ALOE SECUNDIFLORA SAP YIELD AND QUALITY VARIATION IN KWALE, KENYA
VolumeJASETD Volume 2 Issue 1 2017
IssnISSN 2309-0936
AuthorsMUGA, M. O.*, OSCAR, M. & WACHIRA, N.
Article TypeResearch article
Article Section
First PublishedJune 2017

Abstract

Aloe secundiflora contributes to over 90% of traded aloe gum in Kenya. It is also the most common aloe species grown in Kwale County for commercial exploitation. The sap quantity and quality variation of Aloe secundliflora in the County was studied to provide information for investment decisions. Samples were obtained from 41 sites from 10 locations in Kinango and Msambweni sub-counties. All the aloe plants within a circular sample plot (0.01 ha) at the centre of each farm were counted and recorded. The total area of each farm was established using a GPS. The mean sap yield was obtained from 3 leaves (large, medium and small) from at least 10 aloe plants per plot. The moisture and ash contents of the sap were established at KEFRI Karura laboratories using standard procedures. The results indicate a significant (P<0.05) variation in the number of harvestable leaves per aloe plant (mean 13; Range 5 to 31), with sites. The mean sap yield per aloe plant was 68.3 ml (Range 8.3 to 380 ml) but no significant variation with sites. It is estimated that the potential aloe gum yield is 175.3 Kg per hectare (worth about KShs. 45,578), the mean moisture content is 36.6 % (ranging from 27. 8 to 41 %) while the mean ash content is 2.7 % (ranging from 1.3 to 3.4%). It is observed that the Aloe secundiflora grown in Kwale has an acceptable ash and moisture content but a low sap yield. It is concluded that Aloe secundiflora in Kwale has acceptable ash content but a low sap yield. It is recommended that higher yielding varieties of indigenous aloes be produced and promoted for commercial exploitation. Financial analysis of aloe growing should also be carried out to establish the profitability of the enterprise.

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