Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Growing Passion Fruit in Africa

Yellow passion fruit, also known as Golden passion fruit, is a popular variety of passion fruit grown in Kenya. 

Yellow passion fruit is one of Kenya Africa top three export fruit crops important to Kenya and Africa agricultural future well-being. It is widely cultivated in many parts of the country due to its high demand and profitability.

In Kenya, the yellow passion fruit is used for both local consumption and export. The fruit is commonly used to make juice, jams, and desserts. It is also eaten raw, with the seeds and pulp being scooped out with a spoon.

Kenya has favorable climatic conditions for the cultivation of passion fruit, and the government has been promoting its production as part of its efforts to diversify the country's agricultural sector. Farmers are trained on best practices, and the government provides subsidies for inputs such as seedlings and fertilizers.

Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing one-third of GDP. Approximately 75 percent of the Kenyan population work at least part-time in the agricultural sector, including growing and picking passion fruit which over 75 percent of agricultural output is from small-scale, rain-fed farming.

The best thing about passion fruit is the seeds are edible; the membrane that separates the seeds from the peel is tart but still delicious. One medium egg sized passion fruit has around 20 calories. 

Passion fruit goes by many names in Africa such as granadilla, grenadella, matunda ya mateso, isiqhamo somdla, and izithelo. The yellow passion fruit has great interest in Kenya as a commercial crop. According to Farm Africa, around 3,800 passion fruit farmers cultivate about 425 hectares or 1,050 acres of passion fruit farming land.

Yellow passion fruit is one of Kenya Africa top three export fruit crops

Growing Passion Fruit In Kenya Africa

The tender young leaves of passion fruit are also eaten as a vegetable similar to spinach. The seed of passion fruit produces oil that can be used for home and industrial purposes.

Each variety of passion fruit has its unique flavor and appearance, and they can be used in a variety of recipes, including desserts, smoothies, and cocktails.

Varieties of Passion Fruits

Most passion fruits are vigorous growing vines that can climb up to 30 feet or 9 meters. The fruit varies in color from purple to orange-red and in size from a golf ball to a tennis ball. 

Purple Passion Fruit: This is the most common variety of passion fruit, with a purple exterior and yellow flesh. It has a tart and tangy flavor with a slightly sweet undertone.

Yellow Passion Fruit: This variety has a yellow exterior and yellow-orange flesh. It is slightly sweeter and less tart than the purple passion fruit.

Giant Passion Fruit: As the name suggests, this variety is larger than the others and can grow up to the size of a grapefruit. It has a yellow exterior and sweet-tasting, pinkish-orange flesh.

Banana Passion Fruit: This variety is elongated, with a yellow-orange skin and sweet-tasting, white flesh. It is less tart than the purple passion fruit.

Sweet Granadilla: This is a South American variety with a yellow-green skin and white flesh. It is larger than most other passion fruits and has a sweet, aromatic flavor.

Red Passion Fruit: This variety has a bright red exterior and yellow-orange flesh. It is sweeter than the purple passion fruit and has a slightly different flavor profile.

How to Eat Passion Fruit.

Passion fruit is a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be eaten in a variety of ways. Here are some steps on how to eat passion fruit:

Choose a ripe passion fruit: Look for passion fruits that are slightly wrinkled and have a deep purple or yellow color. Ripe passion fruits will also feel slightly heavy for their size.

Cut the passion fruit in half: Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit in half.

Scoop out the pulp: Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp and seeds from the inside of the fruit. The pulp will be gelatinous and will contain small, black seeds.

Eat the pulp: The pulp and seeds are both edible and can be eaten raw. You can eat the pulp directly from the fruit, or you can add it to a smoothie or yogurt.

Use the pulp in recipes: Passion fruit pulp can also be used in a variety of recipes, such as desserts, sauces, and cocktails. Simply scoop out the pulp and use it in place of other fruit purees or juices.

Store any leftover pulp: If you have any leftover passion fruit pulp, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or you can freeze it for longer storage.

Passion Fruit recipe.

A simple recipe for a passion fruit dessert that you can try:

Passion Fruit Mousse


6-8 ripe passion fruits
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water


Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Strain the pulp through a sieve to remove any seeds, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and the passion fruit pulp until well combined.

In a small saucepan, mix the gelatin and water together and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin has dissolved completely.

Add the dissolved gelatin to the passion fruit mixture and stir until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the passion fruit mixture until everything is well combined.

Pour the mixture into serving dishes and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until set.

Once the mousse has set, you can decorate with additional passion fruit pulp and serve.

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