How huge is the potential for the fruit farming and export business in Kenya?
As millions of people around the world look for healthier and organic foods, fruits are growing in demand both locally and globally.
Apart from the millions of fruits that we eat at home in Kenya, many of us do not notice the huge volumes of bananas, pineapples, mangoes and several other tropical fruit varieties that are shipped to Europe, the Middle East and USA every week!
Kenya has a unique advantage to profit from this very lucrative market for tropical fruits which grow abundantly on our continent.
This post explores the tropical fruit business and looks at a couple of successful entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the potentials of the fruit production business in Kenya. In our earlier posts, we have also included very detailed manuals that reveal all the technical details of starting and succeeding in fruit farming.
Why Is the Market Potential for Tropical Fruit farming Huge for Kenya?
Our research has identified three strong reasons why Kenya’s future in the tropical fruits business is shining very bright. Here they are:-
Kenya Has a Strong Geographic Advantage
More than 70 percent of fruits consumed on earth come from the tropics, which is why they’re called ‘tropical fruits’.
A very large portion of Africa is located in the tropics – a region that enjoys all-year-round sunlight and has a perfect climate for fruits to thrive and grow abundantly.
As a result, Kenya and Africa at large remains one of the world’s largest producers of some of the most popular fruits on the planet – citrus, pineapples, bananas and many others.
Despite our continent’s huge potential for fruit farming business, a lot of fruits grown in Kenyan are consumed locally.
Because fruits are highly perishable (spoil very quickly) and many farmers have little access to good storage facilities, Kenya currently exports less than 5 percent of the fruits it produces every year.
However, there are signs of positive change as some entrepreneurs are already making the best of this bad situation.
A Growing Demand for Healthier and Organic Foods
Due to the revelations by modern science about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, millions of people around the world (especially in developed countries) now include some form of fruit in their daily diets.
Apart from their rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content, fruits are now known to lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; and help to lower the risk of eye and digestive system problems.
The growing consciousness in Western countries to adopt fruit-rich diets is one of the major drivers of the growing demand for tropical fruits which are abundant in Kenya. As a result, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Kenya earn millions of dollars every year from fruit exports to Europe, the Middle East and USA.
According to the World Health Organisation, millions of people around the world still die prematurely from diseases associated with low fruit consumption. While this is sad, it signals a promising and lucrative growth in the demand for Kenyan tropical fruits now and in the future as more people add fruits to their diets.
A Rapidly Growing Fruit Juice Industry
Recently, Prof Kibwana the Makueni County governor launched a mango processing plant which is meant to buy mangoes from residents of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni to process juice. These are some of the changes that we are talking about. Value addition is taking shape in Kenya and in the near future Kenya will be producing finished products. Another company in Mweiga Nyeri County is producing juice from tree tomato fruits. Tamarillo farm in Nyeri is now processing tree tomato fruits to produce chillie source, jams, and juice.
This rapid growth is driven by a rising preference by customers for healthy drinks (like fruit juices) over soft drinks (such as carbonated drinks – like Coke and Pepsi). There is also a rising demand for organic, super fruit and 100 percent natural fruit juices without any sweeteners and preservatives.
This means that in the very near future, producers will require more raw fruits to make a glass of juice making fruit farming business lucrative.
As more manufacturers shop for fruits to produce more juice to serve the growing demand, Kenya will become a huge supplier due to the abundance of fruits that grow on the country. This added demand from fruit juice manufacturers is allowing farmers across Kenya to process their harvested fruits into less perishable concentrates thereby reducing spoilage and earning them more money.
If you are confident that the fruit business will work for you, it’s important that you start taking action as soon as possible. Oxfarm is here to help you by providing certified seedlings as well as required information that can help you grow.