Salient Features of Papaya Cultivation
By M. Bilal Khan, Dr. Zahoor Hussain, Mujahid Ali
(College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha)
There is much more blessing of Allah on us and life is one of those. As a human, we are the great creatures among all other creatures. That’s why we are called as “Ashraf-ul-Makhlukat”. Because we have the sense to think and the sense to judge that things which are good for us, for all other living things and for our environment. It is the mechanism of the world that one living thing will feed on other living organisms. Every moment an organism is in search of food by hunting. For good and disease-free health or for growth, consumption of quality nutrients is very essential. There are many sources to complete that requirement. Agriculture and former play basic and very necessary role in completing the requirement of the food in the world. Agriculture and farming is the reason for survival of humans lives in the world. It is necessary for survival; without which there would be famines. By the grace of Allah in Pakistan we have multifarious soils and various climate which is suitable for growing verity of agricultural produce. Where Pakistan got acceptable position in the ranking of world by producing agricultural commodities. There was not that much trend of rising papaya before 30 years. But now papaya is becoming popular among the farmers of this regions.
Papaya is considered minor fruit crop in Pakistan. It is botanically called as Carica papaya belongs to family caricaceae and genus carica. In Urdu it is called as Papita. It is native to Mexico and north south America. Papaya has become throughout the Caribbean Island, Florid, Texas, California, Hawaii, and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Papaya grow best in tropical and subtropical areas of Pakistan. Papayas are the fourth most traded tropical fruit following bananas, mango and pineapples. Approximately 75 percent of the world`s papayas are produced in only ten countries. India, Brazil, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Congo, Venezuela, China. United states are the world`s largest papaya producers.
The importance of papaya in the world`s economy is demonstrated by its wide distribution and substantial production in tropical countries. It has long been known and cultivated in home gardens because it is one of the few fruits which throughout the year, gives quick returns and adapts itself to diverse soil and climatic conditions. The fruit is cultivated for its nutritive value as it is an important and economical source of certain vitamins and minerals. Besides, it is highly prized for medicinal value. The fruit is used in the treatment of piles, dyspepsia of spleen and liver, digestive disorders, diphtheria and skin blemishes. It is a rich source of pectin and alkaloids like carpaine.
It has many other practical applications in industry. It is used in refining beer and in wool and silk before dyeing and to de-hair hides before tanning. It serves as an adjunct in rubber manufacturing and applied tuna liver before extraction of the oil, which is thereby made rich in vitamins. It enters toothpastes, cosmetics and detergent, as well as pharmaceutical preparation to aid digestion.
Papaya is dioecious having male and female plant separate. Papaya is generally grown from seed which may take three to five weeks for germination. it is expedited by two to three weeks and the percentage of germination increases by washing off the aril. Then the seeds are dried and dusted with fungicides to avoid damping-off, a common loss of seedlings/ well-prepared seeds can be stored for as long as three years, but the percentage of germination declines with age. Farmyard manure should be used at the time of planting. It is important that farmyard manure should be dry and well-rotted because there is likelihood of the introduction of weeds and insects in plantation. About 4-5 kg should be used per pit, this approximates to the contents of a basket of 35 cm diameter and depth of 15 cm.
Less but satisfactory results are obtained with FYM as low as 2 kg per pit if the full quantity is not available. The manure should be thoroughly mixed with the soil and farmyard manure is returned to pit and packed to a level which brings the top of the seedling plant to 1-2 cm. the average of the farmyard manure used by the sample respondent is found three to four trucks ∕ acre. The average cost of farmyard manure at Rs 7422 per acre.
An economics analysis is necessary to verify the use of various inputs of production and the income obtained. Fixed cost of papaya is estimated by calculating all the cost incurred from initial land development. The main cost involved are land development, labour and machinery. Land development cost includes ploughing, planking, leveling and layout of the field. Land rent and government taxes and mark-up on the fixed capital have been included in the fixed cost. The wages of permanent labour and repair of farm equipment’s and other miscellaneous costs are considered as the fixed cost.
The variable cost consists of production practices and inputs costs including the farmyard manure, fertilizers and pesticides. The wages for haired labour for irrigation, inter-culturing, harvesting, handling, transportation and other management practices have been included in the analysis these costs are known as the capital, defined as the capital required for the production cycle.
Study finding reveal that the growers follow traditional practices resulting in low production compared to potential yield. The gap between the potential and actual yield is wide due to poor management practices and post-harvest loss. Other causes of low yield are identified as inadequate use of chemical fertilizer, lack of knowledge to control insect pest and diseases.
The empirical investigation reveals that in the horticultural sector, resources are not optimally allocated which is reflected by the fact that producers achieve low yield. The papaya production varies from year to year because of the perishable nature, seasonal price variation and high production cost. It is investigated that growers put more area under papaya the following years, in case the current market prices are high. This results in serious glut and heavy losses to growers.
There is lack of information among growers, particularly at the time of harvesting, grading, packing, transportation, market price and supply of the produce. For market conditions, growers mostly obtained information from transporters, or they visit the hole seal market where commission agents are the main source of information. It is observed that commission agents do not provide timely and accurate information to growers with the result that information received is often, misleading, delayed and lack credibility which limits the growers to take timely decision for marketing their produce.
There is a shortage of cold storage and processing industries and thus growers are compelled to sell papaya produce at low price. There is a need to improve the existing infrastructure facilities, particularly the cold storages and small and medium size processing industries which may help in regulating the supply of papaya in markets, and thereby control price variation in the country.