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Did you know you can grow fruits indoors?

It is not necessarily that you need a large garden to grow fruits. You can make use of the small space and grow fruits inside. However, you should only consider dwarf varieties (for size) that mature at a faster rate when doing this. Also, go for grafted varieties since they can remain small without lowering the potential production. Fruit trees enhance the beauty of your home, and growing dwarf varieties can provide fresh fruits for your family and clean the air for your home. Isn’t that a win-win for everyone? However, it’s not all types of trees that can grow indoors. Besides, despite being a dwarf tree, it requires regular pruning to keep it in the desired size.

Here are five fruit trees that you can grow indoors. Dive in!

Strawberries

Since they are temperate fruits, growing strawberries indoors can, at times, be pretty challenging. They require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. When grown indoors, you can supplement this by putting them under a minimum of 12 hours of LED plant light. Use proper potting mix for optimum production.

Passion fruit vines produce delicious fruits for consumers, can be used to decorate patios and outdoor spaces and can offer a sense of decoration to your home when grown indoors.

Lime Trees

With little space, growing dwarf lime trees can be an excellent idea. They grow into manageable sizes and produce many fruits when cared for well. However, since you do not want bees in your house, pollination can, at times, be a challenge. You can also use limes to decorate your home and balcony.

Avocado Tree

Avocado farming is one of the most rewarding agribusinesses that has gained popularity throughout the country. Growing Hass avocado as houseplants is easy. However, you need to select the right seedlings and container or pot to use. Standard and semi-dwarf avocado trees grow tall and cannot make excellent indoor plants. Ensure that you place them in an area that receives bright sunlight.

Peaches

Fresh peaches are delicious fruits that you will love adding to your meal. Although they are temperate plants, peaches can also perform well indoors or on patios. Put loamy soil in large pots and plant your seedlings. Try it today!

Other fruits that you can grow in your compound include:

  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Lemon
  • Tangerines

Although it’s labor-intensive, growing fruit trees can be pretty interesting. However, you need to select the right varieties, choose proper containers or pots.

 Are you planning to grow fruits in your compound or on your patio? Oxfarm offers high-quality dwarf seedlings to help you enhance your indoor gardening experience.

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Get 50 free strawberry splits 🍓🍓🍓 on our OxfarmAg Ltd Seedlings Package offer going for 4,950/-.

The offer will be runs from 4th – 11th February.

Here is the Package
50 Free Strawberry splits

–> 10 – Tree tomato seedlings
–> 10 – Passion seedlings, yellow or purple
–> 3 – Hass or fuerte avocados seedlings
–> 3 – Grafted Oranges or tangerines seedlings
–> 3 – Grafted mangoes seedlings
–> 2 – Apples seedlings
–> 2 – Lemons seedlings
–> 2 – Pepino melon seedlings
–> 1 – Pomegranate seedling
–> 1 – Guava seedling

This offer is coupled with an incentive of free delivery to your nearest town country wide.

Make your Orchard a paradise with these fruits 🥑🍓🍏🍋🥭🍈🍊🍌 which are;

-Easy to manage
-Have minimum water requirements
-Have fast growth, some maturing as early as after 3 months.

  • Best for small orchards as they require less space.

You can buy this Package as a present to your friend or family, or to your parents at home or for your own orchard establishment, it also serves as a good beautification in your home compound.

“The day you plant is not the day you eat the fruit but rather the earlier the better.”

Hurry and get your package as the offer lasts.

For easy processing of your order communicate to us through regional departments.

Text/Call your regional representative.

Western region – Mr. Asman 0706222888
Whatapp- https://wa.me/254706222888
Email – info@oxfarm.co.ke

Eldoret Region – Mr. Duncan 0710588060
WhataApp- https://wa.me/254710588060
Email – oxfarmeldoret@oxfarm.co.ke

Nakuru region – Ms. Caroline
0740000044
WhatsApp- https://wa.me/254740000044
Email: oxfarmaglimited@gmail.com

Nairobi region – Ms. Florence
0769623300
WhatsApp- https://wa.me/254769623300
Email – oxfarmnairobi@oxfarm.co.ke

Visit any of our offices in Nairobi, Nyeri, Nakuru, Or Eldoret.

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6 MONTHS AND YOU HAVE YOUR YUMMY FRUITS

Passion fruits are the most widely adaptable of the fruits and can be grown throughout Kenya. The wide variation in climates within the Country and the wide adaptation of the passion plant permit production, harvesting, and marketing throughout the year.

