Why invest in ‘Sinta’ papaya production?
All over the world, fruits are being recognized as a healthful part of the diet. This trend makes papaya more popular than ever. Consumers value the substantial amount of beta-carotene, Vitamin A, calcium, dietary fiber, and other minerals in fresh papaya fruits.
The development of ‘Sinta’ papaya is reviving the industry that was devastated by the ringspot disease caused by papaya ringspot virus (PRSV). ‘Sinta’ is the first Philippine-bred hybrid papaya which is moderately tolerant to PRSV.
‘Sinta’ produces more quality fruits than the ordinary papaya strains. It is early maturing thus growers can harvest fruits 8 to 9 months after transplanting. It is semi-dwarf making it easier to harvest the 17-50 fruits it produces per tree even if infected with the PRSV. The other papaya strains normally yield only five fruits per tree when infected with PRSV. ‘Sinta’ fruit is sweet with firm flesh and weighs 1.2-2.0 kg/piece, making it easy to transport and sell.
What do I need to prepare to go into ‘Sinta’ papaya production?
The following are the recommended production management:
Land Preparation: Cultivate the soil and make sure that clumps are broken up.
Sowing: Soak seeds in clean water for 2-3 days. Change the water daily. Prepare the growing medium by mixing one part coir dust and one part rice hull. Place the medium in a polybag and sow one seed/bag. Water daily but do not oversoak.
Transplanting: Transplant one seedling per hill after 4 weeks from germination or when seedlings are about 20 cm high. Plant the seedlings 2 m apart within rows and the rows should be 3-3.5 apart. It is best to plant on the onset of the dry season.
Irrigation: Water the newly transplanted seedlings daily until they are well established in the field. After which, water the plants at least twice a week to sustain flowering and fruiting. During the rainy season, hill up the soil around the base of the plant to improve drainage.
Fertilizer application: The following is the general fertilizer recommendation for papaya:
Weeding: Remove weeds around the plant. During the dry season, apply mulch around the base of the plant. A mulch is a protective covering usually of leaves or straw placed around the plants to prevent loss of moisture and growth of weeds.
Harvesting: Do not allow the fruits to ripen on the plant. Promptly harvest the fruits that are yellow near the tip. This will prevent fruitfly damage. To harvest, twist the fruit until the stalk snaps or cut the stalk with a sharp knife.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Patricio S. Faylon
PCARRD, Los Banos, Laguna
Tel. Nos.: (049) 536-0014 to 20; 536-5907
Fax Nos.: (049) 536-0016/ 536-7922