A Kiambu based exporter Peris Kiarii is contracting farmers to supply her with purple passion fruits due to shortage of the produce in the market that has seen her face a deficit of one ton per week.
“I am looking for farmers to supply me with at least 1,000 kilos of purple passion fruits weekly for making fresh juice,” said Kiarii.
Purple passion fruit is good for fresh juice extraction while the yellow one is preferred for processing purposes.
Karii buys the produce at between Sh60 and Sh80 compared to the current market price of Sh50 meaning farmers can earn an extra Sh10 to Sh20 per kilo by supplying their produce to the Kiambu County suppliers.
“I will make arrangements to transport the produce from farms for those farmers based outside Kiambu,” said Kiarii.
Kiarii says the fruit delivered should be sweet and dent free.
Before, Kiarii used to get up to two tons per week but this has since dropped to less than one ton per week.
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Purple passion fruit variety. Courtesy
Passion fruit is a perennial vine that flowers and yield fruits one year after establishment. Its fruits are normally eaten raw but processors are also a commercial outlet.
One of the challenges faced by passion fruit farmers is application of pesticides on the crop as they have to conform to the European Union market requirements on export of the produce.
The maximum residue level for the crop is set at 0.01 and more than half of the farmers have been unable to meet the set standard.
According to data from the Horticultural Crops Directorate, production of passion fruits in Kenya has dropped from an average of 46,628 metric tons in 2015 to the current 31.571 tons due to over reliance on rain fed agriculture and pests and diseases such as fusarium wilt.
However, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization has since relesead new varieties such as KPF8, KPF11 and KPF12 which are resistant to pests and harsh climate.
Kiarii can be reached on email@example.com