Rich Pickings
China Africa (English)|November 2020
Female orange farmers in Kenya empower themselves by growing profitable fruit
Faustine Ngila

It is a sunny mid-morning when we arrive at Lillian Kimanthi’s fruit farm in Muthyoi Village, Makueni County, located 135 km southeast of Nairobi, Kenya.

However, she is not at home and we are told she is busy pumping water from a borehole 500 meters away in the middle of her vast orchard.

Heading toward the thumping sound of the pump generator, we are welcomed by the breathtaking view and fragrance of blossoming oranges. Beneath the gravel covered path, the red soil looks dry and dusty.

In the distance, seven young farm workers load sacks full of oranges onto three trucks, which will be transported for sale to the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, and other municipalities across the country.

Empowering others

Kimanthi, a 38-year-old mother of three, said when she ventured into the agribusiness 15 years ago, she did not foresee a future where she would one day be a wealthy woman.

“I was just a common farmer, growing maize and beans on infertile soil. But from an agriculture seminar I attended, I realized that the topography was optimal for the growth of oranges. So I tried planting a few seedlings,” she told ChinAfrica.

Through trial and error, Kimanthi kept learning as much as she could about growing oranges. She says by 2011, she only had a few mature orange trees on her farm.

“I had only planted 1 acre (0.4 hectare), but when my husband saw the [potential] benefits, he helped me plant orange seedlings on the whole 5 acres (2 hectares),” she recalls.

Within five years, she was known as the local “guru” in orange farming and began educating other women about the opportunities of growing the fruit, taking them through the farming process from planting to maturity, harvesting and marketing.

Kimanthi now grows a variety of citrus fruits, but one variety has brought her much fame and adoration from farmers from as far as Arusha, Tanzania.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CHINA AFRICA (ENGLISH)View All

Smart Treatment

With the development of 5G and other cutting-edge technologies, China is accelerating smart healthcare deployment across the country

4 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Reform Needed

South Africa looks to chart a difficult road to economic recovery after a COVID-19 impacted 2020

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Water on Tap

Malawi innovator develops an intelligent tap that improves life in rural areas

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Every-Day Heroes

Model workers honored for dedication and persistence

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Putting Metal to Work

Chinese steel manufacturers help upgrade the construction industry in Zambia

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Connecting Through the Lens

Winners of the Second CHINAFRICA Short Video Competition announced in Beijing, Cape Town and Dakar

4 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Pretty Picture

Award ceremony shows China’s film industry gearing up

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Filling Medical Vacuum

China-Uganda medical training program will help boost the number of specialist doctors

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Ever Closer Partnership

Solidarity in fighting COVID-19 has further highlighted the value of China-Africa cooperation

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021

Big Screen Return

China’s film industry begins the slow path to recovery as moviegoers head back

5 mins read
China Africa (English)
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

UN PASO HACIA ADELANTE EN EL SERVICIO

Desde sus inicios, servir a la humanidad es la misión y el valor central adoptado por la gran comisión de la Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía de Rongai-Tuala, Kenia.

2 mins read
Mensajero Ala Blanca
Sep-Oct 2020

PASTURES NEW

Nairobi is branching out of the city center and into new industries

9 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2019/January 2020

Envíos – Kenia

La COVID-19 persigue a sus víctimas por todo Nairobi, desde complejos prósperos hasta asentamientos informales y hacinados donde cientos de miles son vulnerables.

6 mins read
National Geographic en Español
Diciembre - 2020

HOW AUTHENTIC WAS YOUR LAST HOLIDAY?

In a world dominated by capitalism and social media, how authentic are our trips abroad? Not very, says Julie Olum

5 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
December 2020

The People's Banker

In 1993, Dr James mwangi walked away from a promising career at one of Kenya’s largest banks, to join the equity building society. Three decades on, few could have predicted his entrepreneurial leadership would work to transform not just equity but the financial services of the region. Forbes Africa meets the man behind East Africa’s billion-dollar banking empire.

10+ mins read
Forbes Africa
August - September 2020

LA HISTORIA DE FONDO

MANTENERSE A SALVO DE LA COVID-19 PUEDE SER UN LUJOINALCANZABLE EN LOS ATESTADOS ASENTAMIENTOS DE NAIROBI.

1 min read
National Geographic en Español
Julio 2020

THE ANTI-SOCIAL STORY TELLER

Muigai Mwangi aka Ndugu Abisai, 30 loves the art of storytelling. He speaks on his love for chai, his biggest fear as a writer and the Soap opera he is currently writing.

2 mins read
TRUE LOVE Magazine East Africa
April 2020

A TASTE OF HOME

Brenda Alukwe Mulunga, 35 of Nairobi Kitchen wants to make food that reminds you of home. She talks to ANDANJE WOBANDA about her famous ugali recipe and gives us a 5 course recipe you should definitely try.

3 mins read
TRUE LOVE Magazine East Africa
May 2020

PICTURE PERFECT

It was a “fairytale” sunset celebration for Meha Patel and Shamal Patel, both of whom work in their family businesses. The bride looks back at how, spreadsheets in tow, the “wedding of her dreams” was planned

2 mins read
Brides Today
April - May 2020 (Diipa Buller Khosla)

Pernille Ørum

Visual boost The Danish artist on why she needs to be surrounded by items that inspire her in her new workspace

2 mins read
ImagineFX
May 2020