Farmers have been advised to pluck their Sukuma wiki (kales) properly to avoid the multiplication of aphids and weakening of the stem which leads to their faster ageing and drying.
An Agricultural Economics expert in Nakuru County, Anne Odhiambo said despite the vegetable being a delicacy on the dining tables of majority homes on a daily basis, farmers have continuously plucked it the wrong way.
She said ideally, one should pluck Sukuma Wiki by removing the leaf while sparing a sizable length of the stick that holds it.
However, she noted, many farmers pluck the entire leaf plus the stick which holds it and that bruises the stem which in turn facilitates the growth of aphids.
She explained,” That stick which connects the leave to the stem should be left to fall on its own to avoid weakening and bruising the stem of the sukuma wiki, which encourages the growth of aphids on the bruised areas.’’
Ms. Odhiambo said the vegetable was very nutritious as it was a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K and folates. She added that it also contains antioxidants and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium.
She said folate and iron were particularly important in preventing anemia but maintained that a healthy diet should entail various foods containing starch, protein and fats.
The expert also encouraged families to choose other green vegetables especially indigenous ones as they were rich in nutrients.
By Veronica Bosibori