How profitable is Passion fruit farming in Kenya?

Kenya has a tropical climate which is perfect for growing passion fruits thus making passion fruit farming relatively easy and lucrative.

The plant is hardy, tolerant of a variety of soil conditions and climates, and drought resistant making it an ideal agricultural crop for developing countries with unstable environments.

Passion fruit farming in Kenya has been proven to be profitable with the average annual income being around Ksh 200,000 per acre.

In this blog post, we will explore the many benefits of growing passion fruit in Kenya as well as how to get started.

Benefits of growing passion fruits

  • Passion fruits are succulent fruits that have many health benefits. They have the ability to lower blood pressure and increase bone density, among other things.
  • They can be grown in cold climates like Limuru because of their hardy nature!
  • The plants grow well even on steep hillsides so you don’t need to worry about it being too much of a hassle.
  • They also have an amazing flavor and can be used to make juice, jams and candies.
  • It is a sustainable, organic fruit that can be grown on small plots of land.
  • Passion fruits are filled with nutrients which make them excellent for people who want to live healthier lifestyles as they have antioxidant properties.

Conditions for growing passion fruits

  • Passion fruit is a tropical plant, so it needs to be grown in warm climates. The regions where the climate allows for this type of farming are Nyanza Province and Eastern Province.
  • They grow best in moist soils that have a PH range of between five and eight.
  • They require full sun in the morning and a shade in the afternoon from about 12:00 to 18:00 hours daily.
  • The best temperature for its growth is about 18-27°C (65-80 °F).
  • The plant is intolerant of frost, but can withstand a light frost if it’s not prolonged.
  • Passion fruits can’t grow in places that have a lot of wind.
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Steps for planting passion fruits in Kenya

  1. Start by performing a soil test to ensure that it is within the preferred PH range and to check which nutrients are lacking in it.
  2. Plough the land two months before planting to ensure that all the weeds have dried up
  3. Dig holes at a spacing of 60cm x 60cm.
  4. Apply manure or compost at a rate of about 22.68 kg per acre before planting. Apply only when the soil is moist enough in such a way that if you form a ball with it, it will maintain the shape.
  5. When planting apply 130g DAP fertilizer in each hole.
  6. Place the passion fruit vine in the hole with a 45 degree angle upwards and cover it up with soil.
  7. Pour water to ensure that there is no dryness around the roots of your seedling and then mulch them for protection from weeds while they grow.
  8. After two weeks of planting top dress by applying 130g of CAN fertilizer in each plant.
  9. Regularly weed to ensure they don’t compete for nutrients with the crop.
  10. Support them by tying them to a tree or stake when they grow.
  11. Prune them by removing the flower clusters of passion fruit as soon as they appear, this will ensure that there is more room for fruits which are harvested.

Passion fruits take about four to six months to mature.

Harvesting of Passion fruits

Harvesting of passion fruits is done when the fruits are ripe.

The fruits are harvested by cutting them off from the stem with a knife or sharp shears. Once they have been harvested, they must be placed in a cool place to produce the best quality fruit.

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The market for passion fruits is all year long, but the peak season begins in April and ends in October when prices can be as high as Ksh 35,000 to 40,000 a box (15 kg). The average price is around 20,000 per box.

Passion fruit pests and diseases

Passion fruit, like most other crops, can be afflicted by pests and diseases.

Insects that attack the plant come in all shapes and sizes: from beetles, caterpillars (larvae), thrips to bugs such as aphids. These insects cause damage by sucking on sap or chewing the leaves of plants.

To control the infestation of these insects, farmers should do the following:

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