Purple passion fruits farming (Passiflora edulis)

purple passion fruits

Most farmers are shifting from crops with an unreliable market such as beans and maize to high-value crops such as passion fruits. With the increase in the number of juice makers, the demand for passion fruits is expected to rise. Currently, the supply is still low since not many farmers have ventured into passion farming. Why not take advantage of this and venture into the lucrative agribusiness?

Ecological requirements

Passion fruits are adapted to most ecological zones ranging from highlands to lowlands. Conditions necessary for passion farming include;

  • Rainfall – the crop requires moderate and well-distributed rainfall. Excess rainfall encourages disease development and results in poor fruit set. In low-rainfall areas, they can be grown under irrigation.
  • Soil – passion grows well in deep and well-drained soils with a pH ranging from 5.5 – 7.0. The soils should be fertile and rich in organic matter. Regular application of manure is recommended.
  • Temperature – purple passion thrives in temperatures ranging from 180C – 300C.
  • Altitude – the crop performs well in altitudes ranging from 1200 – 2000m above sea level.

Areas grown in Kenya

In Kenya, passion fruits are grown in Nyamira, Nyeri, Kakamega, Murang’ a, Thika, Kisii, among other regions.

Spacing and Planting

The land should be prepared 2-3 months before planting. Planting holes about 45cm by 45cm and 1.5 feet should be dug. A spacing of 3m x 2m or 3m x 3m is recommended. Planting holes should be filled with well-decomposed manure to improve soil fertility.

One acre can occupy between 300 – 1000 passion plants depending on the spacing.

Weeding

Weeds compete with passion plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight slowing down their growth. They also encourage disease development and pest infestation. Passion fruit orchards should be weed-free.

Varieties

There are two major varieties of passion fruit grown in Kenya which are;

  1. Yellow passion variety – It has a yellow color when ripe. It’s less acidic, tasty, and juicy. The fruits are oval in shape. 
  2. Purple passion variety – it has a purple color when ripe. It’s tasty, juicy, and acidic. It’s round in shape and has a strong aromatic scent. 

Maturity

After transplanting, the grafted purple passion takes 7-11 months to mature and bear fruits. Fruits ripen two months after flowering. Grafted varieties are recommended since they take less time to mature and are resistant to fusarium wilt.

Pests and Diseases

Pests

Some of the pests that attack purple passion include;

  • Fruit fly
  • Mites
  • Cutworm
  • Scales (They promote the development of sooty mold)
  • Mealybugs
  • Aphids

Diseases

Common diseases affecting purple passion include;

  • Fusarium wilt
  • Brown spot
  • Damping-off
  • Blight
  • Dieback
  • Sooty mold
  • Woodiness

Production and output of passion Fruits

Purple passion is highly productive especially when proper management practices are employed. For instance, one vine of grafted purple passion fruit plant can yield an estimate of 1500 – 2500 fruits (50kg minimum) per year. At an average price of Ksh 70 per Kg, a farmer can earn Ksh 3500 per vine. An acre can accommodate between 300-1000 vines depending on the spacing. That means with a minimum of 300 vines per acre, a farmer can harvest 15tonnes per year. With a price of Ksh 70 per kilo, a farmer can pocket Ksh 1,050,000 per year. Isn’t that an investment worth venturing into?

Price per seedling

At Oxfarm Ltd, we sell certified purple passion seedlings at Ksh 70 each.

Package cost

The demand for passion fruits locally and internationally is quite high. However, Kenyan farmers have exploited the opportunity because of lack of adequate knowledge on how to make passion farming a profitable venture. To help farmers venture into passion farming with confidence, we have come up with a package that will only require the farmer to clear the land, plough the land, and leave us to establish the orchard for them.

The package costs Ksh 100,750

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?

  • Free consultancy (Normally we charge Ksh 5000)
  • 650 certified purple passion seedlings
  • Labor (measuring and digging planting holes, soil testing, and treatment, planting)
  • Organic manure (earthlee) equivalent to one bucket of normal manure (50% discount offered)
  • Lifetime agronomy support
  • Market connection

Marketing

The demand for purple passion fruit in the local and export market is yet to be met. The consumption of passion fruits locally is quite high. The demand is fuelled by the extensive use of passion fruits in juice making. Kenya exports passion fruits to Zambia, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, Colombia, Brazil, Belgium, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, and Holland. This shows that the market for Kenyan passion fruits is wide and it’s the high time we tap the market.

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