1.                  INTRODUCTION


Papaya (Carica papaya) is a tropical fruit having commercial importance because of its high nutritive and medicinal value. Papaya cultivation had its origin in South Mexico and Costa Rica. Total annual world production is estimated at 6 million tonnes of fruits. India leads the world in papaya production with an annual output of about 3 million tonnes. Other leading producers are Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, Peru, Thailand and Philippines.


2.                  OBJECTIVE
The main objective of this report is to present a bankable one acre model for high quality commercial cultivation of the crop. 
3.                  BACKGROUND

3.1              Area & Production


The area under papaya cultivation in India increased by 63% from 45.2 thousand ha. in 1991-92 to 73.7 thousand ha. in 2001-02 and the production increased from 8 lakh tones to 26 lakh tones. Papaya is mostly cultivated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. (Vide Table-1)













Table 1 : State-wise Area, Production & Productivity of

papaya during 2001-02




(‘000 Ha.)


(‘000 MT)



Andhra Pradesh




West Bengal




























Madhya Pradesh












Source : Database of National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture ,

Govt. of India.


3.2              Economic Importance
Fruit is a rich source of vitamin A and C. It has a high nutritive and medicinal value. Papain prepared from dried latex of its immature fruits is used in meat tenderizing, manufacture of chewing gum, cosmetics, for degumming natural silk and to give shrink resistance to wool. It is also used in pharmaceutical industries, textile and garment cleaning paper and adhesive manufacture, sewage disposal etc.


4.1              Demand and Supply patterns
Only 0.08% of domestic production is exported and the rest is consumed within the country. 
Delhi and Mumbai are the two principal markets.  Other major domestic markets are Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.  Arrivals are sizeable in the markets of Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Patna, Raipur, Baraut and Jammu.  The crop arrives in the market around the year in the major States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal. 

4.2              Export trends


India exports Papaya mainly to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Netherlands etc.   The trend in export of papaya from India during the period 1999-2000 to 2001-02 is given in Graph 3.

Table-2 : Country-wise export of  papaya from India during 2001-02.






(Rs.  in lakhs)













Saudi Arabia












 Source : APEDA, New Delhi



4.3              Analysis and Future Strategy


The fruit being perishable in nature poses problem in marketing.  Development of infrastructure facilities for transport to primary markets, standardization of packaging techniques are aspects which need special attention.  Processing facilities also need to be created in the major producing states for value addition.


5.                  PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY


5.1              Agro-climatic requirements


Papaya being a tropical fruit grows well in the mild sub-tropical regions of the country upto 1,000 m. above sea level. Night temperature below 120-140 C for several hours during winter season affects its growth and production severely. It is very much sensitive to frost, strong winds and water stagnation.


Deep, well drained sandy loam soil is ideal for cultivation of papaya.



5.2              Growing and Potential Belts

The state-wise growing belts are given in the following :



Growing belts

Andhra Pradesh

Cuddapah, Medak, Kurnool, Rangareddy


Nagaon, Darrang, Karbi Anglong


Kheda, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar


Simdega, Ranchi, Lohardaga, Hazaribagh, Chatra


Bellary, Bidar, Bangalore (R& U), Mandya, Shimoga, Chitradurga, Mysore, Belgaum, Hassan


Sangli, Satara, Pune, Nasik, Sholapur, Nagpur, Amravati

Madhya Pradesh

Dhar, Khandwa, Bilaspur, Ratlam, Guna

West Bengal

North & South 24- Parganas, Hooghly, Nadia, Midnapur


5.3              Varieties Cultivated


Important papaya varieties cultivated in different states of India are given below :




Varieties grown

Andhra Pradesh


Honey Dew, Coorg Honey Dew, Washington, Solo, Co-1,Co-2, Co-3, Sunrise Solo, Taiwan



Ranchi selection, Honey Dew, Pusa Delicious & Pusa Nanha

Karnataka & Kerala


Coorg Honey Dew, Coorg Green, Pusa Delicious & Pusa Nanha

West Bengal


Ranchi selection, Honey Dew, Washington, Coorg Green



Pusa Delicious, Pusa Nanha,  Ranchi selection, Honey Dew, Washington, Coorg Green


5.4              Land Preparation


A well-drained upland is selected for cultivation. In open and high lying areas plants are exposed to strong winds or storm. Therefore, for proper establishment of papaya plantation, suitable wind break should be planted at the orchard boundary.


5.5              Planting


5.5.1        Planting Material


Papaya is commercially propagated by seed and tissue culture plants. The seed rate is 250-300 g./ha. The seedlings can be raised in nursery beds 3m. long, 1m. wide and 10 cm. high as well as in pots or polythene bags. The seeds after being treated with 0.1% Monosan (phenyl mercuric acetate), ceresan etc. are sown 1 cm. deep in rows 10 cm. apart and covered with fine compost or leaf mould. Light irrigation is provided during the morning hours. The nursery beds are covered with polythene sheets or dry paddy straw to protect the seedlings. About 15-20 cm. tall seedlings are chosen for planting in about two months. 