Propagation

Sweet Yellow passion is propagated by the use of seedlings/ cuttings that take 6 months to maturity.

Factors to Consider When Growing sweet yellow passion.

The establishment of an orchard is a long-term investment and deserves very critical planning. The primary consideration before setting up an orchard is to analyze the available resources in the context of those, which are essential for successful fruit production. Careful planning results in optimum production, high returns, and long tree life. Poor initial decisions can be costly and difficult to correct later. All available pertinent information should therefore be sought out before final commitments are made. Site selection is one of the most important decisions a grower will make over the life of an orchard. Virtually every aspect of production and marketing is, to a degree, affected by the site. It affects cropping consistency, fruit quality, pest pressures, and marketing success.

Site Selection

Vines require full sunlight for proper growth. It is best grown in areas with an annual rainfall of at least 900 mm. Passion fruit may be grown on a wide range of soil types, but the best-suited soils are light to heavy sandy loam of medium texture having a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. The plant needs good drainage. Vines will not tolerate waterlogged conditions for long periods. The passion fruit vine grows better in areas that are protected from the wind. Flat and smoothly undulated lands (gradients less than 8%) are most suitable, on steeper slopes (in the range of 8 to 30%) irrigation and/or fertigation are more difficult while in very steep areas, passion fruit should be grown individually with good natural soil covering.

Land Preparation

Land preparation may be conducted one to two months before planting the vines. The land must first be cleared. This produces green mulch that can be incorporated back into the soil when plowing and rotovating. This ensures a quick and even establishment of vines. Soil analysis should be conducted and all necessary adjustments made before planting. Plowing organic matter into the soil is beneficial. Organic mulch can be added around these vines because they are shallow-rooted.

Land preparation aims to improve the soil conditions for root development, by way of increasing aeration and water infiltration and reducing soil resistance to root growth. Manual soil preparation starts with clearing existing vegetation and using it as mulch or burning it. Soil preparation is limited to the manual opening of the pits for planting the vines. Mechanical preparation is done by machine, taking care to not remove the superficial layer of soil, which is rich in organic material. This is followed by plowing and then pit digging or creating furrows for planting. Surface scarifying may substitute for plowing for minimum soil preparation.

Soil

Passion fruit vines grow on many soil types but light to heavy sandy loam with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 is the most suitable. Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter and low in salts. If the soil is too acidic, lime must be applied. Because the vines are shallow-rooted, they will benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch. Well-drained soil is essential. Otherwise, root problems develop that soon destroy these plants. . Passion fruit can be grown on a range of soils, sandy to clay loam. In general, it is recommended that the soil should be deep, relatively fertile, and well-drained. Poorly permeable soils with high clay content, subject to flooding, are not recommended. For clay soils, it is advisable to use organic matter in the ratio of 2 parts to one part of the soil to improve fertility, reduce leaching of nutrients below roots level.

Trellis Construction

Trellises are required for the commercial production of passion fruit. Trellises contribute most to the cost of production of the crop and should be constructed properly. Trellises should be constructed in the same direction as the wind wherever possible. On sloping terrain, trellises should be constructed across the slope. Although the passion fruit is more productive if allowed to climb a tall tree, trellising is recommended for many reasons. Trellis rows should be oriented north-south for maximum exposure to sunlight, and the vines should be allowed to grow together along the trellises to promote cross-pollination. Trellises can be horizontal or vertical. Horizontal trellises have cross-pieces at the top of each post with 2-4 wires strung horizontally 60 cm (2 ft.) apart along the top of each cross-piece. Vertical trellises consist of heavy posts without cross-pieces, with 2 or 3 wires strung along the row like barbed wire fencing, attached to the posts from the top down at intervals about 30-40 cm (12-16 in.) apart.

Trellis wires should be No. 9 or 10 galvanized steel. The posts need to be stout enough to withstand the weight of the vines throughout a season that normally includes the buffeting of strong winds. Ideally, they should be long enough to provide a trellis height of 1.5 m (5 ft.), with 45-75 cm (18-30 in.) in the ground.

