Papaya Production – Primer

Common Names: Papaya, chich put, fan kua, kavunagaci, lechoso, lohong si phle, mapaza, mu kua, papailler, papaw, papaye, papayer, pawpaw tree, pepol, tinti, wan shou kuo, betik petik, gandul, katela gantung, kates, kepaya, kuntaia.

Papaya (Carica papaya Linn.), originated from tropical America and is considered as one of most important fruit crops in the Philippines because of its great economic potential. The fruit is cylindrically long, pear shaped or round, it is orange to orange-red, sweet and juicy when ripe. Unripe papaya makes for a good concoction of vegetable stew, salad or pickle. The fruit is rich in Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein, carbohydrates and phosphorous. Papaya produces latex which contains papain, an enzyme that breaks protein. Papain has been commonly of use to the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Papain is used for cleansing lotions, facial creams and toothpastes.

A study conducted by the University of Indonesia discovered that glycoside, an organic compound that can be extracted from ripe papaya seeds, reduces fertility among men. This break through is being pursued to provide an alternative contraceptive method for men. Further, a new scientific finding reveals that papaya could be an effective remedy for cancer.

Varieties

Solo s an improved, high quality selection with reddish-orange flesh. Its fruit weighs about half a kilogram.

The most popular strains of Solo papaya commercially propagated in the Philippines are the Kapoho and Sunrise which are high-yielding and pear shaped. They are smoother and sweeter but smaller and lighter compared to other solo strains.

Cavite Special is a popular semi-dwarf type that blooms 6-8 months after planting. The fruit is large, oblong and weighs from 3 to 5 kilograms. It has a star-shaped cavity. The flesh is yellow orange and sweet when ripe.

Sintais the first Philippine bred hybrid papaya. It is a cross between Line no. 5 and Line no. 3. It is moderately tolerant to papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and produces more quality fruits than the ordinary papaya strains. It is semi-dwarf and therefore, easier to harvest.

Sinta is early maturing and prolific, which bears 17-50 fruits per tree. Its fruit weighs 1.2 – 2.0 kg, is sweet and has firmer flesh.

Red Lady Papaya (F1 Hybrid) – Early, vigorous productive and tolerant to papaya ring spot virus. Plants begin to bear fruits at 80cm. height and normally have over 30 fruits per plant in each fruit setting season. Fruits are short-oblong on female plants and rather long shaped on bisexual plants, weighing about 1.5 – 2 kg.

Known You No.1 – Tolerant to papaya ring spot virus. Plants are thick, sturdy early and heavy yielding. Yellow fleshed fruit is large, weighing about 1.6 – 3 kg.

Tainung No. 1 – Plants are vigorous and prolific. Fruits weigh about 1.1 kg with red flesh and good aroma.

Tainung No. 2 – Fruits with pointed blossom end weigh about 1.1 kg. Flesh is orange red, tender with good taste and quality. Suitable for local market.

Tainung No. 3 – Plants are dwarf but with good growth. Fruits are larger than Tainung No. 1 and weigh about 1.3 kg. Flesh is yellow-orange, sweet and good quality.

Adaptation

Papaya thrives best in areas with dry climate ( 25-30 C ) with annual rainfall of 1,200 mm to 1,500 mm distributed throughout the year. Normally, it is a crop for low to medium elevations (from sea level to 900 meters above sea level) with humid to fairly humid conditions. It requires ample sunshine and protection from strong winds.

Papaya is adapted to a wide range of soils but its grows best in well- drained light textured soils with pH range from 5-6.5.Good drainage is important as water logging kills plants. Sticky and calcareous soil are not good as rain water, may accumulate in the soil even only for a few hours. In this case, raised beds and drainage ditch are recommended.

Land Preparation

Clear the area of all shrubs and trees preferably during dry season and alternately plow and harrow to obtain fine tilth.

Planting

Seeds are recommended to be sown in polyethylene bags. Sow at least 3 to 4 seeds and cover with fine soil. Germination takes 15 to 20 days. Thin out to two seedlings per polybag. A booster dose of 2 grams urea after emergence and 2 weeks interval in subsequent application may be given for rapid growth and development of seedlings. Regular daily watering is necessary. The seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are about 6 inches high or 2 months old.

Prior to planting , stake at a distance of 2.5 X 2.5 and dig 45 cm X 45 cm holes. Two seedlings should be planted per hole and later thinned out to only one after assurance of most vigorous tree.

Water Management

Water is required for papaya during the early stages of growth and periods of prolonged drought. Lack of moisture over prolonged periods causes growth retardation, flower abortion and dropping of young fruits.

Water newly transplanted seedlings daily until they become fully established. Young papaya seedlings should be irrigated once a week and bearing trees every week during dry periods. During rainy season, hill up to improve drainage.

Weed Control

Remove the weeds by proper cultivation of the soil around the plants. It is done by hand pulling, hoeing or by shallow cultivation. Extreme care should be exercised in manual weeding around the trees since papaya is shallow-rooted and surface feeder roots injured. Mulch during the dry season to control growth of weeds and to conserve moisture.

Fertilization

The following is the general fertilizer recommendation for papaya:

  • At planting to 1st month, 50g of ammonium sulfate
  • 2nd – 6th month, 100g
  • Every 2 months (after 6 month), 100g

Read Part 2

sources: bpi.da.gov.ph, da.gov.ph, hort.purdue.edu

 

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