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Papaya Farming: How to Plant and Grow Papaya for Profit

If you are here because you want to learn about papaya farming, you are in the right place. Papaya is a very important crop in the Philippines and either green or ripe, making money with papaya is always possible.

Papaya is often overlooked, yet it’s a delicious fruit and occupies only 8,720 hectares of the Philippines’ agricultural land. Not only useful in recipes as a dessert or vegetable dish, but it also provides vitamins A, B, and C. It serves as a meat tenderizer and can be used to clarify fruit juices, ferment liquors, and pre-shrinking wool. Papaya even has medicinal qualities making it an even more versatile treat!

papaya farming

Introduction to Papaya Farming

Papaya is an easy crop to grow in home gardens and can be quite a lucrative endeavor.  The yield varies widely according to variety, soil, climate, and management of the orchard. The yield of 75-100 tonnes /ha. is obtained in a season from a papaya orchard depending on spacing and cultural practices.

Papaya farming is a great way to make profits, but there are some important things to consider when getting started. The most important factor is deciding the right location. Papaya trees thrive in tropical and subtropical regions with plenty of sunlight, so make sure to pick a spot where this condition is met. It’s also important to select the right variety of papaya for your particular climate, as this will determine the fruiting time and yield of the tree. Additionally, you’ll need to consider aspects such as fertilizer and irrigation management, pest control, and proper pruning techniques. By taking all of these elements into account, you can maximize your profits and ensure a good crop of papayas.

Papaya Varieties

In the Philippines, there are currently seven (7) commercial varieties of papaya sold for human consumption. These are Cavite Special, Morado, Solo, Sinta, Cariñosa, Red Lady and Red Royale.

Papaya Farming Land Preparation

As with other upland crops, papaya orchards are prepared by clearing the fields, then plowing and harrowing alternately about two to three times to kill weeds and provide good drainage. The planting distance varies from two to three meters depending on the variety.

Papaya plants are generally grown from seedlings planted directly in the field. Place 5 or more seeds in each hole and cover them with a quarter inch of soil. Germination usually occurs within 10 to 14 days when using fresh seeds, which improves if the seed’s outer covering (sarcotestae) is removed. Alternatively, they may be grown in a nursery by sowing 3 to 4 seeds per container in sterilized soil to prevent nematode infestation and damping-off. The seedlings should be kept in full sunlight to ensure strong and healthy growth, leaving their root systems undisturbed while providing consistent water until they are established. After the plants have 3 to 4 leaves, they can then be transplanted.

Thinning Seedlings

It is recommended to thin papaya seedlings in the field 4 to 6 weeks after emergence. Place only three of the strongest seedlings in each hole. Plants should be placed far enough apart to avoid competing for sunlight and nutrients.

As soon as flowers appear, the second and final thinning should take place in the field. This usually occurs 4 to 6 months after seed germination. At this stage, leave one tree seedling per planting hole. The process of thinning should include the preservation of pollinating trees of the male or hermaphrodite forms in plantations where female trees are grown. One male plant should be allowed to grow for every 15 to 20 female trees.

Caring for Papaya Plantation

Windbreaks are necessary for areas where strong winds prevail. Local materials used as windbreaks include ipil-ipil and madre de cacao. The distance between windbreaks varies by location. A common rule of thumb is to space windbreak trees at a distance 20-30 times their height when they blow horizontally across the plantation. Windbreak trees need to be half as close where winds blow from different directions and angles.

Fapaya Farming Fertilization Guide

There are many factors that affect fertilization practices, including soil type, rainfall, location, cultural practices, and plant age. When seeds are planted or seedlings are transplanted in the field, fertilize them at the bottom of the hole with a handful (5-10gms.) of complete fertilizer (14-14-14). The more the papaya seedlings grow, the more fertilizer they need.

  1. After the plants are well established and show new growth, apply 60 grams of ammonium sulfate.
  2. The same amount should be applied every six weeks until the plants are one year old.
  3. Then, every three months, apply 225 grams of ammonium sulfate per plant.
  4. Every year, apply 450 grams of superphosphate per plant.
  5. A ratio of 2:1:2 or 2:1:3 is recommended for potassium-deficient soils.

