Pixie Orange Farming: A Worthy Investment For The Year 2022

Pixie oranges continue to become very popular among Kenyan consumers. This is because this variety of oranges is a lot sweeter than the large ordinary oranges, juicier and their orange flavour is very sharp. Actually, if you cut a pixie orange in one room, its refreshing smell will be calling someone from the next room. Farmers have realized the huge opportunity arising from the demand and are making efforts to fill the gap. However, the few pixie orange farming activities in Kenya are far from meeting the growing demand within the country and even abroad.

Pixie orange farming in Kenya

Pixie farming areas in Kenya

Being a variety of citrus fruits, pixie oranges thrive in hot climatic conditions. Currently, Makueni County leads in the production of this fruit, followed by the other Ukambani counties of Machakos and Kitui. The hot Baringo County is also hot on the trail and gladly, the coastal people of Kwale and Taita Taveta have woken up to the opportunity even though in very small scales.

Grafted trees mature faster

Pixie oranges originated from California and are seedless. Therefore, the only available method of propagating this variety in Kenya is by grafting. This brings forth another advantage in that the grafted seedlings mature faster. Grafted pixie oranges will mature after 2 to 3 years depending on how well they are taken care of. At first, each tree will give a few fruits; about 30 to 50 fruits. This production increases every year as the branches grow wider. The highest yield is attained in the 4th or 5th year in which each pixie tree can give up to 300 fruits; about 60 kgs per tree.

A pixie orange tree with fruits

How to grow pixie

Pixie can grow in many different types of soils. However the best soils are the well drained sandy loam soils. Like many other fruit trees, pixie requires fertile soils with a high humus content and a pH level of between 6.5 and 7.4. The planting holes should be prepared well to a size of 2x2 feet – 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Separate the top soil from the bottom soil and use the rich top soil mixed with manure to plant your seedlings. Mix the soil and manure at the ratio 1:2 (1 bucket of manure for 2 buckets of soil. When filling back the whole with the mixture of soil and manure, ensure you leave about 10 cm to create space for watering your seedlings.

Best climate for growing pixie

The best climate for pixie farming in Kenya is warm or hot with temperatures between 10℃ and 30℃. The rainfall should be at least 1,000 mm annually although this can be supplemented through irrigation to achieve optimum yields. The fruit thrives between the sea level and an altitude of about 2100m.

Recommended spacing for pixie

Pixie orange trees grow to a height of 4 meters and spread to a radius of 3m. Therefore the recommended spacing for pixie is 3 by 5 meters: 3m from plant to plant and 5m from line to line. With this spacing, one acre will accommodate around 270 high yielding trees. The distance in between the rows of trees is kept at 5 meters to allow sufficient work space for spraying and harvesting. This space can also be used to grow cover crops such as beans.

Why you should do pixie orange farming in 2022

Pixie orange farming is very profitable with an acre giving a turnover of up to Ksh1.2 million per year as reported by farmers in Makueni. These fruits are sold at an average price of Ksh80 per kilo at the farm gate. A well tended tree will give 60 kilos of fruits in a year and an acre can accommodate 270 such trees. The cost of starting a pixie farm is just 1-time and would be about Ksh150,000. Of this initial capital, you only need about Ksh100,000 for purchasing seedlings and planting labour at first. The rest is needed over time since it’s used for maintaining the orchard in terms of pest control and irrigation where need be. Once established, the farm will be generating income for you every year for the next 20 to 30 years.

You can get grafted pixie orange seedlings ready for transplanting from Richfarm Kenya. Kindly call 0724698357 / 0788963373 to order for seedlings.