In Summary
  • Bitterness in pawpaws occurs when during fruit development, the pawpaw plant underwent some stress as a result of nutrient deficiency, pests and diseases such as mosaic or ring spot, inadequate water and unfavourable temperature.
  • Pawpaws also have different cultivars, therefore, grafting high disease and pest resistant rootstock with a scion of high fruit yielding with sweeter fruit qualities can also solve your problem.
  • Galla and Boer goats both do well for meat production and with time, you cross them with the Small East African goats which are the most common.
  • Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, butternuts, French beans, hot pepper, onions, courgettes, baby corn, maize, bananas, watermelons, papayas, avocados and strawberry will do well in Kirinyaga.

HOW TO MAKE PAWPAWS SWEET

My pawpaws are bitter, what should I do to sweeten them?

Aquiline Mwangi

Generally, ripe pawpaws are supposed to be sweet with butter-like consistency.

However, raw pawpaws together with their seeds contain papain (an enzyme used to digest proteins), which makes them bitter.

Bitterness in pawpaws occurs when during fruit development, the pawpaw plant underwent some stress as a result of nutrient deficiency, pests and diseases such as mosaic or ring spot, inadequate water and unfavourable temperature.

Therefore, for successful fruit production, guard against the above. On the other hand, sweetness of pawpaws tend to reduce in low temperature areas – you did not specify where you are growing them.

Nitrogen application is important in the fruit yield, but application of a high rate also increases the level of papain.

Apart from nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are also essential for better performance of pawpaws. Fertiliser application should be done six months to the time of fruit harvesting.

Pawpaws also have different cultivars, therefore, grafting high disease and pest resistant rootstock with a scion of high fruit yielding with sweeter fruit qualities can also solve your problem.

Godfrey Were Juma, Department of Dairy Food Science and Technology, Egerton University.

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I WANT TO KEEP GOATS

I wish to rear goats for meat on an acre in Kiserian. What would be an appropriate breed and where can I acquire them?

Are there feeds that I can buy for goats?

Muondu

Raising goats for commercial meat production is a great business idea with good returns on investment as consumer tastes change.

It seems you already understand the product market.

Galla and Boer goats both do well for meat production.

Galla and Boer goats both do well for meat production. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

This, should, thus enable you adopt a suitable production plan with appropriate feeding, breeding, disease control and flock size that sustainably fit within your production resources for profit.

Galla and Boer goats both do well for meat production and with time, you cross them with the Small East African goats which are the most common.

Always when selecting the foundation stock, never start with animals from a sale yard that have been culled by other farmers.

Buy from renowned farms or ranches like in Laikipia or Naivasha Sheep and Goats Station.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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SAUSAGE CASINGS

I would like to request the contact of Linnet Mwangi of Egerton so that I can get to know the source of sausage casings in Kenya.

She published an article on the preparation of home-made sausages on November 12 but did not direct those interested in making sausages where to find casings, which are crucial for preparing sausages.

Beneah Shapaya

Casings are crucial in pork, beef and mutton sausage preparation.

With natural casings, hygiene has to be observed when cleaning and handling to avoid cross contamination of the final product.

Edible collagen casings that are commercially sold can also be used.

However, collagen casings are not processed in Kenya and are mostly imported from companies like FoodChem International, Devro Limited and others.

With natural sausage casings, hygiene has to be observed when cleaning and handling to avoid cross contamination of the final product.

With natural sausage casings, hygiene has to be observed when cleaning and handling to avoid cross contamination of the final product. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Distributors in Kenya of collagen casings can however be found online.

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