ARROWROOT farming in Kenya – the high value crop

arrow rootsArrowroot is a high value crop in Kenya. This means that their prices are good because they are considered a health food.

Arrowroot consumes lots and lots of water. They like wet conditions and are a common site along riverbeds and marshlands where the soil is permanently moist. It is possible to grow arrow roots away from river beds by planting them in trenches. The trenches are dug and heavy gauge polythene is used to cover the bottom before they are filled in with a mixture of soil and manure.

The smaller Eddoe variety is better suited to growing away from riverbeds because it can tolerate less water than the larger Dasheen variety.

Make the trench not more than one meter wide so that you can weed without stepping in it because that will make the soil compact which will reduce the aeration in the soil. Water the trench every week to keep the soil moist. Use mulch to keep the moisture in the soil from evaporating away.

Expect your arrowroots to be ready in six months. You can tell when it is harvest time because the leaves begin to change color and shrink.

The correct spacing for planting the suckers is 30cm by 20 cm at a depth of 20 cm.

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