Yellow Passion Production in Kenya to Meet Global Demand

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Passion fruit is an essential commercial fruit in Kenya with great economic importance. It’s among the most competitive in Kenya, coming in third after the mango and avocado. With production highs of more than 46,000 MT, passion fruit has the potential to overtake coffee as a major cash crop for export. However, due to the low productivity, locally produced passion fruit cannot compete commercially with imports. In Kenya, the two varieties (Purple and Yellow) are grown and used as fresh fruit or for processing into juices. Yellow passion is gaining prominence due to its demand in fruit juice processing with the leading counties being Kwale, Meru, Bungoma, Lamu, and Embu (HCD 2018).

In cooperation with the public and private sectors, GIZ seeks to improve the employment and economic situation of job seekers, employees, and enterprises in Africa. GIZ has thus been implementing the E4D – Employment and Skills for Development in Africa programme in six African countries, namely, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

In Kenya, this program aims to carry out enhanced production of yellow passion fruit for smallholder farmers, and access to markets and business development services in Machakos, Kwale, Lamu and Embu Counties. E4D aims to promote local employment and address skills gaps by building the capacities of local jobseekers, employees, and enterprises to integrate into the value chains of large investment projects and support agriculture entrepreneurship to increase value-addition and productivity. In the GIZ ED4 – Kevian Partnership, with the implementing partners E4Impact Foundation, JKUAT Enterprises Limited, Sote Hub, and Paytree the programme seeks to increase production and productivity to be competitive with imported passion fruit concentrates for the benefit of farmers and industry.

The target areas in Kwale County, the project is operational in Matuga Sub-county, in 8 wards. In Lamu County, The project is operational in two sub-counties, namely Lamu West and Tana Delta. Finally, in Machakos, the project is operational in two sub-counties, Masinga and Yatta, and in Embu County in Mbeere South and Mbeere North.

In the above-stated counties, this project aims to Collaborate with research institutions to create awareness among smallholder farmers on planting or using resistant varieties, Strengthening the capacity of farmer and marketing associations to assist farmers’ groups in enhancing propagation methods and availing clean planting materials; linking the markets with producers and training producers on value addition and  Collaboration between Government of Kenya ministries at national and county levels and other stakeholders to establish sustainable solutions for the industry.

The project follows a three-phase period, with the first one being identifying Trainer of Trainers Farmers who were then trained during four weeks at Kevian Farm in Kitengela, Kajiado County. The 101 trained trainers of Trainers are to be the lead/model farmers to reach out and train the other farmers.


Ongoing ToT Training at the Kevian Limited Training Centre in Kitengela, Kajiado County


The second part of the project was identifying and mobilization of 650 champion farmers with the training taking place in the respective counties. These champion farmers are already practising sweet yellow passion fruit farming and will act as pioneering farmers and most importantly are already in farmers’ groups.

Champion Farmer Training in Lamu County, Witu Sub-county


The third phase of the project will be the training of 2250 smallholder farmers and organizing them to groups. There will also be the rehabilitation of aggregation centres, setting up of nurseries, and setting up demo sites in preparation for production of sweet yellow passion.

Some of the key observations during the training were;. Immediate feedback from the training and review meetings was effective in informing decisions to improve preparation and delivery of upcoming training, Where trainees had farming experience, it enabled them to connect the practices learned as well as peer-to-peer learning. Some training sessions were attended by a few illiterate and semi-illiterate participants that required special attention.

Key Challenges included, Some of the trainees had a low level of education requiring more time and effort for attention in meeting their learning needs, There was a challenge on the part of the few illiterate and semi-illiterate trainees to participate fully in the oral and written activities during the training despite all the efforts made to have them on board.

Lessons Learned during the training included the use of life examples, encouragement, involvement of the learners and use of local language to enhance faster learning among the illiterate and semi-illiterate. Recaps were made more elaborate to help update those who may have missed the previous sessions. In addition, individual tutorial sessions were held with the individuals including sharing their notes for review to enable them to catch up.

By Cicilia Toroitich

Program Officer

E4Impact Entrepreneurship Center

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