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Passion Fruits

Hortinews continues its growing guidelines series with its latest on how to grow passion fruits 

2/Aug/2014 7:25:59 am
Passion Fruits

 

Growing Passion Fruits

PASSION FRUIT (passifloraedulis)

Family name: Passilfloraceae

Other Names: Granadilla

INTRODUCTION

Passion fruit was introduced to Kenya in the 1920’s for commercial juice processing. Passion fruit is native to the tropical regions of southern Brazil. Currently, however, large quantities of passion fruits are eaten fresh locally and are also exported. Kenya is a large supplier of fresh purple passion fruits to the European market followed by Brazil, Columbia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe of which the United Kingdom is the largest importer. Other importers include Holland, France, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Belgium.

DESCRIPTION

It is a perennial vigorous vine, which flowers and produces fruits within a year. The vine is a shallow-rooted, woody, climbing by means of tendrils. The yellow variety has showier intense color. The fruits are oval or round shaped with rough waxy rind. The rind hue ranges from dark -purple with faint fine white specks to light yellow. The fruit contain a flavorful juice that is sub acid to acid. The fruits are eaten fresh but the processors are the main commercial outlets.

VARIETIES

The most important variety in Kenya is the Purple Passion fruit (passifloraedullis).Fruits have deep purple skin color at maturity. The Yellow passion, Sweet passion, Banana passion and Giant passion are grown in Kenya.

The main varieties are described below.

Varieties grown in Kenya

Purple passion fruit

Yellow passion fruit

Sweet passion fruit

Giant passion fruit

Banana passion fruit

 

Description of selected varieties

Purple passion fruit (passifloraedulis)

It is the most important in the fruit juice industry and to a certain extent in fresh exports. It grows well in cooler temperatures at an elevation of between 1200m-1800m east of the rift and up to 2000m west of the rift. The fruit is round or oval, 4-6 cm diameter and changes its color from green to purple when ripe. The flavor is outstanding both fresh and canned or frozen. Ripe fruit drop from the vine.

Yellow passion (passifloraedulis var. flavicarpa)

It is much more vigorous and better adopted to tropical lowlands than purple passion fruit. The pulp is very aromatic but rather acidic. The average fruit is slightly larger than that of the purple and turns from green to yellow on maturity. Ripe fruits drop from vines. The variety is mainly used as rootstock for grafting purple variety, due to its resistance to soil borne pathogens.

Sweet passion fruit or sweet granadilla (passifloraligularies)

It prefers cooler conditions for optimum growth and elevation of about 1500m. The fruit is of excellent flavor and turns from blue to orange-brown at the time of ripening. The whitish, aromatic pulp is enclosed in a hard shell, which can stand transportation without damage.

Giant passion fruit or Giant granadilla (passifloraquadrangularis)

It requires

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a tropical climate and grows best from sea level up to 1700m. it grows to a length of 30m and fruits turn from green to yellow when mature. Pulp and flesh are eaten fresh and fruit’s appearance resembles a vegetable marrow.

 

Banana passion fruit (passifloramollissima)

Grows at higher elevations, colder conditions, and altitudes of above 1,500m above sea level. It also has an edible pulp.

ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS

Agro-ecological zones

Purple passion fruit does well in the Upper Midland to Upper Highland zones. Yellow Passion Fruit does well in the Lower Midland and Lowland zones.

Altitude

The most suitable altitude for Passion Fruit production ranges from 1200m to 1800m east of the rift and up to 2000m west of the rift.

Temperature

Optimum temperatures for the production of purple and yellow passion fruit are between 18°C to 25°C and 25°C to 30°C respectively.

Rainfall

A well-distributed rainfall of 900 mm to 2,000 mm per year is suitable for passion fruit production. Excess rainfall causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases.

Soils

Passion fruit plants will grow on a variety of soils, which should be reasonably deep and fertile. A soil pH range of 6.0 to 6.5 is best. In high rainfall areas, the soils should be well drained, as plants will not withstand water logging or flooding for any considerable period.

