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.

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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.

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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)

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