5 Fruit Crops That Start Earning You Money In The Second Year

Agribusiness, what we call Kilimo Biashara, is about investing for profit and if this profit can come fast, the better. Studying Return on Investment (ROI) before investing is crucial in making informed financial decisions. One of the key factors to consider in ROI calculation is when an investment will start to generate cash-flows to cover expenses. 

Here at Richfarm Kenya, we help you make informed decisions by comparing different farming methods, their requirements, and when you should expect a return on your investment. In this article, we will walk you through 5 fruit crops that start producing fruit between the first and the third year of planting. 

Earlier last week, we had given you information about crops that will give you returns in less than a year: you can read that here 6 Fast-Maturing Fruit Crops That Will Earn You Money in Less Than a Year

So let us now delve into the 5 crops that will yield the first return within the second or third year of investing and keep generating an income for a long time.   

1. Pixie Oranges

I am sure you have seen these small oranges with an attractive bright orange colour and very strong sweet smell. They have become so popular that people are almost forgetting the big seedless Ukambani oranges we used to love. Of course, this growing popularity has opened a lucrative opportunity for people who would like to invest in Pixie orange farming in Kenya.

Pixie Orange farming in Kenya

Pixie orange farming is much easier than many other forms of farming because it does not require close attention. They grow well in warm or hot areas like Kajiado, Machakos, Makueni, North Eastern Kenya and the entire coastal region. 

While the pixie orange trees are tolerant to drought, you should ensure that you irrigate them during the dry periods in order to get continuous harvest. Irrigation also helps them to grow and yield fruits faster. 

Pixie orange farming in Kenya has a potential of earning up to Ksh1.6 million in a year from one acre. Let me give you some statistics about this kind of farming:

  • Cost per seedling Ksh. 250
  • Seedlings per acre - 270
  • Spacing - 3m by 4m
  • Fruit price- 120/- per kg (retail price)
  • Yield- 60-80 kgs per tree
  • Common pests- Aphids, mites, and thrips
  • Common diseases - bacterial canker and powdery mildew
  • Lifespan 35 yrs

We have written a comprehensive guide for this business here: Pixie Orange Farming: A Worthy Investment For The Year 2023

2. Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi fruit farming is a profitable venture that requires careful planning and attention to detail. They are known for their distinctive appearance and unique taste. Despite the rising popularity among consumers, their production in Kenya is still very low hence giving investors in Kiwi fruit farming a ready and large market. 

To start farming Kiwi fruits, select a suitable location with well-drained soil and ample sunlight. Kiwi plants thrive in areas with a mild climate, ideally with temperatures between 10-25 degrees Celsius. When planting, space the vines 10-15 feet apart to allow for proper growth and air circulation. Provide sturdy trellises or support structures to ensure the vines have ample support. 

Kiwi plants require regular watering, especially during the growing season, and benefit from a layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Pruning is essential to maintain a healthy and productive kiwi orchard. Fertilize the plants annually with a balanced fertilizer to promote vigorous growth and fruit production. Harvest the fruits when they are firm but yield to gentle pressure.

Kiwifruits are propagated through seeds and vegetative methods, such as cuttings and grafting. However, vegetative propagation is preferred as it ensures that you get the desired characteristics of the parent plant. You can get healthy fruit seedlings from our nurseries in Embu and Naivasha. 

Kiwifruit varieties, male and female plants, are needed for pollination and fruit set. One male plant can typically pollinate several female plants; a 1:5 ratio of males to females is ideal. Some smooth-skinned varieties are self-fertile, meaning they can produce fruit without a separate male plant.

Kiwifruits are typically harvested when they reach their desired size, color, and sugar content. 

  • Cost per seedling Ksh. 300
  • Seedlings per acre - 650
  • Spacing - 2m by 3m
  • Fruit price- 100/- per fruit (retail price)
  • Yield- 20 fruits per vine
  • Common pests- Aphids, mites, and thrips
  • Common diseases - bacterial canker and powdery mildew
  • Lifespan 35 yrs

We have written a lot of information on our comprehensive Kiwi fruit farming guide for Kenya. It has step by step information from planting through to harvesting and marketing.   and also the budget estimates that will help you plan appropriately. Be sure to check it out.

3. Apple

Apple farming is a fruitful endeavor that can yield delicious results. Choose a suitable location with well-drained soil and ample sunlight to get started. Prepare the ground by removing weeds and adding organic matter.  

Apples are one of the most widely grown and consumed fruits in the world, and apple farms have the potential to earn a handsome profit. Apple farming requires a great deal of knowledge and skill to ensure a successful harvest and profitable returns. But you do not have to worry about that since Richfarm Kenya will walk you through the journey from planting to harvesting, offering agronomic expertise and support. 

With their crunchy texture and diverse, sweet flavours, apples have been loved throughout history. They can be used in many different ways and have high nutritional value; this is the reason they say an apple a day can keep the doctor away. Even today, apples are among the fruits you will not walk out of the market without buying. As the demand and market for apples expand into the rural areas and roadside kiosks, the opportunity for a handsome profit for apple farmers increases. 

Apple trees are deciduous and thrive in temperate climates, where the changing seasons play an important role in their growth and fruit production. 

