You might have seen citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons in the supermarket, but did you know that these fruits are grown all over the world? One of the best places to farm citrus fruits is in Kenya, and in this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about lemon farming in Kenya.
We’ll start by discussing the benefits of lemon farming in Kenya.
In simple terms:
Lemons are a very versatile fruit that can be used for culinary purposes or for making essential oils and other remedies. They also have a high market demand size, making them a very profitable crop to grow.
Then we’ll move on to teaching you how to grow lemons. And also cover everything from choosing a suitable location to caring for your lemon trees. And finally, we’ll teach you how to harvest and sell your lemons.
So if you’re interested in lemon farming in Kenya, please keep reading.
Understanding Lemon Farming in Kenya
Kenya is one of the countries with a favorable climate for lemon farming.
The country has a long coastline and the temperatures are moderate all year round. The rainy season is from April to June while the dry season is from July to March. This means that there is rainfall all year round and that lemons can be grown in any climatic condition.
The advantage of lemon farming in Kenya is that there is a ready market for the fruit.
The demand for lemons is high all year round and the price is also favorable.
The disadvantage of lemon farming in Kenya is that there are some problems which need to be solved for better production.
Benefits of Farming Lemon in Kenya
When it comes to farming, lemon has several benefits that you can enjoy as a farmer in Kenya. With a lemon orchard, you enjoy:
• Year-round income. Lemons are in high demand all year round, so you can sell your produce throughout the year.
• Reduced costs. You don’t need to purchase lemon plants or seeds; instead, you can use the lemon trees that are already growing in your orchard.
• Increased marketability. Because of the high demand for lemons, your produce will be highly sought after by buyers. This means that you get the best prices for your lemons.
• Diversified income stream. Lemon farming is a great way to add diversity to your income stream. When one crop is not doing well, you still have other crops to fall back on.
Market Demand Size for Lemon
The market demand for Lemon is currently high, making it a lucrative crop to farm.
The Kenyan market is always on the lookout for Lemons that are of good quality and are affordable. This means that your Lemon farming business can be successful if you produce a good quality crop.
You should also research the current market prices for Lemon before you start farming. This will help you to set a price for your crop that is both fair to you and attractive to buyers.
It is also important to have a good understanding of the types of Lemons that are in demand in Kenya. You can then grow the right variety of Lemon, which will increase your chances of success.
How to Grow, Care and Harvest Lemon
If you’ve decided to farm Lemon in Kenya, then you’ll need some tips for successful planting and harvesting.
The first step is finding the right location and climate conditions for the plants. The area should have direct sunlight, be well-drained, and have an average temperature of 21°C to 32°C.
Once the plants are in place, make sure to water regularly. Also, use a quality fertilizer from time to time to ensure healthy growth and nutrition. Prune your Lemon trees on a regular basis, as this will help encourage new growth and increase your yield potential.
Finally, when it comes time to harvest your Lemons, be careful not to damage them as this can affect the market price and shorten their shelf life. You can store harvested Lemons for weeks at a low temperature of about 10°C or less in order to maximize their freshness.
Varieties of Lemon to Grow and Suitable Locations
The next step in your Lemon farming journey is to figure out which varieties are best for your region. Kenya has many great options to choose from, including Eureka, Lisbon, Villafranca, and Rough lemons. Each of these varieties offers unique features and benefits, so do some research and determine which one will work best in your environment.
Here’s source of a screenshot from the ministry of agriculture;
When it comes to selecting a suitable location, the main thing you need to consider is climate conditions. Lemons love warm weather with plenty of sunlight, so it’s important that you pick a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Additionally, make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and drains adequately. If not, you may need to amend the soil with compost or manure before planting.
Market Price for Lemon and Potential Challenges
Farming lemons in Kenya can be a profitable business venture, but it’s important to understand the market prices before you jump in. Lemon farmers need to be aware of the potential challenges they may face, such as fluctuating market prices due to global demand and competition.
The current market price for lemons can vary depending on the region, variety, quality and season. The average price per kilo is usually around KSh 35 – KSh 50 ($0.33 – $0.48). However, prices can go up to KSh 70 per kilo ($0.66) during peak season when there’s more demand for lemons.
In addition to fluctuations in market prices, another major challenge that lemon farmers face is lack of access to high-quality planting materials – either seedlings or saplings – which can significantly reduce yields and profits from farming lemons. It’s also important to prepare for potential problems with pests and diseases that could harm your crop and reduce profits if not managed properly.
The benefits of farming Lemon in Kenya are vast. The crop is not only highly demanded in the local market but also fetches good prices in international markets. It is, therefore, a viable option for smallholder farmers to venture into.
The guide provides all the information smallholder farmers need to start Lemon farming in Kenya. It covers everything from choosing the right variety to suit the climate and location, to preparing the soil and caring for the crop during and after harvest.