Peas farming is a popular and lucrative agricultural activity in Kenya. With its high nutritional value and diverse market demand, peas have become a profitable cash crop for farmers. In this article, we will explore the details of peas farming in Kenya, including optimal yield per acre, different varieties of peas grown in the country, and essential cultivation practices for a successful harvest.
Yield per Acre for Peas Farming
1. Yield Potential
Peas farming in Kenya has the potential to yield between 1 to 3 tons per acre. However, actual yields may vary depending on various factors such as farming practices, soil fertility, climate conditions, and the specific pea variety cultivated.
2. Peas Varieties in Kenya
There are several popular varieties of peas grown in Kenya. These varieties are selected based on their yield potential, disease resistance, market demand, and adaptability to local growing conditions. Some of the commonly cultivated pea varieties in Kenya include:
2.1. Kenya Sugar Snap
This variety produces sweet and crunchy edible pods that are highly popular in both local and export markets. It is known for its high yield potential and disease resistance.
Homestead is a popular pea variety in Kenya, known for its excellent taste and high yield. It produces tender and sweet peas suitable for fresh consumption or processing.
Sugarpod is a high-yielding variety that produces long, stringless, and sweet edible pods. It is favored for its exceptional flavor and tenderness.
Snowgreen is a snow pea variety that is prized for its edible flat pods. It is known for its crisp texture, sweet taste, and disease resistance.
Maestro is a popular garden pea variety in Kenya. It is valued for its disease resistance, high yield, and consistent quality peas.
Also Read: Sommerwood Pea Seed
Cultivation Practices for Peas Farming
1. Land Preparation
Prepare the land by removing weeds, rocks, and other debris. Peas prefer well-drained soils with good organic matter content. Plow or till the soil to a fine texture, ensuring optimal seedbed conditions.
Plant peas during the cool seasons, either at the onset of the rainy season or during the dry season with appropriate irrigation. Sow the seeds directly in well-prepared beds or rows, keeping a spacing of around 30 centimeters between plants. Plant the seeds at a depth of about 3 to 5 centimeters.
3. Irrigation and Fertilization
Peas require regular irrigation, especially during dry periods, to ensure adequate moisture for optimal growth and yield. Implement a proper irrigation system to maintain consistent soil moisture levels. Apply balanced fertilizers or compost before planting to provide essential nutrients for healthy plant development.
4. Weed Control
Weed management is crucial in peas farming, as weeds can compete with the crop for nutrients and reduce yields. Use cultural practices such as mulching, hand weeding, or mechanical weed control methods to keep the crop free from weeds.
5. Pest and Disease Management
Monitor the crop regularly for common pests such as aphids, cutworms, and thrips. Implement integrated pest management practices, including
cultural control methods, biological control agents, and judicious use of pesticides when necessary. Protect the crop from diseases like powdery mildew, downy mildew, and root rot by selecting disease-resistant varieties and practicing crop rotation.
Peas are harvested when the pods are fully developed but still tender. Regular harvesting encourages continuous pod production. Use sharp tools or scissors to harvest the pods carefully, avoiding any damage to the plant.
7. Post-Harvest Handling
After harvesting, cool the peas immediately to preserve their quality and freshness. Properly sort and package the peas to maintain their market value. Store them in cool and well-ventilated conditions to prolong shelf life.
Peas farming in Kenya offers great potential for farmers, with yields ranging from 1 to 3 tons per acre. By selecting suitable pea varieties, following proper cultivation practices, and implementing effective pest and disease management, farmers can ensure a successful harvest. With their nutritional value and market demand, peas continue to be a profitable and rewarding crop for Kenyan farmers.
Sources: Gitonga, Zachary Maina, et al. “Control of invasive Liriomyza leafminer species and compliance with food safety standards by small scale snow pea farmers in Kenya.” Crop protection 29.12 (2010): 1472-1477. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261219410002425
Karanja, J. W., J. K. Lagat, and B. K. Mutai. “Market Participation of Smallholder Pigeon Pea Farmers in Makueni County, Kenya.” Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development. ISSN (2019): 2222-1700. Link: https://www.academia.edu/download/76597551/50933.pdf