JKUAT Hybrid Garlic Seeds
Saumu Empire in conjunction with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology initiated a research on several spices of Garlic with the aim of improving the production and solving the challenges garlic farmers have been facing in propagation, production, and management of garlic crop. The research was conducted for a period of two years on all species of the traditional garlic which are farmed in Kenya and after intensive research and lab improvements, the institution was able to come up with a hybrid species that will be the game changer in Garlic farming and be a big break through for all garlic farmers in Africa. The Hybrid seed was thus given the name JKUAT-1.
At present around 90% of Kenya’s consumption of garlic needs is fulfilled from imports. In 2020, the need for Kenyan garlic is reported to be 570 thousand tons and can only be fulfilled from domestic production of around 3.36%.
In Kenya with the traditional species of garlic, the average production of garlic has been 4-7T per acre and this is usually accompanied with a lot of challenges in production and crop management. The challenges ranges from uneven and long time before Germination to weak crops that are not able to sustain droughts and this leads to a small bulb in the end.
Saumu Empire Ltd is in dire need to revolutionize Garlic production in Africa but can not afford the provision of all the resources alone thus it’s looking for Seeds producers who will help move the hybrid species and replace the traditional seeds with the new variety.
Characteristics of the JKUAT-1 seeds
- The seeds do not dump off after planting
- The seeds have high resistance to pests after germination
- The seeds have no waste like the traditional seeds.
The seeds germinate evenly with 100% germination rate
- Unlike the traditional seeds whereby the seeds germination was uneven and took a long period before attaining 100% germination rate, the hybrid seed germinates evenly and germinates after a few days after planting. Shorter time to germinate translates to bigger bulb size and bigger cloves.
- With the hybrid seed species, the plant was found to be drought resistant because with early germination, stronger stem and broader leaves, the plant is able to store more nutrients hence it is able to sustain itself even when there is minimal crop feeding.
- With the traditional garlic, the production range was between 4-7 Tonnes but based on the research conducted and improvements done, the JKUAT-1 variety produces up to 10Tonnes hence more economic value to the farmers.
Bigger Bulb size
- The average weight if the traditional garlic is between 40-80g while as the average weight of the JKUAT-1 variety is between 120g-150g and this translates to more kgs at large.
Faster Maturity time
- The maturity period of the traditional garlic is usually between 5-6 months but with the hybrid JKUAT-1 variety the Maturity time has been reduced to up to 4 months(120 days) from the date if planting.
Can grow in all climatic conditions
- Most of the traditional garlic vary in terms of production depending on the climatic conditions where they are produced and this is usually a big challenge for farmers but with the JKUAT-1, it does well under all climatic conditions i.e Lowlands and Highlands.
- The JKUAT-1 variety still retains the strong flavour of the traditional garlic so it remains the best in terms of giving flavour and because it has big cloves it peels off easily than the traditional garlic which has small size cloves.
- To Increase the production of crops so as to attain maximum production level
- To create a sense of awareness for the people towards sustainable agriculture production.
- To re-organize and strengthen the existing garlic farmers in their respective farms.
- To reduce post harvest handling losses by 85% through promotion and use of good farming techniques and storage of garlic produce.
- To add value to garlic produce through processing, packaging and branding as alternative market to attract extra finances
- To create sustainable market linkages
To improve market opportunities for garlic farmers as an enterprise, value chain, and optimize appropriate postharvest technologies to enhance the income generating capacity of the farmers in the country ,thus promoting production to improve on the yields and household incomes