- A) Family:
Caricaceae Papaya is the most preferred fruit for kitchen gardens. Normally it is planted as a filler plant in orchards of fruit trees with long juvenile period. Papaya plants come into bearing within a year of planting.
- B) Origin:
Papaya originated in tropical America. Portuguese introduced papaya in India from Malacca during 1611. At present it is cultivated throughout the world in tropical and sub-tropical climate. It do not tolerate freezing temperature and frost.
- C) Area and Production:
The papaya plant has short life, hence the area under cultivation varies greatly in different years. In India it is cultivated over an area of 97.7 thousand hectares with annual production of 3628.9 thousand MT. In Punjab it is being grown as filler plant in mango and litchi orchards. No data is available for production/average.
- D) Uses:
Papaya is eaten as fresh fruit. It is a rich source of vitamin A (2020 IU per 100 g) and sufficient vitamin C (40 mg/l00g). It also contains sufficient amount of Calcium and other minerals. The yellow colour of the pulp is due to caricaxanthin. Papaya contains vitamin By, 100 gm of pylp riboflavin 250 mg 100 gm of pulp, 0.6% proteins and 9% of carbohydrates. It contains papain a protein digesting enzyme. Papain is prepared by collecting latex from the unripe papaya fruits. Unripe fruits can be used as vegetable. Ripe fruits are used for making of Jam, Jelly, and Ice-Cream, etc.
- E) Botany:
Four genera belong to family caricaceae. Only Carica papaya produces edible fruits in genera Carica. Papaya plant is dioecious in nature but hermaphrodite forms also occur. It is dicot with straight, and soft stem. Plant is usually un-branched but branches develop where apex get damaged. Leaves are long stalked and fan like. Papaya fruit is climacteric in nature. Fruit is usually berry containing no or many seeds depending on the cultivar and climate. Shape of fruit also varies from oblong to spherical.
It requires warm and humid climate without frost. Low temperature affect the fruit and plant growth. Both foliage and fruit get damaged near 0Â°C. Hence, plants have to be protected by covering with gunny bags under North Indian conditions. It is also very sensitive to water logged conditions.
Papaya as a filler is grown from plains to sub mountains areas. It like soils which are well drained, rich in organic matter with near normal pH. Water stagnation for few days can be harmful.
- a) Pusa Delicious:
A selection from progenies of variety â€˜Ranchiâ€™, its plants are gynodioecious, i.e., both pistillate and hermaphrodite and medium in size. Plant start fruiting at a height of LIO meter from ground level. The plants may grow to a height of 2 m. The fruits size is large with oblong to oval in shape. Flesh deep orange with 10% TSS. Average yield per plant 40 kg.
- b) Punjab Sweet:
The plants are dioecious and may grow up to 1.90 meter high. Fruit bearing starts at a height of 1.0 m from ground. Fruits are of large size and oblong in shape with pointed tip. Flesh colour is deep yellow. TSS of pulp ranges between 9.0 to 10.5 percent. The average yield per plant 50kg. It is least susceptible to citrus mite (Entetranychus orientalis).
- c) Honey Dew:
This variety is suited for North Indian conditions. The plants are of medium height and bear fruit heavily on the trunk. Plants are dioecious in nature, but the proportion of male plants is low. The fruits are large in size, elongated in shape with few or no seed. Flesh is sweet (TSS 8.0%) with pleasant flavour. This cultivar is also known as Madhu Bindu.
- d) Coorg Honey Dew:
This is a selection from Honey Dew. The plant ie tall and bears heavily. Most of the plants are hermaphrodite. A few may produce only pistillate flowers. The fruits are large, variable in shape. The flesh is thicker but TSS (6.0%) is less than Honey Dew.
- e) Co-I:
The plants are unisexual with male and female plants occurring separately. The plant is of medium height and start bearing low on the trunk. The fruit shape is round with golden yellow skin and orange coloured flesh. Fruits are n podium in size. TSS of pulp is 7%. Average yield per plant is 40k5.
- f) Pusa Nanha:
This is mutant of a local type cultivar developed at lARI. The plants are dioecious in nature. The plants are dwarf and grow up to 1.06m height. Average yield per plant is 35 kg. This cultivar is preferred for close plantation.
- g) Pusa Giant:
Plants are of dioecious in nature. Plants can with stand strong winds. Plants start bearing at 1.0m height. The plants come into bearing after a year. It bears large fruits weighing over 2 kg per fruit. The fruits are more suited to vegetable making and canning industry.
Papaya is propagated through seeds. Seeds are extracted from ripe fruits and are rubbed with little sand to remove the white layer in which seed is enclosed. The seeds are washed and air dried before packing in polythene bags and stored at room temperature before sowing. The seeds loose viability in about 45 days, so due care should be given before extraction of seeds. Seeds can be sown any time from March to September. However, due to severe winter in North India, the seeds should be sown during July to September, when the seedling are of 20-30 cm in height and can easily be protected from frost and freeze of winter.
