This is a success story of one Uasin Gishu farmer reaping handsome profits from passion fruits. After ditching large scale maize farming in 2018, Edwin Kipkoech Rono a 32 year old farmer from Moiben constituency decided to gather knowledge from fellow passion farmers therefore making up his mind and concluding that passion proofed to be more profitable this was due to the cartels who had infiltrated National Cereals and produce board, the farmer would previously deliver over 6000 bags of maize to NCPB
Three years down the line this farmer is among the many youthful farmers in The north Rift region minting handsome profits from passion fruit farming
THE SUCCESSFULL PASSION FARMING STRATEGY
After effective research on the pros and cons of passion farming in the area this farmer decided to invest 150,000 Kenyan shillings 3 acre passion plantation this has enabled him venture into a more large scale passion production.
Passion fruit has proofed to be the best and profitable horticultural crop grown on the area. Speaking to business daily via an interview the farmer says that the purple passion fruit variety does greatly in the area and has since expanded his purple passion fruit farm to a whooping 15 acres which he leases at 15000 Kenyan shillings per acre annually with his contract spanning for 3 years.
Mr Rono always harvests 10 tones per acre once a week on his passion plantation. The passion is sold to the export market in Uganda because compared to the local market Uganda is in high demand of the produce. The cost of passion fruits to the export market is 100kshs per Kg with the prices often fluctuating down to 20kshs per Kg in worst days. He has later reduced his maize plantation to 30 acres which gives him approximately 1500 bags.
In events of low production from the passion fruit farm Mr Rono harvests 30,000 kilograms of passion fruits. According to his experience in both maize farming and passion fruit farming, passion fruits farming is more lucrative because expenses of passion fruits are lower compared to maize farming expenses. With passion fruits most expenses are incurred in pesticide application and the harvesting of passion goes up to 2 years.
Earlier, starting with a workforce of only one person, Mr Rono has since employed 28 casual workers to aid in his farm.
PROS AND CONS OF PASSION FRUIT FARMING
Mr Rono explains the disadvantages of passion fruit farming stating that fluctuations of prices is a main thing this is because of factors such as elections in Uganda where the prices went down to 20kshs per kg. As Kenya approaches elections on August 2022 he plans to reduce his passion plantation until after the polls.
He attributes his success to passion fruit farming as availability of ready market and application of proper farming techniques. You can find some of proper passion farming techniques sampled on passion farming guide here
Mr Rono advices and encourages people to invest in agriculture as it has proven to be lucrative he plans to plough back the profits to real estate business stating that he has since purchased plots to start
According to HORTICULTURAL CROPS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, the north rift has the capability of producing 20,000 and 25,000 tones of mangoes and passion fruits annually but lack of infrastructure and market has discouraged farmers to invest here
Farmers in Uasin Gishu county earned approximately 2.6 million from more than 48,000 metric tones cultivated in 260 acres. Nandi county produces 7,000 kilograms monthly sold to local and export market
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