Challenges in Strawberry Seedling Production in Kenya
Strawberry (Fragaria spp.) is a high value crop with great potential for income generation and employment creation through employment and application in value added products including yogurt, fresh juice and jam. The fruits can also contribute to household nutrition through availability of vitamins. Although a ready market exists with high demand especially in urban areas, strawberries are in short supply and highly costly in Kenya's markets. Besides local demand substantial markets exist for strawberries in foreign markets, especially in the European Union. The scarcity is partly due to limited production, since many prospective farmers are have not been able to engage in full-scale production. Production constraints include scarcity and high cost of planting materials, lack of knowledge on appropriate planting and crop management practices. There is also low awareness on the huge potential of the crop and available market opportunities. This study investigated availability of seedlings and challenges associated with production of the fruits around Nairobi area.