Coriander farming in Kenya can help you yield high returns in a short period of time. Coriander is a herb that grows in cool climate. It contains protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. It helps reduce coughs, skin disorders, diarrhea, cholesterol and high blood pressure. It can be crushed into a powder and added to food. It is known as Dhania in most Kenyan homes and every part of the plant is edible. It provides food with a nice aroma and smell. It’s very easy to harvest. It contains fiber and you can add to salads or soup. The herb is a short season crop and can be planted in urban and rural areas in Kenya.
Coriander needs a lot of sun and fertile soil. It does not need a lot of space; you can even grow it on your backyard. Succession crops should be planted every three weeks to ensure constant supply. Dhania can be grown in pots or containers but make sure your pot or container is not below 12 inches deep.
Land Preparation for Coriander Farming
Prepare your planting area by first digging through it and removing rocks, big lumps of soil and roots. Make sure your soil is fine. Add manure to the soil. Form channels and beds for the crop. While sowing, place the seeds 4 cm deep in the soil and one inch apart. The rows should be 15 to 20 cm apart. Cover the seeds with soil then mix pre-emergence herbicide with water and spray it. After a week, the seeds will germinate. Watering should be done but carefully so as not to damage the crop. Coriander does not need a lot of water and so if it has been raining heavily, the crop will not require watering.
Removal of weeds should be done carefully by hand. Thinning out should be done one week after the coriander has germinated.
Diseases and Pests
Bacterial leaf spot is one of the diseases that attack coriander. It causes spots between the leaf veins. It can also cause the stem to have long dark stripes. It can also cause the leaves to turn bright yellow.
Soft rot can also attack coriander. It causes the leaves to turn brown. Powdery mildew growth on leaves can cause flowers to be distorted. Carrot motley dwarf causes the leaves to turn yellow and red. It can also cause stunted growth.
Aphids are pests that are found under the leaves and stem of the plant. They cause the leaves to turn yellow. You should remove the affected plants or leaves.
If you wanted to harvest only the leaves, you should harvest them when the plant is six inches tall. Begin with the tallest plant. In order to harvest seeds, you will have to wait till the seed begin to ripen then you will cut them and hang them to dry. The crop can grow up to 12 inches tall.
For storing, you can soak the leaves in water then put them in a plastic paper bag for two days.
There has been a great demand of this herb in Kenya. For one plot of land, it will cost you seeds worth 1000 Ksh. Coriander farming requires very little labor and seeds worth 1000 Ksh can yield a profit of 35000 to 40000 Ksh. Once you begin coriander farming in Kenya, its first returns will be within two months. For market, visit both local and major towns and find sellers. If you have enough and constant supply, you will have a steady market.
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