Training

Temporary support at each plant is necessary to train it to get a good hold on the wires of the trellis, after which it takes care of itself and needs no other support. The principal objective is to get the vine to the trellis wires in the simplest, quickest, and least expensive manner. If the young vine is supported in an upright position, with a strong wire or light pole to grasp, it usually will grow quickly to the trellis wire with a minimum of lateral branching. A terminal branched portion of bamboo, inverted and hung over the trellis wire, provides excellent support for the vine and eliminates the necessity for frequent tying. Four to six laterals may be trained in both directions onto the overhead wire, and the sooner they come to a horizontal position on the trellis the more quickly they will flower and fruit. Young vines are trained by aiming a growing up toward the top of the trellis and once there, allowing a shoot to grow along each wire in each direction. A 2-wire trellis provides 4 sprouts growing along the trellis away from the vine’s trunk. Once started, the vine should be allowed to grow without pruning throughout the season, since the more vine there is, the more bearing surface there will be.

Weed control

Weed control can be done manually in the rows and mechanically between the rows. During harvest weed control needs to be especially well done in the rows parallel to the planting lines because the fruits are usually collected from the ground. Mechanical weeding (close to the plant less than one meter) is not recommended to prevent damages to the roots, which are largely concentrated within 15 to 45 cm from the stem.  Chemical weeding, using selective herbicides eliminates not only the weeds but reduces operational costs and simplifies the work

Manuring/Fertilization

Passion vines are heavy feeders, but over-fertilization will damage the roots, and possibly destroy the plant. The amount to apply depends on the size of the plant and can be determined by experience. No more than 10 g  each NPK/plant should be applied at one time until it has been determined that more can be applied safely. It should be evenly spread in a circle of about 45 cm radius about the stem, and then irrigated

Irrigation.

 Passion fruit develops continuously and so needs a constant supply of water. The water demand varies from 800 to 1750 mm and must be well distributed throughout the year, preferably with 60 to 120 mm of water each month, by rain complemented when necessary with irrigation. Generally, annual rainfall should be at least 900 mm. Although the plant withstands droughts relatively well, prolonged drought damages its vegetative development, causing, in severe cases, leaf fall and the formation of smaller and lighter fruits. On the other hand, intense rains in the flowering period also damage production, because they inhibit pollination by diminishing the activity of pollinating insects and causing pollen grains to burst. In regions where the rains occur in specific periods, resulting in shortages for a few months, irrigation is indispensable to guarantee good production and fruit quality.

Pruning

The pruning of passion fruit vines is conducted to reduce the level of pests and diseases and to encourage new vine growth. Heavy pruning should only be performed once per year, after the July to September crop. Since pruning tools are means by which diseases are spread they should therefore be kept clean. Generally, pruning is done while the vine is dormant and consists of removing any growth that is weak or trailing on the ground, and shortening strong canes by about one-third. Regular pruning is necessary because the fruit is borne on new shoots arising from old canes. This pruning encourages new growth and removes unproductive wood.

Harvesting

After planting, passion fruit only takes an average of six months. When ready for harvesting, the skin of the fruit is deep yellow. Its pulpy interior is bright yellow, filled with small black seeds. For fresh market or use, the fruit is picked when color changes occur. For processing, the fruit is allowed to drop to the ground and picked at least every second day. At this stage, the fruit is shriveled but quite suitable for processing.

For more information on Sweet Yellow passion fruits, kindly contact us on 0706222888/0769623300 or Whatsapp link https://wa.me/c/254706222888

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Differences between yellow and purple passion Fruits

Passion fruit is tangy, sweet and delicious that has a low-glycemic index. Apart from being sweet, it is an antioxidant-rich fruit. They grow vigorously into climbing vines and can serve as green walls for your property. They are evergreen throughout their growing period, covering trellises and arches and hence can act as excellent privacy screens. However, they require maintenance and can be invasive. In Kenya, the yellow and purple passions thrive in different parts of the country. However, there are several differences between the yellow and passion which include;

Difference between yellow and purple passion fruits

Characteristics of Yellow passion

  • Has a large fruit with a yellow rind
  • Has a more acid flavor
  • It’s resistant to Fusarium wilt and nematodes
  • It has brown seeds
  • It has a more vigorous vine and more tolerant to frost
  • The flowers are self-sterile with heavy and sticky pollen and hence wind pollination is ineffective. Since their pollen is sticky and the flowers have to be pollinated, bees are the most effective pollinators.

Characteristics of purple passion

  • Has a smaller fruit with a purple rind
  • Has a less acidic flavor, a sweet pulp, and a higher juice proportion
  • It has black seeds
  • Has a less vigorous vine
  • It can self-pollinate and has light pollen. Pollination is, however, best under humid conditions.

