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Farmers challenged to venture into passion fruit farming

Farmers in Kakamega County have been advised to farm passion fruits as there is ready market for the produce both locally and internationally.

Speaking during an exhibition of different produce at a hotel in Kakamega town, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Equatorial Hortfresh limited (EHL) Moses Korir Keitany noted that Kakamega had favourable climate for the growth of passion fruits.

“With the warm climate and rainfall experienced throughout the year in Kakamega County, various fruits can do well and yield a lot,” he said.

Speaking to KNA Keitany revealed that they have a number of outlets for passion fruits both locally and internationally.

“An acre of passion fruit can earn a farmer over Sh 1million in a period of 12 months,” he said.

“We sell our passion fruits locally to the supermarkets, hotels, municipalities and city markets, regional markets in Kampala for production of fresh juices for vending in the streets of Kampala, and international markets exist in the Middle East and Europe,” he explained.

Keitany noted that EHL was a private limited company with its headquarters in Eldoret and was among the leading exporters of passion fruit in the region.

“EHL was registered in 2013 and we started operating in Uasin Gishu and have now extended to the counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga, Kisii, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans Nzoia,” he added.

Keitany said they have so far reached 6,000 farmers who have embraced the horticultural passion fruit farming and they target to reach farmers in all the 47 counties.

He added that they have partnered with the Kenya Crop and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS) to facilitate smallholder farmers to contract supply of quality passion fruits by enhancing their production practices, value addition and marketing of passion fruits that meet the global market requirements.

EHL offers agronomic services through the presence of highly trained agronomists and field assistants besides offering of seedlings.

By Margaret Andeso

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