French bean agribusiness in Kenya is widespread, particularly in warm-wet areas such as Thika, Machakos, Western Kenya, Naivasha, Murang’a, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Narok, Nyeri, parts of Kajiado county, and lastly, Kirinyaga.
As a point of fact, French beans are high-yielding and can be very profitable relying on the area of cultivation (hillside or lowland), soil variety (clay, sandy clay loam, or red soils).
Scientifically comprehended as Phaseolus vulgaris, french beans are naturally grown in regions with well-drained soils and rainfall varying from 900mm to 1200mm per annum. On the other hand, french beans flourish well in dry areas under irrigation.
French Bean Farming in Kenya
Even though the crop has a lower consumption rate locally, growers can make more money by farming and exporting the produce to European markets. You can perform this through companies that are specialized in shipping agricultural products. Keep reading, and we’ll demonstrate some of the export platforms that are available in Kenya.
But before we glance at the export market, let us peek at some of the french beans types in Kenya.
French Beans Varieties in Kenya.
The type of French bean type used normally depends on soil type, maturity period needed by farmers, antagonism to pests and diseases, plant product, and quality.
Hence the demand for farmers to treat their seeds rather to protect them from soil-borne illnesses such as Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, & Pythium.
The common assortments of french beans in Kenya.
The Fresh market Type includes;
The Processing French bean type that comprises of;
- And lastly,
- French Beans Sorts in Kenya Other varieties include
As earlier stated, french bean husbandry requires warm and sunny weather during the peak farming season, but the crop is also are tolerant to cold relying on the variety.
Beans are naturally grown in well-drained soils and rainfall varying from 900mm to 1200mm per annum.
French bean agriculture is successful in rich soils(with plenty of organic matter) with a little acidic to alkaline pH of 6.5-7.5 at the optimal growing temperature of 14-32°C, relying on the variety.
French Bean seeds are sowed at a depth of 2 – 3 inches, with 10-14 inch spacing between rows and 15 to18 inch spacing within the row.
Farmers should confirm that the seeds are not grown on dry, shallow, or uncovered soils. French beans demand a lot of water during the growing season, particularly during flowering and pod development phases (10 liters/plant daily). French bean seeds may also be grown in hills or as a broadcast.
It is essential to note that french beans are also susceptible to waterlogging, and the plants should be produced on raised beds with good drainage with continuously flowing water via the French beans field site (4x4m for each 25 meters of French bean row)
Fertilizer Application and Weeding
It is best method to apply Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) to provide Phosphate to the plant before growing and then top it off with Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) twice (for nitrogen) that is; Once the produce has produced three leaves and furthermore at flowering.
French bean farming in Kenya – The best time to plant
The moderate maturity period of french beans is 45-60 days. Thus with a planned planting, you can ensure that the crop is constantly ready between October to mid-December and from mid-January to the end of May. Do your cacculation.
However, if you dwell in a warm region, then start growing from mid-August to mid-October, then plant likewise early in December. Easy, ha?
French Bean Farming in Kenya- Harvesting
With an average product of 3,000 – 6,000kg per acre, french beans are gathered before the pods are completely mature, usually between 42 and 56 days after sowing and up to 2 months after the rather harvest.
In addition to the overhead and for you as a grower to maintain high export quality, french beans should be picked at frequent intervals, ideally three times every week. French bean buds and young green French Bean pods are also picked to be marketed as fresh.
Now, let us speak about the section that has retained you here for this long, Marketing. It is essential to note that french beans has enough market from the many companies available in Kenya.