Viability of Fruit Farming in Kajiado County, Kenya

Abstract: The main purpose of this study was to examine the viability of fruit production, challenges, markets and measures that can be adopted to improve processed fruit production in Kajiado West Constituency. The study adopted a mixed research method. This method makes use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches which compliment each other. Simple random and purposive sampling procedures were used to arrive at ninety (n=90) horticulture farmers working with Nasaru CBO in Keekonyokie, Magadi and Iloodokilani, two (2) key informants, and eighteen (18) members of focused group discussion all from Kajiado West Constituency. The study used questionnaire, interview and Focus Group Discussion methods to collect data from the respondents. Quantitative data collected using questionnaire method was processed with the help of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS ver. 21). Qualitative data collected using interview and FGD methods were analyzed using content analysis approach. The study revealed that Kajiado West Constituency is well suited for production of various types of fruits including tomatoes, citrus fruits (oranges, lemons and tangerines), mangoes, passion and watermelon. Vegetables such as sukuma wiki and spinach also appeared to do well in the area. There are a couple of favourable conditions that the study found could favour the production of fruits including: tropical climate, existence of ground water and natural resources such as animal wastes and rich soils. The findings on the market trends showed that Kajiado West had a potential of not only accessing local markets, but also national and international markets. The study further found that there were various challenges that faced fruit and vegetable production in Kajiado West which included: prolonged droughts, lack of good storage facilities, low market knowledge, high cost of agricultural inputs among others. The study recommends that since it has been proven that fruits and vegetables can do well in Kajiado West, there is a need for farmers to maximize fruit and vegetable production in the area. However, necessary measures such as water harvesting, farmer training, farm input supply and market knowledge should be put in place.

Organizaton: Nasaru CBO
Date: August 4, 2017
Principal Investigator: Anthony M. Wanjohi

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