Introduction to papaya
|Scientific name||Carica papaya|
|Another name||Apple of paradise|
|Chromosome number||X = 9, 2n =18, 36|
- It is highly nutritive and has medicinal value.
- Tropical or sub-tropical crop.
- It is fifth most important fruit crop grown in India.
- Papain is a protein digestible enzyme. Immature papaya is the source of papain.
- Enzyme pepsin is found in papain.
Climate and soil
- Topography: It can be grown up to 1000 m above MSL.
- Summer season: Temperature range is 30-37 °C.
- In winter, temperature below 10 °C is not suitable for this crop.
- The crop is very much sensitive to frost, strong winds and water stagnation.
- Well drained sandy loam soil with high organic matter is ideal for its cultivation.
- Optimum soil pH is 6.5-7.0.
- Upland areas should be preferred.
- Waterlogged condition is not suitable.
Propagation and planting
- Commercial production: Seed.
- Tissue culture or micro propagation is also used.
- Seed rate: 250-300 gm/ha.
- Planting time
- Spring season: February to March.
- Monsoon season: June to July.
- Autumn season: October to November.
Also read: Scientific Cultivation of Pineapple
- General spacing: 1.8 × 1.8 m.
- Coorg Honey dew: 1.33 × 1.33 m.
- Pusa delicious: 1.4 × 1.4 m.
- Pusa Nanha: 1.2 × 1.2 m.
- In intercropping, it can be grown with tobacco, gram, pea etc.
- In intercropping, crop like chilly, tomato, brinjal, okra should not be taken as they act as a virus host.
- Application of Butachlore, Alchlorine, Plachloralin (2 gm/ha) as pre emergence herbicides after 2 months of transplanting for effective control of weeds.
- Removing of unwanted male plants is necessary for good pollination where dioecious varieties are cultivated.
- The male plant in a papaya orchard for good pollination should be 10%.
Manure and fertilizers
- NPK: 200 to 250 gm per/tree/year.
- For papain yield, dose of N is 300 gm.
- Soil moisture is essential for growth, yield and quality of fruits.
- If moisture is less, floral sex shifts towards female sterility those results in poor yield.
- Over irrigation results root rot disease.
- Number of irrigation depends upon soil type, variety and weather conditions.
- Irrigation are generally given at 15 days interval in winter and 10 days interval in summer.
- Commonly used irrigation system is asin system.
- Under water scarcity condition sprinkler or drip system is a better option.
- Papaya plants are susceptible to water stagnation condition.
- It is an operation of removal of undesirable fruits to obtain better quality of fruits.
- Fruits (undesirable) are removed when they are 3 cm long.
- Thinning should be done in such a way that no fruits touch each other.
- Excess thinning reduce yield.
Optimum thinning increases quality fruits yield and market value.
- Papaya plant start flowering in 5-6 months after transplanting.
- After flowering, they take another 5 months for harvesting.
- Fruits are harvested when they are firm (hard) and latex is no longer milky and watery.
- Change of colour of fruits from dark green to yellow is another parameter of harvesting stage.
- Economical bearing for papaya crop is 3 years, so after every 3 years papaya orchard should be replaced.
- On an average, improved variety gives 30-45 fruits per tree.
- On an average, yield 60-75 tones/ha.
Some important varieties are
Pusa Delicious, Majesty giant, Nanha, Dwarf, honey dew, Coorg Honey dew, Washington, CO 1 and CO 2.
Varieties for specific purposes
- Pusa delicious: Excellent taste and flavour.
- Pusa majesty: Best for papain production.
- Pusa nanha: Suitable for HDP.
- CO-3: high sugar content and suitable for desert region.
- CO-4: Suitable for home gardening.
- CO-6: Selection from Pusa majesty and used for both papain and desert purpose.
Pusa delicious, Pusa majesty, CO-3, Coorg Honey dew (selection from Honey dew, Hermaphrodite, for South India), Sunrise, Taiwan (Blood red Colour), Surya.
Pusa giant (Used in Canning industry), Pusa dwarf, Pusa Nanha (extremely dwarf), CO-1, CO-2, CO-5 (Cultivated mainly for papain extraction), CO-6 (selection from Pusa majesty), Pant C1, Sunny bank, Improved petron.
- CO-3 = CO-2 × Sunrise Solo
- CO-4 = CO-2 × Washington
- CO-7 = CO-3 × Pusa delicious × Coorg Honey dew.
- On an average TSS value of papaya is 12-14 Brix.
Papaya stem borer
- Dasyses rugosollus a caterpillar bores into the stems.
- Cut and destroy the affected parts or spray 4 % carboxyl.
- Dacus diversus
- Female flower attract male of this fly.
- Use 20 gm malathion 50 % WP or 50 ml Diazenone with 200 gm molasses in 2l of water.
Papaya mosaic virus
- Vector is aphid. It is always advisable to control vector instead of controlling virus directly.
- Remove and destroy infected plant parts.
Papaya leaf curl virus
- Vector is aphid.
- It is always advisable to control vector instead of controlling virus directly.
- Remove and destroy infected plant parts.
- Seed rate for gynodiocious variety is 250 to 300 gm/ha.
- Seed rate for diocious variety is 400 to 500 gm/ha.
- Yellow pigment in papaya is due to caricaxanthin.
- Test weight of papaya seeds is 50 gm.
- Most serious disease in papaya is damping off.
- Papaya is a thermosensitive crop.
- sunrise sols does not produce any male plant
- It is the second rich vitamin A fruit after mango.
- Satellite chromosome in papaya controls the maleness.
- Seeds can be stored at 10 degree celcious in an air tight bottle for 9 months.
- Seed treatment with thiourea (100 to 200 ppm) or GA3 improve seed germination.
- Pusa nanha is a mutant developed variety produced through gamma radiation.
- Drip irrigation in papaya saves 50 to 60 % of water.
- Water requirement in papaya is 1800 to 1900 mm.
- Carica qucrcifolia is the hardiest spp. of papaya.
- Carica monoica is a monoecious spp.
- Carica cauliflora, Carica microcarpa, Carica candamarcensis are cross incompatible variety with Carica papaya.
- Powdery mildew is due to oidium caricae.
- Stem and foot rot disease is due to phytopthora aphanidermatum and rhizoctonia solani.