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
large fruit with a yellow rind
more acid flavor
resistant to Fusarium wilt and
a more vigorous vine and more tolerant to frost
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.
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.
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
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
Causative agent; septoria lycopersia
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.
Its spread by splashing rain water, insects and cultivation equipment.
Timely application of a systemic fungicide e.g. ransom and exempo curve.
Root and crown rot
Causative agent; phytophthora nicotianae
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.
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.
Causative agent; fusarium oxysporum
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.
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.
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.
The fungus is spread through infected seedlings, by wind and sprinkler water.
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.
Causative agent; Colletotrichum brevisporum
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.
The fungus is spread mainly by raindrops, infected seeds, seedlings and cuttings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These are green sap sucking insects which transmit virus e.g. woodiness virus. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.
Attacked plant parts shrivel, flowers and young fruits fall prematurely. Use an effective insecticide e.g. karate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Passion fruit is among the most competitive fruits in Kenya with a great economic importance. Sweet yellow passion fruit is newly released in Kenya. Sweet yellow passion fruit has high demand from the juice makers as it yields more juice than the purple passion fruit. There are two main types of passion fruits; yellow and purple.
The sweet yellow passion fruit could soon overtake the once black gold of coffee if more farmers embrace its production in the country. Its farm gate price stands at Sh 70 per kilogram during the peak while those lucky farmers who produce the commodity at off peak can comfortably earn Sh 120 per kilogram.
Yellow Passion fruit production
Mostly, passion fruit is round or oval, 4-6cm diameters. Vines commence cropping at 6 months of age and reach full bearing in 18 months. The vines have a productive life of 3 to 4 years. New plantings should be made on a continuous 3 year rotation to maintain production. Passion fruit grows well in cooler temperatures at an elevation of between 1200m-1800m above sea level east of the Rift Valley and up to 2000m above sea level west of the Rift valley.
More specifically, the purple passion fruit does well in the upper midland to upper highland zones (1200-1800m) while as the yellow passion fruit does well in the lower midland to lower lowland zones (up to 1200m). Further, the fruit does well in optimum temperatures, where the production of purple and yellow passion is between temperatures of 18-25 degrees Celsius and 25-30 degrees Celsius respectively.
To improve the profitability of yellow passion fruit cultivation, the development of technologies to increase yield productivity, especially those pertaining to the mineral nutrition and irrigation and fertilization is essential.
Challenges that smallholder farmers face in the production of passion fruit is the low volumes of produced fruits by individual smallholder which is uneconomical to sell individually;
pressure to sell to middlemen even at lower prices;
poor post-harvest handling due to lack of skills and capacity to maintain good post-harvest quality; pests and diseases, particularly die back disease.
Smallholder farmers in Kenya begun growing passion fruit as a result of the support gained from the Kenyan government, private foundations and bilateral and multilateral donors since the early 2000s. The gross value of an acre of passion fruit with a good harvest was estimated to be Ksh. 600,000 ($8,000), or 12 times as much as that of maize at the time. Yellow passion fruit production has led to farmers earning sh. 10,000,000 in Meru County through a project initiated by Techno serve an NGO whose primary goal was to encourage farmers to produce more mangoes and yellow passion fruits which can access international markets with required residue levels.
Yellow passion fruit farmers have realized higher profits due to lower growing costs since the purple passion fruit requires spraying six times each fruit season, compared to three times a season for the yellow variety. The new variety has doubled fruit incomes, with industrial fruit processors opting for the yellow passion fruit over the purple passion fruit because it is sweeter, less acidic and bigger with more juice.
Passion fruit has quick financial returns for both the domestic and export markets because it takes only one year for the crop to mature.
The creation of juice making companies in Kenya is gradually opening up avenues for Kenyan farmers to make money by producing raw materials for these industries. Until recently, Passion Fruit farming was done by major companies in Kenya. Passion Fruit has huge market potentials in the country and it is highly sought after in the international fruit market.
The passion fruits
Passion Fruit, (Passiflora edulis, a close relative to violets, is botanically part of the Passifloraceae family. There are more than 500 species in this family and more than 50 of them are edible. However, only the purple passion fruit and the yellow are grown commercially. The main variety for producing juice and juice concentrate is the yellow variety.
