In the horticulture sector, fruits and vegetables are some of the top foreign exchange earnings for Kenya. Few people have the expertise on passion farming despite it being a high-income earner. Due to the lack of enough knowledge, most farmers miss the profitability of passion farming. The crop grows in a wide range of environments ranging from highlands to lowlands. The demand for Kenyan yellow passion is high in the local and export markets.
Conditions necessary for yellow passion farming
Soil– The crop grows well in deep and well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter with a pH range of 5.5-7.0. The soil pH can be adjusted to support passion farming.
Rainfall– Passion requires moderate and well-distributed rainfall ranging from 900-2000mm per annum. Too much water in yellow passion orchards encourages disease development and leads to poor fruit set. In dry areas, they can be grown under irrigation.
Temperature– Yellow passion thrives in temperatures ranging from 180C-300C.
Altitude– The crop thrives in altitudes ranging from 1000m – 2000m above sea level.
Areas grown in Kenya
Yellow passion in Kenya are commonly grown in warm areas such as eastern, coast, western, Kajiado, Nakuru among other areas.
Spacing and Planting
Spacing is an important aspect when it comes to passion farming. A spacing of 3m x 2m is recommended for passion. Once the land is prepared, planting holes with a diameter of 45cmx45cm and 1.5 feet deep should be dug. Well-decomposed manure should be put in the holes to improve soil fertility. An acre can accommodate 650 passion vines.
Passion orchards should be weed-free throughout.
Passion varieties that are mainly grown in Kenya include;
- Yellow passion variety
- Purple passion variety
passion starts bearing 7-11months after transplanting. After flowing, fruits ripen within 2 months. Planting grafted passion varieties is recommended because they are resistant to Fusarium wilt and take less time to mature.
Pests and Diseases
Just like other crops, passion plants are also affected by pests and diseases such as;
- Fruit fly
- Sooty mold
- Fusarium wilt
- Brown spot
Production and Output
When proper management techniques are employed, yellow passion is highly productive. One yellow passion vine can produce an average of 1500 fruits (50kg) per year. At an average price of Ksh 50 per kilo, a farmer can earn Ksh 2500 per vine. On average, an acre can accommodate between 300-1000 vines. With a minimum of 300 vines, a farmer will harvest 15,000kgs per year. At a price of Ksh 50, a farmer will pocket Ksh 750,000 per year. The yield increases over the years.
Price per seedling
At Oxfarm Ltd, we sell certified and high-quality yellow passion seedlings at Ksh 50 each.
There is a rising demand for yellow passion fruits that is yet to be met. In the international market, Kenyan passion fruits retail at premium prices. Despite the wide market and high prices, farmers have not fully exploited the opportunity. Most of them lack skills in passion farming and end up missing the profitability of the agribusiness.
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 87,750
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?
- Free consultancy
- 650 certified yellow passion seedlings
- Labor (measuring and digging planting holes, soil testing and treatment, planting)
- Organic manure (earthlee) equivalent to 1 bucket of normal manure (50% discount offered)
- Market connection
- Lifetime agronomy support
The demand for Kenyan passion has been increasing rapidly both locally and internationally. Yellow passion is either consumed raw or used to make products such as juices. In Kenya, the supply of yellow passion fruits to juice makers is still low. Apart from the local market, Kenya also exports passion fruits to the United Arab Emirates, France, U.K., Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Holland, Germany, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This shows that there is always a ready market for yellow passion.