Pixie Mandarin farming in Kenya

By Value Magazine on 19 October 2019 at 06:00 am

The pixie orange is from the Mandarin or Tangerine family of citrus fruits. Pixie oranges are orange in color and without seeds, they vary in peel texture, shape and size. 

Pixie orange farming has picked up in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid areas especially with the Voi Pixie in the Kenyan coastal region, Machakos country, Kitui county and Makueni County, Kenya. 

 

Pixie Mandarin

History of the pixie orange

The pixie orange was developed by Howard B. Frost from then University of Califonia Citrus research center in 1927. The pixie tangerine came as a result of open pollination between Kincy Mandarins. Kincy mandarins are a cross between Dandy Tangerines and the King Mandarin

The pixie was viewed as commercially viable because of their small size, the nature of bearing a large harvest one year and a small harvest the next year and their late-season bearing. They citrus researcher and the University of Califonia released them to the public in the 1960s and they were adapted quicky in Ojai, Califonia. 

The pixie was introduced in Kenya in the Mid 1970s by Peter Mwaka, who noticed them during a trip in Califonia. He then imported a few scions from South Africa and set up his orchard in Makueni.  Neighbors who showed an interest purchased his seedlings.

Health Benefits of the pixie mandarin

Like other citrus fruits, pixie mandarins are rich in vitamins A and C. The health benefits of the nutrients found in pixie mandarins include:

  • Reduction in the risk of developing liver and breast cancer.

  • Help reduce bad cholesterol and the development of good cholesterol. The fibre helps in cleaning the intestines of the bad cholesterol. 

  • It helps in maintaining normal blood pressure.

  • Vitamin C helps in preventing colds and is crucial for a well functioning immune system.

  • Regular consumption of pixie mandarin juice helps in maintaining healthy-looking, glowing skin.

  • It helps in healing wounds.

Varieties of the pixie mandarin

The pixie mandarin has no known cultivars or varieties but is closely related to the Gold Nugget Mandarin

 

Ojai Pixie Mandarins

The nature of the pixie mandarin

The pixie mandarin is a small fruit that is of a spherical shape, flattened at the top and bottom, with a “neck” sometimes. It has a yellow-orange rough rind/peel that is easy to peel. The flesh of the pixie is orange in colour, is seedless and juicy. It has a mild sweet pleasant flavour

The pixie tree is a vigorous grower that grows upright, with stout ascending branches with large leaves. 

The pixie tree has the tendency to bear alternatively, bearing a good crop one year and a poor fruit the next year.

   We will be updating this article to cover

  • Climatic Conditions for the pixie mandarin

  • Soil Preparation for farming the pixie mandarin

  • Location / Land selection for the pixie mandarin

  • Plant density and spacing  for the pixie mandarin

  • Planting the pixie mandarin

  • Irrigation requirements for the pixie mandarin

  • Fertilization/Manure  for the pixie mandarin

  • Intercultural Operations  for the pixie mandarin

  • Trimming and pruning of the pixie mandarin tree

  • Pests affecting the pixie mandarin

  • Diseases affecting the pixie mandarin

  • Harvesting the pixie mandarin

  • The yield of the pixie mandarin

  • Post-harvest management  for the pixie mandarin

  • Storage  for the pixie mandarin

  • Marketing  for the pixie mandarin

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