How you ever wondered how profitable pawpaw farming is and how you can start pawpaw farming business in Nigeria? Below is a complete guide on starting commercial pawpaw farming in Nigeria
With the unfavorable economic situations in the country, many now embrace agricultural farming as a lucrative source of income. However, amidst this number, the majority still give little or no consideration to commercial pawpaw farming in Nigeria as a profit bed.
Pawpaw farming in Nigeria is only a fraction of our farms; many farmers plant one or two pawpaw trees either for personal use or for family consumption. Others are focused on other crops for commercial agriculture. Only a few who understand the importance of starting commercial pawpaw farming in Nigeria go into the business.
What Is the Importance of Pawpaw Fruit?
The pawpaw plant is a tropical plant usually found in tropical climates which bears pawpaw fruits also known as Carica Papaya.
The papaya fruit is highly known and consumed for its medicinal and health benefits. Papaya fruit has low-calorie content, no cholesterol, and is a rich source of photo-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Papaya is usually preferred over other fruits because of its soft, easily digestible flesh which has a high amount of soluble dietary fiber that assists in normal bowel movement thereby reducing constipation.
Ripe papaya provides higher vitamin C than any other fruit (Orange or Lemon) and is thus regarded as an immune booster and anti-inflammatory agent
How Profitable Is Starting Pawpaw Farming Business In Nigeria
The medicinal and health benefits of eating Papaya are such that leads to high demand for this delicious fruit by many, also pawpaw is in high demand by fruiting companies, beauty products companies, hotels, and restaurants. This high-in-demand nature of the fruit turns out to be profitable for the Commercial Papaya investor.
If you are you looking for a farming business to invest in with little or no startup capital and have a high return on investment within a short period? Then you should consider starting a pawpaw farming business in Nigeria.
Pawpaw farming has a huge market in and across all tribes, states, and countries. A startup requires little or no capital and is surprisingly easy to start up and manage.
Recent research shows that we have neglected this lucrative source of income due to our negligence in starting a pawpaw farming business in Nigeria. How about you turn the sands of time today by engaging in the business?
How to Start Pawpaw Farming Business In Nigeria
Land Preparation for Pawpaw Farming
The first step to starting a pawpaw farming business is to get a suitable land or site with the right soil for pawpaw cultivation. The preferred soil for this is a mixture of sandy and loam; North-eastern Nigerian soil is very good, however, avoid waterlogged areas or rocky lands.
Seed Selection and Propagation for Pawpaw Cultivation
The propagation of the papaya tree is via seeds. There are options to explore at this stage- either you buy already prepared Agric pawpaw seeds or prepare them yourself.
Preparing or getting pawpaw for planting simply involves getting seeds from ripped and fully matured pawpaw fruits and then sun-drying them. Either option can be explored but in each case ensure getting good species for planting.
Getting the Right Varieties / Species of Pawpaw
There are many varieties of pawpaw, but the most cultivated varieties the red flesh and yellow flesh. The ones with yellow flesh are regarded as the best due to their big size, taste, and long shelf life.
Planting Pawpaw Seeds
The Pawpaw tree is a delicate plant and because of this, it is advised to plant seeds directly in the intended place while leaving a 5-meter gap in between holes. With good knowledge of transplanting and nursery, one can initially and temporarily create a nursery bed prior to transplanting.
The best practice is to use big nursery bags, packed full of a mixture of sandy soil, loam soil, and manure, and then introduce two seeds per bag. Ensure seeds are located at the center of each bag to avoid damage to the roots during transplanting. Mulching, Watering, and fertilizing are done for the first two months after which they are due for transplanting.
Chemicals Needed When Starting Commercial Pawpaw Farming in Nigeria
· Vegimax- a fertilizer for healthy growth
· Dudu cipher- insecticide to killing insecticides.
Transplanting Pawpaw Seeds
If you planted your pawpaw in a nursery bag/nursery bed first, then follow the steps below to ensure safe transplant, proper growth, and maximum fruiting.
To transplant- dig 10ft holes inline but 5 meters or 10ft apart. Please note this spacing is highly recommended to ensure good exposure to sunlight and to avoid pawpaw trees from just growing tall with poor fruiting. 250 pawpaw trees are recommended for one acre of land.
Inspection and Weeding of a Pawpaw Farm
Just like most farming, weeding, and inspection of the farm are necessary. The wedding is of high importance at this stage to avoid competition for food, space, water, and sunlight between the pawpaw trees and the weeds, which may cause poor fruiting.
Harvesting Pawpaw Fruit
Pawpaw matures very fast, and harvesting commences about 9 months after planting. However, at this stage, the harvest is still low or scanty, as they are yet to reach full production. But when trees are between 12 to 18 months harvest is high and at its apex.
Sales of the Fruit
As earlier mentioned, the market for pawpaw is very huge and the demand is high, so the sale of harvested pawpaw is guaranteed. Also one can start a fruit processing factory too, to make even more from this business.
Challenges of Starting Commercial Pawpaw Farming in Nigeria
The challenge of this business is minimal. However, one that must be noted is the need for good preservative means to avoid the perishing of harvest as pawpaws are prone to perish.
Pets and Disease
Paw paw plants are most times prey to major fungal diseases which are known to damage their leaves. To control this, spray with Dythene or Dudu Cipher.
Lack of funding and continuity capital
At some point in the business, you may need extra funds to expand the business but the government of Nigeria makes it hard to do this.
Indiscriminate Bush burning is on the high rise in Nigeria. You may put everything you need for the business in place yet an ignorant fellow can burn up your farm.
Once you’ve put everything in check, securing your farmland should be your next concern. When it’s time for harvest, thieves may invade your land and make away with the farm produce.
Unstable foreign market trade prices
With the consistent fall and rise in Nigeria’s economy, the export of agricultural products is threatened as the exchange rates and prices may fall drastically at any time.
FAQs on Starting Pawpaw Farming Business In Nigeria
How long does pawpaw take to mature?
It takes a Pawpaw plant 5 to 6 months to fully mature and about 9 months to start bearing fruits
What is the lifespan of a pawpaw tree?
A Pawpaw tree can stay productive for about 40 years
What eats pawpaw trees and leaves?
Mammals like raccoons, squirrels, mice, and foxes, and mice can eat up your pawpaw fruits. Goats, rabbits, and deer may also do the same.
How do you stop a paw paw tree from growing too tall?
To stop the plants from becoming too tall, place a small tin or bucket on top of the tree. It doesn’t kill the tree however, it stunts its growth.
How many times does a papaya tree bear fruit?
Papaya tree plantations in the tropics often produce between two to four fruits in a week, while it is fruiting.
Conclusively, Pawpaw farming is lucrative for anyone who wants to engage fully in the business.