|Authors: ||S.K. Sharma, S.K. Mitra, S. Saran|
|Keywords: ||compound average growth rate, cultivation, export, marketing|
India is the largest producer of papaya, contributing 42% of world production from 30% of the global area under papaya cultivation as per an FAO report for 2012. Papaya production in India during last fifty years can be divided into two phases: pre-World Trade Organization (WTO) until the early 1990s with predominantly dioecious cultivars when the country followed Nigeria, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia and post-WTO after the mid-1990s when India became the worldRSQUOs largest papaya producer.
Major changes in papaya cultivation occurred in the post-WTO period with the adoption of a gynodioecious cultivar 'Red Lady' which produced good quality, marketable fruits under moderate PRSV-P (Papaya ringspot virus-P) incidence.
Cultivation improved with good agricultural practices, robust domestic demand and adequate seed supply.
The area under papaya cultivation was 1.9% of the total area under fruit cultivation and its production was 6.6% of India's total fruit crops in 2012-2013. Papaya gave the highest per unit area yield (41 t ha-1) among fruit crops.
The area under papaya cultivation in India and its production grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2 and 7.1%, respectively, during last five decades.
Yield of papaya increased five times from 7.7 t ha-1 in 1985 to 40.1 t ha-1 in 2013 at a CAGR of 6.8%.Presently, major papaya production comes from Southern and Western India.
The most common channel of papaya marketing was “producer-agent-wholesaler-retailer-consumer.” Despite being the world's largest producer, India exported only meagre quantities of papaya.
Future expansion of papaya cultivation is likely to succeed in the areas having congenial climate and less PRSV-P pressure.
Considering the industry's growth rate of the last twenty years, its production is likely to reach 5.2 million t in 2020 and 6.8 million t in 2030. However, India's dependence on one cultivar is risky.
Concerted efforts are required to provide more cultivar options to the farmers.
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