FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky State University (KSU) and its innovative pawpaw program were featured Nov. 19, 2023, prominently on “CBS Sunday Morning.” The segment showcased the groundbreaking work being done by KSU, highlighting their dedication to advancing pawpaw research and their unique position as the only full-time pawpaw research program in the world.
The KSU segment can be viewed on YouTube at the following link: CBS Sunday Morning – Kentucky State University Pawpaw Program. It includes an insightful interview conducted by NPR’s Allison Aubrey. KSU’s Horticulture Research and Extension Associate, Sheri Crabtree, shares her expertise and insights into pawpaw research and commercialization during the interview.
For those unfamiliar with the pawpaw, it’s a fruit with a tropical flavor profile reminiscent of a delightful combination of banana, mango, pineapple and vanilla. The fruit is in season for about one month each year, and KSU is pioneering efforts to commercialize this unique and delicious fruit. The pawpaw is Kentucky’s only native tropical fruit.
Kentucky State University houses a dedicated pawpaw gene bank and grows pawpaw trees from 17 states, showcasing their commitment to preserving genetic diversity and advancing the field of horticulture. KSU’s research efforts focus on improving propagation methods, developing orchard management recommendations, conducting regional variety trials, understanding fruit ripening and storage techniques, and collecting and characterizing genetic diversity through germplasm studies.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of pawpaw research, and we believe that our efforts will contribute significantly to the fresh market and processing appeal of this remarkable fruit throughout the Commonwealth and beyond,” said Dr. Koffi C. Akakpo, KSU’s President. “CBS Sunday Morning’s segment reflects the importance and impact of the work being done by KSU.”
Kentucky State University looks forward to continuing to make advancements in pawpaw research and other initiatives to benefit the Commonwealth.
Link for full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xTU7dJhhcU
Kentucky State University in Frankfort is a historically black land-grant university providing education, fostering community engagement and driving innovation in various fields.