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PEPINO MELON TAKES KENYAN MARKET BY STORM

There is a lot of market talk about Pepino melon which has taken the Kenyan market by storm. The fruit is gaining a lot of interest because of its high demand among customers who are after its health benefits. Also, there has been growing interest in the pepino melon especially from the exotic markets where a growing market exists and a chance to make some good money. As others market shrink or get saturated, those growing pepino are growing money on trees – literally. Speak to any farmer – or visit an agricultural show and chances are that this will be the wonder crop of the year 2017.

Market

Besides the local market, the crop has a very good market in Europe and Japan. The questions people are asking are what is this fruit and why all the hype surrounding it introduction and integration to the Kenyan market? The Pepino melon (solanum muritacum) is an herbaceous Andean fruit grown mainly for its juicy and aromatic fruits. It has leaves resembling those plants and if left un-pruned grows into a low dense bush and has more a scrambling nature like a determinate tomato. It originated from the South America but can thrive well in tropical climate of Kenya and its soils. The fruit is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple striations. The flesh is golden yellow when ripe with a narrow seed cavity. The melon is entirely edible; skin, flesh and seeds. The fruit is very sweet and juicy.

Growing the pepino melon

The pepino has similar requirements to those of tomatoes. There are two methods of propagation used; cuttings and seeds but it is usually propagated from cuttings. Germinating seeds require a minimum soil temperature of 12c and unlike some species of tomatoes it can survive mild cold snaps. The foliage is likely to be affected by excessive heat and moderate frost. The plant requires well drained loam soils with a pH of 6.5-7.5. The plants should also be well watered and weeded. It can also be grown in greenhouses.

For potential farmers in Kenya, these melons can be grown from cuttings because the plant is technically perennial – which means it can last for a long time. A spacing of 2-3 ft. between the plants is recommended. Remember that the harsh weather can damage the plant. The fruits have a distinctive teardrop shape and a yellow rind. Mature plants reach a height of about 1.2 meters and produces a cluster of purple and white flowers like those of the potato.

Maintaining the bush

The fruit tends to grow better over trellis usually necessary to stabilize the bush against strong winds and support the branches which grow quite heavy with fruit and, if left to trail on the ground, make an accessible and attractive meal for any wandering rodents. To do this, just tie the branches to the support as they grow. One bush will spread to about 1 meter high and wide. As it grows, it is best to remove some of the shoots, especially those that point away from the trellis, so that plenty of air and light reach all parts of the bush. If you want to propagate pepinos, cuttings strike easily and branches will produce roots if they are touching ground. They can be grown from seed, but resulting plants may not be the same as the parent.

Related Story: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

Harvesting

Fruits are harvested once they have fully ripened and can be stored for several days. They can be eaten wholly and are also useful in making desserts and as addition to fruit salads.

Don’t be tempted to harvest fruit before they are yellow since they won’t have acquired full sweetness. Ripe flesh is a very pale yellow-orange in color. Pick the ripest fruit in the cluster, and the others will continue to mature. Handle carefully since they bruise easily. They can be stored on the kitchen bench for several days, or in the refrigerator for several weeks provided the temperature is not below 5° C.

Diseases

Pepinos are usually susceptible to pests and diseases which attack tomatoes. Such diseases include bacterial spot, anthracnose and blights. Spider mites, cut worm leaf miner and fruit flies are some of the pests that attack the plant. To control this, pesticides and other methods used to control pests in tomatoes should be used.

Nutritional facts of pepino melon

The pepino melon is referred to as the magic fruit in many parts of the world. It is very rich in vitamin c; a content of 25mg per 100 grams of fresh fruit. This Vitamin c is essential in the prevention of oral thrush and maintaining of healthy gums. It also has low content of calories that helps in reducing weight. It also contains many starch fibers; a carbohydrate that is essential for digestion. It is also a good source of Beta-carotene antioxidants essential in preventing disease.

Pepino melon also contains potassium and iron and is sodium free.

Health benefits

Pepino melon has large deposits of vitamin A, C, K and B. It is also rich in minerals such as copper and iron which are essential in blood formation and boosting immunity. Potassium in the fruit helps in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow and central nervous system coordination. Pepino is also diuretic- it accelerates passage of urine, therefore, appropriate for diabetic patients.

