Rosemary Farming In Kenya:
Rosemary is a perennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is known for its fragrant, pine-like aroma and its versatility in cooking.
In Kenya, rosemary is grown both for its culinary and medicinal uses.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of rosemary farming in Kenya, the challenges that farmers face, and how to start a rosemary farm in Kenya.
Benefits of Rosemary Farming in Kenya
- High demand for rosemary: Rosemary is a popular herb in Kenya, with a high demand in both the local and export markets. It is used in a variety of dishes, including roast meats, stews, and sauces. The demand for rosemary is expected to continue to grow in the future, making it a lucrative crop for Kenyan farmers.
- Drought-resistant: Rosemary is a drought-resistant plant, which makes it well-suited for Kenyan conditions. It can withstand long periods of dryness and still produce high yields.
- Long shelf life: Rosemary has a long shelf life, which means it can be stored for a long time before it spoils. This is an advantage for farmers as they can sell their rosemary at a later date if needed.
- Medicinal properties: Rosemary has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties. These medicinal properties make rosemary a valuable crop for farmers in Kenya.
What Other People are Saying about Rosemary Farming!
“Rosemary enjoys vibrant growth in these areas of Kenya: Imenti in Meru, Kikambala on the North Coast, the shores of Lake Nakuru in the Rift Valley, Kiambu and Murang’a in Central Province and Gilgil on the east-rift.”
“Growing commercially rosemary plants for fresh/dry stems or essential oil has become a new trend in agribusiness during the last two decades. The reason is first that the rosemary essential oil is nowadays used in a variety of industries and there is an increasing demand (that in some cases hardly meets supply). Secondly, the plant is fairly easy to grow and manage, while it rarely suffers from diseases. Once established, healthy and mature plants can produce sustainably good yields for over a decade.”
“Did you know that Kenya Rosemary is among the best in the world? This evergreen herb has strong anti-fungal, antiseptic abilities which makes it lucrative in the international market.”
Challenges of Rosemary Farming in Kenya
- Pest and disease management: Pest and disease management is a major challenge for rosemary farmers in Kenya. The most common pests that attack rosemary plants include aphids, mites, and thrips. Diseases that affect rosemary include root rot, stem rot, and mildew. To combat these pests and diseases, farmers need to adopt good agricultural practices, such as crop rotation, proper irrigation, and the use of organic pesticides.
- Lack of market information: Many Kenyan farmers lack access to market information, which makes it difficult for them to make informed decisions about what to grow and how to sell their crops. This lack of information can lead to low prices and a lack of profitability for farmers.
- Limited access to finance: Many small-scale farmers in Kenya face difficulties in accessing finance to invest in their farms. This lack of access to finance can be a barrier to entry for farmers wanting to start a rosemary farm.
How to Start a Rosemary Farm in Kenya
- Select a suitable location: Rosemary grows best in well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. It prefers a sunny location and can tolerate temperatures as low as 5°C. When selecting a location for your rosemary farm, consider the availability of water and the proximity to markets.
- Obtain seedlings: Rosemary can be propagated from seeds or from cuttings. To obtain seedlings, you can purchase them from a reputable supplier or propagate them yourself. When propagating from seeds, it is important to use fresh seeds and to keep them moist until they germinate.
- Plant and care for your rosemary: When planting your rosemary, be sure to space the plants at least 50cm apart to allow for proper growth. Water your plants regularly, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize your plants with a well-balanced fertiliser, such as a 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20.
- Harvest and sell your rosemary: Rosemary