Prepare a mixture of farm yard manure plus soil and sand in equal proportions. Use this mixture to fill the polythene bags of size 25 X 10 cm having 8 to 10 small holes on lower part of the bag for drainage of excess water. Sow two to three seeds per bag 2-3 cm deep. It will be better if seeds are treated with 3g of Captain per kg of seed before sowing. After the emergence of seedlings drench them with Captain solution @ 2 g per litre of water t-j prevent damping off disease.
Remove the extra seedling from the bag. Each bag should have only one healthy seeding. The plants become ready for transplanting in the field 40-50 days.
Pits of 50cm X 50cm x 50cm should be dug one month before transplanting is intended to be carried out. The planting is done as filler or at 1.5m x 1.5m apart. Fill the pits with an equal mixture of well rotten farm yard manure and soil. To control white ants add 30g lindane 5% dust while filling the pits. Transplant 2-3 seedling 15 cm apart per pit. While planting the polythene bags should be removed. Apply height irrigation. Uproot the extra male plants. Keep only one plant per pit when these have started flowering. Keep about 10 percent male plant population scattered throughout the orchard. There will be 4356 plants per hectare.
Papaya is itself planted as filler in mango, litchi and guava orchards because, it stays in the field for 2-3 years only. However if papaya is planted enblock then shallow rooted vegetables like onion, garlic, turnip, cauliflower can be grown for the first year. No crop should be grown after one year. Intercrop should not compete for nutrition with papaya plants.
Papaya is very sensitive to water logged conditions. Avoid flooding periodically. Divide the field into segments. Apply light irrigation at 6-7 days interval in summer and 15 to 20 days interval in winter depending on soil condition. If rain is there avoid irrigation. Water should not stay near the stem of plants to prevent collor rot.
9) MANURING AND FERTILIZATION:
Papaya needs more nutrition due to its short juvenile period. It prefers soils with good organic matter. Apply 20kg of farm yard manure by mixing with 200g of urea 400g of muriate of potash in February or March every year per plant. A very high dose of fertilizers have been recommended in other states which do not hold good under Punjab conditions. The male plants should not be fertilized at all. The manure and fertilizer mixture should be mixed within a radius of 40cm around the plants.
10) WEED CONTROL:
Weeding should be done regularly to keep the basins free of weeds when the papaya is planted as a filler in orchards. Two hoeings one in February-March and other in July-August are sufficient to check the growth of weeds. No weedicides should be sprayed since papaya is a shallow rooted fruit crop and plants can be damaged.
11 ) PLANT PROTECTION MEASURES
- Insect Pests:
The insect pests mostly observed are fruit flies (Bactrocera cucurbitae), ak grasshopper (Poekilocerus pictus), aphids (Aphis gossypii), red spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus), stem borer (Dasyses rugosellus) and grey weevil (Myllocerus viridans). In all cases the infected parts need to be destroyed along with application of prophylactic sprays of Dimethoate (0.3%) or methyl demeton (0.05%).
- b) Diseases:
The main diseases reported are powdery mildew (Oidium caricae), anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), damping off and stem rot. Application of wettable sulphur (1 g./l.) carbendazim/thiophanate methyl (1 g./l.) and Kavach/Mancozeb (2 g./l.) has been found to be effective in controlling the diseases.
- c) Frost Protection:
In North India, frost usually occurs in the months of December and January. Sometime late frost may occur in February also. Papaya is very sensitive to frost due to broad leaves and succulent stem. To save the young papaya plants from winter, the plantation should be done during October or November so that plants could be provided protection easily. Cover the plants with Sarkanda thatches or by pegging three support around the plants and covering with white polythene bags of the size of plants in first winter. Care should be taken that bags do not touch the foliage. Few holes may be provided in upper portion of bags for aeration. In the second year thick gunny bags are wrapped around the fruits and apex during winter season.
12) HARVESTING AND FRUIT HANDLING:
Papaya plants tend to over bear. Fruits are so crowded that they do not get proper space for development. Fruit thinning should be done to get well sized fruits. Proper size is attained after 5-6 months of flowering. Near ripening fruits change colour from green to yellowish green. Fruits should be harvested at maturity. After harvesting the fruit should be placed in single layer and covered with straw till ripening. For distant markets it should be packed in baskets by placing straw below and newspaper along with gunny bag above to avoid bruising of fruits. Papaya is a climacteric fruit hence, it can be artificially ripened by dipping fruits in 500 ppm ethephon. At ripening fruits attain golden yellow colour of skin.
13) POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT
- a) Grading Fruits are graded on the basis of their weight, size and colour.
- b) Storage Fruits are highly perishable in nature. They can be stored for a period of 1- 3 weeks at a temperature of 10-130 C and 85-90% relative humidity.
- c) Packing Bamboo baskets with banana leaves as lining material are used for carrying the produce from farm to local market.
- d) Transportation Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most convenient mode of transport due to easy approach from orchards to the market.
- e) Marketing The farmers usually dispose off their produce to the wholesalers and middlemen at the farm gate.