ALOE SECUNDIFLORA SAP YIELD AND QUALITY VARIATION IN KWALE,
|Volume||JASETD Volume 2 Issue 1 2017|
|Authors||MUGA, M. O.*, OSCAR, M. & WACHIRA, N.|
|Article Type||Research article|
|First Published||June 2017 |
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.