The fruit is not commercial only, but a food crop as well.
(Credit: Sauda Nabatanzi)
HEALTH & FITNESS
In Uganda, the passion fruits has expanded from an only industrial fruit to one of individual farmers at a local level.
Many farmers have made a living through production of organic processed passion fruit juice that they sell at the local market and neighboring countries, according to Susana Nakazi, a farmer in Masaka.
The fruit is not commercial only but a food crop as well.
In Uganda, many people eat the fruit in its raw form including the seeds, while others enjoy the juice that is extracted.
Passion fruits can also be turned into fruit flavors that are used in making several dishes like salads, sauce, fruit cake, ice cream and yogurt.
The seeded pulp of passion can be used to make jelly that is often combined with pineapple or tomato jelly to make jam.
Joseph Wagwa, a nutritionist in Bunga, says passion fruits have got health and nutrition benefits.
They contain high carbohydrate and simple sugars that improve athletes' performance. They also have micronutrients that help in maintaining health, energy production and tissue recovery during periods of exercise.
The fruit also has antioxidants, fiber and reduces risks of cancer cell growth.
Even with such great importance, the Ugandan market is currently on the lower end of supply. Vendors at Owino and Nakasero markets say the price of passion fruit can be very unpredictable.
At the beginning of March, a sack of passion fruits from Masaka was selling at sh380, 000 but by early June the price had shot up to about sh400,000.
For small-scale buyers, eight passion fruits you could get at 1000 reduced to six for the same price.
Samuel Kanaabi, a trader in Nakasero market, blames the hike in prices on the high demand following the holy month of fasting for Muslims.
Fruit juice is one of the highly recommended drinks for breaking the fast in the holy month hence the rise in demand and the prices.
Now at the start of July the price is loosening up a bit to sh390, 000 for a sack.