When crossing purple and yellow passion, it is important to use the purple parent as the seed parent since the flowers of yellow passion are not receptive to pollen from the purple passion variety. Crossing the yellow and purple passion enables the plant to withstand the woodiness virus.

Best places to grow passion fruits

In Kenya, passion fruits are grown in Nyeri, Kiambu especially in Thika, Kakamega, Murang’a and Kisii. However, before engaging in passion farming, you should have your soil thoroughly assessed. The soil should be examined to identify the soil texture, type, depth, nutrient and nematode levels, and chemical analysis. They perform best in light to heavy sandy loams with good drainage and of medium texture.

Climatic and soil conditions

Yellow passion is mainly for the fresh fruit market and grows well at altitudes of 0 – 800 m. This means that it can thrive in the coastal region. On the other hand, the purple passion performs well at high altitudes of 1200–2000 m and barely flowers at altitudes of below 1000. It can perform well in high altitude areas such as Thika, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Meru. The yellow passion can be used as a rootstock for grafting of the purple variety.

Passion grows well at a pH of 5.5-7. It does not thrive in acidic soils, although lime can be applied to neutralize the acidity. To minimize the chances of diseases such as collar rot, passion fruits should be grown in well-drained and aerated soils. Passion fruits require adequate rainfall although it can be put under irrigation especially in dry areas. However, it does not require extreme temperatures and hence the vines should be sheltered especially in dry areas. The optimum temperatures for yellow passion range between 250C-300C and between 180C-250C. In extremely low temperatures, pollen does not germinate and the plants produce few flowers.

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Passion pests and diseases and remedies

The passion fruit vine is a shallow-rooted, woody, perennial, and climbing by means of tendrils. Tropical tendril-bearing vines of the genus Passiflora, having large showy flowers with a fringe-like crown and a conspicuous stalk bearing the stamens and pistil.

Diseases affecting passion

septoria spot in passion

Septoria spot

Causative agent; septoria lycopersia

Symptoms

  • Light brown and slightly round neurotic spots on leaves.
  • Leaves fall prematurely.
  • Lesions on flowers similar to those on leaves.
  • Leaf and fruit abscission, twig wilt and eventual plant death.

Spread

Its spread by splashing rain water, insects and cultivation equipment.

Remedy

Timely application of a systemic fungicide e.g. ransom and exempo curve.

Root and crown rot

Causative agent; phytophthora nicotianae

Symptoms

  • Injured leaf shows a burned appearance.
  • Foliar blight followed by drop of flowers.
  • Mild chlorosis followed by wilting, defoliation and death of leaves.
  • Large grayish green aqueous spots on the fruits.

Remedy

  • Plant passion where there is excellent drainage of soils.
  • Use of effective fungicides.
  • Select root-stocks or tree species that are less susceptible to phytophthora.

Fusarium wilt

Causative agent; fusarium oxysporum

Symptoms

  • Green leaves of young passion fruit plants show a pale green colour and mild die back.
  • Drop of lower leaves, general plant wilting and sudden death
  • In adult plants, the disease causes yellowing of young leaves, followed by plant wilt and death.

Remedies

  • Use mycostop which is a biological fungicide that will safely protect crops against wilt.
  • The farm should be free of weeds as many weed species host the disease pathogen.

http://oxfarm.co.ke/category/tree-fruits/pepino-melon-farming/

Scab

 scab affecting purple passion

Causative agent; Cladosporium

Symptoms

  • Small round spots on the leave initially translucent later become necrotic showing greenish-grey centers.
  • High number of lesions on flower buds.
  • On small fruits, symptoms are slightly sunken with small dark circular spots. On bigger fruits lesions on fruit skin grow and become cork like, prominent and brownish. Lesions do not reach the inner fruit.

Spread

The fungus is spread through infected seedlings, by wind and sprinkler water.

Remedy

  • Choose resistant varieties when possible.
  • Rake under trees and destroy infected leaves to reduce the number of fungal spores available to start the disease cycle over again.
  • Water in the evening or early morning hours (avoid overhead irrigation) to give the leaves time to dry out before infection can occur.
  • Spread a 3- to 6-inch layer of compost under trees, keeping it away from the trunk, to cover soil and prevent splash dispersal of the fungal spores.