5.5.2        Planting season


Papaya is planted during spring (February-March), monsoon (June-July) and autumn (October-November).


5.5.3        Spacing


A spacing of 1.8 x 1.8 m. is normally followed.  However higher density cultivation with spacing of 1.5 x 1.5 m./ha enhances the returns to the farmer and is recommended.


High Density Planting : A closer spacing of 1.2 x 1.2 m. for cv. Pusha Nanha is adopted for high density planting, accommodating 6,400 plants/ha.


5.5.4        Planting Method


The seedlings are planted in pits of 60x60x60 cm. size. In the summer months the pits are dug about a fortnight before planting. The pits are filled with top soil along with 20 kg. of farmyard manure., 1 kg. neem cake and 1 kg. bone meal. Tall and vigorous varieties are planted at greater spacing while medium and dwarf ones at closer spacing.


5.6              Nutrition


Papaya plant needs heavy doses of manures and fertilizers. Apart from the basal dose of manures (@ 10 kg./plant) applied in the pits, 200-250 g. each of N, P2O5 and K2O are recommended for getting high yield. Application of 200 g. N is optimum for fruit yield but papain yield increases with increase in N upto 300 g.


5.6.1        Micronutrients


Micro-nutrients viz. ZnSO4 (0.5%) and H2 BO3 (0.1%) are sprayed in order to increase growth and yield characters.




5.7              Irrigation


The irrigation schedule is fixed on the basis of soil type and weather conditions of the region. Protective irrigation is provided in the first year of planting. During the second year, irrigation is provided at fortnightly interval in winter and at an interval of 10 days in summer. Basin system of irrigation is mostly followed. In areas having low rainfall, sprinkler or drip system can be adopted.


5.8              Intercultural Operations


Deep hoeing is recommended during the first year to check weed growth. Weeding should be done on regular basis especially around the plants. Application of Fluchloralin or Alachlorin or Butachlorine (2.0 g./ha.) as pre-emergence herbicide two months after transplanting can effectively control the weeds for a period of four months. Earthing up is done before or after the onset of monsoon to avoid water-logging and also to help the plants to stand erect.


5.9              Inter-cropping


Intercropping leguminous crops after non-leguminous ones, shallow rooted crops after deep rooted ones are beneficial. No intercrops are taken after the onset of flowering stage.

5.10          Removal of male plants
About 10% of the male plants are kept in the orchards for good pollination where dioecious varieties are cultivated. As soon as the plants flower, the extra male plants are uprooted.
5.11          Plant Protection Measures
5.11.1    Insect Pests
The insect pests mostly observed are fruit flies (Bactrocera cucurbitae), ak grasshopper (Poekilocerus pictus), aphids (Aphis gossypii), red spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus), stem borer (Dasyses rugosellus) and grey weevil (Myllocerus viridans). In all cases the infected parts need to be destroyed along with application of prophylactic sprays of Dimethoate (0.3%) or methyl demeton (0.05%).
5.11.2    Diseases


The main diseases reported are powdery mildew (Oidium caricae), anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), damping off and stem rot. Application of wettable sulphur (1 g./l.) carbendazim/thiophanate methyl (1 g./l.) and Kavach/Mancozeb (2 g./l.) has been found to be effective in controlling the diseases.


5.12          Harvesting  and Yield


Fruits are harvested when they are of full size, light green in colour with tinge of yellow at apical end. On ripening, fruits of certain varieties turn yellow while some of them remain green. When the latex ceases to be milky and become watery, the fruits are suitable for harvesting.


The economic life of papaya plant is only 3 to 4 years.  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.


6.                  POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT


6.1              Grading


Fruits are graded on the basis of their weight, size and colour.


6.2              Storage


Fruits are highly perishable in nature. They can be stored for a period of 1-3 weeks at a temperature of 10-130 C and 85-90% relative humidity.


6.3              Packing


Bamboo baskets with banana leaves as lining material are used for carrying the produce from farm to local market.


6.4              Transportation


Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most convenient mode of transport due to easy approach from orchards to the market.


6.5              Marketing


The farmers usually dispose off their produce to the wholesalers and middlemen at the farm gate.


7.                  TECHNOLOGY SOURCES


Major sources for technology are:


(i)                  Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia-741252, West Bengal.

(ii)                Department of Horticulture, Birsa Agricultural University, Kanke, Tel : (0651)-2230691.

(iii)               Horticulture and Agro-forestry Research Programme (ICAR), Plandu, Ranchi, Tel : (0651)-2260141, 2260207.

(iv)              Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi-110012.

(v)                IARI Regional Station, Samastipur-848125, Bihar.

(vi)              Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hassaraghatta, Lake Post, Bangalore-560089, Karnataka.

(vii)             Progressive growers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.





















8.                  ECONOMICS OF A ONE ACRE MODEL


8.1              High quality commercial cultivation of crop by using improved variety seedlings as planting material and drip irrigation leads to multiple benefits viz.


