Raspberry is a deciduous perennial plant that is the second most popular fruit in the world, behind strawberry. The fruit is high in nutrients and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Raspberry has a long history of use as a food and medicine. Raspberries have adapted well to life in Kenya, where they may be found growing wild and were traditionally utilized as medicine by our forefathers and mothers. Surprisingly, raspberry output in Kenya is still modest, with only a few commercial growers.
Varieties of raspberries
Raspberries come in a variety of colors and flavors. So far, we’ve found two varieties of raspberries, red and black, that are thriving in Kenya and may be grown commercially or for personal consumption.
Different raspberry varieties can thrive in a variety of climates, although they need a moderate temperature. Farmers should avoid extreme cold and heat because they inhibit growth. Raspberry cultivation does well in any soil type that is well-drained, has a sandy-loamy texture, and has a PH of between 5.5 and 6.5. Avoid water-logged soils since raspberries are susceptible to moist soil and can develop root rot. A soil study will assist you in developing a nutritional and fertilization plan. For best results, choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight.
Nutritional requirements for raspberry growth in Kenya
Nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P) are the most important nutrients for raspberry plants (P). When the pH is in the ideal range, other vital nutrients are usually available in sufficient amounts. Applying more fertilizer than the plants require has no benefit. For best results, choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight.
Although a balanced fertilizer does well, raspberry plant fertilizer should be high in nitrogen. For example, a 10-10-10 fertilizer or actual nitrogen at a rate of 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg) per 100 feet (30.4 m.) of row is the finest fertilizer for raspberry bushes.
You can use homemade compost, composted cow manure, or fully composted chicken manure as free fertilizer. Make sure your fertilizer is thoroughly mixed with the soil to avoid overheating your plants. Use 75 pounds of cow manure every 100 feet of raspberries if you’re using it.
Raspberries market Export prices
Kenyan Raspberries sells for between US$ 5.77 and US$ 4.96 per kilogram, or between US$ 2.62 and US$ 2.25 per pound, in 2022.
The United States continues to be the world’s leading raspberry consumer. It makes about 35 percent of the overall volume. Furthermore, raspberry consumption in the United States was three times that of the second highest user, Canada. Russia came in third place in this list, with 5.7 percent of the vote.
Local market prices
KES 628.07 per kilogram is the price in Kenyan Shillings. In Mombasa and Nairobi, the average tonne price is US$ 5765.71.
Health benefits of raspberries
1. Contain antioxidants which reduce disease risk
Antioxidants are plant compounds that help your cells fight and recover from oxidative stress. Research links oxidative stress to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.
Raspberries are high in several powerful antioxidant compounds, including vitamin C, quercetin and ellagic acid.
Compared to other berries, raspberries have a similar antioxidant content as strawberries, but only half as much as blackberries and a quarter as much as blueberries.
2. High fiber and tannin content which benefits blood sugar control
Raspberries are low in carbs and high in fibre, making them an excellent choice for carb watchers.
Raspberries are likewise unlikely to cause a spike in blood sugar.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Although the GI of raspberries has not been measured, the majority of berries are low-glycemic.
Raspberries have also been shown to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance in tests.
3. May improve arthritis
Raspberries have anti-inflammatory qualities that may help to alleviate arthritic symptoms.
Raspberries are thought to help prevent arthritis by inhibiting COX-2, an enzyme that causes inflammation and discomfort.
4. Have cancer-fighting properties
The strong antioxidant content of raspberries may help to prevent cancer. In test-tube experiments on colon, prostate, breast, and oral (mouth) cancer cells, berry extracts, particularly those from red raspberries, inhibited the growth and killed cancer cells.
5. Help in weight loss
Raspberry berries include only 64 calories and 8 grams of fiber per cup (123 grams). Furthermore, it comprises of more than 85% water. As a result, raspberries are a full, low-calorie snack.
Their natural sweetness may also assist to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The chemical compounds contained in raspberries may also help with weight loss.
While there is little proof that raspberry ketone pills help with weight loss, eating whole, fresh raspberries may.
6. May combat ageing
Antioxidants in raspberries can help combat free radicals in your body, which can help minimize indications of aging.
Antioxidants extends lifespans in animal models and have been shown to have anti-aging properties in humans.
Raspberries are also abundant in vitamin C, which is essential for good skin health. It has the potential to boost collagen formation and reverse UV-induced skin damage.