High demand for Kenya's passion fruit in Belgium

Passion fruit market in Brussels, Belgium, has opened up with demand steadily rising against dwindling supply from Kenya, Zimbabwe and other global suppliers shrink.

Brussels-based  global fruit importer, Starfruit, has announced that the deficit has caused price instability in the commodity.

Although the company never gave the shortfall figures, Ive Lambert said, Starfruit official was quoted as saying “there is a clear shift to import from Colombia”.

“The supply from Kenya, Zimbabwe has been falling each year. In the coming years, I expect a steady growth in demand,” the official told FreshPlaza.

The decline is supply is also facing their alternative source, Colombia, a factor that will adversely affect the market, with prices expected to steady rise if Kenya and other major suppliers would not improve.

Passion fruits are grown by many countries globally. But the distinctive taste from each source influences consumer preferences.

Other producing countries include south Africa, Israel and Vietnam.

Usually, supply of this fruit dips in December and Valentine's Day, but this trend is spreading throught the year.

Pests and diseases adversely affect passion fruit farmers in Kenya, with more shying away while a few others are trying grafted types to beat these challenges.

READ ALSO: Grafting helps farmer dodge passion fruit diseases

Some giant drinks processing companies like Coca Cola, are importing passion fruit concentrates from South Africa to meet their need.

Others are disparately looking forward to contracting farmers to produce the fruit.

READ ALSO: Soft drink companies facing passion fruit shortage

Passion fruits are in two varieties-yellow and purple when ripe. Purple variety is the most preferred one because of its strong flavour.

Starfruit deals in vegetables and fruits, which they import and package to ensure continued all-year round supply.