Mississippi state investigation aims to increase passion fruit farms

Raymond, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi State University Extension Service researcher hopes to help expand the market for passion fruit growers.

Demand is growing for sweet, low-calorie tropical fruits, fruit and nut specialist Eric Stafne told the extension service.

Most US production is in Florida, Hawaii, California and Puerto Rico, he said, but some is grown in Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Alabama and North Carolina.

“Passion fruit is a niche crop with potential for expansion in parts of the country affected by climate change,” he said in a news release Friday, noting that southern Mississippi has potential.

He posted an online survey at https://msudafvm.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5oFY0ThcIoepwXQ for current growers and farmers interested in growing passion fruit.

Questions range from the area planted or available for passion fruit vines, to the types of trellises used, to the barriers to getting the best production.

The university is among the organizers of a two-day conference in mid-June called Growing the US Passionfruit Industry. Saturday is the deadline to register for the conference in Homestead, Florida, but the survey will be open until June 30.