1. Introduction :
The passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), family
Passifloraceae, is a native of Brazil. In India it is found to be growing wild
in many parts of Western Ghat such as Nilgiris, Wynad, Kodaikanal, Shevroys,
Coorg and Malabar as well as Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States like
Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. The fruit is valued for its pronounced flavour
and aroma which helps not only in producing a high quality squash but also in
flavouring several other products. The juice of passion fruit with an excellent
flavour is quite delicious, nutritious and liked for its blending quality. To
enhance the flavour of the final produce, passion fruit juice is often mixed
with juices of pineapple, mango, ginger etc. The juice is extensively used in
confectionery and preparation of cakes, pies and ice cream. It is a rich source
of Vitamin A and contains fair amounts of Sodium, Magnesium, Sulphur and
Chlorides. Commercial Processing of yellow passion fruit yields 36% juice, 51%
rinds and 11% seeds. The physio chemical properties of ripe fruit are given in
Table 1 : Physio - Chemical Properties of ripe Passion Fruit
Average Fruit Weight (g)
Volume of the Fruit (ml)
Ascorbic Acid (mg/100 g)
Carotenoids (ug/100 g)
Fruit length (cm)
Fruit diameter (cm)
The passion fruit vine is shallow rooted, woody, perennial,
climbing by means of tendrils. A single fragrant flower, 5 cm to 7.5 cm wide
is borne at each node on the new growth. The fruits are nearly round to oval
and has a tough rind which is smooth and waxy. The fruit has an aromatic mass
of double walled, membranous sacs filled with orange coloured, pulpy juice and
as many as 250 small, hard, dark brown or black seeds.
The leaf of passion fruit is used as a vegetable in the
hills of North Eastern India. Boiled extract of fresh tender leaves is
prescribed as a remedy for diabetes, hypertension, diarrhoea, dysentry,
gastritis, abdominal flatulence and as a liver tonic. The rinds of passion
fruit have very low pectin content (2.4 %). The rind residue contains about
5-6 % protein and could be used as a filler in poultry and stock feed. The
seeds yield 23 % oil which is similar to sunflower and soybean oil and
accordingly has edible as well as industrial uses. There is currently a
revival of interest in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in Europe, in
the use of glycoside, passiflorine, especially from P.incarnata as a
sedative or tranquilizer. Italian chemists extracted passiflorine from the
air-dried leaves. Juice of Passion fruit is prescribed as a digestive
stimulant and treatment for gastric cancer.
2. International Scenario :
Passion fruit vines are found wild and cultivated to some
extent in many parts of the Old World including the highlands of Java, Sumatra,
Malaya, Western Samoa, Norfolk Islands, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Guam, the
Philippines, the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Taiwan. Brazil has long had a well
established passion fruit industry with large-scale juice extraction plants.
Passion fruit is grown in North Eastern Region of India. Other countries include
Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda etc.
3. National Scenario :
Passion fruit is commercially cultivated in the North Eastern
States of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. It is also cultivated in some parts of
Nilgiris and Shevroys.
4. Organic Farming :
Organic farming is a crop production method respecting the
rules of the nature. It maximises the use of onfarm resources and minimises the
use of off-farm resources. It is a farming system that seeks to avoid the use of
chemical fertilisers and pesticides. In organic farming, entire system i.e.
plant, animal, soil, water and micro-organisms are to be protected. The
guidelines for organic farming is enclosed in Annexure I.
5. Organic Production :
5.1 Climate and Soil
Passion fruit prefers tropical to subtropical humid climate
and grows well upto 2000 m altitude with an annual rainfall of 1000 to 2500 mm.
The crop requires an optimum temperature of 200 to 30 0C
and temperatures below 15 0C restricts vegetative growth and
flowering. It grows best in light sandy loam soils with pH of 6.0 -7.0 and good
drainage. A soil having sufficient quantity of moisture, rich in organic matter
and low in salts is considered very suitable for its cultivation.
Out of several species, Purple passion fruit (Passiflora
edulis Sims), Yellow Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa)
and ‘Kaveri’ Hybrid passion fruit (Purple x Yellow) are of commercial
importance in India.
5.2.1 Purple Passion Fruit
Vines are productive at higher elevations. Fruits are 4-5
cm in diameter, deep purple when ripe each weighing 35-45 g. The juice content
varies from 31-35 per cent. The variety is known for its quality in terms of
flavour and nutrient content. Seeds are black in colour. The variety is
susceptible to leaf spot, collar rot, attack by thrips and nematodes.
5.2.2 Yellow Passion Fruit
This variety is suitable for lower elevations and is less
productive at higher elevations due to its sensitiveness to low temperature.
The fruit is bigger in size than purple variety, each weighing about 60 g,
round in shape with yellow mottled spots, turns golden yellow when ripe. Juice
is more acidic, its recovery being comparatively less than the purple. Seeds
are brown, tolerant to leaf spot and wilt, escapes the damage by thrips and
tolerant to nematodes.
