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.
Related Content: Regaining Kenya’s passion fruit farming
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.
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Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting
Tangerines are relatively cold-tolerant, making them easier to grow than oranges, grapefruits and other types of citrus. Some varieties, such as the Citrus reticulata "Dancy," are heat-tolerant and do best when summers are hot, but other types, including the Citrus reticulata "Sunburst," do best when summers are on the cool side.
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0°C are injurious to the trees and at -13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics, the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.