Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Home > Agriculture > Disappearance of Gooseberries

Disappearance of Gooseberries

A fruit expert at Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO) Wesley Ochieng’ has said changes in agricultural practices such as the use of pesticides and shifts in land use can affect the growth of certain crops, including gooseberries, which used to grow widely in the countryside.

The expert noted that the heightened usage of pesticides has hampered the spontaneous growth of indigenous fruits such as gooseberries, guava, and loquats, which were abundant in rural areas.

While speaking today at the ongoing Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Nakuru city, he said that changes in the local climate have made it challenging for gooseberries to thrive, leading to a decrease in their population in the rural areas.

Ochieng noted that alterations in rainfall patterns, temperatures, or other climatic factors can negatively affect the spur-of-the-moment or natural growth of gooseberries, and urged farmers to avoid pruning, cutting or even burning indigenous fruits before they mature. However, he assured those who want to cultivate them to source for seeds at KARLO Muguga.

Also, he said lack of awareness and support from farmers, who are not adequately cognizant of their benefits and potential profitability, have been treating them as invasive weeds, which they pull out and burn, hence their drastic decrease.

Ochieng observed that the ignored gooseberries are not only a nutritious fruit but contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and KARLO is currently, encouraging farmers to grow them since they are in demand by the health-conscious population.

Additionally, he said they are low in calories and fibre-rich, hence helping people to manage their weight. And, currently, scientists are studying the active compounds in the wonder fruit to reduce premature aging.

Overall, the fruit expert emphasised the importance of daily consumption of fruits and said it was more convenient and cheaper for families to plant the neglected indigenous fruits since they keep on multiplying and don’t require much care like exotic ones.

Apart from that he said, gooseberries make fantastic juice, which can be consumed by babies, patients, and even the elderly, who have lost teeth and cannot chew hard fruits.

By Veronica Bosibori

Leave a Reply