Nakuru County has introduced a new variety of strawberries from Japan, which is fast maturing bigger in size, and has more weight that the local variety, which is smaller and weighs less.
The Project coordinator, Grace Warukere, said the strawberry fruits have huge income potential for farmers and added that a harvest from one acre was likely to earn a farmer over Sh.100,000.
Speaking to KNA on Tuesday during an interview at the Farmers’ Training Centre in Soilo, Warukere said the new Japanese variety of strawberries takes two and a half months to mature, and a farmer could easily have the benefit of harvesting four times annually.
She said the market for strawberries is always assured since the fruits are in high demand for food flavoring.
Warukere said the fruit is broadly appreciated for its distinctive aroma, bright red colour, juicy texture, and sweetness.
She added that it is widely used in preparing jam, juice, milkshakes, chocolates and yoghurt.
However, she said the strawberry farmer must ensure that they have an adequate water supply throughout the year and those who live in urban areas would easily grow them in containers in their backyard or hung them on perimeter walls as chandelier.
Warukere said the only drawback in strawberry farming was the fruits’ highly perishable state and would only stay fresh for four to five days after harvesting and advised farmers to identify markets immediately after planting.
She added that potential buyers were enthusiastically available in major urban areas, milk companies like Brookside, Trufood and KCC for flavoring their yoghurt.
By Veronica Bosibori