A farmer with high-yielding papaya variety at his field in Uppliyapuram block.— Photo: M. Srinath
A group of farmers of Uppliyapuram block in the district have taken up papaya cultivation to harness the assured and sustained profits from the crop. The soil condition in the block was best suited for raising the crop, they said. Further, the hybrid variety of the fruit helps them cultivate the crop on a large scale.
Since the selling price is based on the weight of the fruit, the returns are fixed, they said. We could harvest at least one tonne of fruit every week from one acre of land, they said.
The hybrid variety, which is shorter in height, is ready for harvest from the eighth month. It could be harvested every week for a period of two years. N.Narendran, a farmer, said that he has cultivated 360 plants on about one acre of land.
“There has been a growing demand for the fruit as it fits well into the contemporary lifestyle where the emphasis is more on a healthy diet,” he said.
Traders from Tiruchi depend on Uppliyapuram block for the fruit. The price per kg stood at Rs.10 on Sunday. The fruit could be harvested all through the year.
Mr.Narendran said that pest attack was the major problem for the crop, and he has erected a number of orange colour metallic boards smeared with grease. “Since the pests are attracted to orange colour, they fly towards the plate and get stuck to the greased plate,” he said.