Carrot Farming

Carrot Farming

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INTRODUCTION

The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Iran and Afghanistan, which remains the centre of diversity of D. carota, the wild carrot. Carrot is a popular vegetable with high vitamin A content, grown in East Africa mostly in the cooler highlands. The roots are consumed raw or cooked, as an ingredient of soups, sauces and in dietary compositions. Young leaves are sometimes eaten raw or used as fodder. Carrots are an important source of vitamin A in human diets. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and especially for children to a greater risk of dying from ailments such as measles, diarrhoea or malaria.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Nantes, Chantenny, Amsterdam forcing, Little finger (suitable for canning), Nebula F1
Seed Rate 4.5kg/ha
Fertilizer Rate 200kg/ha DAP 200kg/ha CAN top-dress when crop is 10cm high
Planting Spacing 30cm by row with plant population of 1,333,333 plants per ha and thinned to 2cm within the row
Husbandry Carrots are propagated by seeds. Seeds are planted in drills 10-15 cm apart. Crop rotation is essential to reduce soil-borne diseases and pests. Mulching (rice straw or dried grass) after sowing is recommended to encourage germination. Seedlings may be earthed-up when roots start swelling to keep them cool and prevent green tops. Young carrot seedlings are weak and grow slowly. Therefore, it is essential to keep weeds under control for the first few weeks after germination. Cultivate shallowly.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 2-3 months
Climatic Conditions Carrots can grow under a range of climatic conditions, but they perform best under moderate temperatures. They are mostly cultivated as a cool season crop. Seed germination occurs between 7°C and 30°C. Optimum air temperatures are 16-24°C. Grown in tropical regions at altitudes above 700 m.Carrots grow best in a well-drained friable loam free of stones and hard soil clods.
Harvesting Carrots are mostly harvested manually by pulling up the roots at the leaves as long as the soil is moist and soft. If the soil has dried, it will be necessary to use either a spade or similar tool to loosen the soil and harvest the roots. Mature roots should be orange-coloured internally down to the blunt tip.
Post Harvest and Storage Carrots can remain in good condition for 100-150 days when the foliage is removed and they are stored at 1-4° C with 95-100% relative humidity.
Growing Regions Central Kenya
Expected yields Up to 10tons/ha

PROCESSING

Processing Canned

MARKETING

Place Sold locally. Also canned for export.
Price Kshs 1800 – 3000 per 120kg bag

CONSUMPTION

Products / Uses Carrots for cooking
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 41.0 / 2%; Carbohydrates 9.6 / 3%; Phosphorus 35.0 / 4%; Pottasium  320 / 9%; Vitamin A 16705 IU / 334%;

FACTS & FIGURES

Growing carrots intercropped with tomatoes increases tomato production.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 150,000 (10,000kgs * 15/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 60,000 (40% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 90,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 4000 kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Twice per year. Thrice under irrigation.