News and knowhow for farmers

Farmer targets more income with rising demand for rare crops

keziah 2 wonder crops fruit seedlings

Jesse Kioria’s wife Kezia inspecting grafted hass avocado seedlings. The couple is cashing on the growing craze for ‘wonder’ fruits.

The rising craze for rare crops also known as ‘wonder’ crops such as pomegranate is now appealing to most farmers as they get attracted to the amount of money that these crops are able to fetch as compared with other crops that are grown by almost every farmer in large quantities hence flooding the market.

Most of the rare crops, mostly fruits, are gaining popularity because of the health benefits consumers expect to reap.  It is, therefore, not surprising that the cost of ‘magic’ seedling and the fruits is high.

Nyeri County’s Jesse Kiorio has mastered the art of grafting in addition to using special methods of raising seedlings for farmers seeking to venture into this new farming.

RELATED STORY: Rare fruit fetches KSh2,300 per Kg in Kenya

In his eight metres by 15 metres greenhouse, Kiorio raises more than 20 types of crops alongside non-food trees.

Pomegranate is one of the fruits Kiorio has raised and it is fetching up to Sh500 shillings each. It is commonly consumed to stabilize the body by adding multiple ions and vitamins.

“This is not much of a surprise because one kilograme of pomegranate earn up to Sh1,000 in the few distribution outlets in the country. One fruit in Nairobi costs at least Sh150,” he says.

Hass avocado is another fruit he is grafting. The grafted avocado not only matures quickly, but also yields high quality fruits. In addition, it has prolonged shelf-life of up to 30 days. This allows for enough time to the exporters like Kakuzi Limited.

He also raises improved, rosemary herbs, tree tomatoes, kiwi, mangoes, passion fruits, among others.

Kiorio, who is always invited by Nyeri County government to facilitate various agricultural education field days, has taken the lead by growing some of the fruits. He is benefiting from the pepino melons, tree tomatoes or tamarillos.

RELATED STORY: Farmer fetching Sh1,500 per kg from rare chia magic seed

His wife, Keziah, does not regret abandoning cabbage farming for these ‘wonder’ fruits.

“Cabbage used to do well. But the market used to be slim. The vegetables rotted away with our investment. Tamarillo and pepino melon are ever on demand, at times we sell nothing,” she said.

Most of their seedlings cost more than Sh100. The couple is planning to establish a bigger greenhouse of about half a million shillings to host 50,000 seedlings.

Kiorio can be contacted on +254722535987

Get our news into your email inbox every week

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top