How Simon Turned Pawpaw Farming Into A Money Making Business

Deep in the heart of the Kenya villages in Mwea, Kirinyaga County is a farmer who pawpaw farming business is thriving. His farming activities started off as an experiment and now seems to perfectly sail through and always giving him good results. In his multiple farming ventures, Mr. Simon Kinyua knows what is likely to do well and bring in some reasonable income.

One such crop he has tried and got results is the mountain pawpaw. The numerous health benefits associated with the pawpaw fruit and the increasing demand especially from Nairobi is what tempted Kinyua to give it a try. “I realized that the market was good in Nairobi during one of my regularly visits and so I decided to give it a try,” said Kinyua.

pawpaw farming in Kenya
Pawpaw farming in Kenya: Kirinyaga
In just a quarter piece of farm, Mr. Kinyua grows nearly 100 mountain pawpaws out of which he is able to harvest on a weekly basis especially in a good season. The fruit is grown from seedlings which he propagates from his nursery just within the farm. After sowing seeds, it normally takes two months for the young seedlings to be ready for transplanting. 

The seedlings are transplanted into holes that are 2-feet deep and 2-feet square in width. The soil that goes into the hole is usually mixed with manure.

Pawpaws in Kenya grow productively in well aerated soils that also support vegetables. According to the farmer the crop is good as it takes a shorter period to start fruiting. “Just after one year from planting, my pawpaw are ready for harvesting,” he narrated.

The fruits are normally sold at 30 bob per kg but that is subject to changes dictated by demand and supply that do drive the price to sh50 per kg on the higher side.

While he can harvest one ton of papaya per week, he is keen to advice farmers to not that such high productivity is only attained through hard work.  One must practice efficient and favourable tillage methods that would guarantee a healthy pawpaw plant and thus result into maximum fruiting.

Kinyua, who also transports his produce to Nairobi, is not shy from revealing that he gets good returns from the fruit, he is also confident that the fruit has a huge potential and farmers in Kenya should consider pawpaw farming as a seriou business.

To deal with mites and blight, which are the biggest enemies of pawpaw, he applies pesticides to kill mites and prune the trees constantly to prevent blight.

For one to be a successful pawpaw farmer, Kinyua urges that one should attend trainings on soil sampling, seedling selection, crop husbandry and agrochemical use, among other essential aspects, to ensure maximum and quality production. And on climatic consideration, pawpaw does well in warm climate as it provides the best environment for flowering and fruit setting.

pawpaw farming guide for kenya pdf
Pawpaw farming guide for kenya
Apart from farming pawpaw for a profit, eating it has benefits that go far beyond the generic boost of vitamin C. The fruit contains antioxidants that the body needs to fight cancer causing cells; they are a great source of proteolytic enzymes that are very important in digesting food; it also contains an enzyme called arginine which is known in the medically community to boost male virility; also medical practitioners believe that one of the of papaya is to control premature aging among many other benefits.

How to grow papayas in Kenya

I have compiled a lot of information on pawpaw farming and the various varieties good for various regions in Kenya. The Ultimate Papaya Production Guide is a PDF file containing detailed information on the entire production process right from seedling propagation, through land preparation and crop care to post harvest operations. You can now download it for free from our Resources Page

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