Is Pawpaw Farming in Kenya Profitable: The Costs and Returns Per Acre

I have lately spoken and written a lot about pawpaw farming as a viable investment channel in Kenya and I have had to answer many questions from my readers. One of the most prominent questions has been, “But how profitable is pawpaw farming in Kenya?”
organic pawpaw farming kenya
Pawpaw farming in Kilifi, Kenya

So I want to dedicate this whole article to answer that since profit is the sole reason for investment in agribusiness.

Cost of pawpaw farming per acre in Kenya

For the sake of these calculations, let us consider one acre piece of land. The initial costs will be:
  • Land preparation (initial ploughing) 5,000
  • Ridging (making the beds) 5,000
  • Holes preparation (digging and mixing manure) 22,000
  • Manure (1 canter lorry) 20,000
  • Seedlings (1,100) 66,000
  • Transplanting seedlings 5,500
  • Total = 123,500
You can significantly bring down the cost of seedlings by raising your own. We have written a comprehensive article on How to Grow Pawpaw Seedlings From Seeds. If you have the patience and time, you can follow the steps highlighted there in and save some amount on initial farm set up cost. 

Organic pawpaw farming 

I encourage you to do organic pawpaw production. This way of farming has much lower costs in the end and gives you higher yields which translate to more profit. Of course the initial costs will be a bit higher than in conventional farming.

While the market in Kenya might not reward you with higher prices for producing your pawpaws organically, the money you save by eliminating the need for expensive pesticides is worth the effort.

The most important thing if you choose to do organic pawpaw farming is to ensure that your soils are healthy and with the right nutrients. A soil test therefore becomes necessary. A comprehensive soil test will cost Ksh 5,000 and will tell you exactly what your soils need.

You will also need to keep your soils moist throughout the growth period of your pawpaw. That sounds like an expensive affair especially considering that the best places for pawpaw farming are those with hot climate.

However, maintaining your soil moisture can be achieved at a low cost through mulching. 
commercial pawpaw farming in Kenya
Commercial pawpaw farming: More farmers in Kenya are considering pawpaw as a cash crop

Dry grass is the best mulching material and it should cost no more than Ksh 10,000 to cut and spread dry grass over an entire acre. If dry grass is not available, you can use a plastic mulch.

Expected returns

Pawpaw yields per acre vary slightly with variety. The best varieties in Kenya currently are solo sunrise, Calina IPB9 and Malkia which have an average production of 30 tons per acre annually.  

Solo sunrise has a longer production lifespan and can produce economically for 3 years. The dwarf pawpaw varieties Calina IPB9 and Malkia F1 have a shorter production lifespan of at most 2 years. However, their yield per acre during those first years is higher than that of solo sunrise. They also have bigger fruits which fetch more if sold per fruit rather than in kilos. 

Read also:

1. Why Solo Sunrise Is the Most Popular Pawpaw Variety in Kenya and the World
2. How To Choose The Best Pawpaw Variety For Farming In Kenya in 2020

So for the sake of our calculations we shall take the average yield per acre of 30 tons a year. Keep in mind that a better part of the first year is used to grow the trees. Production starts 9 months after transplanting.

So let’s assume that you transplant your seedlings at the onset of the long rains in April 2020. Your first harvest should be in January 2021.

In the period of Jan 2021 to Dec 2021, an acre will give you at least 30 tons of fruits. The current farm-gate price of pawpaw is Sh30 per kg. Therefore, we expect a turnover of Sh 900,000 for that period.

This same production is also expected in the second year of production (Jan 2022 to Dec 2022). The dwarf varieties would then reduce their production significantly in the 3rd year of production but solo sunrise is likely to give at least 20 tons in that year (Jan 2023 to Dec 2023). 

The initial cost described above only applies in the first year. Other than that, recurrent costs of production include irrigation costs and the cost of a farm worker.

Without a doubt, pawpaw farming is a business that is known to few people in Kenya. While most people sit wondering whether pawpaw growing is worth the effort, its farmers in Makueni, Machakos and Meru are enjoying handsome profits. The tree is rather hardy and hence requires little maintenance practices. 

Also Read:

1. Miriti’s Ksh720,000 Per Month Plan From Pawpaw Farming in Meru Starts Paying Off
2. Pawpaw Farming In Kenya: How Much Do I Invest and What’s The Profit

The pawpaw farming guide below also provides you with all the information you need to grow pawpaws, both for home gardening and for commercial production. It is FREE and you can now download it from our Resources Page

Pawpaw farming guide for Kenya


Unknown said...

Hi plz help me am looking for pawpaw seedlings were can I get them?

Richfarm Kenya said...

Kindly call us on 0724698357. We will supply you with the seedlings

Paddy mwenda Gikunda said...

Hi 👋. I am looking for 20grams of Solo sunrise pawpaw seeds.

Richfarm Kenya said...

For seeds and seedlings of Solo sunrise, Calina papaya IPB9 and Malkia pawpaw kindly call Richfarm Kenya on 0724698357

Keeper said...

Am looking for paw paw
large market. Any idea?

Unknown said...

I need solo seedlings that can suit 2acres

Richfarm Kenya said...

Hello. Richfarm Kenya has pawpaw seedlings for sale. Just call 0724698357 to order.

Richfarm Kenya said...

Hello. Kindly call Richfarm Kenya on 0724698357 to order.

Richfarm Kenya said...

Yes, Richfarm Kenya will link you up to a consistent pawpaw market. Which variety do you have?

Richfarm Kenya said...

One acre accommodates 1100 pawpaw seedlings. So you need 2200 seedlings for your 2 Acres. You will get all these pawpaw seedlings from Richfarm Kenya.

Unknown said...

Ready to plant