Dhania is a popular spice in Kenya commonly used in stews and kachumbari. Universally known as coriander, dhania is loved because of its pleasant aroma and the delicious flavor that it adds to food.
Getting into dhania farming is a profitable venture due to its high demand both locally and internationally. A report by Farm Biz Africa stated that the international demand for dhania and similar herbs has gone up by 40% with farmers gaining more revenues of up to 25% compared to traditional crops. If you are interested in making money out of dhania farming, here is what you need to know:
STEP 1: GETTING SEEDS AND LAND PREPARATION
You can get quality dhania seeds from Kenya Seed Company, Simlaw Seeds, Kenya Highlands Seed Co. Ltd and other seed companies for Ksh. 1000.
After tilling land, plant coriander seeds in drills 30cm apart at a sowing depth of 2.5cm – 3.5cm. You should expect germination to take place 10 days after sowing.
STEP 2: MAINTENANCE
To control weeds, thin the plants when they get to 7-15cm.
Dhania also requires regular watering as the plant responds well to even distribution of moisture. Also ensure the soil is rich in manure. If not, apply well decomposed organic manure regularly.
Some of the challenges you’ll face are attacks from pests like aphids and diseases like bacterial leaf spot, soft rot and powdery mildew. However, these are easily controlled through maintaining field hygiene, crop rotation, seed dressing and using disease free seeds. Spraying with pesticides and fungicides is not recommended unless it is necessary.
STEP 3: HARVESTING
Dhania matures for harvesting within 4-6 weeks after planting. Start by harvesting the largest ones first to allow the smaller plants to grow. It is advisable to harvest dhania immediately the leaves are ripe for harvesting lest they get feathery and turn yellow.
For storage, soak the roots of the harvested dhania in water to keep them fresh.
For an acre plot of land, dhania seeds will cost you Ksh. 1000 in order to obtain maximum yield. Dhania is a fairly easy crop to maintain and you do not need to spend so much on labor. You can expect to make a profit of Ksh. 30,000-35,000 monthly.
Dhania farming is a great side hustle if you wish to make extra cash. Planting dhania is also profitable, given it is not a labor intensive crop and does not require a lot of maintenance. Dhania also has ready market both locally and internationally. Coupled with the fact that dhania doesn’t take too long to mature, that makes it is an attractive hustle to venture into.