Weed Control

Handweed papaya plants that are less than 2-12 meters high. Keep one meter around the trunk free of weeds. Weeds can be controlled mechanically and chemically.

Large commercial papaya plantations use herbicides to control weeds. In order to inhibit weed control for six months without much damage to plants, spray a pre-emergence herbicide. At intervals of 5-6 weeks, spray a post-emergence herbicide such as Paraquat or Gramoxone plus a surfactant. In order to prevent papaya seedlings from being sprayed chemically, remove weeds near them manually.

Irrigation

When it comes to papaya farming, proper irrigation is essential for success. The most common type of irrigation for papaya crops is drip irrigation, which is more efficient and cost-effective than other methods. Drip irrigation allows you to water the exact areas of the crop that need water, reducing water loss and saving money in the long run. It’s important to note that papaya plants need a good balance of water and sunlight, as too much or too little can negatively affect yield. Additionally, it’s imperative to pay attention to soil drainage so that excessive build-up of water doesn’t occur, as this can lead to root rot and create long-term damage. With the right amount of water, the right kind of irrigation system, and soil management, papaya farming can be greatly successful.

Use Intercropping Method

It is important to provide fertilizer requirements for the intercrop of papaya. It is possible to intercrop papaya with coconuts, coffee, pineapple or assorted vegetables. Intercropping with papaya increases total income and reduces weeding expenses.

Harvesting Papaya

When papaya trees are short and fruit can be easily reached by hand, harvesting can begin on the 7th to 8th month after planting. Pick all fruits that show a hint of yellow at the apex.

To develop a better flavor, allow fruits to mature more fully in picking bags, galvanized containers, or pails. However, this reduces shelf life and makes them more susceptible to fruit fly infestations.

Questions Related to Papaya Farming

Is papaya farming profitable in the Philippines?

The papaya fruit (Carica papaya) is one of the most popular and profitable fruit and vegetable in Philippine agriculture. It can easily grow in most types of soil with tolerable pH levels and bears nutritious fruits.

What place is the leading papaya producer in the Philippines?

Among all the major crops produced, papaya has the highest yield in Occidental Mindoro, which is 20.41 metric tons per hectare.

How many years does it take for papaya to grow?

It can take up to twelve months for a papaya tree to grow from seed and produce fruit, though, under optimal conditions and care, it can take six months before you can begin harvesting fruit. Living in the proper climate is necessary too, as papaya growing can only occur in frost-free environments.

Is papaya farming better than banana farming?

The papaya trees are much more productive than banana trees and fruits grow 3-4 times on papaya trees every year after proper management. Papaya trees can be infected by viruses and you need to spray good pesticides to protect your papaya trees. Papaya plants grow and provide ripe fruits after 8 months of planting

How many papayas per hectare in papaya farming?

The fruit yield of papaya varies widely according to variety, soil, climate, and management of the orchard. On average, each plant of improved varieties bears 20 -40 fruits weighing 40-75 kg in one fruiting season. On an average yield of 60-75 tons per hectare may be expected in a season from an orchard of papaya.

How many times can a papaya tree bear fruit?

Depending on the growing conditions, you may get 30 to 150 fruits from your papaya tree each year.

How many years do papaya trees live?

The life of a papaya tree is about 3 years. It may continue to give fruits thereafter but the yield will be poor and the quality may also be affected. Harvesting papaya fruit: Pick fruit when fully developed but green and lay it on soft straw to ripen.

Conclusion on Papaya Farming

The cultivation of papaya is an exciting venture that, if approached correctly, can lead to a successful and profitable business. This guide has provided all the necessary information to get started on papaya farming, from selecting a location and layout to harvesting and storage. In addition, pest and disease control, fertilization, and irrigation are key topics to consider. Moreover, knowing how to market and sell your papaya crop is an important part of running a successful business. With this knowledge and the initial steps taken in the right direction, farmers can gain success in the papaya industry and gain tremendous profit from the production of this fruit. So, if you are a farmer looking for a new avenue of profit, then papaya farming is the way to go!

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