Pawpaw farmers in Western Kenya on a field training by Great Lakes Breeders Limited agronomists on how to plant and manage the fruit. Photo courtesy.
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 pawpaw farmers in the region to supply the firm with the fruit for manufacturing of different pawpaw-based products.
The company’s main product is papaya jam but in the recent past, it has delved into manufacturing of other pawpaw products such as papaya leaf tea, papaya leaf extract, papain, papaya seed oil, and papaya seed cake used for livestock de-worming and animal feeds.
“Our vision is to see the Western part of Kenya becoming one of the most productive and income generating regions in the country by encouraging farmers to produce pawpaws- a high-value fruit,” read a statement on the company’s website.
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In this, KPPL has been working in collaboration with Great Lakes Breeders Limited (GLBL), a company which helps in sensitising, recruiting and coordinating farmers towards pawpaw production process as well as harvesting in Western Kenya.
Already the company is working with farmers in Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii, Homabay, Migori, lower Kericho, and Siaya counties. GLBL is under the able leadership of Thomas Openda and Alexander Ondieki based in Nyamira County.
“Together with KPPL, we have managed to sensitize 1,300 and contracted 200 farmers as we are also responsible for clustering farmers in manageable groups for training and fruit collection purposes,” said Ondieki.
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Peter Owino is one such farmer who has been working with the company since last year when he planted the crops in March-April during the long rain period after receiving training and he has started enjoying the fruits of his labour after nine months wait pawpaw maturity period.
“I started harvesting last month and I have harvested three times. The first time I harvested 12kg then 15 and the latest is 40kg with production increasing by every harvest due to different flowering time,” said Owino.
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He harvests continuously at an interval of every 7-10 days with an expectation to reap from the venture for five years which is the lifespan of the fruit.
He sells the fruits to Kenya Papaya Products Ltd which buys the produce at Sh40 per kilo. However, there is wet latex harvesting which the company buys the produce at Sh200 a kilo. He says that ten well-managed trees can give a farmer a kilo of latex after every 14 days.
The company recommends Solo, Sunrise, Red royale F1 and Malkia F1 pawpaw varieties which have different qualities and characteristics.
For more information contact Kenya Papaya Products on (+254) 721 52 66 19/ (+254) 773 052 704 or firstname.lastname@example.org