Passion fruit, which is a climbing vine, may be a versatile crop whose demand is growing in both domestic and export markets. Passion fruit the third most well-liked fruit in Kenya after bananas and mangoes and bananas respectively.
The fruit will be eaten fresh or consumed when extracting the pulp and creating juice. Passion fruit juice may be a delicacy and is in high demand within the domestic markets. The juice is used in a form of products and also the pulp is also supplementary to totally different dishes. A good vary of cosmetic products and food flavors are derived from the fruit that’s are rich in Vitamins A, C and carotene.
Due to the large and increasing market and the dynamical client preferences as Kenyans move from effervescent soft drinks to fresh juices, the recognition of passion fruit farming in Kenya is ready to rise high. In addition, brands like Coca-Cola, Afia juices and Del-Monte are already sourcing various fruits from farmers or are within the method of doing in a bid to tap fresh fruits processing segments.
Despite all the interest by fresh drink processors, the availability of passion fruits is incredibly low. A visit to numerous market centers in Nairobi, Kiambu, Eldoret, Kisumu, port and alternative cities reveals that fewer traders sell the crop compared to bananas or mangoes. This means that only a few farmers have taken the crop seriously as a supply of revenue. This example presents a large financial gain potential for farmers who can faucet into passion fruit farming.
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Economic Potential Of Passion Fruit
Daily information from the ministry of agriculture web site indicates that the common value of 1 kg of passion fruits is KSh 100 in various markets centers of the country; but, farmers will still sell at a better value, with some recording as high as sh.150 per kg for alternative fruits sold-out for export.
It is possible to earn high, if the farmer will do marketing that involves approaching restaurants, supermarkets and hotels that in most occasions get 1 kg for one hundred shillings.
Furthermore, the maturing and ripening of the fruits, doesn’t happen at a similar time; some take three days others one-week others a pair of weeks. This is often advantageous, because it permits the farmer to reap weekly and have time to market their produce.
It has additionally been verified that passions are perennial plants; once planted, their life is long, usually more than 3 years; of these depends on how the plant is managed and fertilized.
One plant if rigorously tended will grow smartly to a length of over twenty meters when the primary 4-5 months of transplantation yielding up to 2kg of fruit every week. With a spacing of 2m by 3m, an acre would accommodate slightly over 650 plants. Taking rock bottom production of 1kg per week from every tree, an acre is ready to provide 650kg every week. Sold-out at a farm-gate value of Sh.100 per kg, this enterprise offers you a financial gain of about sixty-five thousand per week translating to roughly 3.4 million each year.
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Passion fruit grows in warm to cool climates within altitude ranging from 1200-2000m. above sea level and minimum rainfall of 900mm per annum. The most suitable soil is medium texture (loamy), which are deep and well drained, with PH ranging from 5.5-7.5.
The apricot favors well drained soil but doesn’t like to be too dry especially in the summer. Providing a happy medium between the two will be key to success and it is up to you to judge the type of soil you already have and influence the structure as much as you can. Too light or sandy then pep it up with lots and lots of organic rich material. Too weighty or sluggish then alleviate it with lots of grit, sharp sand and leaf mold.
The soil should be well cultivated and friable; double dig-it over if it has not been cultivated before. Clear away all perennial weeds because the last thing you want is added competition from them when your trees are in settled, and growing.
Prepare a hole large enough to take the roots. Apricots are vigorous growers and you may find the root system larger than that of other trees. Set the tree to the same depth as it was at the nursery previously – examination of the stem should reveal the soil mark still identifiable and this will tell you how deeply it was set in the ground before. In any event the grafting point should sit above the soil level and the roots buried in not less than 2” of soil.
Dry mulches should be used to retain moisture while heavy banana stems should be supported to avoid damage. Old diseased leaves should be removed while de-leafing is important to ensure healthy growth. Harvesting begins after 15-18 months, and a light shiny appearance means that the banana is ready for harvest. Harvesting should be delicate to avoid bruising of the bananas. The bananas should be temporarily stored in a cool, dry place and should be wrapped in banana leaves or grass to avoid bruising. If for export, they should be washed using a disinfectant and might require branding.