Evaluation of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) Utilization and Production in Eastern Parts of Kenya

Main Article Content

Mercy Liharaka Kidaha
Fredah K. Rimberia
Remmy Kasili Wekesa
Wariara Kariuki

Abstract

Tamarind is a fruit tree native to tropical parts of Africa and Asia It is used as a source of raw material in food industry, timber and landscaping. Despite the great value of tamarind, there is no information related to how it is utilized and produced in Kenya. The objective of this study was to evaluate tamarind production and utilization in Eastern parts of Kenya. Questionnaires were used to obtain information on production systems, planting material, cultural practices, proportion of tamarind sold, time taken to maturity, maturity indices, uses and challenges in tamarind production. Results indicated that all the farmers interviewed depended on seeds as their source of planting material. Farmers reported that tamarind was mainly grown for market and subsistence use. Majority of the respondents used tamarind as fruit, an ingredient in porridge and as a source of herbal medicine. Cultural practices carried out in tamarind production were intercropping, weed control and harvesting. Majority of farmers were not able to determine the actual time trees take to mature but some approximated it to take 5-6 years. Most of the respondent identified fruit color and brittleness of the pod as key maturity indicators. Despite the reports that farmers had no problems on diseases they hardly harvested more than 270 Kg of fruits per plant. Challenges reported by most farmers included aphid infestation, harvesting from tall trees, marketing and transportation. Tamarind trees are of great importance in the Eastern parts of Kenya and more research should be done to improve the crop.

Keywords:
Production, tamarind, utilization, challenges, questionnaires

Article Details

How to Cite
Liharaka Kidaha, M., K. Rimberia, F., Kasili Wekesa, R., & Kariuki, W. (2017). Evaluation of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) Utilization and Production in Eastern Parts of Kenya. Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, 6(2), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.9734/ARJA/2017/34705
Section
Original Research Article