Passion fruit’s unique, intense, aromatic flavour characteristics and its “natural” ingredient make it viable for juice blends. It has also been described as a natural concentrate and it blends so well with other juice flavors. In Germany, one of the largest juice consuming countries in the world, passion fruit concentrate and banana puree constitute the base of almost every “multivitamin” juice produced. These “multivitamin” juices are second only to apple juice in popularity among Germans. In Brazil, the fruit is used in fresh beverages made both at home and in “stalls” or juice stands popular throughout the country.”
How passion fruit grows
The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. It can produce for five to seven years if good agronomy practices are adopted.
A farmer is expected to plant the vines in full sun except in very hot areas where partial shade is preferable. The vine can be rather rampant, so it is important to plant it next to a chain link fence or install a strong trellis before planting. The plants can also be cultured into an attractive arbor. Pruning is necessary to keep the vines within bounds, to make harvest easier and to keep the plants productive by maintaining vigorous growth.
Passion fruit vines need fertile soils, probably additional fertiliser, and they appreciate all the compost and mulch you can spare. A healthy soil, teeming with worms and microbes and lots of organic matter is your best bet.
The root system of passion fruit is small for the size of the plant it has to sustain. Especially while a passion fruit is fruiting, it needs a lot of water. It needs a very regular water supply at all times. However, passion fruit can’t handle waterlogged soil. Make sure your site is free draining.
When to harvest
When the fruits are ripe they will drop. Dropping on the ground does not hurt the fruits. Passion fruit can be collected in bags and stored for weeks.
Market for passion fruits
There is growing consumer interest internationally in general and this means opportunity for Kenyan farmers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the international market for passion fruit is growing due to the consumer trend of seeking more and more exotic fruit varieties. The FAO Trade statistics in recent years show that the United States, EU, Japan and China are the largest importer of tropical fruits.
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Passion-fruit farming could be an extremely remunerative enterprise in Kenya with high and regular income. It is one of the biggest fruit exported by Kenya.
The local market demand is also quite high. The crop is pliable to a good agro-ecological zone from low lands to the highlands. The demand for the fruit on every export and domestic market keeps on growing.
Large quantities of passion fruits are eaten raw locally and at constant time, they’re conjointly exported. East Africa could be a massive provider of recent purple passion fruits to the export market followed by Brazil, Colombia, Zambia and Rhodesia; of that the U.K is that the largest customer. Different exporters embrace Holland, France, United Arab Emirates, German and Belgium.
There are 2 kinds of Passion fruits wide fully grown in Kenya; Yellow and purple. Purple varieties do well at higher altitudes than the yellow varieties. Yellow varieties, on the other hand, tend to yield higher and are resistant against diseases.
The purple selection is acidic, varies in style and appetizing with intense aromatic scent and spherical in form. The yellow Passion-fruit is larger, with similar style however presumably less aromatic, additional acidic and is also spherical in shape.
The fruit will be eaten raw or consumed when extracting the pulp and making juice. The juice is used during a kind of product and the pulp could also be superimposed to completely different dishes. A good vary of cosmetic product and food flavors are derived from the fruit that’s made in Vitamins A and C and carotene.
Passion-Fruit Farming Expected Returns
Most Kenyan farmers have the concern of attempting out some new crop as they’re not perpetually positive of the quantity of profits or losses to be incurred within the whole method. Reality is that, in passion-fruit farming, yields of over 15-20 tonnes are possible. In one year, a farmer might earn up to Sh1 million per acre as compared to 35,000-60,000 shillings earned from wheat or maize farming. A ¼ acre can grow about 350 passion plants or more. One plant with good care can produce 10–15 kg of fruits in a year. Passion fruits sell for Ksh40–100/kg while grade 1 for export can go for around Ksh70–100/kg.
Passion fruit farming has become popular in Kenya, for example the North rift farmers are moving away from maize to passion which has better returns, cheaper to maintain and ready market going as far as Uganda.
The passion plant is a climber; this means there can be creative ways of maximizing on the little space you have. It is concerning time that additional farmers are venturing into passion-fruit farming. This can be one area that with no doubt, one is in a position to reap huge throughout harvest season.