Buy Kenya Rice Directly From Exporters & Suppliers - Best of 2020 Market Prices
|Varieties||Long grain, short grain, aromatic|
|Packing||500g to 5kg packets,50kg sacks,90 kg sacks|
|Storage||20-24 degrees Celsius, Store in a cool dry place|
|Season||Available through out the year, peak season is November|
|Transport Conditions||Cool, clean, dry containers. Sacks are plastic lined to avoid moistire.|
Kenya rice has become the third most important cereal crop after maize and wheat. Popularly known as Mchele in Kenya, rice is a semi-aquatic annual grass plant. It is the most consumed cereal grain in Africa. Kenya rice is grown as an annual plant, although it can survive as a perennial crop. Its grain is white and around 1cm long. The leaves of the rice plant are long and flattened. It grows up to 1.2 m in height. In the world, it is the second most popular food after wheat.
In Kenya, rice cultivation was introduced from Asia in 1907. It has been grown since then by small scale farmers for commercial purposes. Most of the rice grown in the country is grown under irrigation in paddy schemes. The average unit production under irrigation is 5.5 tons per hectare for the aromatic type and 7 tons per hectare for the other non-aromatic varieties. Today, Kenya produces an average of 50,000 metric tons yearly.
There are several varieties of rice grown in Kenya. Some rely on upland rainfall others fall under irrigation schemes.
- Long grain sindano rice: This is rice that has milled grains four times long as they are wide. It is separate fluffy and light when cooked and has no aroma.
- Medium grain rice: This kind of rice has shorter and broader kernels when cooked. The grains are moist and tend to stick to each other. Its grains are three times long as they are wide.
- Aromatic rice: This is popularly known as pishori.It is the most expensive brand of rice sold in Kenya. It has a strong, attractive aroma. Mostly it is grown in the mwea plains.
Rice yields well in black cotton soils and requires an ample consistent supply of water for optimal production. In the Mwea irrigation scheme(Central Kenya), there are two permanent rivers used for irrigation hence making rice farming run smoothly. Flooded rice usually yields more than upland rice. Farmers select best seeds before planting(either from the last season or from the government irrigation board). Rice is first reared in a nursery then it is transferred to the entire fields after four weeks.
After about 3 to 4 months of rice growth, it is fully ready for harvesting. This is done when the fields are completely dry. In Mwea harvesting is done in the month of November by cutting down the plants using a sickle, they are then hit on a well-spread platform(chandarua). This is in order to collect the grains in one place and avoid grain losses. At this stage, the grains are known as paddy. The harvested grains are then packaged in sacks. After harvesting the paddy is not ready for consumption as it contains the top coating, so the grains are taken to a milling plant to separate the coating and rice itself.
After milling, the processed rice is packed in 90kg and 50kg sacks. It is later subdivided into smaller packets ranging from 500g to 5kgs. It is either sold locally or prepared for export.
Rice export in Kenya has fluctuated substantially in recent years. In 2017, rice exports for Kenya were USD 422 Million. Kenya exports most of its rice to the neighbouring countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Uganda. This is done mainly through road transport.
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