Squeezing money from passion fruit

Saturday August 25 2018

fARMERS gathering passion fruits. FILE PHOTO

fARMERS gathering passion fruits. FILE PHOTO 

By Fred Muzaale

Passion fruit juice is made almost in every home. In most cases, it is made for domestic consumption.
However, production of passion fruit juice is business to some people. Among those making and selling passion fruit juice is Zayina Mubiru.
The 30-year-old, who is a farmer and resident of Kayunga Town in Kayunga District, has been doing this business for seven years now.
She owns two acres of passion fruit.
Mubiru says previously, she used to harvest her ripe fruits and sell them to both traders and middlemen from Kampala, Mukono and Jinja Towns.
“I do not sell all my passion fruits anymore, I use some to make various products such as juice which is very profitable,” she tells Seeds of Gold at her farm in Kayunga District.
Using proceeds from her venture, Mubiru started a retail shop in Kayunga Town.
It was during her time running her shop that she later learnt that passion fruit juice was on demand.
“I was growing the fruits so I decided to switch from selling the fruits to adding value to them by squeezing juice out of them,” she says.

Process of making juice
Harvest ripe passion fruits and put them in a store.
Wash them using clean water.
Cut each in half to scoop out the flesh which is then put into a blender
Blend the flesh to get the juice.
Sieve the juice to remove the small particles.
Mix the concentrated juice with boiled cold but boiled clean water.
Add sugar to the mixture and sieve again to remove chaff in the sugar.
Put in a clean container and store in a fridge or packs in polythene papers.
However, it is important to observe high levels of cleanliness as poor hygiene makes the juice unhygienic.
Mubiru says she also buys fruits from Kampala when there is none in her garden.
She currently buys a bag at Shs230,000 but says during offseason and scarcity a bag goes for Shs500,000.

Mubiru makes more sales during hot and dry periods. She says during such periods, she sells between six to seven 20-litre jerrycans of juice. She sells each small pack of juice at Shs500. From each 20-litre jerrycan of juice, she gets about Shs40,000. Therefore, from five 20-litre jerrycans of juice she sells a day, Mubiru earns about Shs200,000.
When she deducts all expenses, Mubiru says she remains with about Shs120,000 a day and in a week Shs840,000.
In a month she earns on average Shs4m.

Mubiru says that although, she sells in small packs at her shop, she also supplies schools with juice. These, she says, buy in bigger quantities.