5.2.3 Kaveri Hybrid Passion Fruit
It is an hybrid between Purple and Yellow passion fruit
developed at Central Horticulture Experimental Station, Indian Institute of
Horticulture Research, Chettalli, Karnataka. It is a high yielding variety and
each fruit weighs 85-110 g. The fruits are purple in colour, fruit quality
comparable to that of Purple variety. The variety is reported to have field
tolerance to brown leaf spot, collar rot, wilt and nematodes.
Passion fruit is propagated by seeds, cuttings and grafting
on resistant root stocks. Seedlings and grafted plants are more vigorous than
5.3.1 Seed Propagation
Fruits are collected from superior vines in respect of
yield and quality. The pulp after extraction is allowed to ferment for 72
hours and seeds are extracted. The seeds are sown in well prepared seed beds
during March-April. The seedlings after attaining 4-6 leaves stage are
transplanted in 10 cm x 22 cm polybags filled with a mixture of soil, compost
and sand (2:1:1). The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in the main
field in about three months.
5.3.2 Vegetative Propagation
Semi-hardwood cuttings of about 30-35 cm size with 3-4
nodes are ideal. The cuttings are to be first placed in sand beds/pots for
root initiation and then transferred to polybags for better root development.
The rooted cuttings are ready for planting in about three months. However,
most farmers raise nurseries from the seeds and vegetative propagation is not
popular as it is time consuming.
5.4 Spacing and Planting
The spacing will vary depending upon the type of training
system being followed and variety. In case of Kniffin system of training the
spacing adopted is 2m x 3m, which will accommodate 1666 plants/ha. In bower
system, the recommended spacing is 3m x 3m which accommodates about 1110
5.5 Preparation of Land
Planting sites experiencing high winds should be avoided as
the wind not only damages the vines but makes it more difficult to train the
vines to the trellis. Pits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm are dug at a spacing of 3m x
2m, on hill slopes/plains. The pits are filled with a mixture of three parts of
top soil and one part of compost and planting is done preferably on cloudy days
during May-June after onset of monsoon. Seasonal vegetables could be grown as
intercrops during the first year. Turmeric and ginger could be grown as
intercrops by supplementing the nutrition.
5.6 Training and Pruning
Training is quite important in regulating yield and also in
supporting the vine during its economic life. Weak and faulty construction of
trellis may lead to sagging and loss of vines.
The vines are trained to a single unbranched shoot from the
base of the plant up to the trellis height and from this point, two vigorous
shoots (primaries) are allowed to grow on the trellis in opposite directions.
In due course, the laterals that arise from the primaries are trained hanging
downwards from the wire and the tendrils that come in the way are to be
removed periodically. These laterals constitute the potential fruit bearing
area of the vines. Trellising is important to obtain maximum potential yield
of passion fruit.
The most economical training method is the kniffin system
in which 2.5 m long posts/pillars are erected 3 m apart and four lines of 9 to
11 gauge wire is allowed to run across. The trellis should run across the
slope or in North-South direction, to have maximum and even exposure of vines
to sunlight. In case, wooden posts are used, they have to be painted with
coaltar at the base to avoid insect attack and quick rotting. Telephone system
on raisers is also economical as it allows growing intercrops on terraces and
suppressing the weed growth. The bower system of training is also followed in
Passion fruit bears on current season’s growth and hence
systematic pruning of vine encourages new growth resulting in regular and
higher yield of fruits. After the harvest of the crop, the laterals are cut
back to 4-5 buds. Pruning should be done after harvesting of the crop in April
Application of organic manure is very much necessary to have
vigorous plants giving regular and optimum yield. It is observed that almost
entire plantation of passion fruit in Meghalaya and other parts of North Eastern
Region is generally grown by using organic inputs like farm yard manure,
vermicompost, bio-plus (prepared from organic waste), etc. Application of oil
cake is also followed in some area. During the first year of plantation, 10 kgs
of FYM per vine and from second year onwards 15 kg of FYM per vine is
recommended. Mixtures of FYM and vermicompost in the ratio 4:1 or 3:1 and oil
cake gives very good result, but due to very limited availability of
vermicompost most of the farmers are not applying it. The manure should be
applied in February-March.
5.8 Pests and Diseases
The fruit fly (Daucus sp.) punctures the immature
fruits during development. Fruits become woody, deformed and the pulp content
is reduced. Thrips (Thrips hawaiiensis Morgan) feeds on buds and
developing fruits. Affected fruits are deformed and fruit weight and juice
content are reduced. The incidence of this pest is severe in summer crop.
Mites (Tetranychus neocaledonicus Andro) feed on leaves and tender
fruits. It leads to defoliation and formation of undersized fruits.
Brown spot disease is caused by Alternaria macrospora Simes. The disease appears as concentric brown spots with greenish margin.
