Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 26, 2007

Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences

March 26, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, salinity, food / food security, hunger / famine, desertification, rural development, technologies, poverty, water, agriculture, research. trackback , edit post

J’essaie de produire des jeunes pieds de papayer à partir de semences, trouvées dans des fruits brésiliens au supermarché.  Je fais appel à tous ceux qui veulent nous aider à cultiver des papayers dans les camps des réfugiés Sahraouis au S.W. de l’Algérie, en demandant debien vouloi m’envoyer des semences de n’importe quelle variété de papayer (voir mon adresse plus bas).  Merci d’avance !

In view of studying possibilities to grow papaya trees for our UNICEF ALGERIA project in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis people (region of Tindouf, S.W. Algeria), I have set up some experiments with seeds collected from some fruits purchased at a local supermarket (Brazilian fruits).

After drying the seeds for a couple of days, I kept them in a closed plastic box on a moistened sheet of paper.  The box was kept in my central heating room at temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius.  Germination rate was rather low.  Anyway, I got a small number of seedlings and now I am keeping these in a container on a potting mix with TerraCottem.  Growth seems to be quite slow, but I am happy enough keeping them in good condition on a table in my office, close to a big window.

I hope to be able to offer a number of young papaya plants to my friends, the Sahraouis agronomists, so that they can try to grow these trees in the refugee camps, where irrigation water is rather saline.  The main objective is to have the Sahraouis people growing fruits full of proteins and vitamins, which are generally lacking.  In particular the children would then profit of these new opportunities in the Sahara desert.

Let me ask people in all parts of the world, where papaya is currently grown, to be so kind of sending me seeds of the local papaya varieties they have.  Possibly, some varieties will do better than others in the Sahara conditions. It would be nice if you could help me to set up tests with different papaya varieties.  So please, be so kind to send us some seeds !  Our sincere thanks in advance.

Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem

BNeeweg 36

B9080 – ZAFFELARE (Belgium)

2007-03 : Papaya seedlings
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

2007-03 : Papaya seedlings (from Brazilian fruits) in a container in my office.

2007-03 : Des plantules de papayer (de fruits brésiliens) dans un pot dans mon bureau.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

3 thoughts on “Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences (Willem)”

  1. Please do let me know the availability promising varieties of Papaya seeds.Do indicate the source

  2. i read about your attempys to help refugees with agriculture and if nothing else can offer my practical experience with tropical fruits. i live in florida in the united states and have grown papaya well for many years. always remember that the papaya does not like a well moistened environment so it should be mounded or planted in areas where natural water is not readily available. here in florida i have seen it used as a demarcation plant in fields. a nice row to separate crops and windbreak. also in my own experience the papaya will not prosper without direct sunlight .growing them has shown me that the sooner the tree canopy is in direct sunlight the sooner the tree will fruit. by getting the trees in direct sunlight early they fruit earlier and are much easier to pick.i have access thru mail order to many different tropical fruiting plants and will be glad to help you find them too
    good luck in your endeavour

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