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Kenya Plans High-Yield Passion Fruit Varieties to Boost Output

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya introduced two high-yielding passion fruit varieties that may boost production of the crop by as much as 49 percent, said Solomon Kaniaru, an official at Allfruits EPZ Ltd.

The Brazil and KP14 varieties are being distributed by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and will be planted by farmers this season, Kaniaru said in an interview yesterday in Kwale, near the port city of Mombasa. The crop is processed and mainly exported to Europe, he said.

Kenyan production of the fruit currently stands at 8,200 metric tons a year and the crop generates 154 million shillings ($1.9 million) at the farm gate, according to Kaniaru. About 45,000 seedlings will be distributed and may boost output by as much as 4,000 tons a year, he said.

Allfruits is a unit of Frigoken Ltd., the Nairobi-based company that produces processed fruits and vegetables.

To contact the reporter on this story: Githua Kihara in Mombasa via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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