Garlic farming in Kenya is one of the most lucrative businesses in Kenya. In addition to being the sought-after agribusiness, garlic is considered one of the most beneficial vegetables for daily human consumption, health, and medicinal purposes.
It is also the best flavor/ingredient in minor and significant recipes. Nine types of garlic are grown all around the world.
Types of Garlic.
There are only two (2) major categories of garlic onions grown worldwide. These are;
- The Hardneck garlic
- And the Softneck garlic
We have the nine (9) sub-types within these two categories from which the geographical location and weather favor their growth.
We’re not going to tire you with details of other types of garlic that are grown all over the world. But, we will show you the three common subtypes of garlic. Let’s get you started.
1. Silver White Garlic
The first type of garlic on our list is the popular Softneck garlic, known for its characteristic white color and short growth and maturity.
2. Silver rose garlic.
Next, we have the silver rose garlic, with an average shelflife of 12 months when dried well in the sun.
This means that, even if there is no ready market at the time of harvest, you can store and sell them later when the market reopens.
3. Artichoke Seed Garlic
Then, we have the Artichoke variety, which is reddish and the most productive. This type of garlic is considered one of the easiest to grow and the most productive.
In Kenya, there are three sub-types of garlic onions that are notorious;
- Plenty of fatty acids
- Rich in proteins
- And lastly, one that is rich with proteins but with fewer fatty acids.
These are the ones we consume and use daily.
Garlic Farming in Kenya
Garlic onions do well in humid areas characterized by low sunshine, moderate rainfall, and low temperatures with no strong winds or thick fog.
In addition to the above, garlic onions require black fertile and well-drained light soil with a PH of 5.5 – 6.8.
Garlic is grown from the nursery first and then transplanted to the main farm after the seedlings have reached 6-14 inches.
The seedlings are then sown in rows with a distance of 12 inches between rows and 3-4 inches from one seedling to the next seedling in the nursery.
Where is garlic grown in Kenya?
In short, garlic onions are the hardest crops to farm because they tend to survive within a small geographical area worldwide.
Here in Kenya, garlic onions do well in Meru, Nakuru, and Narok. Garlic can also do well in any area consistent with the areas above but only for small-scale production.
- Plow the soil slightly and do some hallowing to facilitate the planting of the seedlings.
- Make ridges of 1 to 1.5 meters and 10 meters wide.
- In terms of fertilizer, avoid using large quantities. Just apply the right amount.
It would be best to plant the seedlings to a depth of about 2.5 inches deep. For the best results, it is recommended to use cow dung fertilizer during planting.
Garlic is usually harvested after 4-6 months, depending on the weather and the type of seed used.
When planting garlic at the farm, the distance between rows should be 8 inches and from one seedling to the next is 6 inches (8×6).
Mathematically speaking, one acre of land requires approximately 200 -300 kilograms of clove seedlings which will, in turn, fetch 5-6 tonnes of harvest.
- Garlic Onions are not as susceptible to disease as other crops.
- When the plants start flowering, let them grow tall until they bend under their weight. And then trim them down to increase production.
The only known disruptive pests are THRIPS and fog on the side. The garlic plant is usually susceptible to diseases from Weeks 3 to 7. You can use the common pesticides for tomatoes and onions on garlic.
Where to sell garlic in Kenya
Garlic is just like any other food; it is needed in large quantities locally and abroad.