Oxfarm Organic Ltd encourages sustainable diverse cropping systems where farmers plant more than one crop including fruits. This ensures spread of economic risk and offers the opportunity of reducing production costs and increasing profits. The more farmers’ successfully produce more of one type of crop, the more they are whipped by low prices making them a victim of their own success. That’s the greatest irony of farming as dictated by the laws of supply and demand, hence the need for diversified farm systems.
With such diversified systems, you require thorough planning and close monitoring to cater for the different components. For easy management we recommend 2-3 main crops and a set of rotational crops, for example, we have a farmer initiating a mixed fruit orchard in Nyeri doing hass avocado, tree tomato and apples.
A serious fruit farmer should also embrace an integrated pest management strategy and maintain the farm in ways that make them attractive to beneficial insects and pollinators such as bees, and implement interventions to protect them.
Note That: No pollination, no fruit.
Start with what you can manage as you progress. Farming is a journey, more of a marathon than a short sprint. It requires more resilience and focus on a desired farming venture.
Failure is inevitable, the love and passion of your venture will play an important role in such times.
Below are some of the fruit varieties that are commercially viable and worth giving a try.
The two common varieties are; sweet yellow and purple passion. Both varieties do well locally and there is demand for both in the local market. The export market prefers purple passion; Europe is one of the main markets. In the past few years farmers from Rift valley have shifted to passion fruit cultivation without regret and we are seeing a lot of activities in Uasin gishu, Bomet, and Kericho.
There are different mango varieties that thrive in different parts of our country, but so far there is high demand for the Apple mango variety that thrives in hot areas. Other popular varieties include; Kent, Tommy and Haden. There is an emerging export market for Kenyan mangoes in China, hope this holds up.
The hass variety is the most preferred for those targeting the export market due to its high oil content, appearance and low perishability. There is a niche market for Fuerte and Pinkerton variety locally; there high perishability does not make them good candidates for the export market.
New citrus orchards are being developed in the coast, eastern and rift valley by farmers who are targeting to meet the local demand. Most of the citrus consumed locally are imported because the local supply does not meet the demand. There is need for improving production and quality of local citrus. The different varieties cultivated are: Pixie, Minneola, Clementine tangerine, lemon, Washington navel, Valencia among others.
In the near future high quality locally grown apples will be at the shelves in your grocery store. New apple fruits orchards are cropping up in different parts of the country targeting the local market. Different varieties have been tried and tested in different parts of the country and the results are promising. These varieties include; pink lady, green apple, Anna, Golden Dorset, Gala, Red delicious and Braeburn.
So far chandler variety is the most successful varieties to cultivate. Most farmers are producing for the local market. We are trying out Quinault variety and some other giant strawberry varieties to see their viability.
A good number of farmers have ventured in tree tomato fruits cultivation to meet local demand. Red Oratia is the most grown variety. One can choose to cultivate grafted tree tomato or the non-grafted ones.
This is one of the fruits whose potential remains unexploited by the Kenyan farmer despite it doing well in various parts of the country. Most commercial grape ventures are established by wineries and geared towards wine production. Grape plants grown in the country are mostly grown by home gardeners for personal consumption. The local demand for table grapes and raisins heavily relies on imports.
Pears and plums
A good number of farmers in Molo, Limuru and some parts of Kiambu have cultivated pears and plums fruits that they supply to the local market. There are low chill pear varieties that do thrive in warm areas. The hood variety is a low chill variety that has been proven to do well in Kenya. We have sold few seedlings to various farmers in western Kenya and Nyanza to gauge their performance.
This is the most important fruit crop in Kenya. Banana farming has been gaining momentum thanks to attractive market prices and availability of quality propagation material through tissue culture. There are different varieties that perform well in Kenya, study what the market wants and go bananas.
In Kenya So far there are no success story on kiwi cultivation, we are still in the infant stages. However, We can confidently say that the kiwi plant thrives in Kenya. The oldest plant we are monitoring is almost 3 years old and we are seeing some signs of fruiting. The greatest challenge in kiwi production is the propagation material. Most kiwi seedlings in the market are propagated from seed; this takes long to fruit around 4yrs.
There also other fruits which are mostly grown for personal consumption or on a smaller scale. They include Pomegranate, custard apple, star fruit, guava, loquats, peach, fig fruit, rasp berry, jack fruit, apricot and dragon fruit among others.
In case of any queries feel free to reach us,
You can always contact us on;
Cell no. 0706 222888
Phone no:0740 000044
Fruitful season ahead and remember to consume at least one fruit a day before any meal.