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

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
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. 

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

One thought on “Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences”

  1. This is so great knowing that we are able to help in this part of our world. Do you still need papaya seeds? I’ll love to send you some. I’ve also read your other posting on saving seeds for small families in desertification areas. It is such a wonderful idea knowing that what we usually eat and throw away can contribute to so much more. Please let me know what tropical seeds that you need. Thanks! Teresa

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