Anthracnose

Causative agent; Colletotrichum brevisporum

Symptoms

  • Results in leaf and twig wilt and leaf loss.
  • Can also cause rotten passion fruit, recognized initially by oily-looking spots.
  • The spots have a cork-like surface and may display dark lesions and a slimy orange mass that becomes soft and sunken as the fruit continues to rot.

Spread

The fungus is spread mainly by raindrops, infected seeds, seedlings and cuttings.

Remedies

Woodiness virus

Symptoms

  • light or dark green mosaic pattern often with light yellow discoloration.
  • Infected fruits appear small and shapeless with hardy peel and small juice area. Sometimes the disease makes the affected fruit crack.

Remedies

  • Ensure that you use sickness-free planting material from credible sources.
  • Use yellow passion fruit as root-stocks for purple passion fruit. Yellow passion is resistant to the sickness.
  • Uproot sick vines and destroy by burning.
  • Keep the field free of weeds.
  • During pruning, make the pruning tool germ-free every time you move to the next plant by dipping it into a disinfectant, e.g. bleach.

Pests affecting passion fruits.

The pests of passion fruit are mites, fruit flies, thrips, aphids, anthribid beetles, and mealy bugs. The major pests are broad mites, carmine spider mites; red and black flat mites, barnacle scales, and fruit flies.

Here is a summary of some common pests in passion fruit farming.

  1. Mearly bugs

Stationary oval shaped pinkish in colour and covered with waxy thread.

Prune and destroy affected parts at the initial stage of infestation.

Use an effective insecticide, e.g. prosper.

  1. Red spider mites

They occur on the lower surface of the leaf. Keep the field free of weeds as they habour these pests.

Spray effective insecticide.

  1. Aphids

These are green sap sucking insects which transmit virus e.g. woodiness virus. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

  1. Thrips

Attacked plant parts shrivel, flowers and young fruits fall prematurely. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.

others

  

nematodes affecting passion roots

Nematodes

Are soil inhabitants causing formation of galls or knots on roots, yellowing of leaves, stunting and eventual wilting of the affected plants.

For effective control of nematodes use of yellow passion which is tolerant to nematode for root-stocks.

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How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

Passion fruit production is constrained by several insect pests, diseases and inadequate knowledge on the
management of the crop among other factors. A grower needs to know a few basic facts about the crop.

Varieties

The two types of commercially grown passion fruit in Kenya.
1) The purple passion (Passiflora edulis f. edulis) This type of passion fruit is most suited to upper midland
and highlands (1,100 to 2,500m above sea level). It has purple colored superior fruits of 4-5 cm in diameter
which have an aromatic flavor. It is good for fresh market and Juice extraction for local and export markets

2) Yellow passion fruit (Passifl ora edulis f. fl avicarpa) This passion fruit is most suited to the coastal lowlands. It is more vigorous and has a larger fruit of 5-7cm. It is more acidic and used for juice extraction. Yellow passionfruit is resistant to Fusarium; wilt, tolerant to Phytophthora blight, nematodes and brown spot.
It is used as rootstock to purple passion fruit.

Related Content: The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

Seed extraction, planting and grafting

Step 1: Seed extraction
Healthy mature fruits of yellow passion fruit with a history of good bearing capacity are collected from parent plant. Seeds are scooped from the fruits.
• Extracted seeds are put in water for at least 3 days to ferment and ease separation of pulp and seed.

  • The seeds are then dried under shade. Seeds lose viability rapidly if not stored in a dry, dark cool place.
    Step 2: Planting
    Seeds are planted into prepared beds or into 6 cm wide by 22.5cm high polyethylene bags filled with sterilized soil to eliminate root knot nematodes, soil borne diseases and other harmful organisms.
    • Sterilization may be through solarization (using sun) or by use of steam.
    • Germination starts after about 17 days.
    Step 3: Grafting
    Seedling rootstocks of yellow passion fruit are grown until they are at least 50cm high and 3-4 mm thick.
    • Healthy seedlings with dark green leaves are selected for grafting.
    • Scions from healthy high yielding true-to-type vines of purple passion fruit are collected preferably when the plants have flowered. Scion mother plants should be raised in areas protected against sucking insects, to reduce incidences of disease.
    • Sterilization of grafting equipment between grafts must be practiced (use jik).
    • Two methods of grafting are used. These are cleft (most common) and splice.

