In the presiding years, Gooseberries were perceived as wild fruits that self-propagated even on farms, especially after maize harvests. They were left as food for hunters, children, and birds. However, the scene has changed in the recent past with the rise of gooseberry farming.
Did you know that you can earn up to ksh.750,000 from Gooseberry farming with one acre of land? Yes, without a doubt you can, and in this article, we will discuss how you too can join many other farmers who have taken to Gooseberry farming.
Gooseberry farming has become popular with small-scale farmers due to the amount of output a small piece of land can produce. Gooseberries have become popular due to their health benefits to the consumer. More so, they are rich in vitamins A, B, and C and are also known to be rich in phosphorus and proteins. They are therefore vital in the management of lifestyle diseases such as leukemia, cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, and many more.
More so, Gooseberries are used and utilized in the making of jams, juices, wine, medicinal teas, Gooseberry cakes, Gooseberry crumb cakes, and many other value-added products. All these can be locally made by the farmer too, boosting value and the overall income.
In the Kenyan languages, Gooseberries are known by different names. As Chelolo by the Kipsigis, Chinsobosobo by the Kisii, Nyamtonglo by the Luo, Ngondu by the Kamba, Nathi by the Kikuyus, and Mboniik by the Nandi.
Gooseberries are green in color when unripe and yellow in color when unripe. They grow into small berries whose taste varies depending on the type of soil. This ranges from sour to sweet.
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Gooseberry farming has been recently commercialized in South Africa and Europe as they quickly realized the innovations in foods and drinks such as cocktails where it is a very tasty garnish, in salads, when mixed with seafood and meat, and also when stewed alongside other fruits.
In Kenya, it was advocated for among other 100 crops in the country’s Big 4 Agenda as the next big thing. However, its popularity is yet to pick up.
Gooseberry Farming Explained Further
Gooseberries seeds are first planted in a seedbed before being transferred to the farm. From the seed stage to maturity, Gooseberries take an average of 12 – 14 weeks depending on the climatic conditions. More so, they can be cultivated with ordinary organic manure from livestock.
According to research, a hectare of land can yield 8 – 10 tonnes. This figure rises to 13 tonnes when the management is optimal.
In a more detailed view, one plant of Gooseberries produces an average of 200 fruits per season. Now, considering that one fruit weighs around 5 grams, then one plant produces around a kilo of Gooseberries per season.
2500 plants can be planted on an acre of land. That is 2500 kilos. Given the market price of around Ksh. 300, which translates to Ksh. 750,000 per season. That is good money, isn’t it?
In open-air markets, a handful of Gooseberries go for Ksh. 25. Considering 80 such trades are made in a day, a farmer can go home with Ksh. 2,000.
We have included with this article Youtube videos on Gooseberry farming. Watch them and learn more about where to get the seedlings, the planting, weeding, topping, fertilizers, spacing, harvesting, ready markets, and so many more!
Happy Gooseberry farming!