How to grow

Pepino melon does well drained and fertile soils. Given that the plant is herbaceous, it may require support to keep fruits above the ground. In an acre, one can grow about 4900 sticks at a spacing of 3 feet by 3 feet. With proper crop management and rains or irrigation when it is a bit dry, every plant can yield six to eight mature fruits per month at a time.

For more information kindly visit our offices or contact us.

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QUARTER LAND UNDER PEPINO MELON

PEPINO MELONS

In the recent days the demand of pepino melons has increased due to their many health benefits. Its demand is in increase each day. It is a herbaceous fruit mainly grown for its juicy and cramatic fruits. The fruits is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple stations. The flesh is golden yellow when ripe with a narrow seed cavity. The melon is entirely edible skin, flesh and seeds. The fruits are very sweet and juicy. It should be eaten only when ripe.

Planting

The plant requires well drained loan soils with a pit of 6.5- 7.5. The plant should be well watered and weeded. Spacing of 2 to 3 ft is recommended .mature should be applied in plenty at least 2kg per hole. Mature plants reach a height of about 1.2 meters. Once they mature the fruits are harvested every week. One plant can produce more than 250 fruits per year and a minimum of 150 fruits per year. The current market price at the farm gate is between sh 30-sh 50 depending on the size. The fruits has a ready market due to their many health benefits. Some of the many health benefits include;

  • Breaking down into glucose for great energy to get you through your day and increases stamina.
  • It helps with liver disease, lower blood pressure, helps those that suffer from strokes to heal faster and promotes cardiovascular health.
  • The fruit helps to prevent cancer and diabetes (tends to regulate blood sugar levels because of the high fiber content) plus it lowers cholesterol.
  • Pepino melon is anti-inflammatory in action helping to sooth away your aches and pains.
  • Pepino melons has lots of vitamin A,C,K and also B vitamin, proteins, plus iron and copper which are essential for a healthy immune systems and calcium for bones, potassium which is needed for relaxing and lowering blood pressure and pepino is a good diuretic.
  • Pepino melon has soluble fiber similar to act meal which also helps to lower cholesterol and it’s easy to digest. The fiber also helps with constipation and it tends to sooth away gastric ulcers too.
  • The pepino melon is also sodium free decreasing your daily intake of sodium lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risk of developing illness related to high blood pressure, such as heart disease and kidney disease.

 

Cost analysis of ¼ an acre

At a spacing of 3ft by 3ft accommodates 1000 seedlings;

 

Cost of seedlings                                –           100,000

Cost of preparing the land                  –           5,000

Cost of planting                                  –           5,000

Cost of manure                                   –           20,000

Misleneous for 3 months                     –           30,000

TOTAL COST                                  –           160,000

 

Expected output

After 3 months for the next one year

After 3 months of maturity each pepino melon can produce a minimum of 150 fruits per year. If we work with the minimum you can get 150,000 fruits per year. If you sell the fruits with the least price of Sh 30 per fruit you will get Sh 15,000,000 every year. The life span of the pepino melon is more than 2.5 years.

 

CONCLUSION

Pepino melon is one of the profitable fruit we have in the country. Its future is promising as most countries like China and Chile have discovered how to extract the medicine value in the fruits and package.  If you can’t plant them for commercial purposes make sure you get some for family consumption. We have certified seedlings from our seedbeds.

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PEPINO MELON FARMING IN A GREENHOUSE

Did you know that pepino melons can be grown in a greenhouse? An 8m by 30m greenhouse can be planted between 300-500 seedlings.The expected output is 100% more than those grown in the open field. Pepino melons are also 100% more profitable than the normal crops grown in a greenhouse. They have a lifespan of more than 3 years in a greenhouse. They are also good for rotation in a greenhouse to reduce pest and diseases.

