This article focuses on Kiwi fruit farming in Kenya. Kiwi is a small edible fruit that is very nutritious and profitable even though it is not commonly grown in Kenya.
Kiwi takes 2-4 years to mature and start producing fruits. It is a climbing vine that must be provided with support. If proper care is given to the plant, it can last up to 30 years.
Kiwi Fruit Growing Areas In Kenya
Kiwi is mainly grown in temperate zone areas such as Kiambu, Nyeri, Meru, Nyandarua, Eldoret, Kericho, Bomet, Nandi Hills, Kisii and some areas within Kakamega.
Ecological Conditions for Growing Kiwi
- Warm temperature and maximum sunlight.
- Fertile and well-drained soils. The soil should have a high content of organic matter.
- Shelter from strong wind.
- Enough water content in the soil.
Propagation of Kiwi
Kiwi can be propagated from seeds or stem cuttings. Most farmers in Kenya prefer stem cuttings because the plant establishes faster compared to seeds.
Kiwi Fruit Market In Kenya
Kiwi fruit is locally sold in the Kenyan market while a small percentage is exported. Locally, the fruit is sold in open-air markets, grocery stores, supermarkets etc.
In most cases, kiwi fruits are graded according to size and weight. Fruits above 80 grams are graded as grade A while those between 40-80 grams are graded as grade B.
Grade A kiwi fruits retail at Kshs 100 per fruit in the local market while Grade B fruits retail at Kshs 80.
It is a very profitable fruit to grow in Kenya. One tree can yield over 200 kiwi fruits. Roughly, eight of an acre can hold about 50 kiwi trees.
Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit
- Rich in Vitamin C, E and polyphenols which play a role in protecting the cardiovascular system.
- Contain components that help in maintaining healthy skin.
- Kiwi fruit plays a part in reducing blood pressure, preventing heart disease and overall mortality.
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