Passion fruit plants require fertile land with plentiful supply of mineral and organic materials in order to achieve optimum growth and yields.
Passion fruits have a big local market but very few farmers in Uganda venture into growing them because of numerous pests and diseases that attack and destroyed them. Passion fruits are grown by small scale farmers and there are few large farmers who have taken up the growing of passions.
Uganda currently earns about US$100,000 annually from export of passion fruit mainly to the EU countries. That figure is expected to rise, according to the Agribusiness Development Centre. The growing number of supermarkets in Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda and Sudan presents new market opportunities for Uganda’s passion fruit.
Variety of Passion Fruits
The following are the various varieties of passions available in Uganda:
- The Purple Granadilla variety popular for its powerful scent.
- The small purple (P. edulis var edulis),
- Yellow granadilla of the species (P.edulis var.flavicarpa)
- Highly resistant Kawanda hybrid a cross between the local purple and yellow passion
Areas that Grow Passion Fruits in Uganda
High quality purple passions are produced in the high altitude (above 1,200m) where there is limited incidence of diseases. The key districts include:
- The Kawanda hybrid and yellow passion fruits are produced in the Southern belt (1,000-1,200M) in the lakeshore districts.
Post Harvest Care and Market Access For Passion Fruits
The fruit turns from Green to deep Purple (or Yellow) when ripe and then fall to the
ground within a few days. They can either be picked when they have changed colour or
gathered from the ground daily.
The standard quality specification that the fruits should meet includes the following:
- They should be clean, whole and sound.
- Fresh in appearance.
- Free from any abnormal external moisture.
- Have a distinctive characteristic colour-Purple or Yellow depending on variety
- Free from woodiness.
- Free from foreign smell or taste.
Challenges to overcome
The challenges to overcome include the following:
- High disease incidence.
- Low productivity if farmers do not follow good agronomic and hygiene.
- Lack of skill and knowledge in fruit farm management.
The value of passion fruit
The values of passion growing are as follows:
- It is a cash and food crop
- It has the potential to earn foreign exchange for the country
- There are a number of families involved in passion related activities.
Exporters of Passion fruit in Uganda
The few exporters include the following:
- Bio fresh Ltd
- Bio Uganda
The prominent companies in the processing of Juices and concentrates from Passion fruits are:
- JAKANA Foods Ltd.
- RECO Industries Ltd.