Papaya Farming: Papaya is a popular fruit known for its excellent nutritional and therapeutic benefits. It bears earlier than any other fruit crop, produces fruits in less than a year, and has a high fruit yield per unit area. In the foothills and plain valleys of all states in the northeastern area, papaya is grown on a commercial basis. According to current figures, 3,670 hectares produce 47,280 tonnes of papaya every year. It is the region’s fourth most significant crop. Mizoram has the most area under this crop among the hill states, followed by Tripura and Manipur, while Manipur contributes the most to production, followed by Tripura and Mizoram. Papaya is a native Mexican crop that was brought to India in the 16th century. It is now popular across India and is the country’s sixth most economically significant fruit.
Climate for Papaya Farming
Papaya is primarily a tropical plant. It does, however, grow well in subtropical areas. These moderate winter foothills are suitable for papaya production. Higher-altitude farming is hampered by low temperatures and frost. In the winter, very chilly nights cause the fruits to ripen slowly and be of poor quality. It may be cultivated from sea level to an altitude of 1000 meters, however beyond 600 meters, the size and quality of the fruits rapidly diminish. Since it thrives in subtropical and tropical settings, it may be grown at temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
It may be produced effectively as a rainfed crop in this region in places with 1500-2000 mm of equally distributed annual rainfall, albeit production may be low when compared to an irrigated crop since winter dryness inhibits plant and fruit growth. The sweetness of the fruits is affected by high humidity. Fruits lose their flavor when exposed to cold temperatures. During the ripening season, a warm and dry atmosphere is required. Since it is a fragile and shallow-rooted plant, it cannot endure high winds.
Papaya may be grown in a variety of soil types, with the exception of sandy, sticky, or heavy clay soils. The roots of papaya are very susceptible to water logging or standing water. Even a 48-hour submergence might be harmful to the plant. Water collects in heavy soils following heavy rains, and diseases such as foot roots and root rot arise, potentially wiping out the crop in a short period of time. As a result, a little messy terrain is preferable to a completely leveled one. This region’s hilly soil, which is well-drained and rich in organic matter, is ideal.
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Propagation Methods in Papaya Farming
Papaya is always propagated by seed. Seeds are harvested for multiplication from mature, large-sized, healthy fruits, primarily from female plants free of pests and illnesses. Seed viability is totally lost after around 45 days, hence the seeds do not always germinate. The removal of a mucilaginous coat (sarcotesta) from the seed aids in faster and more uniform germination than seeds that retain their sarcotesta. Sarcotesta may be readily removed by fermenting the seed in a pail of water for two to three days.
Land Preparation for Papaya Farming
A well-drained highland is chosen for farming. Plants in open and high-lying places are vulnerable to severe winds and storms. As a result, an appropriate windbreak should be established at the orchard border for good papaya planting establishment.
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Planting Methods in Papaya Farming
Papaya is commercially grown using seed and tissue culture plants. The seed rate is 250-300 grams per acre. Seedlings may be grown in 3m nursery beds. length, 1m. 10 cm broad and wide. as well as in pots or plastic bags. The seeds are sowed 1 cm deep after being treated with ceresin, 0.1% Monosan (phenyl mercuric acetate), etc. 10 cm deep in rows. separated and coated with fine compost or leaf mold. Throughout the early hours, light watering is supplied. To protect the seedlings, the nursery beds are covered with polythene sheets or dried paddy straw. About 15-20 cm. In around two months, tall seedlings are selected for planting.
In papaya farming, seedlings are sown in trenches 60x60x60 cm in size. size. The holes are excavated approximately a fortnight before planting in the summer months. Topsoil and 20 kg are used to fill the pits. 1 kilogram of manure from a farm. neem cake and 1 kilogram. Meal made from bones. Tall and strong kinds are planted with wider spacing, whereas medium and dwarf varieties are planted with less.
Manure and Fertilizers in Papaya Farming
The papaya plant requires a lot of manure and fertilizer. Apart from the base dosage of manure sprayed in the pits (@ 10 kg/plant), 200-250 g. N, P2O5, and K2O are all suggested for good yield. The use of 200 g. N is optimal for fruit output, however, papain yield rises with N up to 300 g. A five-month interval from transplanting to first flowering is critical for papaya plant nutrition. The vitality and production of a plant are determined by the stem girth obtained right before blooming. If the plant stays weak throughout this time due to a lack of nourishment, its productivity will suffer for the remainder of its life. As a result, fertilizers should be administered at regular intervals and at appropriate amounts to establish a strong and robust plant before blooming, as well as to sustain its future growth and output.
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Fruit flies (Bactrocera cucurbitae), ak grasshopper (Poekilocerus pictus), aphids (Aphis gossypii), red spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus), stem borer (Dasyses rugosellus), and grey weevil are the most common insect pests seen in papaya farming (Myllocerus viridans). In all situations, the diseased components must be discarded, and preventive sprays of dimethoate (0.3%) or methyl demeton (0.05%) must be used.