If you are interested in agriculture and sustainable farming practices, garlic farming presents an excellent opportunity. Garlic is an essential ingredient in various culinary traditions worldwide and is renowned for its pungent aroma and flavor.

Just like most spices and herbs, garlic has different varieties such as Soft neck garlic, Hard neck garlic and Elephant Garlic. Here in Kenya most farmers plant the Moyale, Mbeya, Rwanda and Arusha varieties. These varieties are mostly named depending on their origins. This however hasn’t stopped more research being put into place to find out more varieties that will help farmers and even the researchers determine which variety suits which specific requirements for growth and sustainability.

Stanley Gichuki, CEO Saumu Empire, recalls how most garlic farmers have been frustrated for quite too long due to low yields because of the adverse weather conditions in the country. This was a risk to the garlic farming venture thus reason to find solutions leading to the first research on garlic.

The first research to break the garlic dormancy was done at JKUAT, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology alongside Saumu Empire led by Professor Esther Kahangi. The objective of the research was to highlight challenges affecting garlic farmers such as long time to break dormancy, low yields, small gloves, long maturity period and harsh weather conditions.

With these challenges in mind, Professor Kahangi aided in the first research that involved the treatment solution. The process involved formula calculation, solution preparation and time of treatment. This treatment was done on the local garlic as a mode of improvement to help the struggling garlic farming in Kenya.

Just like the other garlic varieties named after their origins this formula was called the JKUAT-1.

With this, deeper understanding on the perfect conditions to help in handling treated garlic is being put in place by Saumu Empire. More is done to ensure that farmers in every part of the country get access to this and are able to plant the treated varieties that will increase their productivity.

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