Why Solo Sunrise Is the Most Popular Pawpaw Variety in Kenya and the World


As pawpaw farming and consumption in Kenya increases, farmers and consumers of the fruit now have the luxury of choosing the best among the several varieties available in the country. It is not surprising to see that solo sunrise variety has emerged as the most popular since this is also the trend all over the world. But do so many people love these small papayas?

solo pawpaw farming in Kenya
Solo Sunrise pawpaw farm belonging to Agatha in Ishiara, Embu County

Outstanding characteristics of solo pawpaw


1. Ideal size
Actually, the small size of the fruits of the solo sunrise pawpaw variety is one of the reasons why it is loved. Each fruit is about 250-500g. That makes it ideal for someone to consume the entire fruit in one sitting. Would you want to eat a pawpaw fruit that was cut yesterday? Of course not; so if you were to choose, you would most likely take the small fruit.

2. Very sweet
Honestly, I am yet to taste a variety of pawpaw that is sweeter than solo sunrise here in Kenya. Before this variety was imported into the country, mountain pawpaw used to be the people’s choice. However, no one ever goes back to mountain pawpaw after tasting the solo sweetness.



3. Red attractive colour
Is it just me who finds red to be more attractive than yellow? Certainly not, especially when it comes to fruits. Just imagine walking into a fresh fruit joint where they have prepared fruit puddings: in one package they have used yellow pawpaw and in another they have red pawpaw pieces. Which one would you go for? Many people make their choices from what they see and that is one reason the solo pawpaw is popular world over.

solo sunrise pawpaw farming in Zambia
Solo sunrise pawpaw fruits: Harvested by John Tembo in Lusaka, Zambia

4. The long shelf life
Nothing is heartbreaking as picking a pawpaw you are so eager to munch only for your fingers to go right into the fruit flesh. Well that is a disappointment you won’t get with solo sunrise. These fruits have a firm flesh and ripe fruits will remain good for consumption for as long as 14 days. Of course this is something that is subject to temperatures as fruits tend to ripen faster in hot areas.

Solo Sunrise Is Popular Among Farmers Too


The solo variety is an impressive performer in the farm. Consumers are lucky that it serves them right; otherwise farmers would have pushed it down their throats. This variety has all the characteristics a farmer would want in a pawpaw:

1. It bears many fruits
One solo pawpaw tree can carry over 100 fruits in a year. That means money, and a lot of it, for the farmer, especially if they are selling their produce per piece. It also assures the farmer a constant weekly harvest because at least one fruit will be ripening within a week. Varieties with big fruits have fewer fruits per tree and these fruits a long take time to ripen and when they ripen, there is an overproduction.

solo sunrise pawpaw farming in Embu, Kenya
Solo sunrise pawpaw farming in Kenya: Agatha in Embu County

2. Production is throughout the year
The solo variety does not produce fruits in seasons. Once you start harvesting, you will have a constant supply of fruits every week. This is better realized when you are irrigating your trees during the very dry season.

3. The trees are hardy and with a long life span
There was an interesting reaction the other day when I posted a photo on Facebook with a hammock tied on pawpaw trees. Many people did not imagine a pawpaw tree could be strong enough to support a hammock. Well, the solo sunrise pawpaw tree is. This hardiness is also realized in pest and disease resistance. And because of this characteristic, the trees can live and produce fruits for over 4 years.

4. Solo sunrise variety does not have male trees
This is a self-pollinating variety. That means all the trees produce edible fruits. That is why the production of this variety of pawpaw in terms of tonnage per acre is higher than the other varieties that have both male and female trees and you have to keep some male trees in your orchard for pollination.

I know the question in your mind now is “where can I get solo sunrise fruits?” or “where can I get the seeds so I can plant for myself?” Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered on that and all you need to do is Contact Us. We also have ready seedling for planting and you can call us on 0724698357 to order. If you want guidance on pawpaw farming, go to our Farmers Resources Page and download a FREE pawpaw farming guide in pdf. 

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