Pixies Oranges: Juicy Citrus Fruits Earning Farmers Ksh1.2 Million Per Acre
Farming in Kenya has taken shape as more and more Kenyans delve into the industry both for sustainability and as a source of income.
Several Kenyans have ventured into farming exotic fruits, herbs, spices, and plants including mushrooms, capsicums, and french beans that are exported abroad.
One of the fruits gaining popularity among farmers especially those in semi-arid areas is the pixie orange – a cross between oranges and tangerines.
This succulent, seedless, sweet variety of oranges is a lucrative business with farmers earning at least Ksh1.2 million from an acre.
Undated photo of pixie orange trees on a farm
Rich Farm Kenya noted that a tree is capable of producing approximately 60 kilograms of fruit, and an acre can accommodate about 270 trees.
A kilo of the fruit goes for Ksh80 which adds to about Ksh1.2 million per acre every year. The profit can vary depending on the demand and the size of the farm.
“The cost of starting a pixie farm is just one-time and would be approximately Ksh150,000 – Ksh67,500 for purchasing seedlings and Ksh33,000 for planting at first. The rest is used for the maintenance of the orchard,” the farming company broke down the cost.
Brian Muuo, a farmer, noted that the breed of oranges was preferred for its taste. He noted that the breed was rare among a section of farmers in the country.
“Despite the seedlings being expensive, the fruits are both beneficial to the farmer and the consumer,” he told Kenyans.co.ke.
Another farmer John Kaleli from Makueni County, during a past interview, stated that through pixie farming he was able to provide for his family.
“I have never been employed, I only practice pixie farming and the good thing about it is that it is an all-around crop meaning we can harvest throughout the year,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Oxfarm Organic warned farmers of potential pests that may attack the fruit. The agricultural company also offered solutions to dealing with the pests that may affect the fruits.
“Pixie orchards should be weed-free. Mulching and planting cover crops minimises the growth of weeds,” Oxfarm advised on its website.
According to farming experts, some of the areas best suited for these types of fruits include Makueni, Kitui, and Machakos counties among others.
In 2019, this source of Vitamin D earned Makueni County Ksh595 million according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Undated photo of pixie oranges on trees on a farm