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How Farmers can double their Income through Papaya Cultivation?

P. Godha Hiranmayee
P. Godha Hiranmayee

Papaya is one of the important fruit crops of tropical & subtropical regions of the world. It is one of the few fruit crops that flowers & fruits throughout the year giving early & high yields. Papaya is also a commercial source of protease enzyme, “Papain”. On an average 800gram latex is obtain from a papaya tree. Papain production is profitable because from papaya you can harvest papaya fruits for marketing & papain obtaining is becoming a side business. Approximately Rs. 35,000 profits can be obtaining per year per hectare. (Papain) 


The cultivation of papaya for producing papain will be a profitable proposition. Substantial quantities of papain can be extracted by adopting correct techniques. Papain is the proteolytic enzyme present in the milky latex obtained from green fruits of papaya. This enzyme is exclusively exported & there is great demand in the international market. Papain is used in breweries, especially for clarification of beer, medicines, cosmetics, tanning industry, tenderization of meat & fish, extraction of animal & plant protein from various animals & plants etc. In the medicinal field, papain finds use in the treatment of insect bites, itching of skin, cancer, displaced disk in the spinal cord, dyspepsia & other digestive ailments, ring worm infection, skin lesions & disorders of kidney. Several proprietary pharmaceutical preparations using papain are available in the market now. 

Papain Extraction:  

The latex should be tapped from 75 to 90 days old immature papaya fruits early in the morning up to 10:00 am. On the selected fruit, four longitudinal incisions should be given using a razor blade attached to bamboo splinter. The depth of the cut should not be more than 0.3cm. the tapping has to be repeated four times on the same fruit at an interval of 4 days. The latex should be collected in aluminum trays & shade dried. The dried latex is then packed in polythene bags. Before drying, potassium meta-bi-sulphate (KMS) 0.05% has to be added to the latex for better color & keeping quality. The latex can also be dried in oven at a temperature range of 50-55℃. 

Papain yield ranges from 1.23g to 7.45g per fruit & the cultivar. Washington variety recorded the highest mean yield of 7.45g per 100-150g of dried latex/tree/year. 

Varieties suitable for papain: CO-2, CO-4, CO-5, Washington, Coorg honeydew, Pusa majesty & Pusa delicious. 

Time of papain extraction: Cool & wet period gives more papain. July to august is best period. 

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