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Mango juicing bears fruit

13 December 2012

Women with their new mango trees

Hundreds of women mango farmers in Kitui, eastern Kenya are being helped by Farm Africa to transform themselves from subsistence farmers into the rural entrepreneurs of the future.

Farm Africa’s Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF) has provided the women with funding for improved new mango stock that provides far better quality mangoes than can be grown using traditional mango varieties, which are small and fruit only once a year.

As the new varieties fruit in both November and March, farmers are no longer left with little option but to sell their mangoes to market in one go. Previously, this drove down market prices and led to huge wastage with unsold mangoes left to rot.

Mango trees

The women farmers are reaping huge benefits. 62 women from two farmers’ groups in Kamale and Kyanika have received advanced training in how to establish nursery beds. In turn, these farmers are training 198 women farmers at weekly meetings. A staggering 1,000 mango tree seedlings have been planted at just one demonstration site alone, while 2,872 trees as a whole have been grown throughout the project from the improved variety. It takes about two years from planting for the trees to fruit.

Mango juice business

The project is also helping the women in other ways than simply enabling them to grow better quality mangos. Our fund is also investing in machinery and training that will enable the women to turn their orchards into flourishing businesses capable of providing them with a steady income.

The machinery, in the form of a juice extractor, has already produced more than 300 gallons of fresh mango juice. Armed with both healthy new mangoes and a new business vision, the women are confident of turning their hard work into a long-term business. Along with eagerly drawing up business plans, they will soon visit a mango juice processing plant in Malindi where they will learn more about cost bases and grading mango juices, and forming co-operatives.

Learn more about our mango farming project.

To help fund this and our other project work, please make a donation.