The Practical Training Centre (PTC) is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Industry through Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) and government through the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).The Fruits Unit is one of the six units that make the PTC whose mandate is to support the regional fruit sub sector towards commercialization. The unit demonstrates the best realistic practices in tropical fruits towards satisfying the needs of the sector. The unit consists of a postharvest and value addition facility, a fruits resource room containing latest information on the regional and the global fruit sector, a 1 million seedling capacity Nursery, a tissue culture laboratory, a 40 acre demonstration orchard and scion blocks.
- Providing a realistic practical training in the fruit sector
- Demonstrating key technologies in fruit production
- Training farmers in good agricultural practices in fruit production
- Equipping fruit farmers with business skills and marketing
- Equipping farmers with effective fruit protection skills for safe and environmentally friendly systems.
The Kenyan fruit sector faces various challenges, among the major ones being accessing clean true to type planting material (seedlings) of commercially viable volumes.
The Units endeavors to address this problem by
- Demonstrating best practices in nursery management
- Availing seedlings in numbers that address the commercial needs
- Training in good nursery practices
- Demonstrating efficient technologies such as in-vitro micro propagation (tissue culture) in seedling production, approach grafting, somatic embryogenesis and others
The 40 acre orchards are designed to simulate good agricultural practices in tropical fruits production both for the small and large scale farmers. The orchards contain Mango, Avocado, Macadamia, Grape, papaya, pineapple, banana and passion fruit. National Macadamia germplasm is also conserved within these orchards.
The fruits unit offers practical training to farmers, nursery operators, agronomists, processors and students on various aspects of fruit production, propagation and processing.
- Fruit tree propagation
- Good nursery practices
- Good agricultural practices
- Seedling production through Tissue culture (micro propagation)
- Post-harvest handling
- Orchard management in tropical fruits
- Value addition in fruits
- Irrigation and water management in tropical fruit production
- Mechanization in tropical fruit production
- Agribusiness and marketing skills in fruits for domestic and export
- Crop protection in fruit tree production.
The fruits unit also maintains a depository for the most up to date information in the fruit sector
- Market information
- Standards Requirements
- Agronomic practices
- Varieties and agronomic zones requirements
- International market trends
- Up to date information on active stakeholders in the fruits sector
- Passion fruit
- Tissue culture banana