Paw paw farming is delicate, and requires one to be sure of the best variety that does well in his or her area. Amid all the-too common tales of failing crops, erratic planting seasons and extreme weather events, a farmer from Baringo a semi-arid county shares her success story on paw paw.
As a popular quote goes,‘Dear optimistic, pessimistic, and realist. While you guys were busy arguing over a glass of water, I drank it,’ encourages people to seize available opportunities around them. A 43 years old Grace Kamuren in Baringo County, Kenya is doing precisely that.She lives with her 7 children in her 2 acres land .They all depend on this garden for food and other expenditures.
In her farm,she grows maize,root tubers and paw paw fruits.Despite having started with a few paw paw plants,her dreams of venturing into it as an agribusiness had been constrained due to high cost of seedlings.Her 80 paw paw plants provided her with less profit of around Ksh.5000.
Paw paw grows well in the region compared to other fruits.However, the cost of buying a seedling of pawpaw is high between Ksh 100- 150.This limits farmers in the region from planting despite being adapted to harsh climatic conditions.Grace Kamuren misfortune changed after a training through her group Baraka women group in sandai area on fruits seed extraction by Seed Savers.
The knowledge enabled her to extract and save her own seeds which she used to expand her paw paw fruits population from 80 to 180.In addition,she established a nursery where other farmers in her village obtain the seedlings at Ksh 80 which is lower compared to other nurseries.She shared her intent to continue expanding to achieve maximum production.
“Life has changed since I started extracting and saving my own seeds. I did not know they can do this well. They are well adapted and I don’t use chemical sprays on them.I also feel good as there is something in my pocket even when I don’t have ripe paw paws to sell there is seedlings,’ she says.