Related Content: Why Hass Avocado is the new Cash Crop

After grafting

  • Seedlings should be watered regularly and protected from insects.
    • All shoots from the rootstocks must be removed.
    • Harden-off seedlings by exposing them to the sun gradually when scion shoot is about 10cm long.
    • Remove grafting tape from the union and transplant seedling in the field one month after grafting

NB! We got you covered, we already have grafted passion fruit seedlings. Just book yours today!

 

Purple passion fruit seedling

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Passion Fruit Farming In Kenya on the rise Again

The prospects of passion fruit farming in Kenya may change for the higher if plans to elevate the fruit into a significant farming crop are adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture.

This is once details emerged that Kenya’s production of the passion Fruit has been on the decline for the past decade within which no passion fruit exports visited Europe.

During a stakeholders’ forum for farmers, consumers and development partners, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya chairman Apollo Owuor said the country produced and exported passion fruit in massive scale within the 90’s and early 2000.

Related Post: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

However, since 2003 it declined principally owing to pest management challenges a number of that contravened European markets’ strict tips on pesticides residue, with Kenya’s passion fruit reported to contain higher than acceptable limits.

In Addition, Mr. Owuor said that there haven’t been efforts to revive the trade since, partially as a result of passion fruit being listed as a minor farming crop by the Ministry of Agriculture thus it’s not within the government’s policy for priority support.

Passion Fruit is listed as a minor crop

Agriculture Food Authority Horticulture Crops Directorate head Zakayo Magara acknowledged that as a result of passion fruit being listed aboard a hundred different minor crops and little has been in advancing a policy to market and boost its cultivation.

In effect, the Council of Governors Agriculture Committee, depicted by Anne Koech, a county govt member accountable of agriculture in Kericho County, created a commitment to support the elevation of the crop to major crops standing in order that resources can be allotted to its development in counties appropriate for its cultivation.

She said county governments ought to likewise subsidize its seedlings purchase to boost production and additionally produce market linkages to contour selling.

Related post: Best Tips of Growing Grapes In Kenya

Research has shown that passion fruit will grow anyplace in Kenya owing to convenience of sorts for each hotter and colder climate – yellow passion for lower, hotter regions and therefore a lot of common purple selection for the upper cooler regions.

Experts at the stakeholders’ forum noted that there’s potential for Kenya to be a world leader in tropical juice production owing to its year-round convenience of tropical fruits like passion fruit, mangoes and pineapples, being a rustic that may grow these crops in turn.

Through passion fruit cultivation, farmers will observe better financial gain.

(Source: Brian Okinda, Seeds of Gold; Jan 27,2018)

We have already started preparing for the long rains, Book your seedlings today. Seedlings are delivered on a first-come basis.

 

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Passion Fruit Farming: How to get 15-20 tonnes per hectare

Passion fruit, a climbing vine, may be a versatile crop whose demand is growing in  export as well as domestic markets.

The fruit are often eaten fresh or consumed after extracting the pulp and creating juice.

The juice is used in a very  many forms of products and also the pulp could also be added to completely different dishes. A large range of cosmetic merchandise and food flavours are derived from the fruit that’s made in Vitamins A and C and carotene.

Varieties

Yellow and purple varieties exist. Purple varieties do higher at higher altitudes than the yellow varieties. Yellow varieties, on the other hand, tend to yield higher and is more resistant against diseases.

The purple selection is acidic, varies in style and succulence with intense aromatic scent and spherical in form. The yellow selection is greater, with similar taste however presumably less aromatic, a lot of acidic and is also additionally spherical in form.

Both varieties are green before ripening, and they are big for industrial and domestic functions.

Ecological necessities

Passion fruits perform well in a very wide selection of altitudes from 1200m to 1,800m on top of water level East of the Rift valley  and up to 2,000m on top of water level West of the Rift valley.

Optimum temperature for purple passion fruit is between 180C to 250C and 250C to 300C for yellow passion fruit whereas the rain ought to be well-distributed, between 900mm to 2000mm p.a..

Excess rain causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases principally leaf and fruit rusts. For good production, passion fruits do well in a  variety of soils, that ought to be moderately deep and fertile with soil PH going  between 6.0 and 6.5.

