Why Pixie Orange Farming In Kenya Is Booming Now

Pixie orange farming in Kenya is one form of agribusiness that has picked up pace faster than any other. The reasons for this are obvious; it is highly profitable. And that is not the only attractive bit about it. Perhaps the fact that pixie oranges can be grown even in arid and semi arid areas like Machakos, Kitui, Baringo and the coastal regions of Kwale and Kilifi, is what has led to its boom in the country.

pixie orange farming in Kenya
Pixie orange farming in Kenya

The market factors are also in favour of pixie farming. Currently the demand for these juicy fruits is so high because of their higher quality and sweetness compared to other varieties of oranges. On the other hand, supply is still very low as most farmers discovered this variety just the other day. That explains why the prices of pixie are still so high even in our local supermarkets. We are yet to satisfy the local market while the export market still yarns for the same product.

Where can pixie oranges be grown in Kenya?

Pixie grows in a wide range of soil type but performs the best in areas with fertile and well drained soils. Hence, areas with deep sandy loam soils are best. So farmers in Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu should be making millions from pixie farming already.

The reason why most of the pixie we consume in Kenya comes from Ukambani is the fact that this variety, just like all the other orange varieties, grows best in warm or hot areas with low to moderate rainfall. Temperatures should range from 10 to 30℃ with 6 to 8 hours of sunshine. Now areas with such climate like Murang’a, Nyeri, Bungoma, Siaya and Migori that were not know to produce any oranges have also taken up the farming of pixie and are doing well.

Read Also: Tangerine Farming: How To Grow The Best Tangerine For The Market In Kenya

Pixie Orange Farming in Kenya: How to Plant

Pixie orange trees grow fast and their branches spread wide. For this reason, it is best to plant the trees with a spacing of 4x5m. 4m should be the space from one tree to the next while 5m is the spacing between lines. The lines should run in an East-West direction. This allows for the penetration of maximum amount of sunshine especially during flowering and fruiting.

The planting holes should be well prepared by digging them 2 by 2 feet wide and having a depth of 2 feet as well. In many areas, the first foot is the top soil while the other half is the bottom soil and is different. We use the top soil in planting. Mix the top soil well with decomposed manure and fill the mixture back into the hole leaving a depth of only about 10 cm. This space is to be used to hold irrigation water and additional manure.

If you are in areas whose soil is clay or black cotton, do not be discouraged. All you need to do during this preparation is add a bit of fine sand to the mixture of soil and manure. This will improve the internal soil drainage and your trees will thrive.

Where to get Pixie orange seedlings

Richfarm Kenya always has ready to plant pixie seedlings. You can buy them from their nurseries in Embu, Ruiru or Naivasha. You can also call them on 0724698357 to make an order and they will deliver the seedlings to your farm.

Pests and diseases

The pests and diseases that challenge pixie orange farmers in Kenya are not new and are rather easy to prevent and control. The common pests include leaf miners, aphids and thrips while the diseases are sooty mould, collar rot and powdery mildew. The good news is that there is a wide variety of safe products that you can use to deal with these challenges.

Pests and diseases are more serious if the soils are deficient of some minerals. Therefore, it is important to test your soil before planting so you can do the necessary amendments. It is also advisable to repeat the tests after sometime, say about 1 year.

Where to sell pixie fruit in Kenya

Supermarkets and grocery shops currently form the largest market for pixie oranges in Kenya. This is already a huge market that has not had enough of these tasty fruits. A kilo of pixie retails for as high as Ksh 200 making them look like fruits for the rich. The larger Wakulima Markets are yet to get a good share of pixie oranges. At this point, we cannot even talk about the exporting companies that are constantly hunting for the fruits and offering prices as high as Ksh150 at the farm gate.

How do I start pixie farming in Kenya?

The first step is to call in Richfarm Kenya experts to your farm. They will assess it and give you a comprehensive report on your soil, water and other requirements. They will draw up a plan for you that covers the entire journey from planting, through the taking care of the trees to the marketing of your produce.

The company can do the actual planting for you. They have a complete package in which you only need to pay Ksh80,000 and they will do the rest for you: soil test, preparation of the planting holes, provision of 200 high quality grafted pixie seedlings, the actual planting and then give you technical support for a lifetime. See how to contact them from the Contact Us page.