·                     Synchronized  growth, flowering and harvesting;

·                     Improved fruit quality;

·                     Increases average productivity by more than 60%.

·                     Economy and increased efficiency in use of irrigation water with drip irrigation.


Costs & Returns


8.2              A one acre plantation of the crop is a highly viable proposition.  The cost components of such a model along with the basis for costing are exhibited in Annexures I & II.   A summary is given in the figure below.  The project cost works out to Rs. 1.25 lakhs.


Project Cost: (Unit – One Acre)


                                                                                                               (Amount in Rs.)

Sl. No.


Proposed Expenditure


Cultivation Expenses




Cost of planting material




Manures & fertilizers




Insecticides & pesticides




Cost of Labour




Others, if any, (Power Charges)











Tube-well/submersible pump




Cost of Pipeline




Others, if any







Cost of Drip/Irrigation including fertigation







Labour Shed




Farm Implementation







Land Development




Land leveling & layout











Land (if newly purchased)*



Grand Total


         *Cost of newly purchased land will be limited to one-tenth of the total project cost


8.3              The major components of the model are:


·                     Land Development:  (Rs.4.0 thousand):  This is the labour cost of shaping and dressing the land site.

·                     Fencing (Rs.20.0 thousand):  It is necessary to guard the orchard by barbed wire fencing to safeguard the valuable produce from animals and prevent poaching.  This is part cost of fencing taken in first year.

·                     Irrigation Infra-structure (Rs.45 thousand):  For effective working with drip irrigation system, it is necessary to install a bore well with diesel/electric pumpset and motor.  This is part cost of tube-well.  

·                     Drip Irrigation & Fertigation System (Rs.25 thousand):  This is average cost of one acre drip system for papaya inclusive of the cost of fertigation equipment.  The actual cost will vary depending on location, plant population and plot geometry.

·                     Equipment/Implements (Rs.3.5 thousand):  For investment on improved manually operated essential implements a provision of another Rs.3.5 thousand is included.

·                     Building and Storage (Rs.5.0 thousand):  A one acre orchard would require minimally a labour shed.

·                     Cost of Cultivation (Rs.22.5 thousand):  Land preparation and planting operations will involve tractor hiring and 100 days of manual labour, the cost of which will come to Rs.7.00 thousand.  The cost of planting material (1700 plants per acre at 1.5 x 1.5 m) works out to Rs.3.4 thousand i.e. 1700 plants @ Rs. 2.0 per plant.


8.4              Labour cost has been put at an average of Rs.70 per man-day.  The actual cost will vary from location to location depending upon minimum wage levels or prevailing wage levels for skilled and unskilled labour.


8.5              Recurring Production Cost:            Recurring production costs are exhibited in Annexure III.  The main components are planting material, land preparation, inputs application (FYM, fertilizers, micro-nutrients, plant protection chemicals etc.) and labour cost on application of inputs, inter-cultural and other farm operations.


8.6              Besides, provision is included for power charges, protection of the plantation (cost of material for wind protection and polythene bunch covers), labour for harvesting and packing/transportation charges for the produce to the nearest secondary market.  The recurring production cost for a one acre orchard works out as below:




                                    Year 1                                      26.50

                                    Year 2                                      36.69

                                    Year 3                                      32.71


8.7              Returns from the Project:  The yield from the plantation is estimated at 30 tonnes (per acre) the second year and 25 tonnes in the third year.  Valued at Rs.4500 per tonne the total realization works out to Rs.247.50 thousand over a three year crop cycle. (Annexure-III)


Project Financing


8.8.            Balance Sheet:  The projected balance sheet of the model is given at Annexure IV.  There would be three sources of financing the project as below:


                                    Source                                                   Rs.Thousand


                                    Farmer’s share                                               62.50

                                    Capital subsidy                                               25.00

                                    Term loan                                                        37.50

                                    Total                                                              125.00


8.9.            Profit & Loss Account:  The cash flow statement may be seen in Annexure V.   Annexure VI projects the profit and loss account of the model.  Gross profit for three years works out to Rs.178.1 thousand.


8.10.        Repayment of Term Loan:   The term loan will be repaid in 11 six monthly installments of Rs.3.41 thousand each with a moratorium of 18 months.  The rate of interest would have to be negotiated with the financing bank. It has been put at 12% in the model (vide Annexure VII).  Repayment schedule is given at Annexure VII A.


8.11.        Annexure VIII gives depreciation calculations. 


Project Viability:


8.12.        IRR/BCR:  The viability of the project is assessed in Annexure IX over a period of 5 years.  The IRR works out to 28.37 and the BCR to 2.5.


8.13.        The Debt Service coverage ratio calculations are presented in Annexure X.  The average DSCR works out to 6.87.


8.14.        Payback Period:  On the basis of costs and returns of the model, the pay back period is estimated at 2.45 years (vide Annexure XI). 


8.15.        Break-even Point:  The break even point will be reached in the 3rd year.  At this point fixed cost would work out to 43.1% of gross sales (vide Annexure XII).