The type of onion variety matters a lot when it comes to the climate and soil type. Onion farming is an Agri-business idea practiced by many in Kenya. This population consists of both the young and the old. Today's youth have embraced farming due to lack of employment hence making a living for themselves.
Farming proves to be lucrative compared to white collar jobs. We have farmers today who are making huge profits from onion farming. There are are two types of onions, the bulb onion and the spring onion. But today we are going to discuss about the bulb onions.
Bulb onions take 3 to 4 months to reach maturity. Short rains are great for bulb onions since they can be harvested between January and February.After the long rains of March, the price of these onions hike and farmers who harvest after these period make good profit margins.
Recent market analysis, shows red onion prices in Mombasa are going at Ksh 1,174 per 15 kg bag while the highest prices are in Eldoret, at Ksh 1,491 per 15 kg bag. Heavy rains experienced in the months of May and June in these areas have contributed to the price hikes.
Spring onions are easy to plant. You can even plant them at your kitchen garden. They are commonly used in vegetable salads or as seasoning in soups. Some of the health benefits of spring onions include lower blood sugar and decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Of the two types, bulb onions are more popular than the spring ones due to their long shelf life and sweet taste. Currently, there are two different varieties of bulb onions in the market. There is the small, thin and firmly layered onion that has a strong pungent smell. The second one is the big loosely held variety that is grown locally, in Kenya.
Onions perform well in well drained, fertile, sandy loam, non-compacted soils. The ideal pH is 5.8 to 6.8. Onion farming is a worthy venture since it’s possible to grow onions throughout the year via irrigation. Soil test with accredited laboratories is advised.
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