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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.

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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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Make money by Growing Passion fruit in Kenya

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.

Related Post: Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

Planting the fruit

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.

Soil requirement

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.

Irrigation

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.

In addition, if you buy passion fruit seedlings from us, we guarantee a market for you. Call us today and place your order.

 

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Regaining Kenya’s passion fruit farming

Kenya exported passion fruits in the 90s and early 2000 but since 2003, decline in production started because of pest management challenges.

Despite Kenya’s potential to grow and export passion fruits, production of the highly profitable crop has been on the decline over the past decade with no imports going into the European Union.

The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya Chairman Apollo Owuor told a gathering of farmers, buyers and development partners at a conference titled Making Kenya the Global Leader in Passion Fruit Production and Marketing held in Eldoret last month, Kenya produced and exported the fruits in the 90s and early 2000 but since 2003, decline in production started because of pest management challenges.

The European market has strict guidelines on pesticides residues and passion was reported to contain above allowable limits.

He added there has not been efforts to revive the industry partly because passion is listed by the Ministry of Agriculture as a minor horticultural crop therefore not in government policy for priority. The Agriculture Food Authority Horticulture Directorate head Zakayo Magara admitted passion fruit is listed under 100 other minor crops.

Following the day-long deliberations, the Council of Governors Agriculture Committee, represented by Anne Koech, County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture, Kericho, made a commitment to propose and support the upgrading of the crop to a major so that funds can be allocated to development of passion in counties earmarked as suitable to grow it. She said the county governments would subsidise purchasing of seedlings to improve production and create market linkages to streamline marketing among in Western region, considered as a high potential passion fruit production zone.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that funded the conference through the Kenya Agriculture Value Chains Enterprises (Kaves), Passion fruits can grow anywhere in Kenya due to availability of varieties for warmer and colder parts of the country. “We have yellow passion for the lower, warmer regions and the more common purple variety for the higher cooler parts,” said Dr Steve New, Kaves Chief of Party.

He added there is potential for Kenya to be a world leader in tropical juice production due to year-round availability of tropical fruits – passion, mango and pineapple, as the only country in the world that can grow the crops continuously.

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Passion fruit is the most profitable in comparison with other crops, according to the Passion Fruit Value Chain Study undertaken in 2015 by Dr Hezekiah Agwara which indicates a farmer can make good income from a small parcel of land measuring 0.3- 0.6 of an acre. Dr New describes this as “poverty level minimum” that can sustain a livelihood. He added nothing goes to waste from a passion fruit plant. “Minimal wastage in passion fruit production because there is a huge domestic market. Passion is also used by processors for juice while neighbouring Uganda is a big market for Kenya passion fruits taking 50 per cent of total production. South Sudan is also buying lots of passion from Kenya.

Dr New stresses that passion fruit is best produced by smallholders due the attention it requires for maximum productivity. At spraying the plant will be at different stages of pest control making it hard for largescale management. On one vine you can have a flower, a young and mature fruit at the same time. The disease and pest control for each is different and non should affect the other, especially the ready to harvest fruit which shouldn’t have traces of chemicals. Managing this balance it not easy, he said.

According to Eric Ogumo, UK retail giant, Tescos, manager for Africa, passion fruit is the most sought after in their shelves in Europe, retailing at Ksh 2,000 a kilo. “Buyers always ask for Kenya fruits but there are none. “We are here to buy your fruits”, he told an attentive gathering. Mr Ogumo said they are buying from Southern Africa countries of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. “There is a ready market if we can get your fruits”, he said adding that Kenya is not benefiting from newest varieties because the country is not exporting. “There are newer, better yielding, pest and diseases resistant varieties for export but they are not being grown here.” Mr Ogumo said.

The biggest challenge of meeting pesticides residue limits is caused by there being only one registered product. The Agriculture Committee of the Council of Governors has committed to bring agrochemical firms together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pest Control Products Board to discuss extension of labels to include passion fruits in pest control products available in the country to give farmers options.

Biological control products firms have also not conducted research on the passion due to its minor crop status.