Fruit trees for subsistence farmers

It says on this website that fruit trees can provide all the nourishment needs for small farmers; but no specific information is offered.

Can someone please advise me on the best low cost fruit trees for SSA subsistence farmers to grow on their small plots for self-consumption?
Many have become convinced that they must start to grow cover crops but up till now have mostly grown maize.
Graham Knight


I’m curious what website you’re referring to? You mean ECHO’s website?

To say that ‘fruit trees can provide all the nourishment needs’ of anyone, is probably not a position that ECHO’d assume! Humans should probably supplement fruits with raw vegetables, some nuts and some seeds! But that’s just my opinion :wink:

This provides good opportunity to point to EC’s feature article today. Thanks!

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The choice to grow fruit trees or which ones to grow is a complex one. It may be that you may want to encourage farmers to sell some of their fruit if particular fruits have a high value in the marketplace. Those are the ones to plant. Fruit trees do not have to have a wide canopy so that they excessively shade crops grown under them if they are pruned to have a narrow canopy and usually a short or narrow canopy results in higher quality fruit. In a “kitchen garden” certain vegetables, particularly those in the cabbage family like a light shade or morning sun and some afternoon shade so they can intercrop well. Some types of fruit trees are better suited for particular environments requiring less care. Some are very highly productive. Grafting can bring them into production sooner, improve quality and marketability and extend he market season. If you only have a small plot then the legume intercrop may be a better choice than dedicating land to sole covercrop. Maize may not be the best choice, depending on what other options exist. If you have only a small plot then it does not make sense to grow maize unless you have little time for more intensive management of fruits and vegetable which can produce more income and result in capacity to buy the staple foods.