They require less capital to manage as they are grown organically. Put your greenhouse with a new investment this time not the normal and tiring crops like tomatoes and capsicum. Contact us on guidelines and seedlings as we take you through this investment. We offer free consultancy for those who buy seedlings from us. Contact us

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video pepino melon farming

Dickson kahuro from Oxfarm Ag LTD was hosted by kameme TV as agronomist to educate Pepino melon farmers and consumers on why you should farm Pepino melon. Watch the youtube link that entails all what was discussed and for more information on market, it’s benefits the seedlings, fruits and farm visits, visit our offices in Nairobi, Nyeri, and Eldoret or contact us  Oxfarm /money grows on trees.

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Pepino Melon: The wonder fruit taking Kenya fruit market by storm

There has been growing interest in the pepino melon especially from the exotic markets which creates an opportunity where one can make good money from. The local market is also growing and demand is increasing day by day hence is a crop that needs a lot of attention. The crop has a very good market in Europe and Japan. The questions people are asking are what is this fruit and why all the hype surrounding it introduction and integration to the Kenyan market?

The Pepino melon (solanum muritacum) is an herbaceous Andean fruit grown mainly for its juicy and aromatic fruits.  It has leaves resembling those plants and if left un-pruned grows into a low dense bush and has more a scrambling nature like a determinate tomato. It originated from the South America but can thrive well in tropical climate of Kenya and its soils.

The fruit is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple striations. The flesh is golden yellow when ripe with a narrow seed cavity. The melon is entirely edible; skin, flesh and seeds. The fruit is very sweet and juicy.pelpino plant

Growing the pepino

The pepino has similar requirements to those of tomatoes. There are two methods of propagation used; cuttings and seeds but is usually propagated from cuttings. Germinating seeds require a minimum soil temperature of 120c and unlike some species of tomatoes can survive mild cold snaps. The foliage is likely to be affected by excessive heat and moderate frost. The plant requires well drained loam soils with a pH of 6.5-7.5. The plants should be well watered and weeded. It can be grown in greenhouses.

For potential farmers in Kenya can these melons can be grown from cuttings; this plant is technically a perennial. A spacing of 2-3 ft. between the plants is recommended. Harsh weather can damage the plant. The fruits have a distinctive teardrop shape and a yellow rind. Mature plants reach a height of about 1.2 metres and produces a cluster of purple and white flowers similar to those of the potato.

The fruit tends to grow better over trellis.  The fruits are susceptible to pests and diseases which attack tomatoes. Such diseases include bacterial spot, anthracnose and blights. Spider mites, cut worm leaf miner and fruit flies are some of the pests that attack the plant. Pesticides and other methods used to control pests should be used.

Fruits are harvested once they have fully ripened and can be stored for several days. They can be eaten wholly and are also useful in making desserts and as addition to fruit salads.

 

Nutritional facts of pepino melon

The pepino melon is referred to as the “magic fruit in many parts of the world. These nutritional facts will give you a clear picture why it the fruit has such acclaim:

  • It is very rich in vitamin c; a content of 25mgper 100 grams of fresh fruit. Vitamin c is essential in the prevention of oral thrush and maintaining of healthy gums.
  • Has low content of calories hence helps in reducing weight
  • Contains many starch fibers-fiber is a carbohydrate that is essential for digestion by slowing the process and also lower cholesterol and is easy to digest.
  • A good source of Beta-carotene antioxidants essential in preventing disease.
  • Contains potassium
  • Contains iron

Potential health benefits of pepino melon

  • Reduces the risk of stress
  • Reduces the risk of hypertension and promotes good cardiovascular health
  • Helps in preventing diabetes
  • It lowers the blood cholesterol levels
  • It is essential in the increasing of stamina. The fruit has a high glucose content derived from carbohydrate digestion.
  • Some herbal products are made from raw pepino.
  • The pepino fruit is sodium free. Decreasing the dairy intake of sodium reduces the risk of suffering from blood pressure.

This plant has great potential in the Kenyan market and with proper investment and use of other resources can generate good income. In many countries where the crop has been introduced, it has had a lot of commercial success.  People are day by day becoming diet conscious and hence the pepino melon provides an alternative to other fruits. Value addition can also be done to the raw fruits which increases the income obtained from the fruit. If you are looking to invest in the horticulture market why not give this plant a try?

