Intensification of pawpaw with mulching [Uganda]

Okulima amapapali

technologies_3461 - Uganda

Completeness: 90%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Kasasila Medad



Ttakajjunge Village, Namubiru Parish, Nama Sub-county Mukono District.


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) - Uganda

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Improved pawpaw (Carica papaya) fruit tree growing using improved varieties for Sustainable Land Management Practices and income generation.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Intensification of pawpaw with mulching. It is the growing of improved pawpaw fruit tree growing for sustainable land management practices and income generation among small scale and medium farmers in Kampala. This is established on 1.5 acres of land. The technology is mostly prefered because it doesn’t require much attention or specialized planting (labour). The cultivation is pest-resistant, and thrives in well-drained soil with an equal balance of sunshine and shade as well as reduction of soil degradation. Under this technology, pawpaws are integrated with trenches with the aim of reducing soil and water erosion for increased production and soil fertility improvement. In Uganda, specifically Kampala District, the technology started in 2012 where the host farmer visited a friend in the neighbouring village, who was growing pawpaw on a commercial scale, and acquired knowledge and skills, inputs and resources needed for establishment.
To get the pawpaw seeds, I got a ripe pawpaw from which I extracted healthy seeds, which I used to make a nursery bed. The pawpaw seeds I got were of the big pawpaw with yellow flesh. I chose this variety because it has a longer shelf life compared to the red flesh variety. In addition, its fruits are big and tasty. and then I dried them in the sun. Got two Units of loam / sandy soil mixed with one basin of cow dung to improve on its drainage and fertility, filled the bags with a mixture of sandy loam manured soil, sown 1 or 2 seeds in each bag and covered with soil, then watered the beds once every day, morning or evening. (description of farmer)

The farmer also covered the bags with thatch grass to keep them warm and moist still they emerge. After one month when the seedlings had germinated he sprayed them with Vegimax, which is an Organic Supplement for all types of plants that helps improve the quality, yield, appearance as well as soil condition and later applied 'Dudu cyper' (insecticide) to kill insects that attack the leaves. When the seedlings were about 10-15 cm tall, they were transplanted onto a well prepared field. A slit was cut into the plastic bag down one side to remove the bag and place the plant into the planting pit. Spacing of plants was approximately 3 metres between rows and 3 metres between plants. Soil was raked in to cover the roots. The plants were then watered to provide moisture needed for proper rooting and growth.
Activities carried out in this technology include: Nursery bed preparation, watering once a day, garden preparation, digging of planting pits, mixing animal manure with soil, transplanting from the nursery bed to the main garden, mulching the garden using banana leaves and grass, spraying the plantations,pruning and harvesting. Proper spacing of trees is important because if they are not well spaced, they will just grow tall and fruiting will be poor. I started with one acre of pawpaw where I had initially 250 pawpaw trees but a density of up to 440 trees is possible.
The technology is good at income generating. Having one acre of the improved pawpaw the farmer can pick five to seven pawpaws every week from each tree and harvest throughout the year so every time the farmer has something to sell to the market. However Paw paws are easily perishable and this affects the market in addition to being affected by weather changes especially when it rains a lot the demand for the fruit becomes very low and when it’s the long dry spells also affect the plantations since the farmer cannot afford to irrigate through the dry season. During long dry periods, pawpaw doesn’t perform well so the harvest is low. Strong wind can cause problems to pawpaw plantations because pawpaw plants have a shallow root system, they get very top heavy as they grow older, and they blow over easily. Then there are birds and fruit bats which affect the plantation. In case of such scenarios its advisable that the farmer keeps in touch with extension worker for advisory services and all the necessary management advice (pest management, watering and marketing).

2.3 Photos of the Technology

General remarks regarding photos:

At the moment i cannot have the preparation and management of the technology since by the time I documented it, the farmer was harvesting.

2.4 Videos of the Technology

Comments, short description:

Pawpaw growing with mulching on a small scale.




Ttakajjunge village, Namubiru Parish, Nama subcounty, Mukono District.

Name of videographer:

Irene Babirye

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:

Mukono District, Central Region

Further specification of location:

Ttakajjunge village, Namubiru parish, Nama Village Mukono District.


N00.23372, e032.59098

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation
  • during experiments/ research
Comments (type of project, etc.):

From my neighbor.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • preserve/ improve biodiversity
  • reduce risk of disasters
  • create beneficial economic impact
  • create beneficial social impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
Main crops (cash and food crops):


Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

Tree plantation, afforestation:
  • Monoculture exotic variety
Products and services:
  • Fruits and nuts

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Main harvest in May and December.

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • minimal soil disturbance
  • integrated soil fertility management

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

The technology is applied on a 1.5 acre plot

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
  • A5: Seed management, improved varieties
vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V2: Grasses and perennial herbaceous plants
structural measures

structural measures

  • S1: Terraces
management measures

management measures

  • M4: Major change in timing of activities

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by wind

soil erosion by wind

biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bl: loss of soil life

This technology is not done primarily to reduce land degradation. This is rather a side effect.

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • not applicable

This technology is not done primarily to reduce land degradation. This is rather a side effect.

