Brinjal Farming

Brinjal Farming

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INTRODUCTION

Brinjals is the nightshade Solanum melongena, also known as the aubergine, brinjal eggplant, eggplant, melongene, or guinea squash. It was domesticated in India. It grows 40 to 150 cm (16 to 57 in) tall, with large, coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm (4–8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2–4 in) broad.The young and almost mature fruits are used as a vegetable. The fruit is a good source of vitamin A and C, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. They may be roasted, fried, stuffed, cooked as curry or pickled. Cooking for prolonged periods will destroy most of the vitamins. In Kenya production is done throughout the year and the bulk of the crop is exported. The fruits of the white varieties have medicinal value for diabetics. Eggplant has a cropping period of 4-7 months. In Kenya they are normally planted from beginning of June to end of December to correspond with the export season from October to May.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Black beautyEarly long purpleFluoride bush
Seed Rate 18,519 plants/ha
Fertilizer Rate 200kg of phosphate per hectare200kg/ha of CAN as topdressing when plants are 25cm high.  Topdressing six weeks later with 200kg/ha CAN
Planting Spacing 90 cm x 60cm
Husbandry Eggplant is normally propagated by seed and also by rooting of healthy shoots. Soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours speeds up germination. Transplant by digging a hole deep enough to bury a plant so that its first true leaf is just above the soil surface. Irrigate furrows immediately after transplanting. Side dressing with groundnut cake is recommended 40 days after transplanting. Also at this period, remove three nodes at the tips of the plants to improve branching and to increase the number of fruits. Weed control should be shallow, to avoid damage to the roots. Tall-growing cultivars will also require support. Mulching with dried plant materials reduces moisture loss and weed problems.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Bacterial wilt Infected plants wilt and die Infected plants wilt and die Certified seedCrop rotation
Aphids Green aphidsFound at base of leaves Spray with Dimethoate
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 2.5 – 3.5 months
Climatic Conditions Optimum day temperatures are 25-35°C and night temperatures from 20-27°C. It does not tolerate frost. It is tolerant to drought and excessive rainfall. It does best in well-drained, sandy loam soils and lowland (below 800m) areas with relatively little temperature variation. The pH requirements range from 6 to 7 with the optimum being pH 6.4.
Harvesting The first harvestable fruits appear 60-90 days after planting. Harvest fruits when they are about two-thirds of their maximum size. Harvesting is done once or twice a week by cutting the fruit from the stem and leaving a short piece of stem on the fruit. For seed production, harvest only fully mature fruits from healthy and productive plants.
Post Harvest and Storage Egg plants are stored in cool spaces. During transportation, ensure the fruit is not injured.
Growing Regions Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
Expected yields 15-25 ton/ha

PROCESSING

Processing Brinjals are cooked.

MARKETING

Place Marketed locally in groceries. Mostly Exported.
Price Kshs 30 – 50 per 1kg

CONSUMPTION

Products and Use Stewed or deep fried or even roasted. White varieties have medicinal value.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 35.0 / 2%; Carbohydrates 8.7 / 3%; Fat 0.2 / 0%; Protein 0.8 / 2%; Phosphorus 15.0 / 1%; Pottasium 123 / 4%.

FACTS & FIGURES

The fruits of the white varieties have medicinal value for diabetics.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 450,000 (15,000kgs * 30/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 180,000 (40% of Income).NET:    Kshs. 270,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 6000 kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Twice per year. Thrice under irrigation.

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