Girdling of branches and premature defoliation occurs in severe cases. The
affected branches should be pruned and burnt. Root Rot is caused by Phytophthora
nicotianae var. parasitica. The roots are affected and ultimately the
plants die. Drenching with 1 % Bordeaux mixture helps in checking the disease.
The affected plants should be mounded with soil to encourage new root
formation. Wilt or Collar rot, is a devastating disease caused by Fusarium
oxysporum/ F.passiflorae. The affected plants die immediately within a day
or two. There is no control measure except having tolerant/resistant varieties
or use of resistant root stocks.
5.8.3 Control Measures
So far ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Barapani,
Meghalaya & Central Agricultural University has not recommended/finalised
the doses/frequency of available organic pesticides/fungicides. However it is
observed that spraying of organic pesticides like neem based
pesticides/fungicides can control effectively the various pests and diseases.
Neem based pesticide contains Azadirachtin as active ingredient. The
biological insecticide, Verticel, manufactured from Verticillium lecanii,
a naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungus is very effective in controlling
thrips, mites, aphids etc. The larvocel, a wettable powder formulation of Beauveria
bassiana a highly virulent fungus is effective as a versatile broad -
The vines start yielding fruits after 10 months of planting
and bearing reaches optimum by 16-18 months. There are two main periods of
fruiting from August to December and March to May. Fruits take 80-85 days to
reach maturity. Slightly purple coloured fruits along with a small portion of
stem / pedicel should be picked up. The fruits should be marketed quickly to
prevent loss in weight and their appearance. The rind becomes wrinkled on
drying but the pulp remains in good condition for several days.
Average yield of purple variety is 8-10 t/ha and that of the
hybrid Kaveri is 16-20 t/ ha. A yield of 7 to 9 kg or 200 to 250 fruits per vine
is generally obtained every year.
6. Post Harvest Management :
Passion fruit is generally not consumed as a table fruit due
to numerous (about 250) small, hard, dark brown seeds in fruit and its
commercial value lies in its processing in preparation of juice, concentrate,
squash, icecream, confectionery etc. or in blending its juice with other fruit
juices to enhance the flavour. There is very good demand of juice/concentrate in
In the state of Manipur, passion fruit processing unit has
been set up at Punanamei Mao, in Senapati district under the joint venture of
Good Samaritan Social Service Association, Mao (NGO), Central Small Farmers Agri
Business Consortium, New Delhi and NEDFI. Exim Bank and DFPI(GoI) had extended
loan and grant respectively for setting up the unit. The plant has a crushing
capacity of 2 t/hour. The unit has entered into agreement with farmers to
purchase the fruit at a pre-determined price and State Bank of India had
extended loan to farmers under tripartite agreement. The farmers of Senapati and
adjoining districts of Manipur and border districts of Nagaland state are
largely benefited by this unit. Such processing units are required to be set up
in different N.E.States.
7. Linkages :
Since passion fruit is an upcoming crop in most of N.E.States/Region
and its consumption as a table fruit is limited, there is a need for developing
proper linkages with processing industries. The Department of Horticulture under
the technology mission had introduced this crop in all the districts of the
state and about 25 to 30 ha area has been covered in each district. The
Horticulture Department, Government of Meghalaya may ensure proper marketing tie
up of all existing and upcoming plantations with existing state owned,
cooperative or private processing units, while promoting passion fruit
8. Financial Aspects :
8.1 Economic Life
The economic life of Passion Fruit vine is considered as five
years. It is not economical to maintain the vines afterwards, even though the
yield can be obtained after five years.
8.2 Unit Cost
The item-wise unit cost is given in Annexure-II. As per the
technical & financial parameters, the unit cost per hectare works out to
Rs.100600/- spread over a period of two years (I-Year : Rs.76000 + II-Year :
Rs.24600 = Rs.100600).
8.3 Margin Money
The percentage of margin / down payment to investment cost
prescribed is 5, 10 and 15% for small, medium and large farmers respectively.
The rest of the investment cost will be provided as bank loan. Margin considered
in the present model is 10%.
8.4 Bank Loan
Bank loan of 85 - 95 % shall be available from the financing
institution. Bank loan considered in the model is 90%.
8.5 Interest Rate
The rate of interest to be charged to the ultimate borrower
would be guided by RBI guidelines issued from time to time. However, the
ultimate lending rate has been considered as 12 % for working out the
bankability of the model scheme.
Banks are guided by RBI guidelines issued from time to time
in this regard.
8.7 Financial Analysis :
The detailed financial analysis are given in Annexures II -
V. Based on the detailed financial analysis, the financial indicators are
given below :
- NPW : Rs.74876
- BCR : 1.60 : 1
- IRR : > 50%
8.8 Repayment Period
The bank loan along with interest is repaid in five years
including one year grace period.
The detailed repayment schedule is given in Annexure VI.
9. Conclusion :
Keeping in view the above aspects, it can be concluded that organic cultivation of passion fruit is a technically feasible, financially
viable and bankable activity.