Paw Paw


Pawpaw or Papaya is a widely cultivated fruit tree in the tropics and subtropics. It is a popular fruit in Kenya. Ripe papaya is a favourite breakfast and dessert fruit that is available year-round. Green fruits are pickled or cooked as a vegetable. Young leaves are sometimes eaten. There are 3 groups of papayas distinguished on the basis of their flowers: Female (pistillate), male (staminate) and hermaphrodite (bear both male and female flowers). These groups are only distinguishable at flowering stage. Fruits from female flowered trees are usually sweeter and of more round shape than fruits from hermaphrodite trees.


Varieties Honey Dew, Kiru Mountain, Solo Sunrise, Waimanalo
Seed Rate 1100 plants per ha
Fertilizer Rate 125gm/hole DAP 10kg/hole manure 200 kg/plant CAN as top dress
Planting Spacing 3 m x 3m with a plant population of 1100 plants per hectare
Husbandry Papaya is propagated by seed. To reproduce the desired characteristics it is best to get seeds through controlled pollination. The fleshy outer layer of the seed coat (sarcotesta) enveloping the seed is removed because it inhibits germination. Seeds are sown in small containers. Germination takes 2-3 weeks. Seedlings are transplanted about 2 months after sowing when they reach the 3-4-leaf stage or 20 cm height, preferably at the onset of the rainy season.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Papaya Mosaic Defoliation of leaves Uproot and destroy affected plants
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 9-12 months
Climatic Conditions Papaya thrives in warm areas with adequate rainfall and a temperature range of 21-33°C. Its altitude range is similar to that of the banana, from sea level to elevations at which frosts occur (often around 1600 m). However they grow best in areas below 1000 m. Fruit tastes much better when grown during a warm sunny season. Evenly distributed annual rainfall of 1200 mm is sufficient. Papaya grows best in light, well-drained soils rich in organic matter with soil pH of 6.0-6.5. It can tolerate any kind of soil provided it is well-drained and not too dry. The roots are very sensitive to waterlogging and even short periods of flooding can kill the plants.
Harvesting The appearance of traces of yellow colour on the fruit indicates that it is ready for harvesting. Fruits harvested early have longer post harvest life, but give abnormal taste and flavour. The fruits also tend to shrivel and suffer chilling injuries when refrigerated. The fruit is twisted until the stalk snaps off or cut with a sharp knife. A papaya plantation can be productive for over 10 years but the economical period is only the first 3 to 4 years. It is therefore advisable to renew the plantation every 4 years.For papain production, latex is collected by tapping the green unripe fruit. Tapping results in ugly scars on the fruit, although quality is unaffected.
Post Harvest and Storage Ensure Papayas are not injured during harvesting, transportation and storage.
Growing Regions Central, Eastern, Nyanza, Western and Coast
Expected yields Up to 30-50 ton/ha per year (30 to 150 fruits per tree annually hence 30,000 pieces/ha)


Processing Factory Processed into Jam, juice and marmalade.


Place Sold locally and exported
Price Kshs 25 – 30 per Piece


Products and uses Make fruit salads, refreshing drinks, jam, jelly, marmalade, candies and crystallised fruits.Papain has varied uses in the beverage, food and pharmaceutical industries: in chill-proofing beer, tenderizing meat, drug preparations for digestive ailments and treatment of gangrenous wounds. It is also used in treating hides, degumming silk and softening wool.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 39.0 / 2%; Carbohydrates 9.8 / 3%; Pottasium  257 / 7%; Vitamin A 1094 IU / 22%; Vitamic C 61.8 / 103%.Carpaine, an alkaloid present in papaya, can be used as a heart depressant, amoebicide and diuretic.


The stage of physiological development at the time of harvest determines the flavour and taste of the ripened fruit.


Income Per Hectare: Kshs 750,000 (30,000 pieces * 25/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 225,000 (30% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 525,000 (70% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 9000 pieces per hectare.

Income Frequency: Twice per year. Thrice under irrigation.

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