Fruit farming has a bright future.
Among the many available investments, fruit farming is among the cheapest. I know you are probably asking how Kshs. 37,600 is being termed as cheap. Look at it this way, One Macadamia Fruit tree can produce between 60Kgs to 120 Kgs per year. Now let us work with the lower side, One Kilogram of macadamia retails between Kshs. 100 to Kshs. 200, so again let us work with the lower side, One tree will give you Kshs. 6,000 Per year, an acre of land takes 80 Macadamia fruit trees, so that translates to Kshs. 480,000 Per year and remember we are working with the lower side. So if we look at the higher side that is 200Kgs at Kshs.200 and that translates to Kshs. 1,920,000 Per year.
The macadamia tree has a lifespan of over 30 years so if we deduct the first 4 years of maturing and work with 30 years we are left with 26 years and an acre is giving you Kshs.480,000 per year this translates to Kshs. 12,480,000.
In the many available businesses we have in the present day, fruit farming is highly ranked just like the real estates and the return on investment is considered high. So, why should one venture into Macadamia fruit farming?
Macadamia is a first-growing medium-sized evergreen tree with heavy dark green foliage.
It is grown for its fruits which are very important in edible oil industries.
There are many varieties of macadamia in Kenya.
Most of them developed for the central province climatic conditions.
Murang’a 20 which is up to date the most referred and the best in the region has big nuts and resistance to many tropical diseases.
It also has faster growth rate.
Other varieties are Kiambu 3, Meru 23, Taita taveta 2 and Kirinyaga 15.
The chosen spacing for macadamia nut depends on the variety. Large varieties should be planted 4 to 8m apart while small varieties should be planted 2 to 4m apart.
Appropriate spacing is very vital since it ensures proper growth and control the spread of diseases.
Planting holes 55cm wide and 55cm deep are made and topsoil separated from subsoil. The topsoil should be mixed with manure from cows and proper ratio of manure and the soil should be used. About 80g of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer should be applied on each planting hole.
The trees should be planted at the Centre of the hole and ensure that roots spread naturally.
Firm the soil around the trees and water regularly.
Most varieties of macadamia grow slowly and do not require large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer. The trees should be fertilized twice yearly just to boost their rate of growth. 8:10:5 NPK fertilizers are appropriately used every year.
Pruning is very essential in macadamia production since it controls bearing and hinder the spread of diseases. This practice should be done regularly to avoid cutting large branches.
So in order to achieve your minimum Kshs.480,000 you must employ the management skills on your farm so as to get the best.
Next we will focus on the value addition and nutritional aspects of the macadamia nuts..
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