How To Start A Lucrative Pawpaw (Papaya) Farming Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide
The pawpaw fruit, also known as papaya, is a highly nutritious fruit that is widely consumed globally for its appealing taste and health benefits. The fruit is believed to have first originated from southern Mexico in Central America, but is now cultivated in most tropical countries. In cultivation, it grows rapidly, bearing its fruit within three years. It is, however, highly frost-sensitive, limiting its production to tropical climates like South and Central America’s and Africa’s.
Around 75% of the world’s papayas are produced in only ten countries with India leading the world in pawpaw production followed by Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico. According to global reports in 2017, pawpaw production amounted to around 13.02 million tonnes. While in 2018, the global production of pawpaws was 13.3 million tonnes, with India producing about 45% of the world’s total.
What Is Pawpaw?
Pawpaw, also called papaya, is the plant Carica papaya, one of the 22 accepted species in the genus Carica of the family Caricaceae. Pawpaw is a sweet tropical fruit with green skin, sweet and soft yellow flesh, and black seeds.
What Is Pawpaw Business?
Pawpaw farming is the process of planting and harvesting of the Papaya fruit for personal consumption and commercial purposes.
Business Opportunities In Pawpaw Farming In Nigeria & Around The World
Pawpaw can be used for many lucrative opportunities, a few of which are:
1). Food Production:
Ripe papaya contains high appealing properties, as well a delicious taste, it can be served fresh as solid food, processed into a fruit juice, served as a vegetable stew, used in salads, and much more.
It’s flowers and young leaves can also be eaten.
2). Dessert And Jelly Production:
Ripe pawpaw can be incorporated into desserts, and processed as jelly, all of which occupy a part of the food industry.
3). Beer Production:
Pawpaw also contains a proteolytic enzyme called papain which is extracted from mature green fruits. It has uses in the beer industry
Pawpaw is vital for specific drug preparations. The seeds may also be used to expel intestinal worms and to induce abortion
Facts And Benefits About Pawpaw
- Pawpaws are also called Papaya
- Rich in antioxidants, papaya helps prevent cancer
- Pawpaw helps ease menstrual pain
- Pawpaw contains a digestive enzyme known as papain and fibre which helps improve digestive health.
- Pawpaws are rich in vitamin A, which is excellent for the eyes and supports good vision
- Papaya plants grow in three sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite.
- A single papaya contains a high percentage of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, making it great for immunity
- Papaya is rich in fibre, Vitamin C and antioxidants, which prevent cholesterol build up in the arteries.
- Papaya is low in calories, which helps in weight loss
- Being a naturally sweet food but having low sugar content, pawpaws make a good food option for diabetic patients
How To Start Pawpaw Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide
1). Land Selection & Preparation:
Farmland in tropical regions should strictly be used in pawpaw farming. The land should be properly cleared and ploughed to loosen up the soil and aid water penetration adequately. The right soil should be used, preferably a sandy loam soil which is rich in organic matter.
A seed that is mature and ripe should only be used for planting. The seed should also be properly dried before being planted.
The pawpaw tree does not require excess water even in cases of rainfall shortage, but in its growing stage, it should be watered with about 3-4 litres of water, about two to three times in a week if there is a presence of drought or rainfall shortage.
4). Pests And Disease Control:
Pests and diseases should be appropriately controlled as it could affect or hinder plant growth.
There are many factors and precautions to take to prevent and control pests and diseases; these include the use of pesticides and insecticides, usage of clean tools to avoid plant infection, and as well as spacing out plants when planting to prevent over-crowding which could affect plant health.
5). Fruit Production And Harvesting:
When the pawpaw tree reaches maturity, it can start producing within six months and keep producing for several years. Fruit production declines as the tree advances in age. The fruits should also be harvested before they over-ripen on the tree, to avoid spoilage.
A good variety of pawpaw yields about 60-90 fruits and more within a year. At this rate, consistent supply can be made to local market vendors, fruit industries, and other potential patronizing agencies.
Pawpaws can also be preserved and exported, depending on the seller’s reach and production capacity.
Challenges Of Pawpaw Farming In Nigeria
Here are some challenges that can affect starting pawpaw farming in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:
- Pest and diseases
- Lack of government support
- Lack of funding for large scale production
- Lack of a highly favourable market
- Lack of highly equipped storage facilities
- Lack of efficient production mechanisms
- Not popularly known
- Absence of a vast ready market
- Poor funding of research activities
- Bush burning
- Lack of capital for large scale production
- Lack of easy access to the international market
- Instability of the international market price
- Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
- Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
- Thieves and criminals
To Sum It Up
The pawpaw farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a farming business to venture into, the pawpaw farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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