Pawpaw ( Papaya ) Tree:
The name “Papaya” comes from the indigenous peoples of the islands of Hawaii. They called them “Kapi Kapi”. There were several varieties of these fruits, but they all had one thing in common – they grew on trees. These natives knew that there was something special about this fruit.
Some people even believed that it could cure diseases like scurvy or malaria!
The first European explorers arrived in Hawaii around 1778. They found the native inhabitants very friendly and helpful. They were so kind that they gave them some of their own fruit instead of giving them bananas! One day, the Europeans decided to eat their own fruit instead of those of other tribes.
This act caused a great deal of resentment among the natives, who felt cheated and insulted!
After the arrival of Europeans, the natives started growing papayas on their own plantations. At first, they used only wild types of papaya. But then they discovered that some varieties were grown in Europe and brought back to Hawaii. These new varieties were cultivated better than any others and became known as “European” papayas.
In 1887, the Hawaiian Kingdom passed a law requiring all farmers to grow at least two kinds of fruit for export. They were supposed to grow a certain amount of land for these fruits. The law was not designed to enforce people to grow papayas, but rather to maintain a stable economy for the region. When coffee prices fell, farmers needed to grow something else.
So they needed a reasonable alternative for their crops.
Unfortunately, this forced cultivation did not last long. Coffee prices increased, so the law was abandoned in 1888. Still, the cultivation of papaya continued to become popular in Hawaii. People started growing them for their own pleasure.
Today, papayas are among the most popular fruits that grow in every backyard in this area!
The papaya is a round and green melon-sized fruit that grows in tropical regions. It has a tough skin and can weigh up to 3 pounds. The flesh is bright orange or pinkish, depending on the variety.
Sources & references used in this article:
An Investigation into the Determination of the Maturity of Pawpaws (Carica Papaya) from NIR Transmission Spectra by CV Greensill, DS Newman – Journal of Near Infrared …, 1999 – journals.sagepub.com
Ripening pawpaw fruit exhibit respiratory and ethylene climacterics by DD Archbold, KW Pomper – Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2003 – Elsevier
Survey of the post harvest diseases and aflatoxin contamination of marketed pawpaw fruit (Carica papaya L) in South Western Nigeria by NA Ayoola – African journal of agricultural research, 2007 – academicjournals.org