Japanese strawberries land a home in Nakuru

Monday, December 16th, 2019 21:01 |
Grace Warukere, strawberry project officer next to a greenhouse at the Nakuru Farmers’ Training centre in Nakuru county. Photo/PD/KNA

Nakuru county has introduced a new variety of fast maturing strawberries from Japan. 

The fruit is bigger and weighs more than the local variety.

The project’s coordinator, Grace Warukere, says the strawberry fruits have huge income potential for farmers, adding that a harvest from one acre was likely to earn a farmer more than Sh100,000. 

Speaking to KNA during an interview at the Farmers’ Training Centre in Soilo, Warukere said the new Japanese variety takes two-and-a-half months to mature. 

“A farmer can harvest up to four times annually,” she said.  

She said the market for strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) is always assured since the fruits are in high demand for food flavouring. 

The fruit is also broadly appreciated for its distinctive aroma, bright red colour, juicy texture and sweetness. 

Strawberries are widely used in preparing jam, juice, milkshakes, chocolate and yoghurt, thus their marketability is readily assured. 

However, strawberry farmers must ensure they have adequate water supply throughout the year while those who live in urban areas can easily grow the crop in containers in their backyards or hang them on perimeter walls as chandeliers.

Warukere said the only drawback in strawberry farming was the fruits’ highly perishability.

It only stays fresh for four to five days after harvesting. 

She advised farmers to identify markets immediately after planting.

“Potential buyers are available in major urban areas and from milk processors such as Brookside, Trufood and KCC for flavouring their yoghurt,” she said.        — KNA 

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