In 2018, prices of maize plummeted by 40 per cent, while the production costs skyrocketed. At the time, a new wave was sweeping his Sirikwa village in Nakuru where farmers were embracing passion fruit farming. Passion fruit ventures required a small acreage, inputs were relatively affordable and it was less demanding with quick and significant returns.
Growers are excited that the European Union funded Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) has embarked on promoting new farming technologies for breeding multiple disease-free and high yielding passion fruit planting material in a bid to enhance quality and safety standards for the export market.
“We are upbeat that the MARKUP project is also exploring ways of linking smallholder passion fruit farmers to exporters of horticultural crops to the European, Middle East and Asian markets. This will only be possible if farmers have access to clean and quality planting materials,” one grower told kenyanews.go.ke.
MARKUP, anchored within the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives also aims at improving the competitiveness of small-scale farmers within the targeted 12 counties in a variety of crop value chains, including mango, passion fruit, avocado, tea, coffee, horticulture, herbs and spices, tea and nuts.
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