Pawpaw is a perennial fruit found in a tropical and sub tropical areas, which is also known as Papaya.
Papaya or pawpaw is a tall and sometimes dwarf trees which bears fruits that is normally dark- green in colour, but yellow when it is riped, which is eaten and is very sweet.
On the inside of pawpaw fruit, it is normally yellow, like fanta and also some breed are red on the inside, but the red breed are not common and, both the yellow and the red are very sweet when taken.
This fruit is a very medicinal fruit as it contains very large amount of nutrients, and the leaves is used for natural cure, I will explain later.
Pawpaw is a very lucrative plant to farm as it is highly demanded and costly in the market and also a very huge export product.
Farming pawpaw in a commercial quantity have made many farmers wealthy or financially okay!.
In this article, I am going to give all the information about Papaya and how to plant them.
How to prepare and germinate pawpaw seed
If you want to start pawpaw farming, wether for commercial purpose or for personal consumption, you need to learn how to germinate the seeds. Germinating the seeds yourself will minimize your expenses of buying already germinated ones, as you can get the seeds in bundle when you buy full pawpaw fruits and eat, you save the seeds for farming.
To germinate the Papaya seeds, you need to have thick nylons filled with loamy sand that is well mixed with organic manure and good fertilizer for germination of seeds,
Put the seeds into them and cover a bit, keep them and from time to time, spray water I’m them.
They will germinate within some time and will be ready for transplant to your farm when they grow a little bit up like 10 to 15 inches in height.
How to prepare land and plant pawpaw
After you have successfully germinated the seeds, the next thing to think of is where to plant them and how to prepare the land to plant them, as they can’t be grown in the nylon bags where they germinated because pawpaw is a tall and big tree.
The next step is to get a land and prepare it, for a commercial farmer, a hectare of land is great an for small farmer, a plot of land or more is a good start.
Before getting the land, wether rent or buying, there are things to consider, they are: If the land is not waterlogged, as this plant doesn’t do well on waterlogged environment, If the soil is rich in nutrients , The level of wind in that area, to avoid the trees being uprooted by bad wind when they grow up.
After the farm land is available, it is time to prepare it and transplant the pawpaw.
To prepare the land, it needs to be cleared off bush and trees cut down and all the rubbish in it burned. It is always advisable to plant this fruit around the beginning of the year, as the rain will sustain them throughout the whole year, unless there is a good irrigation system available.
When the bush are cleared and burned, holes of about 7 inches deep should be made in the farm, this is where the plants will be planted and a space or gap of 1 and half foot should be given from one hole to another, so as to make enough space for sunlight to penetrate and for easy weeding and also to make provision of where to farm other small crops like melon or watermelon, if you want.
Now it is time to transplant the pawpaw plants. Take them from the nylon bags to to farm and plant them each in a hole. Pull them out gently one after the other from the bag, with their roots intact and place them in the holes, pour in some manure or fertilizer and cover the holes.
Allow them to grow and to be sustained by rainfall, but if it is in a dry season, an irrigation system should be putted in place to sustain them with water.
Also compost (Green leaves) might be applied so that they could help with preventing heavy rainfall from washing away the soil nutrients and to preserve the water in the ground from drying very quickly.
Pawpaw can do exceptionally well in warm wether or temperature.
How to weed pawpaw farm and pest control
Pawpaw trees although not very prone or easily affected by weeds, but they need to we weed anyway!.
There are few ways to do this, the first is by planting small crops like watermelon, beans or melon in between the pawpaw trees, these small crops will checkmate the emergence of weed by covering the entire ground and prevent weed from germinating and growing. With this method, the water in the land is also preserved from drying too quick and also it checkmates erosion too.
The second way to control weed is to spray weed killer in the farm and kill all of them, leaving the farm trees alone.
The third way is to do the weeding manually with tools like weeding hoes.
Apart from weed, this fruit attracts alot of pests like birds, insects, bats,fowls etc.
The pests comes in different stages, the first stage is when the seeds are brought out to germinate, inside the bags, insects are likely to attack them by feasting on them, thereby killing the seeds. This is why it is important to mix the soil in which they will germinate in with fertilizers that will repel the insects, fowls may also peck on them if not properly kept.
The second stage of pest attack is when they are matured and have ripped fruits, this is when they have more pests coming after them.
Birds of all type, bats, squirrels, grasshoppers etc will come after them both in the day and in the night.
To control them, the fruits are to be plucked or harvested as early as possible once they start having yellow colour of ripping.
The pawpaw trees might take about 6 to 8 months before they could reach maturity age and start having flowers as sign of developing fruits, depending on the breed and one pawpaw tree could have up to 10 fruits at a time and the fruits might take up to a month to mature and start ripping one after the other.
Once they have grown, your work is done, as they can sustain themselves for years, you won’t even need to worry about weed any more.
To harvest them, a small farm ladder in needed to climb and pick them up there in their trees. For no reason should they be allowed to farm on the ground, or they will spoil in a short while.
Storage of pawpaw fruits
The pawpaw fruit is one of the most perishable fruits out there!, once it is ripped, it can only take a couple of days before it start getting spoiled, so good storage system is necessary for this fruit.
Refrigerator is a very good storage system for this fruit because they could be freezed and kept for few days or weeks, even if they are ripped.
It is always advisable to pluck the fruits when they are big enough or have started showing the slightest sign of getting ripe, by this, before they have fully ripped, they have been sold or eaten.
Medical importance of pawpaw fruit
pawpaw as a fruit is very medicinal as it contains many types of nutrients which helps the body in many ways. e.g vitamins which helps the eyes, protect the body by building up the immune system, It also freshens the body and soften the skin, it helps digestion and many more.
The leaves is used to prepare many kinds of natural cure or medicine which has been proven to cure many types of sickness such as malaria, typhoid etc.
The unripe pawpaw fruit is also used as an ingredient I the preparation of natural medicine also and it cures many diseases and also prevents them.
Market/Financial potential of pawpaw farming
Pawpaw fruit has a large export potential in many countries, in countries like USA, CANADA, UK etc, fruits like this are imported in large quantities, because the demand is high.
As a farmer, the potential of this huge market deserves to be explored and make huge sum of money.
Let’s assume 5,000 trees are farmed and start having fruits, non of the trees will have only one or two fruits as a tree could have up to 10 or more fruits at a time and they grow continuously bearing fruits for some years which is a great source of passive income.
A pawpaw fruit might be as costly as 50 cents or up to $1 or more, depending on the location. If You as a farmer harvest like 50,000 and sell, that’s between $50k or $25k continuously in years to come as you keep harvesting them.
One good thing about this plant is that the market is always there and huge.
Fruit juice industries, Hotels, Stores, direct consumers etc will always be there to buy your products, so the market is a kind of fixed and permanent.
You can start this Papaya farming business and make passive income for years to come.
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