In high rainy areas, the soils ought to be well-drained as plants won’t face up to waterlogging or flooding. Some passion fruit enterprises that were doing well in Uasin Gishu County some 5 years ago  folded thanks to soil acidity (pH < 5.0), that reduces nutrient uptake and accelerates Fusarium wilt disease that causes rot of roots and stems finally drying of the entire plant. Farmers are encouraged to use manure and lime within the holes and whole field to cut back the soil acidity effects.

Planting and trellising

Passion fruit are often grown from seeds however grafting often produces improved stock. Yellow passion fruit is best for production of rootstock thanks to superior disease resistance whereas purple is sweet for fruit production.

Seeds germinate in four weeks after removal of the pulp and drying. Production of seedlings in plastic luggage is that the most used methodology.

Up to 3 seeds are planted in every bag then reduced to 1 after emergence. Seedlings would force up to four months to achieve an acceptable transplanting growth stage. After about seven weeks of growth following transplanting, each plant ought to have up to four healthy lateral stems.

Transplanting ought to be done at the start of the season around April-June. Passion fruit has deep roots, therefore soils ought to be well-tilled. Transplant to a field with posts having wire trellis to support the growing crop and fruits made.

The vines are sometimes directed in order that growth is in each directions on the supporting wires. Yields are highest following a regular fertilization regime. Old or dead shoots ought to be pruned. Intercropping with vegetables or different annuals is suggested to maximize free area particularly once the crop is young.

Once established, the vines grow speedily and the fruit ought to flower after about seven months. Ideally, young passion vines ought to be set within the field early in the season when there’s no danger of drought.

Passion vines are planted 2m from one row to the opposite and 3m from one plant to the other. Horizontal trellises have cross-pieces at the highest of every post with 2 to four wires set up horizontally 60cm apart on the highest of every cross-piece.

Vertical trellises accommodate significant posts without cross-pieces, with 2 to 3 wires set up on the row like wire fencing, hooked up to the posts from the highest down at intervals of regarding 30-40cm apart.

Trellis wires ought to be size nine or ten galvanized steel. The posts got to be stout enough to face up to the load of the vines and fruits produced throughout a season that unremarkably includes the blow of robust winds. Ideally, they ought to be long enough to produce a trellis height of 1.5m, with 45-75cm within the ground. Trellis rows ought to be oriented north-south for max exposure to daylight, and also the vines ought to be allowed to conjoin on the trellises to market cross-pollination.

Read Also:The role of an Agronomist

Fertilizer application

At planting, use 175g of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and one ‘debe’ (about 20kg) of yard manure and mix well. To get high yields, regular fertilization is critical.

Apply 300g of metal nitrate (CAN) per plant p.a. in 2 applications of 150g each during rainy season. Spraying with foliar feeds and trace components is additionally suggested.

Crop protection

Weeding is crucial once the plants are in initial stages. Diseases is sometimes sufficiently controlled by crop rotation as plantations are not kept for over 3 years.

Infected stuff ought to be pruned and destroyed and vines kept as open as attainable to permit thorough application of sprays. Diseases may be controlled by combination of excellent management, smart plantation hygiene, and an acceptable spray programme.

Pests lower fruit quality and will be controlled by often checking the areas round the plantation for signs of build-up. If necessary, spray to manage the pests before they unfold to the crop.

Harvest

When prepared for harvesting, the skin of the fruit is deep purple or yellow. Its pulpy interior is bright yellow, full of tiny black seeds. For contemporary market or use, the fruit is picked once color changes occur.

For processing, the fruit is allowed to drop to the bottom and picked a minimum of each second day. At this stage, the fruit is shriveled however quite appropriate for process. Yields decline every year till harvests don’t seem to be adequate within the four year.

Yield and incomes

Yields of over 15-20 tonnes/ha are attainable. In one year, a farmer might earn up to Sh1 million per acre as compared to Sh35,000-Sh60,000 for wheat or maize.

Read Also:The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

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Passion Fruits prices rise due to low production

The shortage of passion fruits for domestic and business consumption has sparked an increase in value because the entities attempt to satisfy their fruit desires.

The inequality in supply is clear from the margin of the price of passion fruits within the varied cities in Kenya. From a sample of seven cities, the wholesale price distinction between the very best and therefore the lowest if triple.

While a bag of 57kg of edible fruit is cost accounting Sh9,690 in Embu, identical amount is being sold at Sh3,000 in Kisumu city – the most cost effective.

Comparing the 2 cities, the inequality on the price per metric weight unit is about Sh118 – Sh170 in Embu and 53 in Kisumu- per Sokodirectory.

