How To Choose The Best Pawpaw Variety For Farming In Kenya in 2020

A wise choice of the best variety is something you must consider in order to make your pawpaw farming business significantly profitable. There are about 9 main varieties currently being farmed in Kenya, all with diverse characteristics. It would be unfair to explicitly force to you one of these varieties claiming it’s the best. Instead, we will point out the three of them that we think have the most outstanding characteristics.

1. The solo sunrise pawpaw

This is one variety that has been loved by everyone who has tried pawpaw farming in Kenya. It was first imported by KALRO and propagated in their farm in Baringo. It fast spread throughout the country with many farmers taking it up in Meru, Machakos and Makueni. Today, it is the most common in the country and its largest propagator, Richfarm Kenya, has distributed seeds to as far as Zambia.

solo sunrise pawpaw farming in kenya
Solo sunrise pawpaw tree
Solo sunrise pawpaw tree matures fast and starts bearing fruits after only 6 months. At this age, the tree is about 1 meter tall. As it sets fruits, more flowers develop on the growing crown and by the time the tree is a year old, it would be carrying over 60 fruits. The production is continuous and the tree will give you more than 100 fruits in the second year of production.

The fruits are small and pear-shaped, with a red flesh and very sweet taste. Each fruit weighs about 250 to 300 grams, ideal for one person to eat in one sitting. The fruits have excellent keeping quality since a ripe fruit can be kept for 14 days without going bad. This is why it is the best variety to farm is you are targeting the export market.

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2. Calina papaya IPB9 pawpaw

This variety was imported into Kenya from Indonesia. Its outstanding characteristic is that it is a pure dwarf: it starts bearing fruits at only 30cm high. It matures very fast such that is you planted it in a hot area with sufficient water for irrigation, you harvest your first fruit in under 6 months.

calina papaya IPB9 pawpaw kenya
Calina papaya IPB9
Calina papaya fruits are large and oval weighing about 0.5 to 1.2 kgs. They have a very appealing red colour inside and are very sweet as well. Most of the fresh fruit vendors in town love it because of its large size that allows them to slice it and sell in parts. Can you also imagine how attractive a bowl of fruit pudding would look like with the bright red chops of this pawpaw?

This variety may not have as good keeping quality as solo sunrise but it is still a darling for fruit exporters. With good management, each tree of this variety will give you more than 50 fruits in a year.

One advantage that farmers of Calina papaya IPB9 variety have is that they can space the trees a bit more closely (1.5 meters from plant to plant) hence ending up with about 1350 trees in an acre. You know what that means? Of course more yield per acre hence more money in the pocket.

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3. The Red Lady dwarf pawpaw

This is another great variety originating from the Philippines. It is high yielding giving up to 120 fruits in the second year after transplanting. Although it takes a bit longer to mature (9 months on average), it has a long productive lifespan and can give you fruits year in, year out for more than 5 years.

red lady f1 pawpaw kenya
Red lady F1 pawpaw
Red lady pawpaw fruits are oval in shape, obviously red and sweet but a bit smaller than those of Calina papaya IPB9. They weigh 400 to 650 grams on average.

I should have mentioned by now that it is a self pollinating variety just like the other two we have discussed above. That means as a farmer, you do not have the burden of keeping male trees that do not produce fruits in your orchard.

So among these 3 top pawpaw varieties in Kenya, which one would you go for as a farmer?
If you are a new farmer or intent to invest in pawpaw farming, I recommend that you read
papaya farming guide kenya pdf
Pawpaw farming guide
We have also compiled this comprehensive pawpaw farming guide for Kenya with step by step information from planting through to harvesting and marketing. It also contains budget estimates. It is now available on PDF so you can even read it from your phone while at the farm. You can request for your copy through our Resources Page

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