Suitable Growing Areas

Purple passion Fruit can be grown in Thika, Kisii, Nyeri, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kitale, Murang’a, Embu, Vihiga, Nyamira and Meru, Trans-Nzoia and Uasin-Gishu.

CULTURAL PRACTICES

Land Preparation

Deep ploughing is encouraged to open up the soil for aeration and good water infiltration. Strict crop rotation should be practiced to avoid build up of soil borne diseases.

Spacing

The recommended spacing is 2 m between rows and 3 m within rows.

Planting

It is highly recommended to grow purple Passion Fruit grafted on Yellow Passion rootstocks. Propagation is by seed, stem cutting, or grafted propagules. Planting holes of 45 cm × 45 cm × 45 cm should be dug well in advance.

Transplanting of grafted propagules is done at the beginning of the rainy season preferably early in the morning or late in the afternoon unless irrigation is available. Ensure that the roots are not flooded and prune long roots back. In the drier areas watering, mulching, and in some cases, shading of young plants is required immediately after transplanting.

Planting materials

Clean, virus-free propagules are transplanted when about 20 cm high.

Fertilizer Application

At planting, add 175 g of Triple Super Phsphate (TSP) and one ‘debe’ (about 20 kgs) of farm yard manure to each hole and mix well. To obtain high yields, regular fertilization is necessary. Apply 300 g of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) per plant/year distributed in two applications of 150 g each rainy season. Spraying with foliar feed and trace elements every three months is also recommended.

Trellising

Passion fruit is trained on a trellis constructed from wire and posts. The posts should be270 cm long and 15 cm in diameter. These are placed in 60 cm deep holes spaced 6 m apart in rows, midway between the plants.

All end posts must be supported by an anchor. An 8 to 10 gauge galvanized wire is fixed tightly to the top of each post in the row.

Soon after planting two healthy shoots above the graft union are trained up sisal strings, by twining them regularly, until they reach the wire at the top. All other shoots below the wire are removed regularly.

After the trained shoots have reached the wire, the two trained shoots are wound carefully around the wire in opposite directions. While the shoots are growing along the wire, the secondary lateral shoots, which bear fruit, are left to hang down.

Pruning

Old shoots, which are unproductive and all dead wood must be removed as close to the main vine as possible to encourage the growth of new laterals. Secondary shoots reaching the ground level have to be cut off about 15 cm above the ground. Vines should grow vertically to avoid a thicket of shoots. Entangling tendrils should be removed regularly to allow light penetration and aeration and reduce pest and disease infestation.

Intercropping

During orchard establishment, intercropping with short-term annuals is possible. Suitable vegetable crops include kale and cabbage, but not beans as they harbor nematodes. Intercropping also prevents soil erosion but the application rates of fertilizer have to be increased.

Irrigation

During the dry season and in dry areas, the crop has to be irrigated for maximum yield and high quality fruits.

Maturity/Harvesting

Harvesting of Purple Passion Fruits starts in the eighth to twelfth month after transplanting. For the fresh market, fruits should be picked carefully when they change color from green to purple, and when the calyx has dried up, leaving a short stalk attached. For processing, the fruits should preferably be allowed to drop onto clean mulch. They should not be plucked from the plant. Normally fruits, which have dropped, are collected once or twice a week. During the rainy season they should be picked up every other day and kept in a cool place.

Yields

Yields of 15 to 20t/ ha (6-8t/ac) are attainable.

Field Handling

After harvesting, fruit should be placed in clean plastic or wooden containers and handled carefully to avoid bruising.

Collection Shed

Location of the shed should be accessible to both the farmers and marketers.  The design of the shed should have a level of flexibility. Floor should have well designed layout that allows efficient interaction of facilities or activities. This reduces the floor area requirement as well as time and labor costs. It also allows easy cleaning, accommodates product type, plant equipment and product holding activities.

Personal hygiene is important and hence facilities such as toilets and clean water should be at close proximity. All workers should maintain high standards of personal hygiene. Activities such as smoking, eating or chewing should not be allowed in the vicinity.

Clean running water source should be availed and appropriately marked and placed to facilitate hygiene in the premises. It is vital to test water for microbial and bacterial contents regularly and records for chemical treatments safely kept. Disposal systems of any waste including rejects should be environmentally acceptable.

