tHE FRUIT MARKET IS INSATIABLE

Growing up, farming was considered as a reserve for the less educated, we would always be told of how some individuals’ lives would always revolve around the soil, and thus some hated the soil, for those who grew up in the country side, coming from school one would first report to the shamba and till that portion that you had been allocated and if you failed to complete it the food would be proportionate to your work, right?

For those who resided in the urban areas would always go home to the granny’s place and pity those cousins or family members who resided in the country side because of the amount of work one would be subjected to.

All that made some individuals loath farming, and with time majority have actually come to realize that farming is not a reserve for the poor, farming in itself is so lucrative and it is enjoyable, look at it this way, in the urban areas a lot of people are enrolling in the gyms so as to keep fit because sitting in the office the whole day will sometimes create an environment where you accumulate unnecessary fat in the body, while back in the fields/farm, you naturally shed the unnecessary fat as you work, and I am not advocating for people not to go the they gym, but I am saying that you can do your exercise and dance in the farm because your millions are coming your way.

Today, when we look at farming, it is not what was described to us when we were children or young, it is big it is amazing it is on its own level. In farming you get to be your own boss, it allows you to experiment as compared to formal employment where you must follow protocol so as to be given a go ahead to try out the experiment.

Farming is normally considered to be a short term investment so you have to keep repeating the process again and again, but is it the case for fruit farming? Fruit farming is a long term investment as majority of the fruit trees has a lifespan of not less than 30 years, you can imagine if you plant fruit trees when you are 30 years old, the investment will carry you through till the retirement age.  So with a lifespan of a minimum of 30 years, you are only loosing 3 years and that is the period in which the tree is maturing, so you have 27 years to reap, and that’s on the minimum.  

Fruit farming as I indicated earlier gives one room to do several things, you can choose to export your produce, sell to vendors or venture into value addition or even sell to people in value addition.  

What is value addition?

Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable in nature; they begin to deteriorate immediately after separation from the parent plant. This seriously affects the availability of fruits and vegetables to the consumers leading to losses as they don’t find their way to the market in time. These losses may be due to:

  1. Quality downgrading due to poor handling
  2. Physiological spoilage (rooting & sprouting)
  3. Pathological spoilage from pest and diseases
  4. Oversupply to markets

To avoid these losses, the farmer or retailer should employ proper post harvesting techniques and value addition.

Food processing or value addition is a technique implemented to convert raw food staff into well cooked, well preserved eatables for human consumption. This involves modifying raw fruits to have a higher market value, a longer shelf life and improve product acceptability in local and international markets.

During this process the whole fruit undergoes slicing, dicing, cutting, chopping, cooking, mixing, grinding, smoking, drying, packaging, canning or other procedures that alter the food from its original state.

Methods of fruit value addition:

  • Drying and dehydration

Common methods used to preserve the perishable raw commodity against deterioration. This converts fruits into a dry solid, thus reducing its weight and volume. It helps reduce the cost of packaging, handling, storing and transporting. Examples include raisins from, apples plums, bananas, tomatoes

  • Preservation

This can be done through heating or boiling which destroy microorganisms. Vacuum packaging where the fruits are stored in an air tight environment. It does not provide oxygen needed by bacteria to survive preventing fruits from getting rotten. Preservation is most suitable for the following fruits; Kiwi, strawberry, apples, ripe bananas and grapes

  • Juicing

It involves extracting the nutritious juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. It usually strips away most of the solid matter, including the seeds and pulp, from whole fruits and vegetables.  A lot of people use it to detox or add more nutrients to their diet. You can juice the following fruits; Bananas, apples, pomegranates, melons, citrus fruits etc.

  • Canned foods

Process of treating and handling food to slow down and stop to allow for longer storage. Maintaining or creating nutritional value, texture, and flavor is an important aspect in canning fruits. You can get the following from most fruits.

  • Making jams and marmalades

Many fruits make excellent jams. The fruit used should be ripe, clean and chopped into small pieces, with skin or stones removed. The fruit is boiled gently in water then sugar and other ingredients are added until it forms a soft pulp. Oranges, bananas and tree tomatoes can be used to make Jams and marmalades.

  • Chutney

A savory condiment made from slow cooked fruits or vegetables, vinegar and spices. Unlike jams, it is often better to use fruit that is not fully ripe. It’s used to provide balance to an array of dishes. Fruits that can be used: green tomatoes, unripe mangoes or papaws.

  • Frozen products

The fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen within a few hours of picking. They are packaged before being flash-frozen at low temperatures so the water content crystallizes instantly, stopping the produce from going soggy when defrosted (thawed). Fresh produce may not always be available so refrigerated or frozen varieties are a convenient alternative.

Mostly berries, grapes, mangoes, peaches and bananas.

Moreover, value addition provides employment to large section of unemployed youths and provides additional foreign exchange earnings through export of agro-processed products. Value-added products can open new markets, create recognition for a farm and expand the market.

