Papaya or pawpaw as it is commonly known in Kenya is a plant belonging to the genus Carica. It produces edible blackish fruits which are oval in shape. The fruits becomes yellow in colour when ripe. Papaya are rich sources of vitamin A, B, D, C and E. All these vitamins helps the body in fighting various diseases such as beriberi, rickets, scurvy and night blindness.
Papaya grow in a variety of soils ranging from red volcanic soils to black loamy soils. They require optimum temperatures, humidity and soils free of nematodes. Papaya grown in fertile agricultural soil have a luxurious growth rate and attains maturity at an early age.
Commonly grown species of papaya include; Mitchell, Davis, Taylor, Rebecca's Gold, Sarada Budamala and Venkata Prakash Gandikata. Many farmers are encouraged to grow papaya because their is a ready market and processing companies in the country.
For example, the Kenya Papaya Products Ltd (KPPL), an agro-processing company based in Bendera, along the Chavakali-Kaimosi Road in Vihiga County, Western Kenya is offering a ready market for papaya farmers in the region to supply the firm with the fruit for manufacturing of different papaya-based products such as insecticides, pawpaw juice and body lotions.
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