Passion fruit is among the most competitive fruits in Kenya with a great economic importance. Sweet yellow passion fruit is newly released in Kenya. Sweet yellow passion fruit has high demand from the juice makers as it yields more juice than the purple passion fruit. There are two main types of passion fruits; yellow and purple.
The sweet yellow passion fruit could soon overtake the once black gold of coffee if more farmers embrace its production in the country. Its farm gate price stands at Sh 70 per kilogram during the peak while those lucky farmers who produce the commodity at off peak can comfortably earn Sh 120 per kilogram.
Yellow Passion fruit production
Mostly, passion fruit is round or oval, 4-6cm diameters. Vines commence cropping at 6 months of age and reach full bearing in 18 months. The vines have a productive life of 3 to 4 years. New plantings should be made on a continuous 3 year rotation to maintain production. Passion fruit grows well in cooler temperatures at an elevation of between 1200m-1800m above sea level east of the Rift Valley and up to 2000m above sea level west of the Rift valley.
More specifically, the purple passion fruit does well in the upper midland to upper highland zones (1200-1800m) while as the yellow passion fruit does well in the lower midland to lower lowland zones (up to 1200m). Further, the fruit does well in optimum temperatures, where the production of purple and yellow passion is between temperatures of 18-25 degrees Celsius and 25-30 degrees Celsius respectively.
To improve the profitability of yellow passion fruit cultivation, the development of technologies to increase yield productivity, especially those pertaining to the mineral nutrition and irrigation and fertilization is essential.
Related Content: Regaining Kenya’s passion fruit farming
Challenges that smallholder farmers face in the production of passion fruit is the low volumes of produced fruits by individual smallholder which is uneconomical to sell individually;
- pressure to sell to middlemen even at lower prices;
- poor post-harvest handling due to lack of skills and capacity to maintain good post-harvest quality; pests and diseases, particularly die back disease.
Smallholder farmers in Kenya begun growing passion fruit as a result of the support gained from the Kenyan government, private foundations and bilateral and multilateral donors since the early 2000s. The gross value of an acre of passion fruit with a good harvest was estimated to be Ksh. 600,000 ($8,000), or 12 times as much as that of maize at the time. Yellow passion fruit production has led to farmers earning sh. 10,000,000 in Meru County through a project initiated by Technoserve an NGO whose primary goal was to encourage farmers to produce more mangoes and yellow passion fruits which can access international markets with required residue levels.
Yellow passion fruit farmers have realized higher profits due to lower growing costs since the purple passion fruit requires spraying six times each fruit season, compared to three times a season for the yellow variety. The new variety has doubled fruit incomes, with industrial fruit processors opting for the yellow passion fruit over the purple passion fruit because it is sweeter, less acidic and bigger with more juice.
Passion fruit has quick financial returns for both the domestic and export markets because it takes only one year for the crop to mature.
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Mango is one of the most important fruit crops in the tropical and subtropical lowlands. The mango industry in Kenya has expanded considerably over recent years, not only in size but also in the geographical location of commercial and homestead plantings. No longer is commercial mango cultivation restricted to the Coast region, as significant plantings of improved cultivars now also exist in the Makueni county, Meru County, Murang’a County, Nairobi County, Nakuru County, Siaya County, Taita Taveta County, Tana River County, Tharaka Nithi County, Bungoma County, Kitui County, Embu County, Machakos County, Kiambu County among other regions. But the generally arid eastern region produces 61 per cent of all mangoes, followed by Rift Valley at 30 per cent and Coast, which produces 28 per cent.
Main characteristics that differentiate varieties are the fruit shape, size, aroma, sweetness, color, fiber
content, taste, seed size and resistance to diseases. Proper selection of a mango cultivar for production must consider the following criteria:
• good adaptation to the local conditions (e.g. rainfall and dry periods)
• alternation of flowering and fruiting
• tolerance to pest and disease infections
• designated use and market requirements
The mango is best adapted to a warm tropical monsoon climate with a pronounced dry season (>3 months) followed by rains. However, information from other countries indicates that crops cultivated for a long time over an extended area show a high degree of diversity due to varied environmental influences.
Varieties include; Apple mango, kent, Haden, Tommy atkins,Van dyke etc
Mangoes are the most popular and full of nutritional and unique taste. its rich in vitamin A,C,E,and K
Peach trees grow best in full sun, where they can bask for at least six hours in the natural light. They prefer slightly acidic soils ranging from 6.0 soil pH to 6.5. Anything slightly under or over and the tree will still grow, but its yield and health may be adversely affected. The trees love sandy loam soil and demand good drainage. If soil drainage is poor, tilling in compost, sand or peat moss helps increase drainage capabilities.
Peach trees require the most water when they're young -- their first year in the ground -- with watering once weekly or, twice weekly. Peach trees may produce fruit during drought-like conditions if not watered, but the tree will become stressed and the fruit will lack size. To maintain soil moisture, add mulch around the tree but not touching the trunk itself.
Peaches can survive in cold winters where temperatures regularly reach zero degrees Fahrenheit, but the next harvest will be small or nonexistent. They thrive in climates where temperatures during winter reach 150C -30 0C degrees.
Peach trees that are expected to grow to a mature height of about 25 feet grow best when they have 20 feet of space between them. Dwarf peach trees thrive when planted about 6 feet apart. Planting trees too close together reduces air circulation and may prohibit growth and result in root damage.
The condition most limiting to growing an avocado tree is cold weather. Hass Avocado varieties are the most cold-hardy, but they can tolerate cold temperatures to only about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. During freezing weather, it helps to drape blankets or tarps over a young tree and anchor the coverings to the ground. If an avocado tree is large, then mounding soil or mulch high on the tree trunk for winter can help the tree survive cold temperatures.
An avocado tree can grow successfully in a variety of soil types and in soil with acidic or alkaline pH levels, but the tree requires soil that has good drainage. It declines in poorly draining and saline soil. Although an avocado tree cannot tolerate wet soil, it needs at least 1 inch of water every week during periods of insufficient rainfall. Not fertilizing the tree until it is 1 year old is recommended. Young trees need four applications of a balanced manure and older trees need twice-yearly applications of a high-nitrogen product applied in early December and late July.
habits as well as their training and trellising requirements. The fruit normally ripens within 25 weeks after the flowers first appear. The fruits range in weight from 40 to 90 g and can be picked shortly after the first frost in autumn; after that, they can be kept in cold storage for 4–6 months at 00 C. Kiwi vines can be grown on a wide range of soil types at elevations ranging from 1000 m to 2500 m.
The kiwi plant is dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female. Only female plants bear fruit, but only when pollinated by a male plant. Vines of both sexes are essential for fruit production, and they must flower at the same time to ensure pollination. One male pollinator vine is required for eight female vines. The vines are commonly supported on sturdy structures strong enough to bear the heavy fruit, which might otherwise break the rather weak vines. T-bars or hitching post trellises are recommended to support the large fruiting area in the
form of a canopy and provide easy access to the fruit.
Oranges can be grown from as low as sea level to 200m above sea level. Areas of low humidity are most ideal. Such a climate is important for reduced disease intensity and for acquiring good orange colour. A dry hot day, cool at night climate also favours good color development. Citrus requires temperature ranges from 13oC-38oC. Optimum temperature is 25oC-35oC. Extremely high temperatures may be harmful especially during flowering or if cool temperatures are followed by a hot period. Damage occurs in the form of flower and leaf drop. Wind can also cause serious damage to orange trees and fruits. Hot dry wind will often scorch trees by drying young leaves. Winds of high speeds will scar fruits and cause fruit drop. Where winds are a problem, wind break shelters should be planted