In Kenya, there are few markets where the demand is higher than the supply. Despite being a new fruit in Kenya, its demand has risen gradually and taken the market by storm. Kiwi is one of the most expensive and nutritious fruits in the world. Currently, few farmers have the expertise to engage in kiwi farming. Why not take advantage of this loophole and invest in the lucrative agribusiness?
Conditions Necessary for Kiwi Fruit Farming
Rainfall: Kiwi plants require adequate moisture especially during vegetative growth. They require moderate and well-distributed rainfall although they can be put under irrigation in dry areas. They are sensitive to high soil moisture and hence areas susceptible to flooding and waterlogging should be avoided.
Temperature: They require moderate temperatures ranging from 100C – 250C. Extremely high temperatures result in flower and fruit abortion while low temperatures inhibit flowering and fruit set.
Sunlight: Kiwi plants flourish when they receive 4-8 hours of sunlight per day. They require shade when there is extreme sunlight.
Soil requirements: Kiwi thrives in deep, fertile, and well-drained soils especially in loamy, sandy loam, and clay-loam soils. They perform well in soils with a pH ranging from 5.5-6.5. However, they can still grow well in acidic and slightly alkaline soils.
Wind: Extremely strong winds are dangerous in Kiwi farms and result in flower and fruit fall. To minimize the effects, windbreakers should be planted around the farm.
Areas grown in Kenya
Kiwi is a temperate fruit and thrives in temperate areas of Kenya such as Central Rift Valley, Western, and Central highlands.
Spacing in Kiwi farming depends on the variety and training method to be employed. The pergola and T-bar design are the most adopted training methods. In T-bar training, a spacing of 4m x 5m is recommended. A spacing of 5m x 6m is recommended in the pergola method. Male plants should be well distributed throughout the farm to enhance pollination and planted in the ratio of about 1:5 between males and females.
Aneighth acre can accommodate 50 vines with an acre accommodating 400 vines depending on the spacing.
Kiwi orchards should be weed-free. Mulching can help minimize the growth of weeds.
Pollination in Kiwi Fruit Farming
Kiwi is not self-pollinating and hence requires pollen from other plants for pollination to occur. To enhance pollination, honey-bee hives should be spread throughout the orchards. Male vines should be well-distributed in the farm.
Pests and Diseases
There are certain pests and diseases which attack kiwi plants and fruits. These include;
- Spider mites
- Leaf rollers
- Japanese beetles
- Boxelder bugs (They are commonly seen in the coastal regions)
- Gray mold (botrytis rot) – it affects young fruits and flowers. It is common in areas with humid climates.
- Phytophthora and ArmillariaRoot rot
- Crown gall
- Bacterial blight
- Bleeding canker
Diseases can be managed by proper site selection, fumigation, and proper irrigation management. The chemical control method can be applied in severe cases.
Production and output
The eighth acre with 50 kiwi vines can produce 5,000 – 10,000 fruits per year. That is 400kgs – 800kgs per year. The current market price of one kiwi fruit is Ksh 100. That means that a farmer can earn between Ksh 500,000 – Ksh 1,000, 000+ per year from 1/8 acre.
An acre with 400 vines can produce 40,000 – 80,000+ fruits. At an average price of Ksh 100, a farmer can earn about ksh4,000,000 – Ksh8,000,000+ per year.
Price per seedling
At Oxfarm Ag Ltd, we sell certified kiwi seedlings at Ksh 400 each.
Site selection and establishment of kiwifruit plants determine the lifetime productivity of the vines. Before planting, the site should be thoroughly assessed to determine whether it’s ideal for kiwi farming. Despite being a high-income earner, few farmers have the necessary expertise on kiwi farming. At Oxfarm, we have come up with a package that helps farmers engage and become successful in kiwifruit agribusiness. All the farmer has to do is plough the land and let Oxfarm establish the kiwi orchard for them. Why not let the experts do it for you?
The package costs Ksh 194,000
WHAT IS IN THE PACKAGE
- Free consultancy
- 400 certified kiwi seedlings
- Organic manure (earthlee) (Discounted at 50%)
- Market connection
- Lifetime agronomy support
Since the number of farmers who engaged in Kiwi farming is still low, the local market is still underfed. The high demand of kiwi fruits is fuelled by their extensive use in juice making, desserts, salads, cakes, and kiwi concentrates. In addition to the rising demand, kiwi fruits retail at high prices and farmers can fetch high returns from kiwi fruits. The demand is not only high in the local market but also in the international market. Juice makers, cake makers, hotels, hospitals, and supermarkets provide the largest market for kiwi fruits.