Related Post: Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

 

origin; farmerstrend

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PEPINO MELON COST ANALYSIS AND RETURNS

MARKET ANALYSIS
This is a question that everyone in need to invest on anything have to ask, From the time I started healing of this warder fruit pepino melon in Eldoret two years back the prices has always been retailing between 70 – 100 per fruit. Many farmers are still waiting for it to be like quail and they will wait longer maybe for lifetime, Many people in urban are realizing the benefits accruing to this pepino fruits and other fruits and they are buying in big numbers also because of doctors’ advice, currently we cannot meet the demand of the orders we are getting daily because first we don’t have serious famers into this business second farmers are buying seedling for testing whether it will work but not for business. To be serious in anything you have to consider about quantity of what the market needs. China is extracting the medicinal value from pepino fruits so never think that we will ever satisfy the market. The lowest price according to our analysis as oxfarm organic ltd if all farmers were to plant this plant, is ksh20-40.

The following are condition necessally for growing the plant organically.
Require a soil ph. of 6.5 – 7.5 in a well-drained soil the other ecological weather condition are the same as those of potatoes. Require a spacing of 3ft by 3ft hence an acre with a space of 43560 square feet can accommodate 4000 plants comfortably . Other requirements include water source, manure, pesticides and fungicides.

WHAT TO DO
 Prepare your land to attain fine tilth assuming you have tested your soil from recognized body like KARI.
 Dig holes at a spacing of 3ft by 3ft to attain a plant population of 4000 seedlings.
 Add per hole a hip of well rotten manure in this case of organic farming don’t add any fertilizer in your soil but instead add ash and mix well with the top soil.
 Apply enough water when planting in case of dry weather like the one in this season of January – March.

With all the information on farming pepino, farmers are still not getting the potential harvest from these plants. A single plant has the potential to give a minimum of 200 fruits and above per year, mostly what happens is that they flower well but after sometime the bearing fruits drop. We have experienced this on our farms but we found that the cause of this problem mostly it’s because of two reasons. Inadequate nutrients or lack of enough water, a big percentage of water melon fruit is composed of water hence require enough watering. In case of inadequate nutrients add manure and ash, mostly when practicing organic farming ash act as a big role in the soil for many reasons I will share with you another time.

Most common pest that attack pepino plants include red spider mites and cut worms and can bring severe losses if not controlled in time We use pesticides to control them and fungicides to control against frost. In case you have ever grown or visited our farm with pepino melon there are two varieties. There are those that seem resistant to frost and pest while there are those that are easily affected hence poor quality fruits and low productivity. We have sorted our seedlings well in our farms which we sell to our farmers. visit our offices in Nairobi Hermes House first floor opp K.T.D.A Tom Mboya Street or Nyeri Kimathi way Behind Khimji Devshi bookshop next to HFC Bank.

COST ANALYSIS FOR AN ACRE
Cost of preparing one acre land (varies) = 5000
Digging of holes, application of manure, and planting = 3000
Cost of seedlings @20 * 4000 = 80000
Pesticides and fungicides (for 3 months) = 4000
Cost of irrigation for 3 months = 15000
A farm manager @7000 / month = 21000
Miscellaneous = 5000
Total cost = 133000

EXPECTED OUTPUT
Assume we achieve production of 200 fruits per plant per year and 85% plant population for an acre (3500 plants instead of 4000)
200 fruits @100 each * 3500 = 70million
200 fruits @50 each *3500 = 35 million
200 fruits @20 each *3500 = 14 million
200 fruits @10 each *35oo = 7 million

Assume we achieve a production of 100 fruits from 3500 plants in one year
100 fruits @100 each *3500 = 35million
100 fruits @50 each *3500 = 17.5 million
100 fruits @20 each *3500  = 7 million
100 fruits @10 each *3500 = 3.5 million

A well-managed pepino plant can produce on average more than 200 fruits for a whole year. Currently a fully ripe yellowish stripped middle sized fruit is retailing at 100 in our area market, when selling directly to the consumer. But in our case let’s assume we sell to a middle man at Ksh 20-50 and achieve plant population for an acre 3600 plants that give a production of more than 100 fruits for one year i.e. 30*3600*100 = 10.8 million. This means you can get 900k per month or fetch 225k per week real money. You just have to wait for 3 months for the pepino melon to start fruiting.

Souce; Dickson Kahuro blog