Farmers in Uganda are “laughing their way to the bank” at the moment, according to Julius Ahangaana, acting farm manager of Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute.
Daily Monitor reported that farmers, who invested in passionfruit vines, are seeing good returns for their investments as fruit is fetching high prices at local markets.
Despite a hard dry-season, the hardy fruit is able to be picked during gaps in other fruit supply, helping along retail and wholesale prices.
“Passion fruit requires less space to have a reasonable investment. It does not require full land cultivation, so the cost of seed bed preparation is low,” Ahangaana said.
Locals will often use the fruit to make drinks at home, or for medicinal purposes. Exporters accept fresh fruit for overseas markets, but growers can find higher prices with manufacturers who produce value added products.
Passionfruit can be grown at any time of the year, with continuous flowering – dependent on a sufficient light and water source for the plant.
Because it is a biannual crop, it will require additional water from one season to the next. Through the current dry spell, smart Ugandan farmers will be harvesting their crop in preparation for rain, which will start a new cycle of flowering and fruitset.