In this guide, we shall learn about the Passion Fruit Farming in 2022. Have you tried this venture?
The passion fruit is a native of southern Brazil and came to Kenya in the 1920s. It thrives in the tropics. Passion fruit farming in Kenya is mainly to feed both the local market and for export. Kenya, along with Zambia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and Columbia, is a major supplier of passion fruit to the European market.
Why should you think about starting a passion fruit farm? Passion fruit farming is extremely profitable, providing growers with a steady stream of cash. It can be found growing in a variety of climate zones, from the highlands to the lowlands. The passion fruit is in high demand, both domestically and internationally.
The Netherlands, France, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Belgium are the top importers of Kenyan passion fruit, followed by the United Kingdom, France, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Belgium.
Health Benefits of the Passion Fruit
Rich in vitamin A, C, and Carotene.
Physical Characteristics of the passion fruit
Passion fruit is a robust perennial plant that bears fruit within a year after planting. It has weak roots, is woody, and climbs using tendrils. The color of the yellow variation is more vivid and snowy. The fruits have a hard waxy exterior and are round or oval in form. The rind varies in color from dark purple with tiny flecks to bright yellow.
Varieties of Passion Fruit.
The main varieties of the passion fruit grown in Kenya are:-
Purple Passion Fruit
This is Kenya’s most widely farmed passion fruit variety, as well as the most important in the juice processing business. It thrives at cool temperatures between 1200 and 1800 meters above sea level, west of the Rift Valley, and at 2000 meters above sea level, east of the Rift Valley.
Purple passionfruit is oval or circular in shape, with a diameter of 4cm to 6cm. When fully ripe, the color changes from green to deep purple. When the fruits ripen, they frequently fall from the vine. Whether fresh, processed, or frozen, the purple passion has a fantastic flavor.
The yellow passion flower is more suited to tropical lowlands than the purple passion flower. It’s also more active. The pulp has a pleasant scent and is somewhat acidic. The purple passion fruit is slightly larger than this one. When it ripens, it changes color from green to yellow. Normally, ripe fruits fall off the vines.
The sweet passion, scientifically known as Passiflora Ligularis and commonly known as Sweet Granadilla, thrives in milder regions at elevations of 1500 meters above sea level.
When ripe, the sweet passion fruit has a wonderful flavor and changes color from blue to orange-brown. It contains a white aromatic pulp that is in a firm rind, making it resistant to harm during transportation.
Giant Passion (Granilla)
At sea level and at a maximum elevation of 1700 meters above sea level, the big passion fruit thrives.
When the fruit is ready, the plant grows to a height of 30 meters, and the green fruit becomes yellow.
The banana passion fruit grows in higher colder climates above 1500m above sea level.
Land Preparation for Passion Fruit Farming
When preparing the land to grow passion fruit, deep ploughing is advisable so as the soil gets well aerated and water can get in well.
Planting holes and spacing for the passion fruit
Passion fruit vines should have a spacing of 2 meters between rows and 3 meters within rows. The planting holes should be 60cm by 60cm, separating the topsoil and subsoil 2 months before planting.
Transplanting Passion Fruits
Gtaft the purple passion fruit onto yellow passion rootstocks in order to prevent some soil born diseases. Carry out transplanting on the onset of rains, early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Cover the seedlings up to the polytube, ensuring that the roots are not folded by cutting back long roots.
In dry areas, mulch, water and provide shade for young plants after transplanting.
Harvesting Passion Fruit
Between eight and twelve months after transplantation, the orchard will be ready for harvest.
Pick the fruits when the color changes from green to purple and the calyx dries up, leaving a short stock attached if you’re targeting the fresh market. Its goal is to reach the processing market, therefore let the fruits fall upon clean mulch. Puck the fruits every other day during the rainy season and store them in a cool spot.
Passion fruit harvesting peaks in July and August, as well as December and January.
When harvesting passion fruits, keep the following in mind:
To avoid injuring other fruits, cut the stalk short.
Post-harvest care for passion fruits
To avoid bruising, place the fruits in clean plastic wooden containers. Maintaining a cold chain delivery to the collecting center/packhouse is important.
Sorting Passion Fruits
All immature, sick, damaged, and over-ripe fruits be sort out during sorting at the packhouse.
Cleaning Passion Fruit
The dirt on the fruits should be gently cleaned with a clean moist cloth. Carry out softly, without rubbing, as this might cause skin harm.
Grading Passion Fruit
Grading Passion Fruits is according to size, colour, and appearance
Packing Passion Fruit
During packing, single or double-layered fibreboard or plastic trays are important. They range in weight from 2 to 5 kg, with 46 to 48 fruits each box.
Storage of Passion Fruit
Fruit should not be kept in the refrigerator for longer than 24 hours. Passion fruits can keep for three to five weeks if kept at a relative humidity of 85 percent to 90 percent and a temperature of 5 to 7 degrees Celsius.
Transportation of Passion Fruits
To avoid friction and damage, pack the cartons tightly. Vehicles in transit should be well covered and well ventilated.
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