3 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Dragon Fruit Farming In Kenya In 2024

Dragon fruit farming in Kenya was started by a few daring individuals a few years ago. Typical of the Kenyan style, many potential farmers of the fruit looked from a distance as the pioneers made millions of shillings from the sales of the exotic, high-nutrition fruit. "This is will go the quail farming way..", they would say. 

Fast forward to 2024 and the fruit has grown in popularity amongst Kenyan consumers, something that is taking the naysayers by surprise. Awareness of the health benefits of dragon fruits, their likable taste and the curiosity of consumers have driven the demand high and more people into dragon fruit farming. To the great advantage of "mwananchi wa kawaida" who could not access and afford the fruit, the prices have come down and the fruit can be bought from the open market in Naivasha, Richfarm Kenya outlets across the country and a few more supermarkets. 

Dragon fruit farming in Kenya

Dragon fruit farming in Kenya has since continued to be a highly rewarding venture for agripreneuers as more people get to know about, and access the fruits. This is one of the strongest reasons that you should consider investing in farming dragon fruits in 2024. However, I will give you three other strong reasons why you should invest in farming this new crop. Let me first give you details of what it is...

Dragon fruit, also called Pitaya, is a fruit that grows on a plant of the cactus family. There are many varieties of the fruit, distinguishable by the colour of the fruit skin and flesh. Some have a red skin while others have a yellow one. The flesh can be red, purple or white. The red and purple fleshed dragon fruits are sweet while the white fleshed ones are a little sour.

Dragon fruit farming in Naivasha, Kenya

So why would it be wise to invest in dragon fruit farming in Kenya this year? Listen well...

1) Dragon fruits are easy to grow

New plants are easily grown from cuttings. All you need to do is obtain cuttings from a mature vine, keep them under a shade to dry off their tips for about a week and then plant them. The cuttings are planted by burying the lower tip (just about 1 inch) into the soil. In about 2 weeks the cuttings start developing roots and new shoots appear in about a month’s time. Better still, you can buy already rooted and sprouting dragon fruit seedlings from Richfarm Kenya. They take 9 months to 1 year to start producing fruits.

Being in the cactus family, dragon fruit plants do not need a lot of water. They are best planted in sandy or loamy soils that are well drained. After planting them, they will need very little attention other than the occasional application of manure and pruning.  They are less susceptible to pests and diseases so you won’t have the burden of spraying them regularly.

2) High returns on investment

Pitaya is among the most expensive fruits in Kenya at the moment with a kilo selling for between Ksh800 and Ksh1200. The farmers that are already harvesting in Kenya produce fruits that have between 400g and 1.2kg. The cuttings used in planting cost only Ksh500 each. So essentially, selling just 1 fruit will help you recoup the investment you put in buying planting materials.

Dragon Fruits for sale in Kenya

The dragon fruit plants are vines that have a production period of up to 30 years. So you will need to support them with strong posts that can last as long. Each vine can grow up to 30 feet long and give you 30 to 100 fruits per year upon maturity. Now you can see what that means in terms of returns given the current prices.

The demand for these fruits is very high in Kenya especially among the Asian communities. In fact, anyone who has tasted this fruit likes it. The only limiting factor at the moment is the high price. So if you have a high production capacity, you can reach a very wide market by reducing your prices and still make a kill. Do not forget that the export market in China, the Middle East and Europe is also offering very high prices for dragon fruit. These markets would definitely prefer the high quality fruits grown in our hot tropical climate to the less tasty fruits from sub-tropical regions.

Read also:

Why Dragon Fruit Is Set To Be The Next Big Thing In Kenya's Farming Business

3) They require a only a small space

Dragon fruit vines are planted in groups supported by one post. On each post, you can plant 4 vines. The ideal spacing is 1m from one group to the next and 2m between the rows. With this kind of spacing you can fit 1,000 dragon fruit plants on a plot 50 by 100. This is enough to help you realize a good economic return.

However, for commercial purposes, in which case ease of management of larger-scale farms in a key consideration, we recommend a spacing of 2m between the rows and 2m from plant to plant as well. 

Since the vines do not have deep roots, some farmers even plant them on pots in their backyard gardens. This is an ideal way to grow dragon fruits for your own consumption even if you live in a rented house in which you only have a balcony.

Dragon fruit growing in a pot

So how do I start a dragon fruit farm in Kenya?

If you have a plot of land, anything from a 50 by 100 or bigger, you can easily start this kind of commercial farming. Dragon fruits grow well in areas with temperatures of 15℃ and above. They also like full-day sunshine, therefore ensure that you do not plant them under trees.

Have your land cleared and set up the support structures that will hold your plants. These structures are made with strong posts of about 5 feet and an old tyre mounted on each post. Other farmers construct a square wooden structure on the poles. These are the structures over which the vines will hang.

Dragon fruit farming: How to support the plants

Prepare the base area of each post to have fine soils. Mix the soil with manure: chicken manure is the best for growing Pitaya. Plant your seedlings here making sure not to cover too much of the stem to avoid rotting. Use strings to train the vines onto the post. If the weather becomes too hot and dry, water your plants for faster growth. Wait to start harvesting the precious fruit in about a year’s time. 

If you would like to get more information on dragon fruit farming in Kenya, call Richfarm Kenya on 0724698357 now. 

Make sure you have also read our Dragon Fruit Farming: Step by Step Guide


Unknown said...

I am very interested in investing in dragon fruit farming. I live in the semi arid Nyatike Constituency, Migori County. I have about 6k acres of sandy loamy soil which could be very suitable for the fruit. It has brushes and small trees that need clearing. It is next to a permanent stream.
My estimate for developing the land for dragon fruit farming and other crops is at least Ksh 500,000 (five hundred thousand). I can raise Ksh 100,000 (one hundred thousand).
Is it possible to get a knowledgeable investor or loanee introduced by Richfarm Kenya with whom I can do the business?
Or can Richfarm Kenya advance me dragon fruits seedlings and cash worth Ksh 400,000 (four hundred thousand) in a binding contract? The fruit is easy to grow and I will learn more and get advised from you.
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Can it do well also in parts of Bungoma County?

Anonymous said...

where can i get seedlings...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

l started growing dragon fruits in 2020,the fruit is profitable

Anonymous said...

Can it grow well in Kakamega or the larger western region...

Anonymous said...

I met with my friend Paul from Amsterdam ...who introduced me to the dragon fruit project...his office is in Two Rivers Ruaka...it's really a big deal...I have 3 acres of land suitable for the growth but I need a micro finance...please help...Brian Obare

Anonymous said...

Am very interested in dragon fruit farming,can richfarm help in getting the right seedling? Contact is 0722432531

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in the dragon farming from muranga county central Kenya.how can i get the seedling?