Passion Fruit Farmer Who Grew From ¼ Acre To Producing 6 Tons Earning Sh.420,000 Monthly

It is a warm Thursday afternoon when Seeds of Gold arrives at Grace Cheptoo’s farm at Ng’oina Road area in Bureti Constituency. We find the mother of two humming to some music while harvesting passion fruits. We visited the farm to find the root of her love for passion fruit farming, her story having travelled far and reached us.
Grace, 60, established the fruit farm on her 0.2 acre land on the advice of a friend in March 2010, investing Sh64,000 into the venture. She says that it was without doubt one of the best decisions she ever took as it has earned her good returns through export to Uganda, Guatemala and Belgium.
By 2011, on a good month, Grace was harvesting 480 kilos of passion fruit, making Sh33,600.
passion fruit farming in Kenya
Grace says best practices in passion fruit farming can ensure an optimum yield of between 15 and 20 tonnes per hectare. These practices include trellising, weeding, irrigation, application of fertilisers and pruning. See the guide below for details.
Grace noted that passion fruits can be grown from seeds, grafting and tissue culture. The seed is germinated after removal of the pulp and drying and germination requires up to four weeks.
Production of seedlings in plastic bags is the most frequent method of producing seedlings. Up to three seeds are planted in each bag and then thinned to one after emergence.
Seedlings will require up to four months to reach a suitable transplanting growth stage. After about seven weeks of growth following transplanting, each plant should have up to four healthy lateral stems.
“When I started this project, it was meant to give me something to do part time but it has becoming more profitable than any other farming activity I have done including tea and pineapple growing,” says Grace.
Although she can claim success today, it has not always been a walk in the park. She recalls that when she harvested her first crop in August 2011, she had to hawk it in person and sell the fruits at the local market as she did not have a stable market.
Things turned for the better in March 2012 when a business colleague informed her that there was a huge demand for passion fruits in Uganda and within no time, she was selling her fruit at Sh40 per kilo to an exporter who would transport the produce to Uganda.
As she went about her business, word about the success of her venture spread and several aspiring passion fruit farmers went to her farm for lessons.
As the numbers grew, she registered a company – Cool Breeze Horticulture – through which she has been enlisting the services of experts in the agricultural sector to train individuals willing to join the passion fruit growing and export business. So far, 375 farmers from Kericho and Bomet counties have been trained.
Last year, Grace and her group found a new buyer who has been exporting fruits to Guatemala and Belgium at Sh70 per kilo. The farmers deliver 6,000 kilos every month, making a combined monthly income of Sh420,000.

passion fruit farming guide in kenya
Passion fruit farming guide for Kenya
Grace is now convinced there is enough market for passion fruits. “Our current production cannot meet the demand for the fruit in the foreign market.” She also grows passion fruit seedlings which she sells to farmers at Sh30 each.
While the success of passion fruit farming is sweet, it is difficult to attain it without proper knowledge of the best farming practices. To help you in that, we have compiled this full guide for passion fruit farming in Kenya. You can now request for it from our Resources Page

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