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Top 5 Fruit Tree Farms to Set up in Africa

What are fruit tree farms?

Commonly referred to as orchards, fruit tree farms are plantations that consist of one or more fruit tree species planted for commercial purposes. For a long time, fruit tree farms were not widespread in Africa. Mostly, fruit trees grew singly, propagated by people or some growing on their own. As the fruit market began taking shape in Africa and beyond, farmers began exploring farming fruits. As a result, more fruit tree farms are being planted in Africa.

Why should you consider fruit farming?

Unlike other types of farming niches, fruit farming is not labor-intensive. The most tasking period in fruit tree farming is the first two years after planting. During this period key activities like planting, weeding, and gapping take place. After this period, the activities that follow are usually sporadic and seasonal. They include pruning, pest and disease control, and harvesting.

You should also consider setting up a fruit farm due to the increasing demand for fruits in Africa and across the world. The increasing population across the world will continue to push up the demand for fruits and other commodities. In addition to this, the health benefits of consuming fruits are also increasing consumption in the wake of Covid-19.

How we determine our top fruit tree farms

We weigh the suitability of a tree farm against the following factors;

  • Demand in the local and export market

  • Labor requirements of a particular fruit tree type

  • Susceptibility to pests and diseases

Top 5 fruit tree farms

1. Avocado

Avocado farming is one of the best fruit tree investments in Africa. We project that avocados will continue rising in value as farmers grasp better farming methods. The international market is also warming up to Africa’s avocados. Currently, nations like South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda are already earning from avocado sales to the export market.

The best avocado varieties include Hass and Fuerte. These varieties take between 3 to 4 years to reach maturity. They have a productive period of over 40 years. This makes avocado farming to be one of the best long-term investments you can make in Africa today. Learn more about Avocado farming opportunities in Africa.

2. Mango

Mango trees have existed in Africa since 1824. They were first introduced in Africa from India, where they are native. They went on to spread across the African coast, eventually finding their way into the interior lands. Modern varieties have since been developed. These varieties have a better commercial value than the older varieties.

Mangoes are one of the most lucrative fruit tree farms in Africa. They have a wide consumption both locally and internationally. The international market is very receptive to mangoes from Africa, as they possess a distinct taste due to the generally warm climate in Africa.

Mangoes are an excellent long-term investment plan as they can stay productive for over 50 years. They represent one of the best forms of generational wealth in Africa today. Learn more about Mango farming opportunities in Africa.

3. Bananas

Technically, a banana may not exactly fit the bill of a tree. However, they are considered to be a tree. Unlike other fruit trees which remain intact after harvesting, a banana plant is chopped down when the banana fruit it is carrying matures. The mature plant produces multiple suckers which go on to produce banana fruits of their own.

For a tree crop, bananas take a relatively short period to reach maturity - 14 months. There are different types of bananas. There are ripping varieties and there are cooking varieties. All enjoy a very huge consumption in Africa. With proper management, the banana plantations can stay productive for up to 30 years. Learn more about Banana farming opportunities in Africa.

4. Papaya/pawpaw

Papayas, commonly known as pawpaw in Africa, are another great fruit tree to invest in. Papaya fruits are popular in Africa’s fresh produce markets. They are not seasonal like mangos and avocados. They are available throughout the year. Papaya farmers can therefore earn an income for the most part of the year.

Papaya trees also take only 6 to 9 months to mature and begin fruiting. They can produce up to 50 tons per hectare per year if grown under the best conditions. Papaya trees however are only productive for 4 years, after which production will significantly drop. After 4 years, therefore, you should cut them down and plant new papaya seedlings.

5. Passion Fruits

While the passion fruit plant is not exactly a tree, it fits the bill of being one of the best tree fruits to grow. The passion fruit plant is a vine that grows on other trees, fences, or props. With the use of props, passion fruit plants can be grown on a commercial basis.

Passion fruit plants begin fruiting at the age of 6 to 8 months. It is at the age of 18 months however, that production will increase to commercial levels. Passion fruit trees stay productive for 4 years. After this period, production will decrease. At this period, new passion fruit seedlings should be planted and the old ones uprooted.

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