Growing up, farming was considered as a reserve for the less educated, we would always be told of how some individuals’ lives would always revolve around the soil, and thus some hated the soil, for those who grew up in the country side, coming from school one would first report to the shamba and till that portion that you had been allocated and if you failed to complete it the food would be proportionate to your work, right?

For those who resided in the urban areas would always go home to the granny’s place and pity those cousins or family members who resided in the country side because of the amount of work one would be subjected to.

All that made some individuals loath farming, and with time majority have actually come to realize that farming is not a reserve for the poor, farming in itself is so lucrative and it is enjoyable, look at it this way, in the urban areas a lot of people are enrolling in the gyms so as to keep fit because sitting in the office the whole day will sometimes create an environment where you accumulate unnecessary fat in the body, while back in the fields/farm, you naturally shed the unnecessary fat as you work, and I am not advocating for people not to go the they gym, but I am saying that you can do your exercise and dance in the farm because your millions are coming your way.

Today, when we look at farming, it is not what was described to us when we were children or young, it is big it is amazing it is on its own level. In farming you get to be your own boss, it allows you to experiment as compared to formal employment where you must follow protocol so as to be given a go ahead to try out the experiment.

Farming is normally considered to be a short term investment so you have to keep repeating the process again and again, but is it the case for fruit farming? Fruit farming is a long term investment as majority of the fruit trees has a lifespan of not less than 30 years, you can imagine if you plant fruit trees when you are 30 years old, the investment will carry you through till the retirement age.  So with a lifespan of a minimum of 30 years, you are only loosing 3 years and that is the period in which the tree is maturing, so you have 27 years to reap, and that’s on the minimum.  

Fruit farming as I indicated earlier gives one room to do several things, you can choose to export your produce, sell to vendors or venture into value addition or even sell to people in value addition.  

What is value addition?

Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable in nature; they begin to deteriorate immediately after separation from the parent plant. This seriously affects the availability of fruits and vegetables to the consumers leading to losses as they don’t find their way to the market in time. These losses may be due to:

  1. Quality downgrading due to poor handling
  2. Physiological spoilage (rooting & sprouting)
  3. Pathological spoilage from pest and diseases
  4. Oversupply to markets

To avoid these losses, the farmer or retailer should employ proper post harvesting techniques and value addition.

Food processing or value addition is a technique implemented to convert raw food staff into well cooked, well preserved eatables for human consumption. This involves modifying raw fruits to have a higher market value, a longer shelf life and improve product acceptability in local and international markets.

During this process the whole fruit undergoes slicing, dicing, cutting, chopping, cooking, mixing, grinding, smoking, drying, packaging, canning or other procedures that alter the food from its original state.

Methods of fruit value addition:

  • Drying and dehydration

Common methods used to preserve the perishable raw commodity against deterioration. This converts fruits into a dry solid, thus reducing its weight and volume. It helps reduce the cost of packaging, handling, storing and transporting. Examples include raisins from, apples plums, bananas, tomatoes

  • Preservation

This can be done through heating or boiling which destroy microorganisms. Vacuum packaging where the fruits are stored in an air tight environment. It does not provide oxygen needed by bacteria to survive preventing fruits from getting rotten. Preservation is most suitable for the following fruits; Kiwi, strawberry, apples, ripe bananas and grapes

  • Juicing

It involves extracting the nutritious juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. It usually strips away most of the solid matter, including the seeds and pulp, from whole fruits and vegetables.  A lot of people use it to detox or add more nutrients to their diet. You can juice the following fruits; Bananas, apples, pomegranates, melons, citrus fruits etc.

  • Canned foods

Process of treating and handling food to slow down and stop to allow for longer storage. Maintaining or creating nutritional value, texture, and flavor is an important aspect in canning fruits. You can get the following from most fruits.

  • Making jams and marmalades

Many fruits make excellent jams. The fruit used should be ripe, clean and chopped into small pieces, with skin or stones removed. The fruit is boiled gently in water then sugar and other ingredients are added until it forms a soft pulp. Oranges, bananas and tree tomatoes can be used to make Jams and marmalades.

  • Chutney

A savory condiment made from slow cooked fruits or vegetables, vinegar and spices. Unlike jams, it is often better to use fruit that is not fully ripe. It’s used to provide balance to an array of dishes. Fruits that can be used: green tomatoes, unripe mangoes or papaws.

  • Frozen products

The fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen within a few hours of picking. They are packaged before being flash-frozen at low temperatures so the water content crystallizes instantly, stopping the produce from going soggy when defrosted (thawed). Fresh produce may not always be available so refrigerated or frozen varieties are a convenient alternative.

Mostly berries, grapes, mangoes, peaches and bananas.

Moreover, value addition provides employment to large section of unemployed youths and provides additional foreign exchange earnings through export of agro-processed products. Value-added products can open new markets, create recognition for a farm and expand the market.

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