Nairobi is shopping for identical amount at Sh5,700 whereas Mombasa is paying Sh6,000 on wholesale, Kitale is that the second highest market after Embu shopping for the 57kg passion fruits at Sh6,600.

Read Also : How to improve your fruit harvest

Read Also: Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

passion fruit farming in kenya

The trend of the low supply of passion fruit has been perennial with soft drinks firms like Coca-Cola probing for the fruits from farmers with futility.

After the four to 5 months drought experienced in Kenya from the tip of 2016, solely farmers who had irrigation methods survived the disaster, and could have one thing to sell.

The shortage isn’t just for the fruits, however different vegetables too.

Passion fruit demand has many a time, been high as soft drink firms attempt to satisfy this raw-material. They’re forced to import the fruits, with a number of them importing in concentrates as a result of the passion fruit being limited internationally.

Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization’s Horticulture Research Institute officer Peter Mburu said increased demand makes passion fruit a better agribusiness venture than maize, which on many occasions, does not repay the invested production costs.

On normal provide, a Kg of the passion fruits sells at about Sh80.

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Status of Passion Fruit Production in Kenya

Several years back, Republic of Kenya was among high producers of passion fruits, however overtime production has stagnated. however, we’ve seen improvement in sweet yellow selection production since 2011 when it was introduced and it’s currently wide fully grown. This is often as a result of its proof against bacterial wilt and woodiness.

Most farmers grow the yellow and purple varieties. Yellow is good for processing while the other variety is good for fresh juice extraction. This has boosted the production cycle that is now two years yet our competitors like Zimbabwe and South Africa take five years. However, our average production is still 3.3 metric tonnes (MT) per hectare compared to 8 tonnes per hectare for other nations.

According to HCD, in 2015, total production stood at 46,628MT but this fell in subsequent years to 31,571MT on average. The low production is due to pests and diseases and reliance of rain-fed agriculture and farmers are not providing enough nutrients to grow to optimum.

Woodiness disease is a major hindrance to the production of the fruit and is characterized by the crop’s leaves turning yellowish. It is a viral infection that occurs in cooler areas or seasons, with symptoms including one getting malformed fruits with hard rind producing no pulp. These cannot be sold in any market.

New Varieties in The Market

Since 2011, there has been a number of varieties released by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization like KPF 8, KPF 11 and KPF 12.  These varieties can withstand pests and erratic weather patterns. But there is also a purple variety called Esther, which is bigger, sweet and promises better yields. Most farmers are yet to grow it. The variety takes time before it shrivels or loses moisture compared existing ones.

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Hindrances to the Export Market

Various markets normally set requirements for active ingredient for a specific crop. The challenge has been that we don’t have appropriate chemicals for use on the crop. There is only one herbicide and one pesticide approved by Pesticide Control Board (PCB) for use by farmers.

However, there are a wide range of pests such as white flies and mealy-bugs that attack this crop. Export markets such as the Europe Union require that the use of these products must be registered and approved.

So, the challenge is that if farmers use a pesticide that is not within those approved, then automatically they are not conforming to the set requirements. Secondly, by default the residue level is set at 0.01, (which is level set for those products that have not been approved). So, if they spray using a pesticide that is not approved, it is detected immediately and the produce intercepted. Most exporters have been unable to export because they fear that their produce would be rejected by the EU market. Yet, spraying to kill pests and diseases is inevitable because of the tropical climate we live in.

The government responsibility is to protect farmers and the PCB is currently working to correct the situation. We are also working with the competent existing horticultural structures to assist farmers comply with market requirements not just for the EU, but also American, Australian and Oman market that have stringent measures.

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Other Challenges in This Sector and How They Can Be Handled

Most smallholder farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture so that when the rains fail, you get small sizes of fruits that are rejected in the export market.

Counties should support farmers by developing irrigation agriculture to ensure the quality of the produce is improved.

Role of The Horticultural Crops Directorate in Assisting Farmers Access Better Market

HCD is encouraging farmers to work in groups. They also encourage them to grow certified seedlings from nurseries licensed or registered by HCD or county governments. In addition, they also follow the contractual agreement between farmers and an exporter as a witness to ensure that they are not exploited. It is a requirement that the exporter must also have a certificate from HCD and a plant health certificate from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service before exporting produce.

(Source, Seeds of Gold)

Related Content: How to establish grafted purple passion Fruits Orchard

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