Are you ready to Invest in PawPaw farming?- Here is why You Should - Daily Kenya

Are you ready to Invest in PawPaw farming?- Here is why You Should

The more I travel and visit farms in different parts of our beautiful country, the more I fall in love with pawpaw farming in Kenya. 

I specifically love the small red-flesh Solo Sunrise variety growing in the hot areas of ukambani and parts of Embu and Meru. 

I recently tasted some fruits from Vihiga in Western Kenya and I was thrilled! The climate and soils there are also perfect for a pawpaw farming business and the locals are taking up the opportunity.

Now talking about a business of growing pawpaw makes the deal even sweeter. Despite all the health benefits and the sweetness that these fruits offer, they are some of the easiest crops to cultivate commercially.

I visited a pawpaw farm in Marigat, Baringo County. Yes, that’s right; Baringo County. This place is one of the most hostile parts of Kenya in terms of climate. It was my first time to experience real heat waves with temperatures rising to about 40°C.

You would expect nothing meaningful to come from such a place. I was surprised to find a thriving pawpaw plantation right at the heart of this place. The 2-acre Solo Sunrise pawpaw farm had all the trees still fruiting.

“Production has really gone down since we last had rains in October last year. We are currently getting just about 250kg from each acre in a week.” Said Robert. I later learned that he was selling a kg of the fruits at Ksh.80 due to the low supply.

I noted that the trees are not irrigated, and they had not been weeded for the longest time except for the slashing of the grasses. I wondered how they survived the dry spell and still produced that much.

Later on we also visited Matuu. It is here that I found another pawpaw farm right at the middle of an arid area but still producing well.

Philip, the manager of the farm told us that they were not tending to the pawpaw trees at all since they were old and the owner of the farm was planning to develop a 2-acre commercial farm.

“So you are not harvesting any fruits from these old trees?” I asked Philip.

“We are harvesting. Every tree gives us about 2 fruits every two weeks. We supply a small market comprised of friends of my boss.” He told me.

Since then I have visited several other successful pawpaw farms in Kenya especially in Meru and Baringo. 

A few farmers have the crop at a commercial scale but the much they do is to weed twice a year and water about once a week. Those who do this can tell you that an acre of solo sunrise pawpaw can yield up to 40 tons in a year.

An acre of solo sunrise pawpaw can produce 40 tons per year

Pawpaw farming is best done in places with warm or hot climate. In such places, farmers who have access to irrigation water make a kill since the price of pawpaw in Kenya is never less than Ksh.30 per kg.

Pawpaws grow very fast and in the hot areas, you get your first fruits in 6 months from planting the seed. This is the case I found in Marigat, Baringo County and Matiliku in Makueni County.

In these dry places, the pawpaws are also not frequently attacked by pests and diseases. In fact, several of the farmers I visited were growing pawpaws purely organically, even using animal manure as the only fertilizer.

The maintenance cost of a pawpaw orchard can be as low as Ksh.10,000 for an acre in a year since only labor during weeding and application of the manure is needed. 

This one acre then produces about 20 tons of fruits in a year – that is without irrigation. 

Check out the current market price of a kg of pawpaw in your local supermarkets or open air market and just find out how much you are able to make from one acre of pawpaw with this minimum input.

Capital requirement

So how much do you invest and what are the expected returns?  

Allow us to give you figures from our experience: these are figures for one acre done with the recommended spacing of 2x2 meters in which an acre accommodates 1100 plants. They are estimates for one farming period which runs for about 2 years.

*Land clearing (by ploughing) – Ksh.4,500

*Holes Preparation (Digging and application of manure) – Ksh.33,000

*Manure – Ksh.20,000

*Seedlings – Ksh.66,000

*Crop protection (pesticides and fungicides) – Ksh.10,000

*Irrigation – Ksh.20,000

*Labour (for general orchard maintenance) – Ksh.20,000

Total – Ksh.173,500


The average yield per acre of various varieties of pawpaw is about 40 tons per year. 

Farm gate prices for a kilo of pawpaw go as high as Ksh.60 but let us take a more conservative price of Ksh.30 per kg and a yield of 30 tons per acre. 

The total income for the first year then comes to Ksh.900,000 giving a profit of Ksh.726,500. 

The same crop should also produce about the same tonnage in the second year. After the second year, production starts going down but with proper farm management, the same trees could give you good quantities in the third and fourth year. 

However, the lifespan of the trees depend mainly on the variety. 

The varieties commonly cultivated in Kenya are solo sunrise and mountain pawpaw and have a lifespan of up to 4 years. 

New dwarf varieties such as calina papaya IPB9, the Malaysian Red Lady and the Red Royal have gained much popularity in Kenya.

The new dwarf varieties have numerous advantages:

*The trees are easy to manage due to their size


*They produce big fruits of about 1kg each but still with a good keeping quality


*They are self-pollinating hence no male trees that only take up space without producing fruits.


*The fruits have an attractive red color and are very sweet.

Pawpaw farming is a venture worth considering. If you would want to invest in it, we recommend you contact Rich Farm Kenya on 0724698357 for guidance.

Final Word

You don’t have to be an agriculture expert to succeed in Pawpaw farming in Kenya. 

If you are out there wondering what agri-business to do with your capital, don’t let this opportunity pass you. 

Start small today and good things will come your way!

Also don't forget to join our training on Business Plan Writing.

Most people who think about starting a business usually don`t consider writing a business plan.

I have read from different business experts about the fact that most start-up entrepreneurs do not write a business plan but what I have not read from anyone is why this is so.

Why is it that most people have fear (so to say) about writing a business plan?

I know the answer.

You see, there are many myths and lies you probably have heard about the subject of business plan. 

Some people present business plan as if it was a university thesis or an academic report to be defended before certain professors. 

Other people think that a business plan has to be 50 pages long and that it must be written in a certain “approved” format.

Well, I am here to tell you that all those opinions are not valid. 

Because there are some ugly lies around this important business step, most people are “afraid” of doing it.

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