Featured Past Articles

Greenhouse engineering is an important carrier for the development of facility agriculture, as well as a “workshop” or workshop for the development of industrialization, intelligence and digitalization of agriculture. In the past 20 years, the development of greenhouse engineering from low to high level, from a single space to a comprehensive decoration, configuration, from simple to multi-functional power, from labour-intensive to machine generation, automatic control as the characteristics of technology-intensive, and so on, experienced a continuous development, continuous breakthrough, continuous improvement, keep pace with The Times, and the development of modern agriculture both adapt to each other and promote the process.

Facility agriculture, represented by greenhouse engineering, has gradually become a new symbol of the development of modern agriculture, a new demonstration of agricultural high-tech agglomeration and a new benchmark for comprehensively improving labour productivity, land yield and overall benefit. The continuous promotion of industrial poverty alleviation and the effective connection of rural revitalization have promoted the rapid development of greenhouse project construction, which has shown several obvious trends of transformation and development at present:

FSI members including flower producers, traders, and retailers gathered at IPM Essen for the General Assembly of 2023. To reflect on the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative’s 2022 achievements and actions to take towards a ‘responsible and transparent supply chain’. Besides the annual measurement of Responsibly Produced & Traded volumes, the members will start measuring and reporting on Carbon Footprinting and Living Wage. The year started off with a concrete action taken by the members: the FSI Code of Conduct was presented and adopted during the General Assembly. Members will embed this Code of Conduct in their policies and communicate it to their supply chain partners.

Cut flower exporters in the country have raised concerns over increased water charges and payroll costs that have raised the cost of doing business, eroding their competitiveness.

The exporters say the increasing taxes and charges, logistical difficulties and additional operational costs have drained gains they would accrue from high sales after exporting to outside markets owing to the strengthening of the dollar against the Kenyan shilling.

Their main complaint is a recent increase in water charges from Sh0.5 to between Sh2 and Sh6 for irrigation and commercial use and an increase in National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contributions from Sh200 up to Sh1,080 on the employers’ side. This increase, therefore, compounds the existing situation in the sub-sector. And energy cost is expected to increase soon.

The council laments that factors including high freight charges and many taxes on the sector last year saw Kenya’s flower exports drop by 15,000 tonnes, from the 210,000 tonnes exported in 2021.

Reviewing 2022, there were several themes that emerged in the business world. This article highlights six top stories in the fresh produce sector in Kenya that made a significant impact on how the sector will perform and grow in 2023.

1. Kenya’s fresh avocado exports allowed into China.
In 2021, China identified agricultural imports from Africa as one of the areas for trade growth. To mark this, in 2022, President Xi Jinping promised to import US$300bn of African agricultural produce by 2025. Till 2019, China had locked out the fresh produce from Kenya due to the prevalence of fruit flies locally. However, following the successful completion of a rigorous Pest Risk Analysis by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate, (KEPHIS) and the National Plant Protection Organisation of China (NPPO), the parties identified quarantine pests of concern to China, and found systems of control before export.

Daren Tang, Director General of the
World Intellectual Propert Organization

Human genius is the source of all works of art and invention. These works are the guarantee of a life worthy of men. It is the duty of the state to ensure with diligence the protection of the arts and inventions.’

These words are inscribed in the entrance hall of the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva, Switzerland.

Despite this impressive statement, the world’s breeders of ornamental plant and fruit tree varieties face the frequent infringement of their rights. These breeders are not enjoying sufficient protection of their “inventions,” as the state is not fulfilling its duty to prevent the violation of plant breeders’ rights.

Why should breeders invest this kind of money for the protection of their varieties?
Simply put, breeders need this protection to receive a return on their investment. But this is only possible if breeders have a real and effective protection of their varieties-not only protection on paper.

Different issues need to be implemented and calculated. Subsequently the fertilizer tanks are calculated

Crop analyses
Analyses of the crop gives information about the nutrients needed for growth. Analyses can be made by drying the complete plant. When all the water is out of the plant, the nutrients in the plant can be checked. Every crop has its own balance of nutrients. Plant analyses per crop are executed by the research station.

Root environment
To find out how to get the nutrients in the right composition into the plant, you need to know what to offer the plant direct in the root environment. This is determined by the characteristics of the roots absorbing nutrients. Since all crops have their own root system, the characteristics per crop are different. The research station has selected the right nutrient composition in the root environment for the different crops.

The characteristics of the substrates determines how near and in what concentrations the nutrients are to the roots. Rockwool and peat have different qualities. The standard nutrient solution for tomatoes grown on rockwool differs from tomatoes grown on peat although the same nutrients in the same composition needed in the tomato.

By Daisy Ng’eno

Rust diseases are common fungal infections that affect a wide range of floricultural crops, including Carnation, Roses, Chrysanthemums, Hypericums, Fuchsia, Geraniums, Gladiolus, Lilium, Marigold, Poinsettia, Snapdragons, Statice and Viola (including pansy). Rusts have the potential to negatively impact floriculture production. Rust fungi are obligate parasites, dependent upon a live host for growth and development, and seldom kill plants. However, rust infection reduces plant health and vigor, flower production, and aesthetic value.

Each type of Rust has its own distinctive symptoms and its own specific plant hosts. The disease often first appears as chlorosis on the upper surfaces of leaves. All rust fungi produce powdery masses of spores in pustules, typically on leaf undersides that are yellow, orange, purple, black or brown. Some Rust fungi produce pustules on upper leaf surfaces as well. Spores are easily spread on air or with splashing water. Lesions may coalesce resulting in large areas of necrosis; leaf distortion and defoliation often follow.