Anne Mwale and Dennis Rasto of the Kenya News Agency have reported that farmers are now ditching some crop cultivation and moving into Passion fruit farming. Speaking to a 33-year-old Edwin Kipkoech Rono, who ditched maize farming in 2018 after prices of the crop plummeted by 40 percent, yet the cost of production skyrocketed, “I have put 14 acres of my shamba under the passion fruit crop. After every three months, it gives me more than thrice of what I used to get from 40-acre planted with maize in one year,” Rono says.
At the time, a new wave was sweeping his Sirikwa village in Nakuru where farmers were embracing passion fruit farming on realization that it was a more profitable venture than maize.
They had by now learnt that passion fruit venture required a small acreage, its inputs were relatively affordable and was less demanding with quick and significant returns.
Rono kicked off the venture by planting passion fruit seedlings on three acres at his farm, before gradually expanding the acreage the crop covered.
Passiflora edulis, commonly known as passion fruit, is a vine species of passion flower native to southern Brazil through Paraguay and northern Argentina. It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit.
Although it is not widely cultivated in Ghana, Passion Fruit grows very well here. It takes approximately 8 months from planting to harvesting and the plant has a life of 3 years. When the flowers start appearing on the vines, it takes 3 months for them to turn into fruits.
Passion fruit is a beneficial fruit with a healthful nutrition profile. It contains high levels of vitamin A, which is important for skin, vision, and the immune system, and vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant.
Ghanaian farmers must begin to look beyond the usual Maize, plantain farming and venture into these areas. We must emulate the steps of Rono and his compatriots in Kenya and cash out from this fruit which has a high market and profit.
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