas, in cool locations though, unlike its cousin, the purple variety; it is possible to propagate in irrigated lands.
Kenya Strawberry: originally, and still in places like Kenyan highlands, a deliciously wild fruit, strawberry has been a remarkable success story in the same way olives have been for millennia in the Mediterranean. Growing them does not require a lot of land because the thorny tree is a twining kind claiming heights rather than ground. With just two months and ten days for the crop to be ready for the reaping season, it can be a great windfall for the family grower who depends on weekly sales.
Finally, mushrooms are a strange crop in the Kenyan psyche but little do locals know the culinary delicacy that this exotic pore-producing fresh vegetable can serve if taken into an agricultural shortlist.
How do you grow mushrooms? Mushrooms are some of the best examples of organic farming in practice. They need concentrates of various discarded farm produce such as maize husks, plantain leaves, dried hay grass, or even cotton discards to act as soil enrichment for the seeds before transplanting. There are even varieties including oyster mushrooms that can do well in interior growing huts with little more than a hydroponic solution and no soil.
How much do they sell? Kenya mushrooms still come short of the global demand, with the annual returns required being about a thousand and two hundred tons with Kenya managing just slightly less than that amount, at five hundred tons.