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Crop Cultivation Guidance



The papaya (Carica papaya) is one of the important delicious fruit crop grown in the tropical and subtropical parts of the world. It is originated in Mexico and spread to almost all the corners of the tropical world.

The papaya is highly productive and interesting crop. It is easy to grow as short duration crop. As a raw fruit, it is used in cooking and some preparations. Its latex is used as a papain in food and medicine industry. Ripe fruit is very delicious containing vitamin A and Carbohydrates.

Climate and Soil:

The papaya being tropical crop favours high temperature and high humidity. It is very susceptible to frost and hail storm. The long days are favourable for good quality and flavour. During flowering, high rains are injurious and cause heavy damage.

The papaya grows under wide types of soils. However, very shallow and very deep black soils are not suitable medium, fertile, well drained and lime free soils are preferred for papaya cultivation.


Important varieties under cultivation

Pusa varieties

Coimbatore varieties

Bengalore varieties;

Pantnagar varieties

Other varieties

Pusa delicious


Coorg honey

Pant 1



Pusa majesty


Pink flesh


Pusa giant


Honey dew

Pusa dwarf



Taiwan varieties like goldden queen, No 815 and others.

Pusa nanha



Commercially the papaya is propagated by seeds. The tissue culture technique is limited to research laboratories only. The seeds loose viability in a short period and therefore the seeds should not be stored for more than a season. The seedlings in polybags are prepared. Due care is taken to avoid damping off of the newly germinated and young seedlings. The seedlings become ready for transplanting within 6-8 weeks.

Planting and Season:

Planting is done during the flowering seasons:

Spring season (February – March)

Monsoon season (June-July)

Autumn season (October-November)

Heavy rains, hot air, frost, etc are considered while selecting the season for planting in a particular area. The pits of 30 x 30 x 30 are prepared in already selected and prepared field at the distance of 2.5 to 3 meters distance. The pits are fitted with well-decomposed FYM and NPK mixtures. A care is taken not to disturb the roots while transplanting the seedlings.


Interculturing is mainly done to remove the weeds during the early period of growth, weeding and hoeing in between rows also favour better aeration to root zone. Some times pre-emerging weed killer like Basalin is used. Secondly, roughing is done to remove extra plants, weak plants and affected plants. After ensuring one plant per pit, earthing up is done 30 cm in radius around the plants.

Special Horticultural practices

Planting of 3 to 4 seedling at one pit and then removing extra plants and keeping one plant per pit while doing so 10 percent male plants are kept in female plant population to have pollination and to improve the fruit


For better growth, production and quality, the optimum soil moisture is maintained by irrigating the crop judiciously. Irrigation interval well depend on season, crop growth and soil type. In no case, water should be allowed to stagnate causing root and stem rot. Drip system of irrigation is beneficial and the actual quantity of water to be given per plant per day should be worked out critically.

Application of manures and fertilisers

The papaya is a very feeder and requires the application of chemical, organic and biofertilisers. The dose of NPK @ 500 kg each per ha, along with 20-25 tonnes of FYM 50 to 100 kg of ormichemi mirconutrients and ultrazyme sea weed extract granules. 25 kg is found for a crop of about 50 tonnes within 18-20 months. Additional 60% of this dose is again applied for the second flush.

Plant protection

The papaya is susceptible for virus disease, which are spread through insect vector. The rouging off is strictly followed to avoid further spread of the disease, in addition the insecticidal sprays are taken against aphids, white flies and other sucking pests. Powder mildew, downy mildew and stem rot providing wind breaks, well drained conditions to soil avoiding planting papaya after papaya and following a suitable crop rotation keeping the field clean and weed free are some of the measures which will help to keep the papaya crop in good healthy condition

Harvesting packing, post -harvest handling

Usually the fruits are harvested when they are full size, light green with a tinge of yellow at epical end. When the latex ceases to be milky and become watery the fruits are considered suitable for harvesting. First picking may start at 14/15 months after planting. Three to five pickings for one season are often taken fetching about 30-35 tonnes per hectare. Suitable grading must be done before packaging. Since the fruits are highly perishable, care should be taken to wrap the individual in paper and finally packed in crates.

Some additional features:

Papain production: Crude papain in flakes or powder, crude papain white brown, spray dried crude papain are the three types of papain extracted from raw-mature papaya fruits. About 8-10gm of final produce can be obtained from a well-developed fruit weighing about 2 kg. Tapping may be done 2/3 times preferably during cool hours. The fruits after latexing can be used as a table fruit or for preparing fruity or jams etc.