Loading and dispatch areas should be very clean and firm enough to facilitate easy accessibility of any vehicle or operations while dispatching the produce.

Quality control facilities, procedure, standards and records should be availed per produce type to enhance quality. These facilities include waste buckets, decomposition pit, quality assurance rulers, coolants, tables, etc. a charcoal cooler should be provided in the storage room before dispatch.

PACK HOUSE OPERATIONS

Sorting

All field debris, diseased, damaged, immature, and over-mature fruits should be removed.

Cleaning

Use a clean damp cloth to wipe off any dirt on the fruits, taking care not to damage the skin by rubbing.

Grading

Fruits of good quality are graded according to size, as small, medium and large.

Pre-cooling

Passion fruit should be cooled immediately after harvest to 5°C to 7°C. forced air-cooling is recommended.

Packing

Packing is done in single or double layer fibreboard cartons or trays, weighing between 2 and 5 kg with an average of 46 to 48 fruits per box.

Storage

Fresh produce should not be stored for more than 24 hours. However, a storage temperature of 5 to 7°C and a relative humidity of 85% to 90% should maintain the fruit in good condition for three to five weeks.

Transportation

Boxes must be packed firmly to prevent fruit friction and damage during transportation. The truck should be covered and well ventilated.

Pest and diseases ( to follow)

Courtesy: HCDA

 

 

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10 Comment(s)
Jason

Are you a farmer do you have any questions or needs contact me for help,any help on seedlings,fruits markets or farming magazines :jasmutwiri@yahoo.com, (+254)0726160432 i am in Nairobi Kenya

SA

My passion fruits were very strong and healthy. however after touching the wire, the lateral branches are week and unhealthy please help. ihave over 1000 plants

anne

i really want to passion fruit farming but i need advice,please help!

John Bosco Lubega

I am a new entrant in the passion fruit growing. I have started a small fam of approximately 4 acres around the Banks of river Nile on the Jinja side (Uganda) I have acquired the seedlings locally and used local labour. I wish to to expand to 20 acres of preferably in another area. Iam interested in :

1. Expert advise

2. Source and supply of seedlings or advise on how to make own seed bed

3. Advise on appropriate soil, and climate. Iam readily willing to pay fees for professional services and project to expand to 20 acres in the next 4 months utmost. thanks

John B Lubega

ANTHONY NJOKA

I have recently started farming passion fruits in large scale,both yellow and pupple varieties strictly organically and specially tailored for exports.Can anyone advise me on which companies buys at better rates and who are more trustworthy to do business with?Reffering to Mr.Andrew Mutengu,i would advise him to prepare his own seeds and treat his soil by drenching organically before planting.That way,he will be sure of getting rid of soil pathogens attacking the vines in the later dates.

Andrew Mutengu

I am an upcoming farmer in Kampala, Uganda and seek your help in recommending a passion fruit farmer or group of farmers in Kenya that can help me. I am interested in knowing where I can access good, disease free passion fruit seedlings from a genuine farmer(s)/supplier(s) at reasonable/realistic cost. I have not been successful in locating a good source locally in Uganda for various reasons. I would be most interested in having an on-farm experience with a farmer growing passion fruit in Kenya, visit with them to learn more about passion fruit growing. Is there someone or group you can recommend, provide me their contact. Thank you. Regards, Andrew

James Macharia

I have 5000 seedlings of sweet yellow passion fruits which will be ready for sale by end of May 2013.Any interested buyer can contact mwanjere@yahoo.com.Advice on how to plant and care for them to achieve high returns will be provided for free. Cell phone 0721720242

JUSTUS KITUKU

i would like to start growing yellow passion fruits in ukambani where can i get advise.

ALEX KIPKURUI KIMELI

Iam planning to plant a half of an acr of purple passion fruit.1.How many seedlings are required?2.How many kilograms will I be get if well mantained?

ALEX KIPKURUI KIMELI

1.How will I get the best market?(purple passion) 2.How much does it cost per a kilogram?(purple passion)

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