This is a placeholder. Remove this element to add top adverts or real content
Pawpaw (Carica papaya)
Pawpaw (Carica papaya) belongs to the caricaceae family, which contains over 22 species in the genus carica; it originates from the tropics of the Americans, southern Mexico and neighboring Central America.
Pawpaw is a small, fast growing tree with a short life, it has a singly or sometimes sparsely branched stem growing from 5 to 10m in height , the stem is cylindrical, spongy, fibrous, loose, hollow, gray or gray brown in colour 10-30 cm diameter and toughened by large procumbent scars caused by fallen leaves and flowers. The leaves are alternate, bundled at the top between stem and branches, long petioles; widely evident, 25-75 cm diameter, and smooth, moderately palm shape with middle irradiant veins, the bundle of leaves is dark green to yellow green.
The fruit is a melon-like, oval to nearly round, somewhat pyriform, or elongated club shaped, 6 to 20 in (15-50cm) long and 4 to 8 in (10-20cm) thick; the skin is waxy and thin but fairly tough. When the fruit is green and hard it is rich in white latex. As it ripens, it becomes light or deep yellow externally and the thick wall of succulent flesh becomes aromatic, yellow, orange or various shades of salmon or red. It is then juicy, sweetish and somewhat like a cantaloupe in flavor, in some cases.
There are many strains and varieties of pawpaw fruit and the variation in size, form and colour is great.
a. Typical maradol
b. Wax pawpaw
c. Sunrise solo
d. Mountain pawpaw
e. Red royale f1 Kamiya (Hawaii)
f. Mexican Red (Mexico)
h. Pink solo
i. Kapoho solo
Popular varieties in Nigeria include, large maradol, JS.22, pink solo and red royale.
Some of the major growing pawpaw cultivars and there producing countries:
b. Typical maradol,
c. Pink solo,
d. Kapoho solo
e. Red Royale f1 (Thailand)
All the cultivars listed above are cultivated successfully Nigeria, red royale f1 and large maradol however, are the most cultivated species.
Pawpaw are well adapted to many soil types (Fig. 11 Soil type for Pawpaw), like to be warm with both sunshine and reflected heat, so the hottest place against the house where nothing else seems happy is an ideal location. Pawpaw needs a light, well-drained soil. They are easily killed by excess moisture; it does not tolerate salty water or soil.
Weeding is done manually or mechanically but deep soil disturbance is critical to the root system. It is advisable to use polythene bag on the surface to avoid weed growth.
The seeds retain viability for 2-3 years and are sown in nursery (boxes or frames) during January or in the open in March, early planting is good for the plant. The seed germinates within 2-3 weeks when 2 or 3 true leaves are visible, the seedling should be transplanted.
Spacing is usually 5-7.5cm apart, when plant is 7.5-10m tall they are taken to the permanent site in the field with a spacing of 3-4m apart having a limit of 1750 trees per hectare. Transplants should be watered with shades also mulching gives better result.
PEST AND DISEASES
As with most fruit, pawpaw is faced with several disease attack when proper control measures are not been applied appropriately.
Some of these notorious pests include:
i. Fruit fly – Toxotrypana curvicauda ; the eggs deposited on the fruit turns to larva causing spoilage on the fruit
ii. Pawpaw webworm - Homolapalpia dalera
iii. Tiny pawpaw whitefly - Trialeurodes variabilis
iv. Hornworms - Erinnyis obscura
v. red spider mite - Tetranychus seximaculatus
Major diseases seen in pawpaw include:
i. Anthracnose: Characteristics of this disease includes small black or light brown spots on the fruit that gradually grows due to long term periods of storage in a humidity surrounding. This can be checked by pre-harvest sprays, containing 0.05% of thiobenzoic solution.
ii. Ringspot virus disease: This limits production characterized by irregular mottling of young leaves.
Pawpaw is harvested 9-10 months after being transplanted manually, depending on the size and the age of the tree using special instruments like sickles, knives or hand. The specialized implement (harvesters) for harvesting of fruit inaccessible by hand due to tree height, comprises of a long pole, a small circular hoop at the top, a small mesh bag attached to the hoop, and a horizontal blade above the hoop and the bag. The blade is positioned below the peduncle of the fruit and the pole moved upwards; the fruit is detached from the tree and then drops gently into the mesh bag below the hoop at the top of the pole. Pawpaw is usually harvested 3 to 4 times a week as their maturity stage is short-lived.
HANDLING OF FRUIT
To ensure that the fruit is safe for human consumption, after harvest, the fruit are placed gently in single layers of shallow, light-colored plastic field crates, preferably with a foam layer for proper cushioning. Field crates holding the fruits should be under shade protected from rain and sun while awaiting delivery/sales. Pawpaw are placed in bucket or plastic bag, never use mesh bags for transporting pawpaw to prevent spoilage. The ripe pawpaw is stored in temperatures below 10°C for approximately within one week.
PROCESSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAWPAW
As with most fruit with high perishability, various forms of the pawpaw fruit is been made to add value to the fruit and promote its viability. Hence a number of processing opportunities are available to choice producers which boost the development of agribusiness for both local and international market for pawpaw.
Some of these opportunities include:
1. Juice (pawpaw wine)
2. Nectar (flavored yogurt)
3. Pawpaw pulp
4. Fruit cocktails (Dried papaya slices)
WORLD PRODUCTION AND TRADE
Nigeria is the main producer in the African continent with 751,000 MT, with a 90,000 ha's devoted to the crop, and together with South Africa, Mozambique and Congo are the most important producers, but none of them reports any export activity. Just after Brazil, India is the second world producer with 40,000 ha's and a total production of 400,000 MT and a yield of de 11.25 Ton/ha. Other important producers include: Indonesia with 336,068 MT, China with 149, 163 MT and Philippines with 67,000 MT ((Medinilla, 2000).
The main consumer markets are usually supplied by one major supplier; in the case of the US market, most of the fruit is supplied by Mexico, whereas for Europe, Brazil is the main exporter, and Japan's demands are covered by the US via Hawaii. In general, pawpaw crops have shown a continuous and stable growth and importers are confident of the future of this market. The key for a successful prospect for pawpaw lies on development of new varieties, better crop handling and post-harvest technologies. (Medinilla, 2000).
2. Agricultural Outlook., 1999. Economic Research Service/USDA. January-February.
3. Medinilla, A., 2000. El cultivo de la pawpaw maradol. Plantaciones Modernas. 5:2, 5-34.
4. PGA. Papaya Growers Association., 1999. Jamaica Papaya Growers Association newsletter. www.exportjamaica.org/publications/sunrise.
5. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture http://www.cassavabiz.org/agroenterprise/ent%20images/pawpaw_01.pdf