Let’s now go through some various and easy managements to help your pawpaw farm.
Routine weed control is recommended. Hand weeding where practiced should be shallow to avoid damaging roots. It should be done gently and slowly.
As much as possible. It’s okay if the leaves wilt a little bit in hot weather. Pawpaws love heat and sunlight. You can get them to grow in partial shade, but you just end up with a spindly, sickly tree, and if you ever get any fruit it will be several metres up in the air and taste insipid.
To maintain vigorous plant growth irrigate during the dry season to achieve a total of 150 to 200 mm per month. (Consult your irrigation specialist for assistance).
Supplementary irrigation (drip, under tree or micro sprinkler) is necessary to reduce incidence of flower abortion and improve yields all year round.
Pest and disease control
Mealy bugs: To control, use biological control agents and pheromone traps, Contact PPRSD/MoFA for bio-agents.
Nematodes: To control, plant marigold (Tagetes spp) or croatalaria on the land 2-3 months before transplanting. Plough this into the soil as part of the land preparation. Well decomposed manures also help to control nematodes. Practice crop rotation with non-susceptible hosts.
Die-back: Destroy all affected plants.
Mosaic: Transmitted by Bermisia. Control vectors and rogue out all affected plants and burn.
Damping-off (in seedlings): To control, ensure good drainage and improve sunlight penetration in the nursery.
Bunchy top: Monitor fields and rogue out infested plants and control the vector.
Below is an operational cost drawn by the ministry of food and agriculture in the year 2013.
|Activity Cost (GHC)|
|Land Rent 250.00|
|Land Preparation (stumping, ploughing, 700.00harrowing,rotovating)|
|Seeds (200 grams) 500.00|
|Fertilizer/Organic manure 6,250.00|
|Agro chemicals 500.00|
|Labour (for planting, weed control, irrigation 22,195.00Harvesting etc)|
|Estimated total cost 30,395.00|
Average yield = 150 fruits/tree
Average number of trees=2,500
Total number of fruits = 150 x 2500=375,000
5% fruit loss = 18,750
Marketable fruits= 375,000-18,750= 356,250
Price = GHc 0.2/fruit
Income = 356,250 x GHc0.2= GHc 71,250
Net income (income-estimated cost) = GHC (71,250- 30,395) = GHc 40,855.00
Source: MOFA, Let’sTalkAgric