Brazil is the home of the Passiflora edulis, a member of the Passifloraceae family. In several Western Ghat regions of India, and North Eastern States, passion fruit is discovered to be growing wild. The fruit is prized for its strong flavour and scent, which not only contribute to the creation of high-quality squash but also flavour a number of other goods. Passion fruit juice has a great flavour, is filling, and is well-liked for its mixing capabilities. Passion fruit juice is often combined with juices of mango, pineapple, ginger, etc. to improve the flavour of the finished product. The juice is often used to make confections, including pies, cakes, and ice cream. It has a good quantity of magnesium, sodium, sulphur, and chlorides as well as being a good source of vitamin A. Yellow passion fruit that has undergone commercial processing produces 36% juice, 51% rinds, and 11% seeds.

In the highlands of North Eastern India, the leaf of the passion fruit is consumed as a vegetable. As a therapy for diabetes, high blood pressure, diarrhea, dysentery, gastritis, abdominal flatulence, and as a liver tonic, boiled extract of fresh, tender leaves is recommended. Passion fruit rinds only contain 2.4% pectin, which is quite low. The 56% protein content of the rind residue makes it suitable for use as a supplement in chicken and animal feed. The seeds produce 23% oil, which is comparable to sunflower and soybean oil and has both industrial and culinary purposes. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the use of glycoside passiflorine, particularly from P. incarnata, as a tranquilizer or antidepressant in the pharmaceutical business, particularly in Europe. The article below will discuss the method of growing passion fruits and then its sale for a good business opportunity.

Environment and Soil

Passion fruit thrives well up to 2000 m altitude with an annual rainfall of 1000 to 2500 mm. It favours a tropical to subtropical wet environment. Temperatures below 15 degrees C limit vegetative development and blooming, and the crop needs an optimal temperature range of 200 to 30 0C. It thrives on pH 6.0 to 7.0 light sandy loam soils with adequate drainage. It is thought that a soil that is sufficiently wet, rich in organic content, and low in salts is ideal for its cultivation.

Different Types of Passion Fruits

In India, three types of passion fruit are important commercially: Purple Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims), 'Kaveri' Hybrid Passion Fruit (Purple x Yellow), and Yellow Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa).

Method of propagation

Passion fruit is multiplied by the use of seeds, cuttings, and grafts on strong rootstocks. Cuttings are less robust than seedlings and grafted plants. Fruits are harvested from vines that produce more and better-quality fruit. After the seeds are harvested, the pulp is left to ferment for 72 hours. In carefully prepared seed beds, the seeds are spread between March and April. The seedlings will be ready for transplantation in the main field in approximately three months. The best cuttings are three to four-noded, 30-35 cm in size, semi-hardwoods. The cuttings should be moved to polybags for enhanced root growth after being initially planted in sand beds or pots for root initiation. In around three months, the rooted cuttings are prepared for planting. However, the majority of farmers grow nurseries from seeds, and vegetative propagation is unpopular since it takes a lot of time.

Land Preparation

High winds should be avoided when choosing planting locations since they not only harm the vines but also make it more difficult to train them to the trellis. On hill slopes or plains, pits are excavated at a distance of three meters. The holes are filled with a three-to-one combination of top soil and compost, and planting is done ideally on overcast days in May and June following the start of the monsoon season. During the first year, seasonal vegetables might be planted as intercrops. By enhancing the nutrition, turmeric and ginger might be cultivated as intercrops.

Growth and trellis has a significant role in controlling output and nurturing the vine throughout its productive life. The trellis that is poorly built and weakened may droop and cause vines to die. From the plant's base up to the height of the trellis, the fruit tree is grown as into a solitary, unbranched shoot. The laterals that develop from the primaries are eventually taught to hang downward from the wire, and any obstructing tendrils need to be removed on a regular basis. These laterals make up the vines' prospective fruit-bearing area. Trellising is crucial to getting the highest possible yield of passion fruit. To ensure that vines get an equal and maximum amount of sunshine,  adequate planning should be done.

Also Read: Fruit Business Growing Trend in 2022

Pruning

Passion fruit bears on the growth of the current season, therefore methodical trimming of the vine promotes new development, resulting in a regular and greater fruit supply. The crop's laterals are pruned down to 3-6 buds after harvest. In April and December, once the crop has been harvested, pruning should be done.

Manuring

Applying organic manure is crucial if you want healthy plants that provide a consistent, ideal yield. Organic manure such as vermicompost is better for the soil and plants. In February through March, the manure should be applied.

Insects and Illnesses

The developing fruits are punctured by the fruit fly (Daucus sp.). Fruits grow woody, misshapen, and have less substance. Fruits with the condition have lower weight and juice content, as well as malformed fruit. This bug is quite prevalent in summer crops.  Defoliation and the development of small fruits are the results. Concentric brown dots with a greenish rim are the brown ring disease's outward sign. In extreme circumstances, branches will girdle and will prematurely lose their leaves. Pruning and burning should be done to the afflicted branches.

Harvesting

After being planted for 10 months, the vines begin to produce fruit; optimal fruit production occurs around 16–18 months. The two primary fruiting seasons are from March to May and August to December. Fruits mature in between 80 and 85 days. Pick up fruits with a hint of purple colour and a tiny amount of the stem or pedicel. The fruits should be sold as soon as possible to maintain their beauty and weight. The pulp holds up well for many days, but the rind wrinkles as it dries.

Yield

The yield of the purple type is 7–9 tons per hectare on average, whereas the Kaveri hybrid produces 15–21 tons per hectare on average.

The passion fruit price in India varies greatly from region to region. However, passion fruit is classically not eaten as a fruit but is more beneficial to farmers when it is made more commercial through manufacturing processed food like jam, squash, juices, etc. In overseas markets, juice and concentrate are in high demand.

Since the fruit is exotic, there are many passion fruit dealers in India. They source the produce directly from the agricultural markets to supply to their clients. Mostly these dealers are located in the passion fruit-grown hugs of Himachal, Sikkim, and North Eastern states and they have strong links with dealers in metros like Delhi, Kolkata, etc.

Conclusion

Passion Fruit is not native to India but given the right climate, it grows well in the above-mentioned areas of Himachal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, etc. Passion fruit is generally not had as a fruit but is preferred to be used as processed food like jam, squash, etc. Sikkimese organically grown passion fruit-based Squash is delicious and refreshing.

FAQs:  Passion Fruit

Q. What is the benefits of passion fruit?

Ans. Antioxidant is abundant in passion fruit. It is used by your body to create collagen, which maintains youthful-looking skin, blood vessels, cartilage, and muscles. Additionally, it promotes healing, reduces inflammation, and shields your cells from harm. The risk of developing colds and several malignancies is decreased when you consume adequate vitamin C. It also has vitamin A as the flesh and crunchy seeds of passion fruit provide 8% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A. It's essential for immunity, reproduction, and healthy eyes and cells. Fiber helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time and maintains your bowels healthy and flowing. Additionally, it reduces cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer risk.

Q. Is passion fruit good to eat?

Ans. Passion fruit has a lot of seeds, and thus it is used more as a processed food than eaten fresh. So it can be said that although the fruit tastes wonderfully fresh and delicious, the huge amount of seeds made it a tedious task to enjoy. Therefore, the fruit is avoided to beaten directly.

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