The cultivation process begins with selecting appropriate rootstocks and planting young trees, taking into account factors such as soil quality, drainage, and sunlight. Proper pruning helps boost the tree's growth, control diseases, and improve fruit quality. 

As young apple fruits start growing, the practice of thinning becomes crucial. Thinning involves removing excess fruit to help the remaining ones achieve high quality. It helps the remaining fruits to grow bigger and with high flavour concentration. This practice also  prevents branches from breaking due to the weight of too many fruits.

In addition, it is important to develop an irrigation system to ensure that the apple trees have regular access to water. Finally, it is important to employ skilled labour to ensure that the apple trees are properly maintained and harvested. With the right knowledge and hard work, an apple farm can be a rewarding venture for anyone interested in the agricultural industry.

  • Cost per seedling Ksh. 250
  • Seedlings per acre - 250
  • Spacing - 3m by 4m
  • Fruit price- Ksh. 20-30 per fruit depending on variety
  • Yield- 500 fruits per plant per season
  • Common pests- mites, thrips, aphids, fruit flies
  • Common diseases - nematode, root rot
  • Lifespan 20 yrs plus

4. Mango

Mango fruit farming in Kenya is a lucrative agricultural practice contributing significantly to the country's economy and livelihoods of many farmers. With its diverse climate and fertile soil, Kenya provides an ideal environment for cultivating the mangoes. It is important to choose the right variety of mango tree for the specific climate and soil conditions. Mangoes grow well in the hot lowlands of the coastal strip and the upper midlands such as lower Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Embu and Meru and the entire Ukambani region.

Kenya's main mango varieties/cultivars are Apple, Kent, Ngowe, Kent, and Tommy. Each variety exhibits unique characteristics, and each array is prevalent in specific climatic conditions. Well-drained soils with ample sunlight are essential for mango cultivation. Before planting:

  • Dig a 2 ft wide, by 2ft deep hole.
  • Mix the soil with farmyard manure.
  • Fill it back.

You can then make a smaller hole, just big enough to fit the roots of the healthy seedlings propagated from Richfarm Kenya. When grown under the rain-fed system, mango trees will generally have 2 seasons that follow the rain patterns. However, it is possible to achieve continuous mango fruiting under irrigation.

  • Cost per seedling Ksh. 150
  • Seedlings per acre - 180
  • Spacing - 4m by 5m
  • Fruit price- Ksh. 6-10 per fruit
  • Yield- 400-600 fruits per tree
  • Common pests- scales, thrips, fruit flies
  • Common diseases - powdery mildew, root rot, anthracnose 
  • Lifespan 30 yrs plus

You can find more information on mango fruit farming in Kenya on this link, Mango Farming in Kenya: How To Grow Best Mangoes For Export 


5. Tangerine

Tangerines are sweet, juicy and easy to peel orange-like fruits we call Sandara.  They are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. 

Tangerine farming is becoming very popular among farmers because of the increasing demand and widening market.  Tangerines are now being sold not only in supermarkets but also by the road-side vendors and Mama Mbogas. 

Not only can you enjoy the sweet and tangy fruits, but you can also turn it into a profitable business. It is relatively low-maintenance compared to other crops, making it an ideal option for those with limited time or resources.

There are a few factors to consider before diving headfirst into tangerine farming; it's crucial to assess a few key elements. First and foremost, consider your region's climate, as tangerines thrive in warm or hot areas such us the middle coffee zones and the lower Ukambani regions. Additionally, evaluate the availability of resources such as water to complement rainfall, ensuring continuous harvest year-round. The appropriate tangerine variety is crucial to ensure a bountiful harvest and delicious fruits.

Tangerine trees thrive in well-draining sandy loam soil rich in organic matter. Conduct a soil test to assess pH levels and nutrient deficiencies. Adjust the soil pH if necessary and amend with organic matter, such as compost, to enhance fertility and drainage. Consider installing drainage systems if your land tends to retain excess water. Proper land preparation provides a clean slate for planting and ensures optimal growing conditions for your tangerine trees.

Pruning tangerine trees helps maintain shape, improve air circulation, and remove dead or diseased branches. Remove any suckers or branches growing below the graft union. Training young trees by shaping their growth helps ensure a strong and well-structured canopy. Weeds can compete with tangerine trees for water and nutrients, so managing them effectively is essential. Regularly remove weeds around the trees and consider using mulch to suppress weed growth.

Tangerines with a vibrant orange color, a slightly soft and firm texture, and a fragrant aroma are usually ready for picking. 

  •  Cost per seedling Ksh. 250
  • Seedlings per acre - 250
  • Spacing - 3m by 5m
  • Fruit price- Ksh. 5-10 per fruit
  •  Yield- 300 fruits per season
  • Common pests- aphids, mites, and citrus fruit flies. 
  •  Common diseases - citrus greening, citrus canker, and powdery mildew.
  • Lifespan 40 yrs plus

Find more information on Tangerine Farming: How To Grow Best Tangerine For The Market In Kenya

You can find this and much more from our Farmer's Resource  page. Feel free to contact us on +254724698357 / +254723213602 for any questions, comments or clarification.

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