You can now double your yield of arrowroots through the high yielding and fast maturing variety from Rwanda. This variety has the potential of yielding over 3 tonnes per acre in just six months compared to the common variety that yileds 1.68 tonnes of arrowroots from the same size of land within 8 months. In addition, this variety requires less water and therefore can do well in semi-arid regions. In one acre you can plant 29,933 plants yielding 29,933 tubers which you can sell between ksh 10-15 each.
The Upland arrowroots technology can be grown in trenches lined with polythene paper and filled with soil (ph 5.5 – 6.5) manure mixture at a ratio of 2:1. The plant trenches are spaced at 0.5m. The tubers need moisture through out the growth perios and therefore irrigation can be carried out once per week.
Remove all weeds along the designated area and dig a straight trench, 1m wide and 60cm deep.
Remove top soil (40cm) and subsoil (20cm) put them in separate side of the trench, put the polythene sheet to line the trench.
Mix the top soil with manure and return the mixture in the trench leaving a depression of about 10cm, then wet to saturation.
Plant the suckers in a spacing of 30cm by 30cm inserting the plant up to 20cm.
Spacing between beds should be 0.5m
Mulch the area when planting during the dry spell and water once a week to maintain wetness. Old and dry leaves should be removed regularly and corms are ready to harvest between six to eight months.
Finally, ensure the trench soil is always moist and should be watered on a weekly basis. Weeding should also be done frequently.
When mature, the leaves start shrinking. At that time of harvest, ensure the soil is moist to prevent breakage of the root tubers while uprooting.
The arrowroots are now ready for the market.
Advantages of upland technology (mesophytes)
Security of the harvest is guaranteed since the crop can be grown on a normal farm.
It curbs damage from floods and production is throughout the year and easy to enrich the soils by adding manure and making the trenches.
With good management, there is higher yield since more suckers are produced and there is low labour requirement.
Yes. Eddoe type has small tubers and this is best for upland technology due to its productivity in low water. On the other hand, the Dasheen type has large tubers.
It is reported that currently, a piece of Eddoe arrowroot is retailing at Sh80 while the Dasheen variety, which is a little larger is going for Sh100 in various markets in Nairobi.
Just like Eddoe variety which can do well away from river bed, this hybrid variety has thin small leaves and deep roots to minimise on water use.
(Courtsey - NMG)