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Colombian passiflora growers seek to take advantage of FTAs

"Passifloras are a family of fruit sharing the same taxonomic characteristics as far as productive systems go. Depending on the species, each has a different Brix degree or flavour. For example, granadillas are sweet, passion fruit is sour, gulupas are a little sour and its pulp is made up of seeds," explains Marisol Parra Morera, executive director of the Corporation Centre for Research and Technological Management of Passifloras (Cepass).

Colombia currently has around 12,000 hectares of passifloras, with a production of 200,000 tonnes per year. From these, 80,000 tonnes correspond to passion fruit and a similar figure to granadillas.

These fruits are mainly exported to markets such as Ecuador and the European Union. Furthermore, Colombian passiflora producers are currently seeking to take advantage of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with countries such as the United States in order to enter new markets successfully.

"The United States is a priority within the framework of the FTA we have, just like Russia. We are also considering Japan, but we need to take into consideration all requirements regarding quality and certifications, especially for products processed from these fruits," states Parra.

"In the case of the United States and Russia, we are presenting the requirements to the Ministry of Agriculture, as the U.S. and Colombia need to create the export protocols, especially for fresh fruit, which would mostly be granadilla and gulupa."

It is worth noting that Colombian passiflora producers not only seek to export fresh fruit, but also processed products, such as juice and passion fruit concentrate.

Colombia consequently expects "to promote their cultivation and start increasing the production volumes," concludes Parra.


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