According to the Colombian Federation of Passion Flower Growers (Fedepasifloras), the area devoted to growing passion flowers (fruit) was estimated at 21,164 hectares for 2017 and, in line with recent trends, this year it is expected to grow by 12%. Meanwhile, production is expected to increase by 6% and amount to 241,393 tons by the end of 2018. In 2017, production amounted to 227,814 tons.
"The only one that is expected to have a decrease in production is the passion fruit because it is very susceptible to drying, a disease that has been damaging the crops of this species for several years," said Santiago Villalba, the president of Fedepasifloras.
It is worth noting that, in terms of production, passion flowers (badea, cholupa, banana passionfruit, granadilla, gulupa, passion fruit) are species that can produce every week, a factor that is directly related to the nutrition and fertilization processes used by producers, although each species has it own main harvest times.
"Passion flowers are known as passion fruit in the international market and are highly desired because they are exotic tropical fruits that have a great nutritional composition. Due to this, and its organoleptic characteristics, shell resistance, and good filling, the gulupa has the best acceptance," Villalba said.
According to Villalba, passion plants have four specific tariff items: granadilla, gulupa, passion fruit, and banana passionfruit. The others are grouped under another generic tariff for the other passionflowers.
"According to the data from ProColombia, gulupa is the third most exported species in fresh, after avocado and cape gooseberry, and it is the most exported passionflower, followed by granadilla, passion fruit, and curuba," he stated.
Flavia Santoro, the president of ProColombia, said that "there are at least 48 markets in which Colombia can increase its participation as a fruit supplier, especially with the ones where there is a current commercial agreement, in North America and the European Union. In addition, there is a great consolidation potential in Asia, where there is a growing demand for healthy high quality products. One of the advantages of our country is that we stand out for having a varied tropical and exotic offer, and the capacity to produce throughout the whole year.