A farmer earning a good living from growing pawpaw

Deep in the heart of the villages in Ngucui; Mwea, Kirinyaga County is a farmer who is doing it all. His experiments seem to perfectly sail through by 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. With the numerous health benefits associated with the pawpaw fruit buoyed by 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

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 which he grows from the nursery just within his farm normally take two months after which they are ready for transplanting and are transferred into two-feet deep and square holes with application of manure.

The fruits 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 30per 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 though he cautions that it’s through hard work and in addition 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 should consider it.

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.

Apart from farming pawpaw the benefits of eating it go far beyond generic boost of vitamin C. It 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.

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