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology


Prossy Kaheru



4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

The technical drawing shows pawpaw trees planted at a spacing of 3 m x 3 m from one pawpaw to another pawpaw tree. The planting hole is 30 cm deep.
Slope: Gentle sloping

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

1.5 acre

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • US Dollars
Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Nursery Preparation Agronomic 2 days
2. Watering Management everyday
3. Garden preparation Agronomic 7 days
4. Digging pits Agronomic 4 days
5. Compost and soil mixing Agronomic 2 days
6. Transplanting Agronomic 5 days
7. Mulching Agronomic 2 days
8. Spraying Agronomic 1 day

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Nursery Preparation Man days 2.0 2.8 5.6 100.0
Labour Watering Man days 1.0 1.39 1.39 100.0
Labour Garden preparation Man days 4.0 2.8 11.2 100.0
Labour Digging pits Man days 4.0 2.8 11.2 100.0
Equipment Animal manure and soil mixing Man days 2.0 1.39 2.78 100.0
Equipment Transplanting Man days 5.0 2.8 14.0 100.0
Equipment Mulching the garden Man days 5.0 2.8 14.0 100.0
Equipment Spraying Man days 1.0 2.8 2.8 100.0
Equipment Hoes Pieces 5.0 2.8 14.0 100.0
Equipment Wheelbarrows Pieces 3.0 33.4 100.2 100.0
Equipment Gumboots Pairs 5.0 3.4 17.0 100.0
Equipment Sprayer pump Piece 1.0 13.9 13.9 100.0
Plant material Watering cans Pieces 3.0 2.8 8.4 100.0
Plant material Seeds Kilograms 5.0 1.39 6.95 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Vegimax, Litres 5.0 3.4 17.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Dudu cyper Litres 3.0 2.8 8.4 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Dythene Kilograms 3.0 6.94 20.82 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Animal manure Trip 1.0 11.2 11.2 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 280.84

The land user had ready capital to establish the technology.

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Spraying Agronomic Every after 3 weeks
2. Prunning Agronomic Every week
3. Digging Agronomic Every month
4. Mulching Agronomic Every after 6 months
5. Animal manure application to the garden Agronomic Every after a year

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Spraying Man day 1.0 2.8 2.8 100.0
Labour Prunning Man day 2.0 2.8 5.6 100.0
Labour Mulching Man day 3.0 2.8 8.4 100.0
Labour Animal manure application to the garden Man day 2.0 2.8 5.6 100.0
Equipment Harvesting Man day 2.0 2.8 5.6 100.0
Equipment Hoes Pieces 5.0 2.8 14.0 100.0
Equipment Sprayer pump Piece 1.0 2.8 2.8 100.0
Equipment 1.0 13.9 13.9 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Vegimax Litres 5.0 3.4 17.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Dudu cyper Litres 3.0 2.8 8.4 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Dythene Litres 5.0 6.94 34.7 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Animal manure Trip 1.0 11.2 11.2 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 130.0

The land user incurs all the costs.

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labor costs are those cost which most heavily affect the technology.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low
Habitat diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

The land user is married with six children, is a commercial pawpaw farmer, is business oriented and a primary four school drop out.

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • individual

The land user inherented the land from the grandfather.

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Income and costs

farm income

Comments/ specify:

The income of the farmer increased after the establishment of the technology.

Socio-cultural impacts

national institutions

Comments/ specify:

Many institutions like NARO have done research which helped in developing the technology.

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

We use trenches in the pawpaw garden.

Ecological impacts


soil cover

Comments/ specify:

Mulching prevents direct sun on the soil.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream siltation


damage on neighbours' fields

Comments/ specify:

The technology is mulched which prevents soil erosion to the neighbor's fields.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
seasonal rainfall dry season increase moderately

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought moderately
Biological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
insect/ worm infestation moderately

Since the technology is mulched the dry season doesn't affect PawPaw plantations much .

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):


Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

They use their capital to establish the technology.

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


If yes, indicate to which changing conditions it was adapted:
  • changing markets

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Having ready market to the nearby countries like South Sudan.
The technology uses low maintenance costs.
It's a source of income to the household.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Pawpaw is a fast growing tree that provide very many fruits.
It can be established on a small scale land.
It does not require a lot of capital, that is in terms of starting it and maintaining the garden.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The technology is relatively expensive to establish. By using group associations to access credit to finacne the technology and pay after sale of harvest.
Technology requires enough land for those who are landless. Hire land and promote the technology.
Pests and diseases sometimes affect the pawpaw. Seek advice from the extension service provider.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Pawpaws are perishable fruits . The farmer has to first get ready market before he considers growing pawpaw.
Pawpaws are very delicate fruits in case their mis-handled, a farmer might have many losses. Farmer should handle the fruit carefully to avoid bruising and unnecessary cuts. Never drop the fruits to the ground. On tall trees, use a ladder to reach and pick the fruits by hand.
The technology faces long dry spells that affect the plants .During long dry periods, pawpaws don’t perform well so the harvest is always poor. The farmer should irrigate the plants to avoid poor harvest.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys


  • interviews with land users


Links and modules

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